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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 25/09/2023 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, 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.

Sunday, 2 November 2014
7:46 AM

Dave: The aerial is pointed to waltham its the only tv in the house that is tuned to west midlands

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James's 2 posts GB flag

8:21 AM

James: The only way of overcoming this problem is by deleting all channels stored in the tuners memory, this done by carrying out an auto-tune but with the aerial having been removed beforehand, then on completion of the scan reconnecting the aerial and making sure that a "no signal" message is seen on trying to select anything, if not, go into the tuning menu and select "manual" tune, then tune in each of the channels used by Waltham one at a time, storing them after each scan if not done automatically.

Channels used by Waltham being /

49 - 54 - 58 (HD) - 29 - 56 - 57 - 31 (COM7 HD)

By the way, the procedure you might see mentioned of removing the aerial for a percentage of the scan before reconnecting it again would not work where you are located, as the channels used by Sutton Coldfield and Waltham are too close to each other.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

12:22 PM

js: My problem doesn't concern what audio track is being played back after a recording. The audio track that gets recorded is the actual audio track of the programme that is broadcast. The audio issue has been on going since around 15th October. All HD channels are effected except ITV1. CBEEBIES AND COMMUNITY CHANNEL. Their audio level is perfect. The rest either have a stable audio track with a lower play back level, or have an un-stable audio track with variable audio levels. BBC2 has a variable audio track during broadcasting hours, but reverts back to normal audio level as soon as the daily programme schedule ends. This alone proves that something is going on with the HD multiplexes audio streams. Briantist mentioned that there could be a fibre optical feed fault going on at the transmitter site, and that they are currently reverting to their back up facility I.e. the use of Intersat 907. If they can revert back to normal audio level after shut down, then why would they need to use INTERSAT 907 back-up?

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KEVIN GARDINER's 68 posts GB flag
KEVIN's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 5 November 2014

2:55 AM

KEVIN GARDINER: You did not say what equipment you were using. What receiver? How do you record?

This looks related:
"...the problem is definitely there at 9pm on 14th October..."

PSB3 Mux - Audio Clicks and Pops | AVForums

Clicks and pops could cause ALC based volume changes in analog recordings.

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js's 819 posts GB flag
3:39 PM

Hi - been having trouble with my programme guide disappearing on my Sagemcom RT190 freeview + HD box since the last channel update (when the extra HD channels were added). Turning off power usually fixes it, but sometimes it just disappears again. This is happening everyday. Is this related to the changes that were made to the channels? Anyway of fixing it?

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Lesley's 19 posts GB flag
Saturday, 8 November 2014

7:35 PM

JS: Thank you for the very informative link in your reply to my audio problem. The audio problems that folk are reporting in that blog are exactly what I'm experiencing. And the start date of this audio issue started on or around 14th October. I'm beginning to think that the audio codecs have been tweaked a bit, or that something's going wrong with their decoding somewhere. However, the problem is not on every HD channel. Channels ITV1,CBBC, CBEEBIES, BBC3 AND BBC NEWS AND AL JAZEERA have loud problem free audio ON PLAYBACK. All the rest have stable quiet audio playback or clicks and variable audio tracks. I use a laptop PCTV dongle to receive and record my tv programmes. I know that the problem has nothing to do with my laptop audio settings as I can play any recording prior to October 14th perfectly. The dongle company are investigating what's going on at this time. So far, they sent me audio and video codec keys to re-activate them. However, they haven't made any difference.They have asked me to send in files of recordings with good audio and files of bad audio since the 14th October. plus a technical log from the application. So far, they are mystified. This problem must be effecting a lot of viewers besides myself? And I hope that Aquiva put this audio fault right. I can't understand why they have altered the audio as it was perfect the way it was. And I do think that not all engineering work is reported as going on if it doesn't effect the ERP, or effects the stability of the received picture. There is something going on with the HD multiplexes audio output.

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KEVIN GARDINER's 68 posts GB flag
KEVIN's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:29 PM

JS: Also, even though I know the audio codec is mpeg1/2 format, I decided to make a comparison of standard Freeview to see if it was also was effected, so i made recordings off each of the 5 multiplexes and found the following. All multiplexes working fine with stable, loud recorded audio with a stable bit stream of 15,200 odd kbps, except PSB2 multiplex ,which has a reduced bit stream of around 4,500 kbps for some un-known reason. This has been the case for about a week to my knowledge.

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KEVIN GARDINER's 68 posts GB flag
KEVIN's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Dave Kirk
2:20 PM

I'm within 6 miles of the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, using a good loft aerial. My Sony TV shows 100% signal strength and 100% quality for standard definition channels, but 100% signal strength and between 0% and 8% signal quality for high definition channels. Why is this the case? What do I do to fix it?

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Dave Kirk's 3 posts GB flag

6:48 PM

Dave Kirk: Your just 6 miles from a very powerful transmitter, so your tuner is basically screaming from too much signal! It reacts to tthis by fluctuating massively in signal quality.

Fortunately its easily solved, and attentuators are really cheap (a 20db is £1.89 on Amazon - thats where I got mine). See here for more help: Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Monday, 19 January 2015
Transmitter engineering

11:09 AM

SUTTON COLDFIELD transmitter - MainPossible weak signal [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 144,075 posts xx flag
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