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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.

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 10/06/2024 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 ITV3 +1, 59 ITV4 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 91 WildEarth, 93 ITVBe +1, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
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 TV 2, 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
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 63 GREAT! romance mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 18 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.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013
8:12 PM

Hi mike b its john here from last night I still have reception problems tonight but I'm now also getting it off the BBC channels now I sent you my post code last night but still not heard from you yet I do believe Sutton cold field have finished engineering works now so I don't no what the problem is any ideas thanx

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john's 20 posts GB flag

8:38 PM

john: OK - Looking at the terrain plot, you should be fine for either transmitter (although there is a tiny something possible sticking up very close to you from Suttons path), and looking at Streetview (taking a page out of Dave Lindsay's investigative book), your right that pretty much everyone does point to Waltham.

My gut feeling is that you have the normal problem of too much signal strength - the signal is popping and spluttering. Your 48km from Sutton, but its a really powerful transmitter and even at that distance, it can be a problem. Check signal strength on both the TV and the Humax, and then take the booster out of the circuit if you can, and look again. 75% is perfect, but you can live with higher.

Humax tuners are really sensitive, although Samsungs dont like high signal strength either, but obviously its just enough for the Humax to complain.

Let us know what happens.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
10:19 PM

My humax recorder was about 76% signal strength and my Samsung TV at 100% but with bit error rate at 2000 right across in the red now I have just changed my aerial cable that comes from the booster to the humax its a lot thicker cable and ITV 4 5 and all others on that frequency seem to be OK at the most with the signal strength on both to be between 38% to 40% is that high enough please let us no than for your help

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john's 20 posts GB flag

10:38 PM

john: Just try bypassing the booster entirely - although if your signal strength has gone down to 40% just by changing the cable, something strange is going on.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Thursday, 10 October 2013
7:20 AM

Hi again mike right my signal went back to 100% after changing that cable last night now I have taken your advice and bypassed the booster so the aerial no goes straight in to the back of the humax but the signal is now only 35% or there about HD is about 30% through the humax instead of 75% with booster and tele is between 68% to 74% picture is now fine but my humax instructions say you at leat near 30% for stable sound and picture when its foggy or snowing misty etc will my sinal drop even more in the humax hence problems with signal again and I'm in a poor signal area hence that's why I had booster what do you think please let me no cheers guys

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john's 20 posts GB flag
7:09 PM

So like I said earlier my TV is still OK so the signal has gone from100% signal to around 68% to 74% and the humax from 75% to 36% since I have bypassed the booster just hope my humax records my programmed later if not I found a old booster with variable signal strength on it what do you think because of the signal difference between the humax and tele cheers

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john's 20 posts GB flag

7:23 PM

john: I think you have several possible issues, but they are all a bit mixed up, not helped by a possibly duff cable. Try to break everything down, so you can isolate the problem.

I'm not sure your in a 'poor signal area' - the TV signal strength is fine (74% is great). In fact you might have too much signal, or even be catching Walthams signal.

OK - start with the seperate bits. Presumably, your original setup was socket, booster, Humax and then TV, which involves three aerial leads. Thats a chain which has a lot of links, and therefore most prone to problems.

Start by testing the leads, one at a time, going from the socket to the back of the TV. If all of them show a good signal strength, great, but I'm wondering about the 'thick cable' you used. Do the same thing with the Humax - straight from the socket, and note signal strength.

Ok - assuming the TV is fine with an aerial cable, look to see what transmitter your actually tuned into - Sutton is 43, Waltham is 49. Do the same with the Humax - are they on the same transmitter?

By this point, you should start to see what the problem is. Hopefully, its simply that the Humax just has a problem with the cable, or that its tuned into Waltham, and that signal is being caught by the aerial, but not strong enough. Your last post said that the TV was fine without the booster, but the Humax struggled. If changing the cable (or tuning to another transmitter) has not solved the problem, then my best suggestion is to get a decent splitter (and another decent aerial lead if poss.) Split the signal so that one goes straight into the back of the TV, and the other goes via the booster to the Humax. At least you'll get a decent signal on both, even if its less elegant than before.

I split my signal because its easier to sort out any problems (and my PVR hated being looped through for a while) - if you have a lead coming from the wall, and then splitting from there (like a 'Y'), there is less weight on the socket. Not elegant, but workable.

Hopefully, you can get it sorted, but if not, tell us anyway whats happening.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

9:19 PM

john: With due respect to all that has been said, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you spending a great deal of time attempting to find a fault on your installation that doesn't really exist, and the reason for your erratic reception is being caused by the final two miles of the signal path from Sutton C skirting relatively close to the ground and as such is being affected by seasonal changes in the terrain, trees possibly also coming into the equation as quite a number of them are seen to exist in line with S/C's signal path in the last two miles referred to.

The second point being, that under normal circumstances I would generally have advised you to check with a neighbour to find out if they are also experiencing the same difficulties with reception as yourself, but!! this is virtually an impossible task as practically everyone's aerials in your area are facing towards Waltham, and with this still being the case on properties to the West of you (along S/C's signal path) past Shakerdale Road and onto Brixham Drive, this strongly suggesting that no matter what a signal predictions are given on Digital UK's trade site S/C does not provide a good signal in your area hence why all aerials are seen to face Waltham.

The result of the signal test I suggested that you carry out on Waltham was better than I had expected, especially as your aerial is screened by the building as well as being 50 degrees off beam from a true 180 degrees rear pick up, this suggesting that Waltham rather than Sutton C does provide a good signal in your area.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

9:56 PM

john, et al:
I used to be Senior Engineer for a very large TV rental firm in their Oadby centre, which is not far from Wigston, and we covered the whole if Leicestershire. The reception from Waltham was normally pretty good as far as Coalville and Whitwick at least, and gives East Midlands services. Sutton Coldfield was variable in the west of the county, depending on exact location, and very poor around Leicester and unusable further east. Plus it gives West Midlands services which is not always what viewers want.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 11 October 2013

7:52 AM

john: In addition to re: suspicions etc, the only other remote possibility I can think of for the erratic element of your reception is that of a faulty connection where the coax joins into aerial, because if this did apply then this could account for you having said that your reception goes downhill when its foggy / misty etc and associated with dampness and which may have gained access into the aerials termination box, as under "normal" conditions fog / mist doesn't really affect DTT reception.

Of course those conditions will also have an effect on the terrain!

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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