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Full Freeview on the Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) transmitter

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The symbol shows the location of the Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) transmitter which serves 330,000 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 Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) mast?

Tacolneston transmitter - Tacolneston transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 13/05/2024 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 Tacolneston 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
C40- (625.8MHz)263mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) East, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 16 others

 H max
C43- (649.8MHz)263mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Anglia (East micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) South ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 South ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Anglia east),

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)263mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD East, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Meridian Southampton), 104 Channel 4 HD South 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)263mDTG-8100,000W
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 ITV3 +1, 59 ITV4 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 91 WildEarth, 93 ITVBe +1, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)246mDTG-8100,000W
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)246mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 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 -10dB
C32 (562.0MHz)263mDTG-1210,000W
Channel icons
7 Mustard,

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 Tacolneston transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Look East (East) 0.8m homes 3.2%
from Norwich NR2 1BH, 16km northeast (37°)
to BBC East region - 27 masts.
70% of BBC East (East) and BBC East (West) is shared output
regional news image
ITV Anglia News 0.8m homes 3.2%
from NORWICH NR1 3JG, 16km northeast (38°)
to ITV Anglia (East) region - 26 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Anglia (West)

Are there any self-help relays?

Gt YarmouthTransposer1 km S town centre30 homes
Lowestoft (2)TransposerRotterdam Rd125 homes

How will the Tacolneston (Norfolk, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-132013-182013-1717 Jul 2018
C39 +ArqB+ArqBArqB
C50tv_off BBCBBBCB

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 9 Nov 11 and 23 Nov 11.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 250kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-4dB) 100kW
com7(-9.6dB) 27.4kW
com8(-10.2dB) 24kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, LNR(-14dB) 10kW
Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 5kW
Analogue 5(-18dB) 4kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Tacolneston transmitter area

Oct 1959-Feb 2004Anglia 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. Tacolneston 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.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

7:25 PM

MikeP: Totally agree. And why would anyone have to get a new aerial for HD services? Thats sounds like someone was conned.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017
Christopher Webster
3:26 AM

Hello MikeP,

Thank you very much for clearing up what will happen in 2018, to be honest we feel as if we have been conned throughout the DSO.
We originally had to have a new aerial installed when the digital services started and it had to be pointed to Tacolneston as we were receiving our signal from the Norwich relay.
I am not sure what aerial type was installed, but it cost over 150 with fitting.
We also at that time had to purchase a set top box, but we were unaware of what DVB-T and DVB-T2 was and at the time Tacolneston was not even transmitting any DVB-T2 muxes so we ended up with a DVB-T only set top box, when HD services started we had to purchase a DVB-T2 capable TV to get the HD channels but for some reason it would not work, we called in a guy who suggested we needed a wideband aerial, so we had one installed at a cost of 170, it must have worked because since then we have had HD and all the muxes transmitted from Tacolneston.
When I heard about the 700mhz band sell off and the changes in 2018 I feared we would have to spend yet more money!
It's good to know that no services or channels will be lost with the adaption to all the muxes becoming DVBT-T2, but i fear for people who only have DVB-T boxes or TV's as they will have to spend money on an upgrade.

Hello MikeB,
I fear you may be correct, not being technically minded it is of course possible we were conned in to buying a new aerial we did not need to get HD.
This is why we believe the whole DSO has been a farce. Aerial installers are taking advantage of people, as are TV and set-top box retailers.
On the plus side I now know what a multiplex is, what frequencies they are transmitted on and the difference between DVB-T and DVB-T2.

Thank you both for your replies.

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Christopher Webster's 1 post GB flag

11:03 AM

Christopher Webster: My parents-in-law live in North Norfolk and I get a fair number of customers from there, so I understand the confusion to some extent - reception in that area is often difficult owing to the local geography.

The only reason you might have needed a new aerial at DSO was if your old one didn't work, or had become so degraded that a new one was required. There is no such thing as a 'digital aerial'. However, 150 plus VAT was reasonable, albeit it didn't seem to work!

Likewise, there was no need for you to buy a T2 equiped TV to cope with HD (I sold a lot of TV's at the time because people WANTED to upgrade, but they didn't have to) - if your TV was a flat screen, then a HD PVR would have both replaced your often by then useless VCR and got you HD on your TV. However, if you were in the market for a new TV anyway, no harm done.

