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Full Freeview on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter which serves 1,870,000 homes. The bright green areas shown where the signal from this transmitter is strong, dark green areas are poorer signals. Those parts shown in yellow may have interference on the same frequency from other masts.

Are there any planned engineering works or unexpected transmitter faults on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) mast?

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 27/11/2023 Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels Digital tick

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Sutton Coldfield transmitter broadcast?

If you have any kind of Freeview fault, follow this Freeview reset procedure first.

Digital television services are broadcast on a multiplexes (or Mux) where many stations occupy a single broadcast frequency, as shown below.

 H max
C43 (650.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) West Midlands, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 19 others

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Central (West micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 Midlands ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Central west),

 H max
C40+ (626.2MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD West Midlands, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Central West), 104 Channel 4 HD Midlands ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C42 (642.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 35 others

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Mix, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 65 That's Christmas, 70 Quest +1, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 90s, 233 Sky News, plus 11 others

 H max
C39+ (618.2MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 20 others

 H -13dB
C48 (690.0MHz)433mDTG-1210,000W
Channel icons
from 31st October 2014: 7 Big Centre TV,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Midlands Today 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 1RF, 15km south-southwest (200°)
to BBC West Midlands region - 66 masts.
regional news image
ITV Central News 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 2JT, 15km south-southwest (201°)
to ITV Central (West) region - 65 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Central (East)

Are there any self-help relays?

Burton (shobnall)Transposer1 km W Burton-on-Trent60 homes
CoalvilleTransposer18 km NW Leicester600 homes
SolihullTransposerLand Rover building400 homes

How will the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-137 Mar 2018

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) after November 2020 / June 2022 - more
Table shows multiplexes names see this article;
green background for transmission frequencies
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W T
waves denotes analogue; digital switchover was 7 Sep 11 and 21 Sep 11.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 200kW
com7(-10.5dB) 89.2kW
com8(-10.7dB) 86kW
LB(-20dB) 10kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-21dB) 8kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sutton Coldfield transmitter area

Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision†
Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1981Associated TeleVision
Jan 1982-Feb 2004Central Independent Television
Feb 2004-Dec 2014ITV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only. Sutton Coldfield was not an original Channel 3 VHF 405-line mast: the historical information shown is the details of the company responsible for the transmitter when it began transmitting Channel 3.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011
M Rawson
9:28 PM

Have finaly cracked my missing channels. Inspired by help on this page, I tracked down a factory reset buried in sub-menus. Then with a total retune all channels finally appeared. Still got problems with second set, however expect to beat them with persistence. Thanks

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M Rawson's 4 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
9:31 AM

I live in Alcester B49.
Before the recent retune Freeview was not good. Yesterday was unwatchable, and motorcycles passing caused all channels to break up and they would take several minutes to recover.

Now it works wonderfully. I suspect the masthead amp is still required.

Only wee problem is sometimes I lose lip sync. quick change of channel and back again resolves that.

So for me its a thumbs up. Except for the loss of dave ja vu :(

Butt here is how its made on Quest to make up for it.

And I have deleted Really from my channel list!

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Ken's 9 posts GB flag
Ken's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
1:45 PM

hi ive took off the booster and ran a cable from ariel straight to tv but its still megapixaling got all channels my second tv works fine no problems ive retuned and still same is there any thing i can do before switch over every thing work fine

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steve's 3 posts GB flag
steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:08 PM

Ken: Thanks for that report, as it gives a good indication of the signal strength being received at approx 27 miles due South of the station.

Loss of lip sync is a thing that can happen on some equipment after a glitch in the signal being received, but obviously you have discovered the simple and easy way to cure it when viewing a real time signal. (not PVR)

If your TV (or box) displays both signal and quality indications you should observe them for a few minutes on the channel known to suffer most with the lip sync problem, the purpose of this being to see if the quality rapidly dips to actual zero at any time, or that it just jumps about between two levels, because if its the latter then a booster (12-15dB) would assist with this problem by keeping the average level higher, however it wouldn't really if the dip was frequently to zero.

This said though, taking it that the signal received is not a continual 100% strength, as if it was then it could be that an intermittent signal reflection (e.g: aircraft etc) is making the signal more intense whereby its just about overloading the tuner, albeit in too rapid a fashion to cause any noticeable level of picture freezing.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 14 October 2011

3:12 PM

Sean: Thanks. It's good to hear you have resolved your reception problem.

