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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 02/10/2023 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! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 68 RealityXtra, 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 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, 65 That's 60s, 70 Quest +1, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 80s, 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! Movies Christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies +1, 63 Great! Movies Christmas 1, 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.

Monday, 11 November 2019
3:26 PM

Chris. SE.
You might want to try investing in a Televes DAT HD Antenna (wideband) with passive/active inbuilt pre-amp. It is a most sensitive unit and works superbly in fringe areas /poor reception zones, in active mode the aerial gives somewhere in the region of 26dB gain which will help overcome any losses on downlead and loss created by LTE800 4/5G filters. You will need a 12VDC PSU / mast head type PSU to power the pre-amp.
This setup works fine for me and I'm 40+km away from Sutton Coldfield in a rubbish reception zone.

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Gordon's 3 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 12 November 2019

9:19 AM


Thank you for your information and I'm glad that you are getting good reception with your set-up. If this is the version with the amplifier that automatically adjusts the signal level output, then it clearly will have some useful advantages in some locations.
BUT these aerials have a very high windage, so I wouldn't recommend them except in circumstances where there are no other reliable options nor in very exposed areas subject to frequent high winds.
I hope yours is mounted securely on a high quality pole and if it is on a chimney you have a quality lashing kit properly fixed otherwise you could quickly end up with damage to your chimney.

I would also point out that it is possible to get good "gain" from other installations using an aerial of lower windage whose gain is around 12-14dB and a masthead amp whose gain can be upto 25dB giving a potential total gain upto 39dB.

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Chris.SE's 3,722 posts GB flag
2:28 PM

Chris / Roy

The Televes DAT 45 HD is not to be confused with the Televes DAT 75 which is a beast of an aerial.

The purpose of recommending the wideband Televes DAT45-HD is that it has a wide receiving angle, high sensitivity and an integrated intelligent pre-amp and as such is superior in operation to some cheapo Yagi wideband with a masthead amp. An obvious choice for use in fringe or poor reception areas and in lofts.
Wind resistance is not an issue as my set-up is in the loft / roof space and delivers a high quality 69dB signal with the preamp active, plus the inbuilt pre-amp reduces cable connections from 3 to 1 which is never a bad thing.
However, I do take you point about low wind resistance antenna for external installations e.g. log periodic, but this is not the case here.

A prievious post by 'Roy' highlighting his disappointment with his new loft aerial quote,
" Yes I was fully aware a loft aerial was less sensitive than a roof one, it was a cheap gamble, although if they work they're spared the weathering and wind blowing them over the years, sunlight cracking the coaxial, water penetration, birds sitting etc. I'd hoped a modern aerial might outweigh the loss of sensitivity from being behind the tiles. So far it hasn't, though it might as you say perform better in future".

Aerials are not an exact science in application, more a 'dark-art'.

May be Roy should try a Televes DAT 45 HD as it could negate the effect of signal attentuation caused by the roof cladding and provide the reception improvement he was looking for.

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Gordon's 3 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 13 November 2019
7:55 AM

Re loft aerials and Tri boom designs like the cheap one I tried unsuccessfully (a Labgear LAB450T) , there's a very interesting site run by a installer who has carried out many admiral tests. Have a look at ATV aerial gain tests - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials where he slates the one I picked and says:

'Tri boom aerials were popularised by Televes (the DAT45 and 75) but more recently other companies have started producing them. I`ve never been that keen on Tribooms, I have generally found their gain figures to be lower than expected, in fact anyone who knows about aerials knows Tri Booms are not made to work, they`re made to sell. In addition Tri Booms have a high windloading and, if end mounted (and most are), they put a high twisting force on the pole.'

Have a look at his dB response curves and let me know whether you agree the Tri Booms are more about 'fashion and selling' than science?

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Roy's 18 posts GB flag

12:57 PM


Certainly an interesting aerial which will have its uses in certain applications, and if you have room for it in a loft, well fine! This "self-adjusting amplifier" is interesting! Whether it's suitable in Roy's case however (and many others I could think of), the jury could still be out.
It's not purely roof attenuation that's the issue here, it's the fact that the COM 7&8 signals are getting less reliable at his location due to the final transmitters elsewhere moving to the SFN channels 55 & 56. No amount of "clever" gain will resolve that if the signal is suffering interference, it's all due to the way SFNs work, there's a limit to what can be achieved. Take a look at what is going on with DAB and this "problem". Mind you I'm no expert in this area, I can only go by what the experts say.

