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

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps52.600,-1.835 or 52°36'1"N 1°50'5"Wsa_postcodeB75 5JJ


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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter.

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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 18 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, 109 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! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 69 HorrorXtra, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 16 others

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 71 That's 60s, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 70s, 233 Sky News, plus 9 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! romance, 73 HobbyMaker, 76 That's 80s, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 90 Together TV +1, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 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, 31 January 2012
c/s GBXZ
8:53 PM

barry lloyd:

also, bear in mind that loft antennae are _always_ a bad compromise, the fact that there's more signal upstairs due to a shorter cable run than to downstairs may be causing the software to get confused, see above ^

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c/s GBXZ's 9 posts GB flag

11:19 PM

barry lloyd: Firstly, as your query concerns a reception issue then you really have to state your location and with this preferably in the form of a post code for accuracy, as this would not only enable the freeview signal strength expected at your location to be assessed but also details the transmitting station that covers your area.

Secondly, maybe you could indicate the model number of the PVR in question, as there is a number of these devices in existence that has problems dealing with certain characteristics concerning the transmitting channels being used by some stations.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 18 February 2012

12:57 PM

During the recent cold spell, I again had trouble receiving just one of the Muxes (COM6) in Great Barr Birmingham.

This is exactly as before the power-up when the signals were low. Now they are high the problem persists, on different Muxes, exactly as I predicted they would do, it is interference from more distant broadcast sites is all that has changed.

As I have said before, no matter how well-spread the channel frequencies are around the country, those using the same frequency will interfere at some times during the year. The whole concept of freeview has this inglorious fault that would never have occurred if the powers-that-be had ignored the whole idea ofground-based broadcast and gone for renting a satellite.

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David's 25 posts GB flag
Sunday, 19 February 2012

5:31 PM

David: Fully appreciating and up to a point agreeing with the comments made by yourself regarding Freeview reception, as although being extremely good in a high percentage of areas it will however never have the reliability of Freesat, basically because of it (Freeview) being terrestrial based thereby being open to suffer from interference from a variety of sources, many of totally out with the control of the user.

Freesat reception on the other hand being almost perfect for about 99.9% of the time because of its signal being much less vulnerable to being interfered with, and with about the only thing that can being a really heavy thundery downpour. But the reason for my posting is more from a curiosity angle as on checking back "some" of your previous postings and the problems mentioned therein, its the content of your most recent December posting that has made me curious as to what form of aerial system you are using?

My reason for asking being, that I notice you appear to be located at only about 5 / 7 miles away from the massively high powered Sutton Coldfield transmitter, meaning that unless your location is severely screened from the mast in some way then this type situation just invites signal overloading problems to be experienced in the receiving equipment being used "if" its coupled to an aerial system that just a little too efficient, this effect being made worse if the TV / boxes tuner is of the better and more sensitive type.

I say this based on your comment about the "cheepo" third box working perfectly where the more expensive types didn't, this somewhat suggesting that the signal overloading problem referred to may well be applying in your case, as these less costly boxes do not generally have sensitive tuners and as such much less prone to signal overloading problems, this fact making them "appear" as being better.

I do also realise that your entire area is suggestive of one where difficulties with reception is likely to be in evidence, basically because if it wasn't then there wouldn't be the necessity for the area to be covered by so many relays with 6 being seen within 6 miles, one of virtually next door to the test code used of B43 5EL.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that any signal received slightly over the top power wise can give "exactly" the same symptoms to one on the weak side, and which also in many cases can result in a false indication of low been seen when strength checking, another point being that although muxes are all located on the same mast (albeit at different heights) its not necessarily the case that they will all be received at anywhere near the same level even although their rated powers might well be the same, but a lot of the problems I see mentioned are ones usually always associated with signal strengths of a magnitude that are on the point of causing instability in a receivers tuner.

Its just that at 6 miles or so away from Sutton Coldfield the signal should be so strong to the extent of being immune to a certain extent from interference originating from distant stations, and so I would be interested in knowing details about your aerial set up, as well as knowing if you can receive a workable signal if you tried a test using a set top aerial of the non amplified type?

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
jb38's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 20 February 2012

1:45 PM

jb38 thank you for your thoughtful reply. You are quite right, despite being 6-7 miles from Sutton Coldfield, there is no line-of-site for me. I am in a dip, and what may be worse, there are a line of power pylons marching away over the hill in direct line towards the SC mast.

All my neighbours have aerials pointing in several directions (as you would guess) and many had aerial upgrades mounted some 15-20 feet above their roofs during the pre-switchover period, but I did not. My wide-band aerial is only about 2-3 feet above the roofline, and gave good reception except during Winter months, when 1, sometimes 2 muxes would break up.

After switchover, nothing much changed except the digibox readings went up from roughly 20-30% level to roughly 70-85 % level. Reception is just as before, generally very good, with occasional lack of picture on just one mux and that only during the coldest periods only.

Interestingly, one can watch the 'quality' reading when a channel is breaking up, and can see it slowly pulsing over a few seconds in a manner that is possibly symptomatic of a distant signal at the same frequency drifting in and out of phase.

I will try to test using just a set-top aerial as you suggest. My aerial feeds three sets, and all I have tried so far is a 12db attenuator before the better sets, which made no difference at all.

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David's 25 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
6:03 PM

I experienced problems with my freeview reception during this period and no answers were forthcoming and always was the customers fault?.... This is taken from an ofcom report into 4G and how it will cause problems with peoples TV pictures, Appears Arqiva were doing tests from Lichfield transmitter for 4G and although may or may not have been the problem, it is interesting people in Tamworth were having so many problems with freeview during this period

from Field Trial paragraph 4.32 onwards


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Steve's 14 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Just Me
10:19 PM

Hi, I'm also getting problems with E4+1, Dave, Really, Challenge and Pick tv. I have a Sharp flatscreen with built in freeview (Sorry, unsure about the model number). I have tried retuning and everythig else I can think of to no avail. The sound is virtually non existent and the picture is very blocky and jumpy. I live in Burton on Trent. My aerial is on the roof. Have had no previous problems, postcode is DE13 0RE.

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Just Me's 1 post GB flag
Just's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mark Fletcher

10:47 PM

Just Me,Burton on Trent.I would look up inversion effect as the atmospherics due to this new high pressure is playing havoc with the frequencies and not a transmitter fault as such !

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 18 March 2012
2:45 PM

Hi guys, does anyone know what the network id is for Sutton Coldfield? (for manual dvb equipment)


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Joe's 1 post GB flag
Joe's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 19 March 2012
10:43 AM

The suuton coldfield tx identifies itself as (west midlands).


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Andy's 16 posts GB flag
Andy's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentIf you have Freeview reception problems before posting a question your must first do this Freeview reset procedure then see: Freeview reception has changed, Single frequency interference, and Freeview intermittent interference.

If you have no satellite signal, see Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fault'

If you have other problems, please provide a full (not partial) postcode (or preferably enter it in box at the top right) and indicate where if aerial is on the roof, in the loft or elsewhere.

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