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

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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 04/12/2023 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! 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, 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 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 Christmas, 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
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 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.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

2:12 AM


No problem Roy, was just wondering how you were getting on, it's interesting to hear what results you are getting. If the C59 filter isn't making any discernable difference then no problem. I'd still see if you can get a C60 one off At800!
Also worth mentioning that Sutton Coldfield has Planned Engineering this week with "Possible service interruptions"

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Chris.SE's 3,934 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 4 March 2020
Andrew Hannay
12:05 AM

Hi, I live in Shrewsbury, and as a computer technician know a fair amount about Freeview multiplexes and the UHF channels they use and often help family and friends optimise their reception.

Due to where I live, my rooftop aerial is pointing at The Wrekin transmitter, and I get excellent reception, but Sutton Coldfield is also pretty much in a direct line, so I manually tune my TVs to select the optimal UHF channels whilst avoiding the Sutton Coldfield ones.

Wrekin UHF's
23 D3&4 20kW
26 BBC A 20kW
30- BBC B 20kW
41 SDN 10kW
44 AqvA 10kW
47 AqvB 10kW

Anyway, I've noticed Birmingham TV appear on one of my TVs on EPG channel 7, and it's picking it up from UHF48, however nothing on shown on The Wrekin, or Sutton Coldfield on this UHF channel on this site (shows UHF 51 on here) so I'm trying to work out where I'm getting it from. The signal is very weak but just about watchable with some pixelation at times (maybe current atmospheric conditions are allowing it).

I've had a look here at Ofcom, and it shows Sutton Coldfield broadcasting local TV on UHF48 at 10kW and not UHF51. Is the UHF channel numbers correct on the site? Without visiting the birmingham area and using a TV or bringing a TV closer to the transmitter to check, I can't confirm.….pdf

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Andrew Hannay's 3 posts US flag
Andrew's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:24 AM

Andrew Hannay:

Hi, the UHF channel numbers on this transmitter page & many others are not up-to-date. The site owner hasn't has the time to update it with all the 700MHz clearance changes, as well as all the broadcasters changing some of their programs on the COM muxes etc., as I'm sure you know there are 1100+ transmitters in the UK!

That OFCOM document is an interesting one with all the polar diagrams! But I'm afraid that even that one isn't 100% up-to-date as the power for that multiplex was increased to 15.8kW at the Sutton Coldfield retune in March 2018. You must be in a very good location to be able to pick-up Sutton Coldfield, especially that multiplex on C48 as if you look at the polar diagram Figure A3, it's not particularly beamed in your direction. You might also note figure A4 for the multiplex on C36, but that is only 1kW. AFAIK they both transmit the same programs.

Generally, the best place to get up-to-date information is from the Freeview site now that the DUK Detailed Coverage Checker has been amalgamated into the site (but the job hasn't been done that well and you can no longer reference particular predictions with a url!)
If you go to Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free and put your postcode and house name/number into the boxes then on the next page scroll down and select "Detailed view" this will show the predicted reception at your location which may include more than one transmitter. As it is a prediction, the actual coverage may not be 100% but especially for a location well outside the intended service area, and it won't show detail that you aren't expected to receive, so to get all the transmitter information you sometimes have to pick a postcode within the relevant area. If you hover over channel numbers it will give you transmission mode & power.

Also note at the top of the page, you can select a region to view eg. Central which can be linked with a shortened url Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free help/coverage-checker/detailed-view/central
I have seen the occasional odd result if the original submitted postcode isn't in the region you select, if you shorten the url you can replace the region name at the end of the url with the another of interest.
The information is generally correct but is different, it shows historic data but not detail like modes and power. You need to refer to clearance documents for the changes or the Detailed Coverage Checker for a specific postcode for detail.

Whilst most of the information can be relied upon, I've seen errors in all types of document, sometimes it pays to try and cross-reference with another document.

Other places on the Freeview site worth checking are -
Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free corporate/platform-management/channel-listings
Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free corporate/platform-management/planned-engineering-works
Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free service-updates


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Chris.SE's 3,934 posts GB flag

7:52 AM

Andrew Hannay:

Apologies, a correction to the above, the LOC1 mux on C48 power increase was 30th October 2019 not March 2018.

