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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.

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, 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, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 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), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 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.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011
Alan T
12:44 PM

This morning I have digital back, all be it low quality. I have listed my reported Quality and strength for one channel from each mux

BBC1 q=10 s=7
ITV1 q=4/5 s=6
ITV3 q=6 s=6
BBC Four q=2 s=5
Pick TV q=0 s=4
Film4 q=2 s=4

(before the weekend I used to get q=7-10 for nearly all channels)

Could my problem be due to Sandy Heath being switched on, and should I perhaps turn my aerial to point that way (regional programmes will be wrong, but better than nothing at all)?

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Alan T's 6 posts GB flag
Alan T
12:49 PM

When I use the post code checker I get the following list

Sandy Heath - 74.4km 46.2 miles
Ridge Hill - 98.9km 61.5 miles
Waltham - 54.4km 33.8 miles
Oxford - 67.2km 41.8 miles
Sutton Coldfield - 46.2km 28.7 miles

Is the order in best signal to worst signal? Its not distance and its not alphabetical. If it is based on signal then I guess I have answered my own problem, and assume Sandy Heath (best?) signal is swamping Sutton Coldfield (worst?).
Can any body confirm my conclusion. I don t like heights, and dont want to go up ladder unless I have to!

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Alan T's 6 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

2:28 PM

Alan T: Don't trust the list here. The terrain data is just too inaccurate and it doesn't take account of other transmitters on the same channel. Instead, use the Digital UK postcode checker.

This shows that Sutton Coldfield is your best option now and after switchover completes. If you want East Midlands news rather than West Midlands, you could also use Waltham.

There may be a basis for the order displayed, but I can't figure out what it is.

If analogue is snowy, your problem is probably a deterioration in the aerial or cable's performance. Check that the aerial is still pointing where it should be (299° for Sutton Coldfield) and is intact, and check for broken, loose or disconnected cables.

Predicted analogue signal levels are actually above the recommended *maximum* level for analogue with any aerial at all - using Field Strength Calculator I get a prediction of 84 dBuV for BBC Two (C40 at 1000 kW) using an aerial with 7dB of gain and 10m of cable. The recommended range is 60 to 80 dBuV, as it says at the bottom of the page.

However, according to their terrain information, there is a hill just to your north-west blocking direct line of sight, which reduces signals a fair bit. (RG47SH)

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Alan T
5:25 PM

Mike Dimmick: Thank you for your response.
I thought this was the digital postcode checker.... main issue is with the signal keeps on disappearing (fine a couple of weeks ago, sporadic last week, completely lost over most of weekend (but ok Sunday mid morning), most of it back again today). I have just walked in from work and turned telly on.

Looks almost perfect on 1,2,3 and 5 (5 no picture glitches, but sound is crackling!), grainy on 4.


BBC1 q=10 s=7
ITV1 q=4/5 s=6
ITV3* q=6 s=7
BBC Four* q=3/4 s=5
Pick TV q=0 s=5
Film4* q=4 s=4

* have all improved since lunch time! I swear I have touched nothing.

link to this comment
Alan T's 6 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:24 PM

Alan T does the signal go down when its been raining.

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andy's 42 posts GB flag
andy's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 6 April 2011
Alan T
7:58 AM

andy: I cant say it gets worse or better during rain as we have had none to speak of (very light smattering this morning).

Signal is still as it was when I got in from work (previous post). Is it just coincidence that Sutton had engineering works last week, and Sandy Heath turned up the power (almost directly behind me) and now I get a poor signal?

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Alan T's 6 posts GB flag
Alan T
12:25 PM

It does appear to be atmospheric related. This lunch time clear blue sky, quality on ALL channels 9/10, strength 5-7 across all channels.

The last week, that I have been experiencing problems has been mainly overcast.

Could this this be the "Inversion Effect", perhaps from the stronger Sandy Heath? What should I do about it?

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Alan T's 6 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

1:30 PM

Alan T: 'Normal' inversion problems (tropospheric enhancement, single bounce off the atmosphere) usually occur at night as the atmosphere cools. Tropospheric ducting (multiple bounces between layers in the atmosphere, travelling much further) requires specific weather conditions: you can see a forecast at Tropospheric Ducting Forecast for VHF & UHF Radio & TV . No ducting has been forecast over Rugby for the last week, though it was close on Saturday (see past week forecasts at the bottom of the page).

Sandy Heath has no channels in common with Sutton Coldfield at present. The commercial multiplexes' changes to their final channels and power levels are delayed, so while ArqA has been allocated C52, it won't get there until November, after Sutton Coldfield has stopped using it (and Tacolneston has stopped using it for C5 analogue). Likewise, Nottingham has been allocated that channel but won't get there until September.

I think it's much more likely that your problem is too much signal, and Mux B and C are clobbering each other, because they're on adjacent channels. An adjacent analogue channel seems to do much less harm, because most of the power is concentrated in the carrier sync pulses which have very narrow bandwidth.

How can it be too much signal with the box only showing 5/10 signal strength? Simply, that the meters are not calibrated to sensible levels. On my box 100% appears to be 95 dBuV, 35 dB greater than the maximum recommended level, or 56 times what it should be! 0% is 35 dBuV, about the minimum that could possibly work - at least an extra 10 dB is recommended to allow for normal signal variation.

I'd suggest removing any amplifiers you might have, and adding an attenuator if that doesn't help. (RG47SH)

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
6:29 PM

Hi Briantist,
From my current location (Postcode ST19), what are the chances of me picking up HD Freeview signal from 20th April from Bromsgrove or otherwise (since Sutton Coldfield/Lichfield doesn't change til September) with a wideband aerial?
Many thanks.

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Patrick's 8 posts GB flag
Patrick's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
7:52 PM

I've had an alert last night to retune my freeview set today. I have done and have lost all digital channels... Help!

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Duff76's 1 post GB flag
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