Also you mention "it has a wide receiving angle" and that may be precisely the issue in some cases. However one report says it has a narrow beamwidth, whereas other "specs" says it's 30deg.
As Roy hasn't given a full postcode, I can't comment on whether it could be worth trying, but judging by what Roy has been saying, I guess he might be able to make that judgment himself. It depends on the location of potentially interfering transmitters. I haven't seen any figures for Front to Back ratio for example which could be more important in some cases.
Your points about the reduced number of connection with an in-built amp is very valid and always worth taking into account. Its application is very much "horses for courses".


aerialsand is one site we often recommend people look at for a lot of very useful information ;)

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Chris.SE's 3,722 posts GB flag
John Patrick
3:43 PM

I seem to have lost channel 48. I watched it for some months but now it has gone. Any clues as to How I can get it. My tv goes from channel 47 to 49 and hasn't let me see 48 for some weeks.

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John Patrick's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 14 November 2019

2:16 AM

John Patrick:

LCN48 is one of several Sony channels that they moved to Local multiplexes back in the summer. If you get the Local TV stations on LCN7 and/or LCN8 then you should get those Sony channels. If you get your signals from Sutton Coldfield are in an area that may get the Local muxes, the UHF channels to tune are C48 & C36.

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Chris.SE's 3,722 posts GB flag
9:36 PM

Just to update you after the Sutton Coldfield 'event' yesterday I had feared, which I was told was not a power reduction, C4+1 HD and 4seven HD on Com7 have now simply vanished; my PVR moves from BBC4 HD to 113 as if there was never anything between them....

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Roy's 18 posts GB flag
Friday, 15 November 2019

6:35 AM


Just to clear up any confusion, did you mean 113? So you are getting RT HD ok then?

You obviously missed what I said to Gordon in my reply on the 13th -
Quote "It's not purely roof attenuation that's the issue here, it's the fact that the COM 7&8 signals are getting less reliable at his location due to the final transmitters elsewhere moving to the SFN channels 55 & 56. No amount of "clever" gain will resolve that if the signal is suffering interference, it's all due to the way SFNs work, there's a limit to what can be achieved. Take a look at what is going on with DAB and this "problem"."

And I remind you what I said to you several days ago -
Quote "but there is no change to the power being transmitted by COMs 7&8 at Sutton Coldfield between now and 2020 and thereafter on current planning, they remain at 56.162kW.
You may be affected by reception changes at your location due to other transmitters moving their COMs 7&8 muxes to UHF55&56, but as I don't have your postcode, I can't confirm that one way or the other. "

According to official Freeview/DigitalUK documentation from both the Central Regional Information page for Sutton Coldfield and the 700MHz Clearance pdf documents, there was no power reduction on the 13th. Power remains at 56.162kW. As you haven't provided your full postcode I couldn't check how marginal your reception was before the 13th (or indeed if it may be now) and by looking at which potential transmitters may have worsened the situation (I can guess but its their relative position to you I can't guess) whether or not there might be any practical things you might be able to try.

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Chris.SE's 3,722 posts GB flag
9:53 AM

Chris.SE - I'm near the centre of Derby City, DE1. About 44km from Sutton Coldfield, 213 degrees bearing. There's also a local (very limited) transmitter (Derby Uttoxeter Road) on 232 degrees, I don't know if that's close enough in terms of direction to be a problem? Having googled SFN channels, these appear to be like the old analogue AM radio ones, reused for different purposes so suffering from fringe/overlap problems for those distant? Hopefully you can advise whether the loss of those channels is permanent now, or at least until the next major change around. I'm using the old (analogue era) contract aerial outside not the newer T type inside the loft, as the old one gave more signal. Let me know if the different frequency range of the loft one would change anything post 13 November.

I'm not at home to check but yes my PVR goes from 107 to 113 now, not certain 113 was RT however. Could it have been QVC from a different transmitter? Will check Sat.

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Roy's 18 posts GB flag
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