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Briantist's 38,902 posts GB flag

7:26 PM

Okay, how badly, and deadly serious are you Jack, meaning wanting it sorted etc, no promises.
Cause I can open another email at hushmail and you can contact me and we can get in touch, I have a car and obviously a few things, box and amps and what not and attenuator and so on, also a signal strength meter, not much good to me, cost like 15 pounds, etc.
Lastly I apologize, I seriously missed this:

I'm using a 64 element wideband aerial with a 21dB mains amp

Now think, I'm 17.4 miles from Sutton, log periodic 22 element, max gain is 7.5 db, amp on it, is now only 13 db gain and I get 80 over 100% on channel 38.

You are how far from Sutton and using what, WOW I'm using a 64 element wideband aerial with a 21dB mains amp

Despite what you said and tried and not saying you telling lies, no way, but that seems, huge.
But then you claim, no difference in power since change over, weird, something major, wrong, well you know that.
Let me know, I'm in Coventry, so no worries and yes, likely do it for nothing, lol, kinda guy I am, make me a cuppa, no, kidding, goes in one end and out the other.

If I came round and could help, pay my petrol money is all, if I came around and could not get it, you owe me nothing, win win for you then, lol.

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Billy's 50 posts GB flag

7:48 PM

Okay, Jack, you said you removed the amp, assume we on about a masthead one, need cable straight from aerial to box or tv then.
Or need a join, assume you know this.

I'm still convinced and think, not 100% sure, that if well over loaded, it goes backwards, so one thinks, look at it, 30%, used to get 80%, gotten worse, need more power, but no, you don't.

I remain convinced, all else being well, cable, connections and so on, you got all okay before, then you needed the 21 db gain amp, and 64 element aerial, as it was a pathetic 8,000 kws, now it is 200,000, so, oh gosh, hang on, increase in what, err 14db, going by the above on this page.

See I guessing your aerial like has, what, 13 to 14 db gain and 21 db gain amp, outside, no hills.
I have massive hill it goes through, passing Allesley Park one etc. in loft, only 7.5 dg gain aerial and 13 db gain amp, and so lets add them up:

You: lets say 13 db then and 21 34 db gain then. No hills, not sure of your distance, but if less than 20 miles, no worries, easy.

Me: 7.5 db max and 13 db - 20.5 db, massive hill in way, in loft, at top, pointing upwards, mostly, 80% Signal strength over 100% quality.

34 db, nothing
20.5 db and hill and loft.

You at a guess need now, just the aerial itself, or, I'd say, 10db amp only with it, maybe then attenuator of about 6db, should be spot on, that fails, scrap it, go freesat, amen, :).

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Billy's 50 posts GB flag
Saturday, 15 October 2011
2:22 PM

I found someone and started shouting - the following day it started working - for 5 days. I cant prove any connection but it is suspicious.

Some things for certain:

1. Power is NOT overloading my box.

2. There was little or zero increase in power registered on switchover. The claims for that are clearly absurd. Even allowing for inverse square laws before anyone pipes up.

3. I am starting to understand my nutty neighbour who threw all his freeview gear in the bin before switchover - I just assumed it would be fixed when the power went up and waited.

4. There is no problem whatsoever with my installation.

Billy- Sadly the power has not increased at switchover no matter what they claim.
Because I had to have this huge aerial and amp I watched the power quite closely.
I no longer trust any claims made for freeview or any technical information.

We used to get a great analogue picture with a bent coathanger stuffed in the back of a TV - now we cant get a reliable picture at all.

This is service degradation not improvement.
I've seen more complaints about freeview than any other product or service in history.
Not just here (Funny how the sutton thread is always top of the pops here)

I dont know how far away sutton is but I'd guess less that 15 miles - this is ridiculous. You can transmit around the globe on 1Kw (Albeit not tv)

today HD started playing up for the first time.

I've swapped aerials swapped boxes and box manufacturers more than once - the early boxes were a total bugridden con. as I'm sure many know.

As far as I (and others around here) can see
freeview is an expensive degradation of TV broadcasting.

Thank you all for your time - I can only assume it works great in patches - somewhere.

It seems to me TV as a whole is getting to be far too much trouble to bother with. If its not the signal its the pointless and annoying rubbish being broadcast on every channel. And thats before you consider the outrageously excessive advertising.

I've ordered virgin cable. At least the kids will get their cbeebies next week.