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Chris.SE's 3,934 posts GB flag
Thursday, 5 March 2020
Andrew Hannay
11:30 PM

Thanks Chris for the links and further information. I never realised that detailed information was on the freeview site, I thought it was just basic information for average users. It's nice to see the bearing information too, which shows The Wrekin being at 103 and Sutton Coldfield 100 from my position, which shows just how in line they pretty much are.

So it looks like it must be picking UHF48 up from Sutton Coldfield, even though the signal is over 10dB less than the 200kW multiplexes. The Wrekin is 13km away, Sutton Coldfield 62km away. I know inverse square law sigificantly reduces power over distance too though don't know the maths to try and work out theoratical signal strength or dB loss compared to to both transmitters received here.

For comparison and for interests sake here's a table of what main TV can receive.
Wrekin Strength/Quality
23 D3&4 20kW 100/100
26 BBC A 20kW 100/100
30- BBC B 20kW 100/100
41 SDN 10kW 95/100
44 AqvA 10kW 97/100
47 AqvB 10kW 92/100

Sutton Coldfield Strength/Quality
46 D3&4 200kW 35-37/24-25 Watchable, no pixelation
43 BBC A 200kW 48-50/57-66 Watchable, no pixelation
40+ BBC B 200kW 0-30/0 No signal decoded
42 SDN 200kW 31-32/0 Major errors in signal, watchable intermittently in bursts of a few seconds
45 AqvA 200kW 36-37/13-17 Watchable, no pixelation
39+ AqvB 200kW 0/0 No signal decoded
55 COM7 56.162kW 0/0 No signal decoded
56 COM8 56.162kW 0/0 No signal decoded
48 L-BRM 15.8kW 0-27/0 Intermittent signal

Interesting that two of the 200kW signals I don't receive at all! When on the fringes of reception, even the frequency can have an impact. Roof aerial is shown to be able pick up local signals between UHF 23-47 and UHF39-40 which I don't receive signals are in that range too. Not sure what group the aerial is offhand, I've only had this house 3 years and noone has been on the roof!

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Andrew Hannay's 3 posts US flag
Andrew's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Andrew Hannay
11:31 PM

PS. It put ?'s in place of the degree's symbol in the post above for the transmitter bearings.

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Andrew Hannay's 3 posts US flag
Andrew's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 6 March 2020

2:44 AM

Andrew Hannay:

Yes, it puts ? for pounds as well :o
I'm not an expert on transmission modes but I'm lead to believe when the mode is QSPK 8K 3/4 it's effective range can be upto 10x 64QAM 8K 3/4 for the same power (but of course it has very limited bandwidth in that mode) and you don't need as strong a signal to correct the errors. In other words you can have a tenth of the power but still have similar coverage!
256QAM is more vulnerable to errors, so with weaker signals you might not find it decodable, then of course there's the chance of co-channel interference which will increase errors, reducing the quality.

Have you got any binoculars or a telescope to see if you can make out the colour of the bung in the end of your aerial?

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Chris.SE's 3,934 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Nick frazer
6:11 PM

We have been having issues since 5/4/2020 getting a Dtv signal on all our TV sets
Supposedly we are likely to be using the Sutton Coldfield
transmitter but can't find any definitive info that there are problems only work planned ?

Can anyone advise ?

Best regards

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Nick frazer's 1 post GB flag

8:40 PM

Nick frazer :

Sutton Coldfield is listed this week for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal", so this may be the reason. But without a full postcode it would be impossible to comment further on the effect at your location.

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Chris.SE's 3,934 posts GB flag
Saturday, 27 June 2020
5:54 PM

Well the dark day of 21 June 2020 arrived for the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, when Com7 and Com8 were set to go away for a long and uncertain holiday. True enough, Channel4+1 HD and 4Seven HD vanished, or rather transmit nothing more than a notice redirecting viewers to non their HD or non +1 channels. But also living on Com7 is BBC4 HD, which is still alive and well. I also note that in the last few days, the long set 21 June date has since become 30 June. Assuming this relates to some schedule update somewhere or other, do I assume that BBC4 HD will also be sacrificed by then for the cause of giving the kiddies better video streaming on their mobiles?

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Roy's 18 posts GB flag
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