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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 18/09/2023 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.

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

3:53 PM

Ken Marchant:

Sony Movies Christmas (a seasonal rename of Sony Movies Classic) is transmitted on Local Multiplexes. Sony chose to move a number of their channels to Local multiplexes over a year ago. (See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are on which multiplex).

Local multiplexes are only transmitted from a limited number of transmitters serving large urban centres of population and the signals are generally beamed to those areas at a lower power, but the transmission mode helps improve coverage (but it reduces bandwidth - space for the number of channels).
Transmitter powers (of all multiplexes) are set to try and give the best coverage of the areas they serve under normal conditions, without causing interference to other transmitters that have to use the frequencies.

Sutton Coldfield has 2 frequencies for the Local multiplex (most only have one!), C48 at 10kW which is beamed SW (towards Birmingham) and C36 at 1kW beamed N to cover Lichfield and surrounding districts.
Unfortunately you are slightly too far to the west as well as some distance away and if you are on the Stafford side of your locale, reception may not be as good. The Freeview Detailed Coverage Checker predicts some very variable reception of the Local multiplex for you as a consequence, whilst still giving very good reception of the main multiplexes. You may find reception of the Local multiplex varies maybe throughout the day or is quite weather dependent.

Whilst you have 6% Signal strength, it's the Quality figure that's a lot more important, if that is 0%, then you are probably wasting time and money trying to do anything about it (too much interference on the channel - but do check you haven't got any equipment with RF outputs such as older VCRs, game Consoles etc. that are set anywhere near C36. If you have, try resetting to C60 or above).

If you don't have 0% Quality, whilst you could try boosting the signal with an amplifier, as you have 100% signal on the other multiplexes, you are in danger of having too much signal for the other multiplexes which could cause front end overload and reduced sensitivity, as well as pixellation and/or sound breakup.
If you choose to try that option you should use one that has variable gain or use a variable attenuator between the amplifier and TV set to help ensure that you can reduce the signal to prevent overload - which of course might mean you still don't have a satisfactory signal for the local multiplex!

I'd suggest that you monitor your signal on C36 and if the Quality figure is reasonable (as well as maybe a slightly better Signal strength) for a reasonable amount of time, it may be worth a go, but I'm doubtful.

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Chris.SE's 3,675 posts GB flag
Saturday, 26 December 2020
T mills
9:42 AM

Why are we constantly getting signal interference the picture keeps breaking up so nights can't understand a word they are saying pixels flashing everywhere I live at cv3 5nl and my mother has the same problem she lives at cv3 6pf this started a two a month ago this happens most day now

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T mills's 1 post GB flag
T's: ...

2:44 PM

T mills:

Whilst you are well within the coverage area, you aren't in the best of locations for really good reception especially of the COM multiplexes. Your mother is better located and should have good reception except for COM7 where it'll probably be variable. Which channels are you having problems with?
See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are on which multiplex. Check that other channels on the same multiplex(es) as the ones you have a problem with have the same issues.
Have you changed anything in your installations?

Neither Freeview nor the BBC are reporting any current transmitter problems and there's currently no Planned Engineering listed. There was Planned Engineering back in November with "Possible weak signal" and if you retuned or your set auto-retuned when you have no signal or badly pixellated pictures (never a good idea as it often clears correct tuning) it's possible you might have got tuned to another transmitter with poorer signals as several can be received in your area (but not as well as Sutton Coldfield).

So it's worth checking in your TV's tuning section that you are tuned to the correct UHF channels for Sutton Coldfield. All the multiplexes are C43, C46, C40+, C42, C45, C39+, C55, C36/C48 that's in the order BBCA/PSB1, D3&4/PSB2, BBCB HD/PSB3, SDN/COM4, ArqA/COM5, ArqB/COM6, COM7 and Local L-BRM.

Any aerial or cable degradation will also affect reception (not necessarily always affecting all multiplexes) so I would check that your aerial seems intact and pointing in the correct direction - bearing 317/8 degrees (~NW) and that your downlead looks undamaged (especially if it is old, and not flapping in the wind). Also check all your coax plugs, connections, flyleads etc, unplug connectors check for corrosion or other problems and reconnect them. Flyleads are a common problem, try swapping/changing them. See what signal strengths and quality you are getting for the multiplexes (groups of channels) shown in your TV's tuning section.
Problematic connections, water ingress etc. can seem to affect reception of just an individual or several multiplexes.

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Chris.SE's 3,675 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
8:52 PM

13/01/2021....tonight and yesterday there is no BBC4 HD AND NOW BBC NEWS there any reason for this ?

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Mike's 2 posts GB flag

10:47 PM


Sutton Coldfield is currently listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal" so it's quite likely this may be the cause of the problem you are seeing.

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Chris.SE's 3,675 posts GB flag
Friday, 12 February 2021
9:03 PM

Hi ,We are getting a poor reception on ITV and BBC terrestrial channels could it be the transmitter ,(we are using Sutton Coldfield ) or the aerial on the roof.

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JOHN MORRIS's 1 post GB flag

11:11 PM


Again Sutton Coldfield is currently listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal" so it's quite likely this may be the cause of the problem you are seeing. If you provide a full postcode, we may be able to comment further.

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Chris.SE's 3,675 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Phil Dalton
3:07 PM

I have noticed over the last few weeks that the quality of HD transmissions from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter has been diminishing. HD channels became pixelated initially at the weekends only, but now pixelation occurs every day, meaning only SD channels can be watched.

I have just retuned, before writing these comments, with the following results in terms of signal quality:-
Ch39 = 1, Ch42 = 10, Ch43 = 10, Ch45 = 1,Ch46 = 5, Ch55 = 1
Having retuned, if I select BBC1 HD or ITV1 HD the screen displays a message stating that the channel does not exist. Prior to the reduction of signal quality I had noticed that for the above HD channels the signal quality = 7.

My postcode is CV35 9LX
Something needs to be done on the transmitter to return signal quality of the HD channels.

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Phil Dalton's 2 posts GB flag
Phil's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:55 PM

Phil Dalton:

The Sutton Coldfield transmitter has for several recent weeks been listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal", so it's highly probable that is the reason for what you have been seeing. The BBCB HD/PSB2 multiplex is on UHF C40 from Sutton Coldfield, which in light of your comments is unsurprisingly missing from your list.
(The full list of multiplexes is in my post above on p310, 26tyh Dec.). You are not predicted to get the Local L-BRM multiplex at your location (doesn't mean your won't!), your aerial should be pointing at a bearing of 339 degrees (~NNW) rods/squashed x's horizontal.

The transmitter isn't listed this week, but that doesn't mean that some work may not be continuing, we've seen many cases where the lists have not be accurate. No faults are currently listed.
Try a manual retune on UHF C40.
Also worth checking all your coax plugs and connections, make sure your downlead isn't flapping in the wind etc. Also check that you don't have any HDMI leads close to any aerial or flyleads, especially if the aerial and flyleads aren't high quality double screened types. HDMI is known to sometimes cause interference, especially to C55 (COM7)

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Chris.SE's 3,675 posts GB flag
Friday, 2 July 2021
Transmitter engineering

11:46 AM

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 28/06/2021 Possible Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 143,842 posts GB flag
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