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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 08/04/2024 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.

Sunday, 5 June 2022
David Smith
8:09 AM

All channels from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter are pixelated and have been for days. When will this be fixed?

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David Smith's 3 posts GB flag

10:09 AM

David Smith: There are currently engineering works taking place at Sutton Coldfield, so the transmitter may be operating on reduced power output whilst the work is taking place. It's worth checking for simple problems like loose cables and connections behind your TV, but don't attempt to retune as this will just delete your tuning data and search for the same signal again. Chances are it will be fine again once the work is complete.

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StevensOnln1's 3,618 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 31 August 2022
louise brown
3:58 PM

I have had no signal or pixelated from 1900 to present on
ITV , channel 4, channel5 ITV+1 channel 4+1 great TV ,great
TV classic , Birmingham TV and a number of other channels ,
Also a big sign comes up in the middle of the TV telling me
Press the here sign and return if I cancel this message it
Keeps coming back every 10-20 seconds making it
Impossible to watch the TV so I have to record to watch in

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louise brown's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 1 September 2022

2:11 AM

louise brown:

I would firstly check all your coax plug connections behind the TV and make sure everything is plugged in ok. Make your your aerial or flyleads are not running close to any HDMI leads for your recorder or other devices as HDMI can sometimes induce interference into aerial leads.
Also check that your aerial is still intact and pointing in the right direction.

Apart from saying that this "Press here sign" keeps popping up, what else does it say - if it's about no signal or retuning, it may be best not to retune at present due to Current Weather conditions - Tropospheric Ducting - causing interference from more distant transmitters in Europe or the UK. This can be very variable and is usually short term at any instant but conditions have been persisting for several days, different parts of the UK are being affected at different time. Not all multiplexes will be affected at the same time or at all.
Both Freeview and the BBC have issued warnings about short term interference to reception.

If you are able to record these channels OK, it suggests the problem is aerial connections that don't affect the recorder, check the leads between the recorder and the TV.
If the problems persist, post back with more information and a bit more detail about the installation, how things are connected up, whether there is a splitter/amp with separate aerial feed to the recorder and TV, and so on.

If you've retuned your TV very recently, it may be 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+, C36/C48 that's in the order BBCA/PSB1, D3&4/PSB2, BBCB HD/PSB3, SDN/COM4, ArqA/COM5, ArqB/COM6 and Local L-BRM.
The UHF channel for the Local multiplex depends on location.

See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are carried on which multiplex.

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Chris.SE's 4,126 posts GB flag
Thursday, 8 September 2022
Simon F.
9:01 PM

I have two Freeview TVs running from the same aerial, receiving (as far as I am aware) from Sutton Coldfield.

One has not been retuned for about two years, and is receiving the LOCAL mux so that I can receive (amongst other channels) Great Movies Christmas (until today called Great Movies Classic). Nominally this is Freeview Channel 52, although this TV is still displaying it as being on Channel 51, which it was prior to channel changes in 2021 (I think). This is broadcast on the LOCAL mux.

On the other TV (retuned as and when required) I seem unable to receive anything from LOCAL.

Whilst I understand that LOCAL may be weak from Sutton Coldfield, I cannot see it at all on the Humax HDD and Samsung TV, but I do still receive it on a Technika TV. The only difference (apart from the hardware itself) is the Technika TV has shorter aerial cable and one less connection point (join).

I'd be grateful if any expert can help me get Channel 52 on my Humax HDD.

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Simon F.'s 3 posts US flag

10:18 PM

Simon F.:

See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are carried on which multiplex.
Apart from the "Christmas" channel name changes it is normally up-to-date and Freeview will normally update the list a day or two after such minor changes.

If you provide a full postcode we should be able to give an indication of how "receivable" the Local mux is in your location, as well as which way your aerial should point for Sutton Coldfield.

Roughly how old is the aerial installation and coax?
Whilst aerial upgrades were not needed for the main 6 multiplexes for Sutton Coldfield with the 700MHz Clearance program, one might have been needed to get the temporary COMs 7&8 (both now closed). However, older installations may have degraded due to moisture ingress etc.
Have a look in your TVs' Tuning sections for indications of Signal Strength and Bit Error Rate (BER) or Quality %, for each multiplex's UHF channel, (An up-to-date channel list is in the post before yours).
Posting all those figures may be helpful.

