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Freeview intermittent interference

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes
published on UK Free TV

There are several different types of interference that cause problems. This page deals with the situation where:

  • Freeview reception is perfect or near-perfect most of the time
  • The audio on TV and radio channels mutes momentarily a few times each minute
  • The picture on a Freeview channel freezes a few times each minute

There are two main causes of this type of intermittent interference:
  • 'Induction' interference
  • Mobile phone interference

Induction interference

Induction interference is caused by mains-powered household devices that contain a large motor, such as:
  • Washing machine;
  • Tumble dryer;
  • Central heating pump or combination boiler;
  • Fridge;
  • Freezer;
  • Power tools (drills, jigsaws etc)
  • Vacuum cleaners;
  • Water pumps;
  • Automatic doors

You can identify if one or more of these devices is causing the Freeview reception problem by powering off the devices.

If one of these devices is causing the problem, then the reception problem can usually be solved by using a mains filter device and use it on the Freeview boxes mains connection.

Such as device is this: Maplin: 6-Way Flat Screen and HDTV Surge Protector and Mains Filter.

Mobile phone interference

If you keep a mobile phone by your Freeview box or digital television, keep it further away!

This also applies to other transmitters such as baby monitors, video senders, walkie talkies, and portable phones.

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In this section
Official aerial installers guide to the TV spectrum future1
Which free digital TV system will give me the most reliable reception?2
High pressure causing channel loss through "Inversion"3
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Two frequency interference 6

Monday, 13 January 2014
5:16 PM

Hi jb,

The post code is OX14 (Abingdon)
I'm pretty certain the amp is set to mid-way on gain. I will put it onto the lowest setting when I arrive home tonight to see if that makes any difference.

Many thanks for the quick response (OX14 Ab) 

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DaveW's 3 posts GB
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
12:52 PM

Hi again jb,
Turned down the gain on the masthead amp from 20dB to 10 dB The problem has now gone. Many thanks for suggesting this.

Its so nice to have a great picture once again free from interference.

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DaveW's 3 posts GB
Sunday, 26 January 2014
1:38 AM

Was watching Dave this morning ,everything okay, wanted to watch it tonight and got black screen and audio with subtitles only ,all other channels work okay. Retuned but it didnt help. Anyone else have same problem .Im In Cheshire ,North West

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Julie's 8 posts GB
Monday, 3 February 2014
Mark Betty
11:11 AM

Hi. I live in Chelsmford and the freeview keeps going off. I have a box that transmits the signal to other rooms. That is working OK. The aerial has not moved and all the leads look fine. I do not know what else I can do. I got someone to loom at the problem. However he could not see what the issues was asit was working fine at the time! I was still charged £45! Any ideas what else I can do

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Mark Betty's 2 posts GB
Mark Betty
11:26 AM

I live in Chelmsford and the freeview keeps losing signal. I have a box that transmitts the signal to other TV's in the house. the signal box is fine. the aeriel has not moved and all leads look OK. I called someone out. However it was wotking fine when they were here so could not see any issues. I still got charged £45! Any ideas what I can do?

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Mark Betty's 2 posts GB
Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Geoff Liman
11:02 AM

I live in SW11 and take a TV signal from a communal aerial and since the middle of January have been experiencing frequent dropouts on the BBC's A and B multiplexes (up to 10 seconds per minute).

Does anyone know of any changes in the area that could be causing this and any action I could take to restore the signal to full strength?

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Geoff Liman's 2 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

6:21 PM

Geoff Liman: Speak to your neighbours and see if they have similar issues. Ensure that they are using the terrestrial system and not satellite (Sky/Freesat) or cable TV (Virgin Media). If it does affect them then it is a fault with the aerial system and therefore should be reported to the party responsible for rectification.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Thursday, 13 February 2014
Geoff Liman
3:38 PM

Thanks DL. Although I think I might struggle to find someone else in the block who uses the aerial (wall-to-wall sky dishes), so I'll try the maintenance people anyway. It's probably blown over in the weather we've been having recently!



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Geoff Liman's 2 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

4:37 PM

Geoff Liman: Whilst you're at it, get them to enable reception of the new channels, if it hasn't already been done. I say this because it may help reduce the number of visits required.

Often communal aerial systems are filtered so as to only allow through, from the aerial, UHF channels (frequencies) used by the designated transmitter. There are a number of new channels being used by, or to be used by, Crystal Palace:

The new HD multiplex which carries BBC Four HD, BBC News HD etc is on UHF channel 33 and has been on air since December.

The new local TV multiplex which will carry London Live is on UHF channel 29. I say "is" because it may be broadcasting a test carrier.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Thursday, 15 May 2014
8:38 AM

On Tuesday this week (13th May) my Freeview signal dropped out completely for half an hour around 10:15. I wasn't too worried but then yesterday it was completely gone from first thing in the morning till I left home at 11:30 and then back again fully normal with no glitches at all last night. So far today it is also completely gone again so this appears to be a pattern developing. Is anyone else having this issue?
Can you tell me what would cause this sort of thing and who I should approach to solve it. I have two different digital TVs (Samsung and LG) so it won't be a fault with my equipment. My postcode is SN1 2LL Thanks

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DonaB's 1 post GB
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