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Freeview Light on the Washford (Somerset, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps51.161,-3.348 or 51°9'38"N 3°20'55"Wsa_postcodeTA23 0NT


The symbol shows the location of the Washford (Somerset, England) transmitter which serves 1,600 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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Washford (Somerset, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Washford 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.

 V max
C30 (546.0MHz)85mDTG-12W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) West, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 17 others

 V max
C31 (554.0MHz)85mDTG-12W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (West), 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 (West),

 V max
C37 (602.0MHz)85mDTG-12W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD West, 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/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Are you trying to watch these 44 Freeview channels?

the effected channels
the effected channels
the effected channels
the effected channels

The Washford (Somerset, England) mast is a public service broadcasting (PSB) transmitter, it does not provide these commercial (COM) channels: 4seven, 5Action, 5STAR, 5USA, Al Jazeera Eng, Al Jazeera English, Blaze, Blaze +1, Challenge, Channel 5 +1, Dave, Dave ja vu, DMAX, Drama +1, E4 Extra, YAAAS!, Film4 +1, Food Network, GREAT! action, GREAT! christmas, GREAT! movies extra, GREAT! movies, HGTV, HobbyMaker, ITV2 +1, ITV3 +1, ITV4 +1, ITVBe +1, Legend, PBS America, Quest +1, Quest Red, Really, Sky Mix, Sky News, Talking Pictures TV, TCC, That's 90s, That's Christmas, Together TV, TRUE CRIME, TRUE CRIME XTRA, W, Yesterday +1.

If you want to watch these channels, your aerial must point to one of the 80 Full service Freeview transmitters. For more information see the will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters? page.

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Washford transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Points West 0.9m homes 3.4%
from Bristol BS8 2LR, 61km east-northeast (57°)
to BBC West region - 60 masts.
regional news image
ITV West Country News (East) 0.9m homes 3.4%
from Bristol BS4 3HG, 63km east-northeast (61°)
to ITV West region - 61 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 50% evening news is shared with West Country (West)

How will the Washford (Somerset, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20102010-132013-182013-1719 Jun 2019
C50tv_off D3+4D3+4

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 24 Mar 10 and 7 Apr 10.

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

Analogue 1-4 62W
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7.1dB) 12W

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

Jan 1958-Jul 1968Television Wales and the West
Jul 1968-Feb 2004Harlech 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. Washford 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.

Friday, 13 January 2012
Peter Broadey
11:12 AM

My high gain Ariel is as high as I can get it on the chimney with an extension pole. The signal is intermittent at times for no apparent reason and no TV can be watched. This is a problem for my neighbours as well as I've asked them. I am also bound to watch the welsh news. We need a new relay for our area

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Peter Broadey's 1 post GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

11:34 AM

Peter Broadey: Where is your aerial pointing? Is it at Mendip? If you are getting Welsh news then I guess that it is likely to be from Wenvoe (predictor suggests this).

The predictor suggests that you might be in a location where signal from Carmel will reach. Its three commercial (COM) multiplexes broadcast on the same three channels as Mendip uses for its Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) ones. As a result, Mendip's PSBs are poor with COMs are good. It would appear that poor reception of Mendip's PSBs is due to interference between COMs from Carmel.

This terrain plotter suggests that you have nearly line of sight with Mendip, albeit that the ground goes up a mile or so away from you:

Terrain between ( m a.g.l.) and (antenna m a.g.l.) - Optimising UK DTT Freeview and Radio aerial location

One possibility is to look at mounting the aerial somewhere where it is shielded from Carmel (north west), but which faces Mendip (east).

If your aerial faces Mendip, then I suggest that by mounting it higher up, it has increased the signal from Carmel that you don't want.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
steve hill
7:03 PM

Peter Broadey, it sounds as though your tv may be tuned to Wenvoe instead of Mendip, it's a common problem in West Somerset that if you perform an automatic scan your tv will put the welsh transmitter first in the epg. Wenvoe will be coming in on the side of your aerial and will be affected by the tide at times which could account for the drop out of channels you've been experiencing. I suggest doing a manual scan or simply looking in the 800's for the programs from Mendip and seeing if these are also affected.

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steve hill's 2 posts GB flag
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Alan Coomber
11:33 PM

Following yesterday's retune for the Washford transmitter we have lost ITV completely. Is this an ongoing transmitter fault that we can expect to be fixed or do we need to take action on our part?

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Alan Coomber's 11 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

11:46 PM

Alan Coomber: Do you have two aerials combined into one feed? That is, one for Washford and one for Wenvoe? If so, then your diplexer (the combiner) may "split" at C51 which means that ITV from Washford on C50 is now not being picked up by your Washford aerial but your Wenvoe one instead.

If you have a Wenvoe aerial as well, and I can see on Streetview that there are a few houses like this, then you may have an issue.

Washford only carries Public Service (PSB) channels whilst Wenvoe is a full service transmitter as it carries Commercial (COM) channels as well.

