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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, 17 May 2022

12:04 PM


Sutton Coldfield is currently listed for Planned Engineering. It's likely that this may have something to do with what you've experienced. Not seen reports of problems elsewhere.

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Chris.SE's 3,929 posts GB flag
8:27 PM

Hi Chris - thanks for the info.
The CRIDs are now back on.

OK lets hope the engineering fixes this one. I've pretty much lost COM7 most of the time already.
(I heard thats going off totally next month - seems quite wrong to me)

But to talking pictures:
Sadly there is still something not right with that specific channel (as that one was the only
one with no CRID's I'd hoped that was it)

The channel is either doing something - or not doing something it should - every 60 seconds roughly
is my guess. This has been going on for about 3 weeks. Could even be codec related maybe
its just an odd one.

It causes my 3 PVR's to crash (hard crash corrupting 2 hard drives so far) every 60 seconds if that
channel is tuned in. (Only talkingpictures(82) - nothing else on that mux or any other does this)
PBS America for example is fine. By about every 60 seconds I do mean consistently without fail.

Removing the drives and formatting under linux was needed for 2 of them - both produced
the same unusual error message under e2fsck ("The system was last booted in the future - by less than
a day") or words to that effect.
A coincidence that 2 drives were corrupt in the same manner - perhaps - could be a red herring or
maybe there is something slightly out of sync somewhere.

I havn't done comms for many years (decades) but maybe they have some cross channel or IP issues
off the top of my head. It also seems to be Sutton related as far as I can find out. Apparently
the Mendip region is ok - I don't know if thats relevant to anyone.
Sadly I've never had reason to study freeview in any detail.

I did buy a new attenuator to try but that doesn't help - One of my machines is on a different aerial
and doesn't use the amplifier as its a backup anyway so that rules out everything I can think of
my end.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see... again.

link to this comment
jack's 15 posts GB flag

11:31 PM


Well apart from being really odd, that must have been extremely irritating. The formatting presumably destroyed any other recordings you had on them.
I'm afraid I can't throw any light on what is going on /or went on.
When you say the Mendip region is OK, is that someone recording from Mednip? Certainly watching Talking Pictures for a short time, I've not spotted any problem.

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Chris.SE's 3,929 posts GB flag
Thursday, 26 May 2022
Des McIntosh
2:55 AM

Having problems with transponder 55 especially from Stafford. BBC news HD

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Des McIntosh's 2 posts GB flag

10:17 AM

Des McIntosh : The COM7 multiplex on UHF channel 55 is closing next month so if nothing else is affected it probably isn't worth doing anything beyond basic checks for loose or damaged cables/connections and keeping HDMI cables away from the aerial lead at this point in time.

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StevensOnln1's 3,568 posts GB flag
11:52 AM

Hi Chris

Yes it is odd to say the very least.

I'm not so worried about the recordings (hard drives cost money - recordings are repeated)
The mendip users I mentioned use the same humax devices as myself which is why I checked
in case it was a design consideration given that I have 3 of them all doing the same thing.
Unfortunately I don't know anyone else around here that uses them anymore.
FWIW all 3 are still crashing every 60 seconds if I leave them on talkingpictures and nothing else.

While looking into this I have discovered that mysterious MUX (UHF 26) I've seen for over a year
now does in fact have channels on it that are wiped out when UHF tuning gets higher up and
overwrites them suggesting I am getting a strong signal from a transmitter I shouldn't be seeing
(too strong to attenuate away without losing other MUXs)

For the record the channels I see on it are (SD):
BBC red
BBC Four
BBC Parliament
BBC News (chan:231)
BBC Parliament (ch 232)
Red Button (Chan 250)
RB1 (Channel 601)
As I write its signal strength is 30-33% and Q at 100%

But no sign of talking pictures on 26.
The above channels presumably picked up from sutton correctly dont seem affected by the above.
Manual tuning or pulling the aerial until UHF 39 is reached removes it from the signal list
but has no other effect (I'm still crashing!) To be clear this isnt a recording/disc drive issue.
If I remove the disc drive from the PVR and tune in the boxes still crash just the same.
The boxes don't have to be doing anything except showing talking pictures. (No USB use etc)

The only thing that seems to make sense is if someone locally is transmitting some sort
of periodic strong signal every 60 seconds or thereabouts - or is deliberately hacking the
freeview frequency though I can't imagine why. I do seem to remember this same
fault happening years ago - I think it was the music channel then - I wouldn't watch that so just
ignored it. Presumably that just went away somehow.

Sadly I don't have access to the incoming digital data or spectrum analyser or anything.
I am becoming very curious though... I liked the content on talkingpictures.

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jack's 15 posts GB flag

5:37 PM

Des McIntosh :

The Sutton Coldfield transmitter was listed for Planned Engineering recently. Whilst it's not listed now, the work may not be complete and this may be the cause. But as StevensOnln1 has said, this temporary multiplex is due to close at the end of June.

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Chris.SE's 3,929 posts GB flag

5:55 PM


Hi Jack. Talking Pictures is on the ArqB/COM6 multiplex, UHF C39 at Sutton Coldfield.
Reception of C26 will have no bearing whatsoever on this. IIRC, your location and direction your aerial points means you are very likely to get C26 - it's the Wrekin transmitter BBCA/PSB1. Signals from this multiplex come quite well into your area. You had previously identified it as West Midlands. The fact that the channels get overwritten by BBCA/PSB1 from Sutton Coldfield is also of no consequence.

Some sort of interference is certainly something to investigate. I presume you've checked that you haven't got HDMI leads or similar close to any of your aerial cables?
Do you have any similar problem with other channels on ArqB?
See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are carried on which multiplex.

I'm sure I've asked this before, you haven't got any older equipment with an Analogue RF output operating on/near C39 (even C34 or C30)?

You could try disconnecting everything and only connect one Humax at a time to see if the problem occurs with each one individually in case it's something silly with a fault on one of them.

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Chris.SE's 3,929 posts GB flag

6:00 PM


Sorry, forgot to mention, you could try giving Talking Pictures a call on 01923290555 to check if they are aware of any problems, just in case, but I think it unlikely as there doesn't seem to be any other reports.

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Chris.SE's 3,929 posts GB flag
Saturday, 28 May 2022
11:02 AM

Thanks Chris
Its good to know about the Wrekin.

No the issue is only with talkingpictures - no other channels exhibit this.
However since I last posted UHF 40 (BBC1 HD etc on 626Mhz ) all channels on that mux are now
producing very occasional random pixelation. A different problem which may be due to the work
you mention above - it is very sparodic - maybe once every couple of hours. Nothing I'm concerned

We don't have anything else I'd expect to be an issue - not even any old UHF TV games
or anything like that. Now that you mention it - perhaps someone around here does but
I'd not expect a cyclic 60 second error. This seems a very "programmed" response whatever
is causing it - some sort of timer broadcast maybe - frankly I'm at as much of a loss as you
with this.

But yes everything this end has been throughly checked repeatedly.
whatever is causing the crashing is coming from outside. Just having 1 box on was a good idea
to try but I have tried that.

I have some ideas on looking for stray signals - so I'll just put this in my "hobby" box
and see what I can come up with for a while.

Thanks for the phone number I'll check that out too.

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jack's 15 posts GB flag
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