However, you now have an HD TV with a HD tuner, and thats fine.

Did installers take advantage of people regarding aerials? Many did. Manufacturers got a lift, but to be honest, a lot of TV's were sold that would have been bought at some point anyway, but just at a later date. They really didn't try to take advantage of anyone.

But one of the problems with DSO was that Digital UK trained us all in the trade, often using their experience with the early DSO's, plus sent a very useful booklet out to everyone - many of which then didn't bother reading it. And then at least perhaps bought things they didn't absolutely require out of panic/ignorance, and at worst got taken for a ride.

The media printed often incorrect information, and frankly, a lot of people just didn't make any attempt to understand what they needed, confused themselves, and now complain they were 'fooled' to do the wrong thing.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Christopher Webster
10:56 AM


I just did the math and currently over the 9 muxes the capacity is a total of 231.1 MB/s, when the switch to all DVT-T2 coding occurs (reducing to just 6 muxes) the capacity will be a total of 241.2 MB/s. (assuming they all use DTG6 (40.1 MB/s) ).

This will give a gain of just 10.1 MB/s capacity (enough for say 2 HD or 5 SD channels), obviously h.264 is way ahead of mpeg2 in terms of efficiency, but many channels at present are ridiculous frame sizes and bit rates (Sky News for example is a mere 544x576i anamorphic at an avg of 1.3 MB/s)

I can see the broadcasters maintaining these ridiculous frame sizes and bit rates just to cram more channels on to the muxes, maximizing ad revenue.

I was watching the cycling on ITV4 last night and even though it is 720x576i anamorphic the picture quality was pretty much unwatchable due to pixelation and the fast motion.
It was no better than some dodgy illegal stream using flash or a youtube video in 240p from 2008 :)

I hope h.264 addresses these issues, but I fear we will see the same poor PQ just in h/264 instead of mpeg2. I hope to be proven wrong.

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Christopher Webster's 1 post GB flag

2:29 PM

Christopher Webster: ITV4 is SD isn't unwatchable - its perfectly fine on my HD Ready set, and even with cycling, the motion blur shouldn't be that bad and I have no idea what you mean by 'pixallation'.

If your motion blur is that bad, that says more about your panel than the bit rate of the transmission...

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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Christopher Webster
3:36 PM

There is nothing wrong with my panel, it's a 28 Inch Benq with a decent 3000:1 contrast ratio (that's a real contrast ratio, not some made-up dynamic 10 billion to 1 'sales pitch' ratio) it also has a 4ms response time for GtG.

Why be so flippant, it is obvious that is a typo and I was referring to pixelation. :)

ITV4 is unwatchable when it comes to high motion sports like cycling which also has to deal with massive shifts in contrast (under the trees in dark shade to open sunshine on the open road and the colours of the teams kit and surrounding countryside, coupled with motorcycle and helicopter wide angle shots)
ITV4 is using around 2.5MB/s, that is pathetic when using mpeg2 for high-motion sports, especially at 576i anamorphic WS even on a modest 28" screen with a 1920x1080 native resolution.

How anyone can defend the PQ on Freeview is laughable, even the so-called 1080i HD is pathetic at 5MB/s - 6MB/s avg, compared to the SD it looks glorious, but compared to true HD it looks poor.
We now have manufacturers pushing 4K TV's, how good will they look up-scaling a 544x476i SD Freeview picture in mpeg2?

It's almost as if FTA is being used to force people to Sky, VM, Frreesat and on-line streaming services.

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Christopher Webster's 1 post GB flag

5:05 PM

Christopher Webster: So your watching it on a PC monitor? With a 3000:1 contrast ratio? Bully for you. To be fair, a Sony X930 (4K) TV is pretty much double that, but OK.

But here's the thing - I've seen cycling on ITV4 in SD on a decent (but relatively cheap) LG 768 panel and on a top of the range Samsung HD, and neither case is there that much motion blur, or at least not enough to make it unwatchable. How close are you to the screen, and you using any motion control?

And what do you mean by 'True HD'? Since, as far as I'm aware, Sky also transmit in 1080i, there is no real difference between Sky and Freeview, so if you want 'true HD', then you'll have to use blu ray.