Removing the Wenvoe aerial from the equation would therefore leave you without the COMs. You could, of course, feed them into separate receivers, perhaps using a separate set-top box to view regional content. That said, as Wenvoe is in Wales it carries a different variant of BBC One, BBC Two and ITV. If it were a transmitter of another English region BBC Two would be the same.

Washford now uses 59, 50, 55
Wenvoe's COMs are 42, 45, 39

It's crude, but it may work if you use a splitter in reverse. A diplexer is a filtered splitter. Not sure if you could get a C48 diplexer.

Try a manual tune on UHF channel 50, if your receiver allows.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Friday, 29 March 2013
Alan Coomber
10:16 AM

Thanks Dave - yes we do have 2 aerials combined to one feed that has worked perfectly for several years. I don't understand most of what you said - far too technical ! I did work out that the ITV signal is on ch50 and tried a manual retune yesterday on that channel but it didn't work. I guess we'll just have to put up with Wenvoe. Sounds like another digital c.u. I remember when tellies had just 2 channels and life was simple.

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Alan Coomber's 11 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

10:39 AM

Alan Coomber: I will explain it again:

The TV frequencies run 21 to 69. 61 to 69 (known as the 800MHz band) have been sold off to 4G mobile operators, which is why Washford's ITV had to come off 62.

When combining the feeds from the two aerials you can't just connect them together (or if you did it might give unpredictable results). The diplexer has two inputs, each of which will accept a particular range of UHF channels.

Assuming that you have a diplexer that "splits" at C51 then the input that is fed with the Wenvoe aerial allows through channels 21 to 50. The Washford input allows through channels 52 to 69. The "split", therefore, is 51 which doesn't feature for either.

The effect of this in practice is that whenever you tune to anywhere from 21 to 50, you are using your Wenvoe aerial. And if you tune between 52 and 69, you are using your Washford aerial.

As I say, I assume you have a diplexer that splits at C51.

Looking at the channels Washford used for analogue, I am now puzzled as ITV and BBC One used 39 and 49 respectively! Perhaps, in actual fact, you had a poor picture on them as you were using your Wenvoe aerial.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Alan Coomber
1:29 PM

The feeds from the two aerials are combined in a box attached to the aerial mast up on the roof. The single combined cable then runs to a powered box in the loft that splits the feed to run to 3 sockets down in the house. We used Wenvoe for digital and Washford for analogue West region programmes until Washford went digital when we used both digital signals very happily up until this week. We need Wenvoe because Washford doesn't have a full range of channels and we need Washford to get west region programmes. It seems that we have been robbed of ITV West just to keep a few mobile phone users happy.

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Alan Coomber's 11 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

3:06 PM

Alan Coomber: The only thing I can suggest is what may have crossed your mind already and that is to speak to the company that installed the system. This will, of course, mean expense, but there would appear to be no other way.

In my above explanation I referred to a "diplexer"; this is the box you refer to that is attached to the mast.

It is the way these days that things keep being changed. When the network of transmitters was designed, all had four channels. The post-switchover digital one is now two-tier, this being because the Commercial broadcasters (those that don't transmit from Washford) can pick and choose which sites to transmit from. They go for those that yield the greatest number of viewers at lowest possible cost as their interest is profit. Unlike the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 they have no obligation to provide a "Public Service".

You are fortunate in that you can pick up the full service from another transmitter, albeit that it is of a different region. Some people can only ever receive the Public Service channels as they are not able to receive from another transmitter.

Now understanding that the combined feed is piped to three rooms, one possibility is to remove the Washford aerial from that system and use it separately in one room. This would mean that the powered box would only be fed by the Wenvoe aerial and therefore that Wenvoe's signals would only be available via it (into the three rooms).

Then run a separate cable from the Washford aerial to your lounge. This would give you two incoming aerial sockets in that room.

Feed the Wenvoe aerial into your recorder box (if you have one) and then into your TV, which is as the current (combined) feed is now. These will give you all the channels, but with Welsh regional programming.

Get a separate set-top box and feed the Washford aerial into it. Then connect it to the TV, probably by a scart lead.

When you want to watch regional programming, switch on the separate set-top box. At all other times, watch the TV as normal.

Obviously this means that regional programming won't be available in other rooms, but then you don't have ITV West there anyway, so it will be BBC One West and BBC Two England that you will loose from other rooms by doing this.

Or, the installer may have a different idea of how to restore ITV West from Washford whilst allowing it to be viewed in all rooms.

P.S. Washford may change again in the future because the frequencies that it is using may be subject to a clearance so as to make way for more mobile services. This would, if your setup is as I suspect, mean that you would loose the BBC Washford channels for the same reason that you are now without ITV. The separate set-top solution I proposed would continue to work for Washford if this were to happen. Whether it will happen; who knows?!

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Alan Coomber
6:35 PM

Dave , Many thanks for your patience with my questions.
The other option I think might be Freesat - more expense but I think that might separate us from transmitters and mobile operators.

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Alan Coomber's 11 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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