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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 22/04/2024 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, 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.

Thursday, 4 November 2021
12:02 AM

Thanks chris -

Yes I've moved everything and the cables are far away as possible from each other.
I've even tried changing the HDMI cables but since I get the same on both boxes
(They arent together) I dont see that can be the issue.

I dont know if the neighbours would know how to check for that C26 signal but I can ask.
(Theyre not too friendly round here sadly) It's still there and rock solid whatever it is.

One chap did say there was a CB or radio aerial sticking up 12 foot higher than
his house fairly near-by maybe thats worth looking at somehow. I will look for it. (But they
dont transmit TV do they?)

I have noticed its fairly stable at 60-61% in the mornings around 10 am - then by the afternoon when
I check again its bouncing down well into the mid 25% and up to about 52% signal and zero Q later and in the evenings.
Its got worse if anything these last couple of weeks regardless of weather - except when
the rain and wind is very bad I do see some improvement for some reason. That seems odd
on its own.

Essentially all the channels are useless on just that one frequency. Even the other low
power channels are clean without any breakups.

I think I'll just have to put up with it. Why it should suddenly start happening is no doubt
part of the puzzle but I'm at a loss for ideas now.

So thanks for your kind input Chris - it looks like no HD movies this christmas.

link to this comment
jack's 15 posts GB flag
Saturday, 6 November 2021

3:31 PM


Hi jack. the fact that you have periods where things are stable, and then times when the signal is "bouncing around" does suggest the possibility of some sort of interference. There could be the possibility of engineering work not currently listed, giving weaker reception at times, but only time will tell on that one.

So looking at the potential interference issues.
Whatever is giving this strange C26 signal if you don't have any channels in the 800's on it, could have other interfering frequencies affecting COM7.
Obviously it could be external, but one needs to eliminate anything internal.
You've looked at the HDMI issue, so trying to eliminate other possibilities is next.

Your pre-amp may have developed a fault and/or become unstable for some reason (or there could be external sources upsetting it).
That model has a VHF input. From what you've posted, there's nothing to suggest you are using it and nothing is connected to it. It's probably not bandwidth limited at lower frequencies as it'll probably have a simple low pass filter, in a similar way to the UHF input having a simple high pass filter.
To check that VHF input isn't getting some external signal causing a problem, a simple check might be to insert a short circuited plug into it and see if it has any effect.

You did post figures where the signals were stable when the aerial went direct to the TV (remember to power down the amp as well if you check again), so that could be another check.
It may be that the amp is exacerbating an issue from some external signal, so this is where an accurate comparison of neighbours' signals would help - do they just have reception problems that are there all the time or do they follow the same pattern as yours?

As far as external sources go, it seems to be something that only operates in the afternoon/evening?
Is there anything local that may use machinary or "discharge" lighting - sodium, metal halide, fluorescent (including compact fluorescent), but also some LED lighting can be troublesome.

CB/Amateur radio interference could be a possibility. They don't transmit in TV frequencies but faulty equipment or problems with antenna connections can produce harmonics or other spurious frequencies that could interfere, and/or especially if those signals are very strong (high power) and close by.
This is a possibility if other other possibilities have been eliminated (we'll come back to that one if it remains a possibility - there are ways of getting it investigated in local enquiries don't work).

One other suggestion, do you have a decent Broadband connection? You could stream stuff/films?

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,147 posts GB flag
Friday, 26 November 2021
Transmitter engineering

3:17 PM

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 22/11/2021 Possible Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels [DUK]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 150,644 posts GB flag
Monday, 29 November 2021
Transmitter engineering

3:13 PM

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 29/11/2021 Possible Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels [DUK]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 150,644 posts GB flag
Monday, 6 December 2021
Transmitter engineering

6:09 AM

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 06/12/2021 Possible Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels [DUK]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 150,644 posts GB flag
Saturday, 15 January 2022
3:49 PM


Just an update

I thought I'd mention I had occasion to re-tune last night and noticed
that mysterious C26 entry has vanished. I did discover it IS freeview format and West Midlands
region sourced. The signal was the SD picture type but no channels were listed.
Very odd.

COM7 is still all over the place. Nothing suggested or I've tried makes it reliable.
I'm seeing signals of 80-83% on all others now (amplified) except the local one
COM7 is still bouncing 63-68 power and random total dropouts on all
the receivers. Removing the amp or shorting the VHS doesnt fix it but thanks
for the straw to clutch Chris.

I will stream TV/movies the same day I get my brain replaced by a cabbage.
Nobody seems to think or care about long term consequences. Sad really.

link to this comment
jack's 15 posts GB flag
Sunday, 16 January 2022

3:23 AM


Hi jack. Thanks for the update. Now that's interesting about C26. There's those unfortunate "tropo" weather conditions around again with the high pressure (although it's predicted to be mostly clear Sunday a.m. but returning Sunday p.m.) so I'm suspecting C26 has been "wiped-out" by interference from another transmitter signal on C26. When the normally received signal and interfering signal get to a certain point, they appear to be just noise to the set - ie. no signal.
I still suspect that your previously received C26 was PSB1 from the Wrekin, especially if you eventually identified it as Freeview West Midlands.

COM7 is pretty much always the most vulnerable mux being lower power and an SFN when you aren't ideally sited. Your trees wont' be helping.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,147 posts GB flag
Monday, 17 January 2022
Paul Heywood
3:46 PM

No freeview reception on any channels currently 1530hrs today. Was missing quite a few channels this morning but main ones still broadcasting, nothing now though.

link to this comment
Paul Heywood's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 18 January 2022

1:54 AM

Paul Heywood:

Your intermittent and current loss is most likely due to current weather conditions. Unfortunately temperature inversion/tropospheric ducting is accompanying the high pressure weather system causing signals from distant transmitters in Europe or the UK to affect reception of wanted signals. COM7 can be more vulnerable than some multiplexes due to operating as an SFN and at lower power than most of the other multiplexes, but it is very much depends on location. Freeview and the BBC have current warning about potential intermittent disruption to reception.

Do NOT retune, when correctly tuned, all this is likely to do is clear your current tuning if no signal is found at that time.
To compound matters there is Planned Engineering currently listed for Sutton Coldfield which may affect signals.

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Chris.SE's 4,147 posts GB flag
Monday, 16 May 2022
5:47 PM

Is there some reason talkingpictures (TV channel 82 on mux channel 39) is not transmitting any
CRID's ?
This appears to be causing severe issues with my recievers.

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jack's 15 posts GB flag
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