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Full Freeview on the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps52.130,-0.242 or 52°7'47"N 0°14'33"Wsa_postcodeSG19 2NH


The symbol shows the location of the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter which serves 920,000 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 Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) mast?

Sandy Heath transmitter - Sandy Heath transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 05/06/2023 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 Sandy Heath 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
C27 (522.0MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) Cambridge, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 others

 H max
C24 (498.0MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Anglia (West 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, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Anglia east),

 H max
C21+ (474.2MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 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, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H -0.2dB
C33 (570.0MHz)291mDTG-8170,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! movies action, 46 Channel 5 +1, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 74 Dave ja vu, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

 H -0.2dB
C36 (594.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
Channel icons
11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 57 Smithsonian Channel, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 75 Yesterday +1, 83 Together TV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H -0.2dB
C48 (690.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 71 Quest Red +1, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 88 Classic Hits, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 others

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

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

regional news image
BBC Look East (West) 1.0m homes 3.7%
from Cambridge CB4 0WZ, 29km east-northeast (66°)
to BBC Cambridge region - 4 masts.
70% of BBC East (East) and BBC East (West) is shared output
regional news image
ITV Anglia News 1.0m homes 3.7%
from Norwich NR1 3JG, 119km east-northeast (60°)
to ITV Anglia (West) region - 5 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Anglia (East)

How will the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1965-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-1312 Feb 2020

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 30 Mar 11 and 13 Apr 11.

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

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7.4dB) 180kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB(-7.7dB) 170kW
com7(-13dB) 49.6kW
com8(-13.1dB) 49.1kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 20kW
Analogue 5(-20dB) 10kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sandy Heath 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.

Thursday, 3 May 2012
Mark Fletcher

10:35 PM

Correction to my above post.My location is Halifax not St Neots.Apologises for my error of location.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB
Friday, 4 May 2012
10:17 AM
St. Neots

pe19 1jp st.neots is my correct postcode

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paul's 3 posts GB
Saturday, 5 May 2012
John Slater
6:34 PM

We're in the Anglia region and have been generally ok on Freeview since switchover. However, in recent week(s) BBC1, BBC2 & other stations are unwatchable due to break-up (poor signal quality). We're having to watch East Midlands local news instead of 'Look East'. I note that there's a re-tune due on 9 May (Is this the 5th or 6th? Why?). Will this cure the problem?

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John Slater's 4 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

8:27 PM

John Slater: If you're picking up BBC Midlands Today instead of BBC Look East, then you're not tuned to Sandy Heath (for BBC One and probably other BBC standard definition channels). If your aerial is directed to Sandy Heath, then receiving a signal from elsewhere may be likely to result in poor reception.

The Digital UK Tradeview predictor suggests that the most likely candidate at your location is Waltham. Most receivers give the UHF channel number (equivalent to frequency) that it is tuned to for any particular programme channel and this is usually on the signal strength screen.

Go to BBC One and bring up the signal strength screen. My guess is that it will say C61, which is BBC standard definition services from Waltham. This is BBC One East Midlands region.

To fix the problem, here's the science bit. The programme channels are broadcast in six groups; five for the standard definition services and one for the HD ones.

See here under the heading "After switchover configuration" for the groups (known as multiplexes or "muxes"):

Freeview multiplexes | - independent free digital TV advice

BBC B carries all four HD services and is therefore only applicable for HD receivers.

If your receiver has manual tuning, then do the following. If not, then the workaround may be more tricky and I can suggest something to try if this is the case.

The end objective is to be tuned to all five (or six) Sandy Heath muxes with none from Waltham (which I've included in brackets):

BBC One = C27 (Waltham 61)
ITV1 = C24 (Waltham 54)
BBC One HD = C21 (Waltham 58)
ITV3 = C31* (Waltham 29)
Pick TV = C52 (Waltham 56)
Yesterday = C48 (Waltham 57)

* SDN (ITV3 etc) will move to C51 on 9th May. Its transmission power will also go up to its full final level. This is the retune event you have been told about and it therefore only affects services on SDN.

In the list above, I've referred to the first service within each group. Focus your attention on getting these right and the others within each group should be right.

During the automatic tuning scan, it is possible to prevent the receiver from finding certain channels by having the aerial lead unplugged when it is scanning them. Some receivers give UHF channel numbers as they scan and some give percentage. The scan runs from C21 to C69, so if it's percentage only, then you can convert.

It is easier said that done to unplug the aerial at a particular channel due to the speed that the scan runs. However, if you aim to unplug too soon, if you are missing the wanted channels you can add them manually.

All but one of Waltham's muxes are at the top end. You need to avoid picking up 29.

If, for example, you run the tuning with the aerial plugged in and then unplug at 8%, you should get ITV1 on C24. Then use the manual tuning function to add the others.

Or, depending on the design of the receiver, you may be able to run the tuning scan through with the aerial unplugged to clear the channel memory. Having done this, use the manual tuning function to add all five (or six) muxes.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
11:11 AM

What time on the 9th May will SDN (Mux A) change over from ch 31 to ch51? I also note from the map above that "works" at Sandy Heath will interrupt reception on that day, is this one and the same thing?

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Brian's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

11:16 AM

Brian: According to the Digital UK Industry Update, it will be completed by 6am:….pdf

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Transmitter engineering

12:27 PM

SANDY HEATH transmitter - dy Heath Transmitter works 9 May 2012: Engineering transmitter work will take place between 00:01hrs and 06:00hrs. TV services that will be disrupted: Analogue services - n/a Digital services - PSB1, PSB2, PSB3, COM4, COM5 and COM6 will be subject to periods of shutdown. [DUK] Over the next week Sandy Heath main transmitter: TV (digital) Liable to interruption, Radio (analogue) working normally, Radio (digital) working normally. [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 141,156 posts xx
Transmitter engineering

12:27 PM

SANDY HEATH transmitter - dy Heath Transmitter works 9 May 2012: Engineering transmitter work will take place between 00:01hrs and 06:00hrs. TV services that will be disrupted: Analogue services - n/a Digital services - PSB1, PSB2, PSB3, COM4, COM5 and COM6 will be subject to periods of shutdown. [DUK] Over the next week Sandy Heath main transmitter: TV (digital) Liable to interruption, Radio (analogue) working normally, Radio (digital) working normally. [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 141,156 posts xx
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Christine Frost
9:08 PM

activated retune today 9 MY 2012 - NO LUCK ON ANY OF OUR TELEVISIONS. Cannot receive any programmes whatsoever. Never eperienced ths before. Please help

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Christine Frost's 1 post GB
9:25 PM

I am in Harpenden. Following the move of SDN to channel 51 (Sandy) at 6am on 9 May, I did a full retune at 19.30, expecting to get good reception on all channels.

All channels on other muxes are fine, but still not getting a decent signal on any SDN channels - signal strength bar is quite high, but quality bar is low. Is this likely to be due to the ongoing engineering works, or is this as good as it will get? Any thoughts?

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David's 1 post GB
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