I always advise my customers to watch as much HD content as possible if they are buying a 4K set (which the bulk of them now are) - SD is a huge upscaling task for even the best set, and it wont look great on a 4k set.

You miss the point about T2, as Brian pointed out a decade ago -
The "secret" Ofcom plan for Freeview HDTV: DVB-T2
its not just the bandwidth that might increase, but the compression is that much more efficient as well.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Christopher Webber
3:42 PM

Thanks for your reply, Yes I am watching on a LCD monitor as the wife likes to watch her soaps on the TV.
I am using our old DVB-T set-top box connected via HDMI.
ITV4 usually looks fine, but with the cycling I do still think it is unwatchable, due to the speed of the cyclists, the high range of colours and contrast, it is especially noticeable around the riders and their wheels, there is 100% visible pixelation (spelling lol) which makes it distracting, especially when compared to watching Triathlon highlights on BBC2 HD.

I did some research and ITV4's average bit rate is a paltry 2.1Mbps with a maximum bit rate of 7Mbps and 192kbps audio

As you can see from the table, even the HD on Freeview is just an average of 3Mbps with a maximum of 17Mbps and 128-160kbps AC3, from the table most of the SD channels are very poor bit rates and the 544x576 channels are atrocious imho. No better than a 480p web-stream

I was watching Bruce's Play Your Cards Right earlier on Challenge (544x576 @ 1.6Mbps avg) and as it's a high action gameshow with lots of lights an whooping audience you could see some artifacts and pixelation from the high motion etc.

I understand when they go to T2 it will mean h.264 which is much more efficient, but I am worried the broadcasters will continue to use 544x576 and also end up cramming more and more channels in to the reaming 6 muxes meaning that there will not be much of an increase in PQ.
I am sure I read OFFCOM are also thinking of removing the minimum PQ for the main channels, could we end up seeing BBC1 SD & ITV SD dropping to 544x57 @ 1.4Mbps? I bloody hope not

I do of course know that no broadcaster uses 1080p in the UK, it's all 1080i (but the BBC do sometimes broadcast 1080p 25 in a 1080i wrapper) The BBC drama Casualty for example is 1080p 25 :)

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Christopher Webber's 2 posts GB flag

10:35 PM

Christopher Webber: Firstly, get as far as you can away from the screen - the closer you are, the worse it will look. And although monitors are designed to handle fast moving action, they tend to be set up to handle motion blur differently. And while I dont tend to watch cycling on ITV4, the motion blur shouldn't be that bad - not great, but 'unwatchable' is a subjective term.

SD is SD - thats the bitrate, which way it tends to not look as good on HD panels. The cheapon channels like Challenge showing old shows - even more not great. But again, I think your idea of 'unwatchable' isn't the same as mine.

I have no idea as to the bitrate when everyone goes over to T2 (Brianist might be able to answer the question, and throw in an article as well), but I suspect that showing a poor SD picture when 4K panels will be the norm isn't going to get customers begging to watch. And what would the point be of having BBC1 SD, when HD will be the standard?

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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Thursday, 29 June 2017
Christopher Webber
2:04 PM

I will take in to account your recommendation to move away from the screen, I am currently sitting about 6ft away as this monitor is for the PC, with the DVB-T set top box connected up via HDMI when I want to watch any TV if the wife is watching the main TV in the other room.
I agree that the term 'unwatchable' is certainly subjective, and maybe I was a tad over the top with my comment. I have been a long fan of cycling and can remember fondly Channel 4 airing the Tour De France back in the late 80's, back then it was all analogue and the PQ was always excellent, even from the motorcycles.

The broadcasters now use digital and often the picture break-up on their feeds from the motorcycles also makes watching cycling on Digital unwatchable, obviously that is nothing to do with transmission or bit rates etc but the satellite link from the cameras to the plane and FEC etc.
The 2016 Tour De Yorkshire (for example) had to abandon 'live' coverage due a fault with the plane (that was ITV4)

I would really appreciate if Brian could do an article about the switch to T2 as it is now less than 12 months away for people receiving from Tacolneston.

Really appreciate your posts, and sorry if I came across as a moaning old git :) It seems I have become Victor Meldrew in my dotage!

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