I wish you all well and thank you again.

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jack's 1 post GB flag

9:07 PM

jack: Having read everything that's been said regarding your problem, I would like to point out that it should be appreciated that when any signal received is that strong that its hovering on the verges of grossly overloading a tuners input then the symptoms seen by the viewer are "exactly" the same as a weak signal that keeps dropping out of the box by it falling down "under" the reception threshold.

The difference being, that when a picture is observed to be jumping on or off / breaking up etc when in areas relatively close to a transmitter, its happening because the "over the top" signal is causing intermittent instability to occur in the tuner, and "not" because the signal is going down in strength, quite the reverse! albeit that the boxes indicators might make it appear that way.

The reason for this is that the signal strength / quality indication circuitry in digital equipment gets completely swayed by over powerful inputs and is prone to giving totally incorrect readings, these usually always being very low, the indications seen being quite different when viewed on various brands of equipment, as no two devices responds in the same way to overload situations, sensitive sets being worse for obvious reasons.

I will say though, that reception underneath a transmitter mast can in some cases be somewhat less than would be expected because of an umbrella effect, but this usually happens within a couple of miles or so of a mast and is unlikely to be applying at your distance of 8 miles away.

That said, the power increased massively at switchover and that's an indisputable fact, and if there are no massive hills (I haven't checked!) between the station and you then your aerial system is grossly excessive for the distances involved, as a simple DM log (or DM18) with no booster should be perfectly suffice at your distance.

Have you tried a simple set top aerial? as I don't see this having been mentioned as already done.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 18 October 2011

12:02 PM

To Jack.

Hate to say it, I agree with what jb38.


You said it yourself, used to get analogue tv on what, a coathanger.

The problem was what, 1 million kwats as opposed to the awful 8,000, didn't ondigital start at 4,000 even on sutton, forget now, as certainly 4 and 5,000 on Waltham.

Anyway, massive difference, even given that they claim it can be the same with 7db less.

Whoever then installed your system was asking for trouble later.

This is why I said it has been a huge disaster and I'm sure one that is much worse surely then we are hearing about.

Surprised not on watchdog or something, not that I watch it hardly ever, so....

I worry equipment is not messed up, damaged, or something happening.

I would still say experiment, loft aerial.

I keep reminding you Jack, and hence the reason for Allesley Park Transmitter, cause my mom claims back in the day, kicked up a fuss, because not get analogue from Sutton, bad ghosting, because of the hill, right in a dip, why years ago, went 42 plus miles to Waltham, glitch, glitch, lol.

You have told me, no hills, nothing, 15 miles likely away.

I have log periodic, 22 elements, only meant for strong, medium areas, because of the hill, i'd class me as weak to poor.

I'm 17.4 miles, so bit further still than you.

I can use a 13 db amp, in the loft and get what 80% over 100%.

You are 15 miles, massive x type high gain aerial, LOL, laughable now, cause that alone should be connected to the box, no boosters, no amps.
Gosh, I'd say it could likely feed more than one set up, :).

As confirmed by jb38, because one gets too much signal, it goes backwards, awful, because the unwary, now believe they have a worse set up, not getting enough signal, weak, breaking up, bad.

You said yourself, fine before, FINE before switchover, not perfect, but fine.

Went from 8,000, pathetic, to massive 200,000 kws, equal to the 1 million analogue, which you said what, and I quote:

''We used to get a great analogue picture with a bent coathanger stuffed in the back of a TV - now we cant get a reliable picture at all.''

I'd even test it with aerial to box, no amps and 6 db attenuator, or another connection in line.

HOWEVER, having said all that, pure speculation, maybe wrong word, in the sense that you know your setup.

We do not, not seen the cable, connections, facing aerial, what sort it is like and so on.
So can be really hard to say.

If you do not want cheaper way to get sky sports and top up tv, go with Sky, freesat that is.
Virgin do my heads in, sick of them bugging me, and not sure how true it is, was said, read that, you know, pry into things, can not be trusted, still if have nothing to hide.
Like Top UP TV, woman suddenly asks what sports I like, Golf I said, should have said all sorts.
I hope now, not later bugged my more phone calls about whatever, to do with golf etc.

We have to be careful, desperate depression times, not recession, that's a con also, they get worse and will push us into things for more money.
Anyway, wish you all the best. :).

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Billy's 50 posts GB flag
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