Obviously check every coax joint that you can and ensure that they are clean and there's no corrosion etc. Make sure you don't have any HDMI leads running close to coax aerial leads as HDMI can sometimes cause interference.

How "moveable" is the Technika? If you can try it at the Samsung and Humax location and see if the Local mux is still receivable (Do NOT retune it) then that may give a feel for how likely the coax length and/or quality may have a bearing on the signal.

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Chris.SE's 4,126 posts GB flag
Friday, 9 September 2022
Simon F.
7:16 AM

Thanks Chris. I took a slightly different approach this morning. Moved the Humax HDR upstairs (to where the Technika is) and retuned that. It now finds Mux Ch 36 which is where Freeview channel 52. Indicated strength/quality is not brilliant (S=40%, Q=10%) but actually it displays fine.

So I guess that this is simply due to longer coax run (and join) from the aerial to the normal downstairs location of the Humax. At some point I will take the Humax downstairs again (without a retune) to see whether now that its tuned it can still pick up FV Ch 52 downstairs.

Postcode is ST16 1SX. Aerial was installed a couple of years ago, and set up for Sutton Coldfield (we had problems though of autotuning picking up The Wrekin, with less good signal strength/quality).

The mainstream Mux signals are extremely strong. I was wondering if a signal amplifier would help to boost the Local mux signal, but I've read that this could cause problems for strong signals.

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Simon F.'s 3 posts US flag
Simon's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

1:16 PM

Simon F.:

The Wrekin will come in quite strongly in your location - you're about halfway between it and Sutton Coldfield, so manual tuning may be needed on occasion but there should be very few occasions when that's needed these days.

Sutton Coldfield is one of very few transmitters with two UHF channels for the Local multiplex and signals are usually beamed to the centres of population. C36 beams north towards Lichfield and surrounding districts and you aren't predicted to get reliable reception of it - very variable to poor, because your location is slightly off-beam.

As far as amplification is concerned, as you mention too strong signals can cause problems. It was for that reason I'd like to see the exact signal & quality/BER figures for each multiplex in both set locations. Please also describe how your current downlead is currently split with splitters etc.

How much of the coax was replaced when the aerial was replaced?

I'll post a slightly more comprehensive response later, have to deal with other matters right now.

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Chris.SE's 4,126 posts GB flag
Simon F.
7:13 PM

Chris.SE: Hi Chris. Having tuned the HDR with the upstairs cable, it still just receives Local (Mux Ch36) downstairs (I've got a temporary coax extension which I've had to remove, otherwise signal is too weak for the HDR). With this, the Local channels are received well enough for the missus!

All coax was new when the aerial was installed. I'm not sure about splitting.

It seems good enough. You mention that Sutton Coldfield has two channels for the local mux. Would the other channel be better for us?

Anyway, thank you for your help. But please don't spend any more time on seems OK for the moment. Thank you for your fast and helpful responses!

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Simon F.'s 3 posts US flag
Saturday, 10 September 2022

12:24 AM

Simon F.:

The other channel for the Local mux is beaned South West (towards Birmingham) and you would not get it.
In your location your aerial should be pointing at a bearing of 142 degrees, that's - 7 degrees S of SE and it's rods (or squashed Xs) should be horizontal.

Lower quality can occur when there is interfering signals as well as when the signal is very low and just affected by weather. If you see quality varying with or without signal strength variation, it could be due to weather conditions.
Current Weather conditions are causing Tropospheric Ducting - causing interference from more distant transmitters in Europe or the UK. This can be very variable and is usually short term at any instant but conditions have been persisting for several days, different parts of the UK are being affected at different times. Not all multiplexes will be affected at the same time or at all.
Both Freeview and the BBC have issued warnings about short term interference to reception.
Again do NOT retune if you have badly pixellated pictures or no signal.

For you to have coax outlets in more than one location, the aerial downlead needs a splitter, sometimes an amp/splitter. Look for where the downlead goes and look for a "box" where there is more than one cable out. Check all the connections there.
If you have signal strengths in the 90% range on the main muxes then any amplification runs the risk of too much signal.
If the splitting is done correctly and strengths are OK on the shorter run(s) but much lower on the longer run, you might be able to consider some amplification only on the long run BUT you should use one with a variable gain control so it can be adjusted to avoid overload. It should be inserted just after a split rather than the TV end.

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Chris.SE's 4,126 posts GB flag
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