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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.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
How do I get a test card with Freeview1
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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
Digital Region Overlap4
Freeview reception has changed?5
Two frequency interference 6

Comments
Tuesday, 23 November 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

1:57 AM

Helen:

Freeview nor the BBC are reporting any problems with the Cowling transmitter and it's not currently listed for Planned Engineering. How long have you been having problems with the HD channels? (I assume you mean 101-105 ?).

Check that your aerial hasn't been disturbed and is still pointing at the Cowling transmitter with its rods (or squashed Xs) vertical.

Check in your TV's tuning section that you are correctly tuned to Cowling's UHF channels C42, C45 but especially C39 for the HD multiplex.

Check all your coax plugs and connections behind your TV. Make sure you don't have any HDMI leads running close to your aerial lead or any flyleads especially if the latter aren't quality double screened types. HDMI has been known to cause interference.

With the radio problem is this FM or DAB and which stations?
There aren't any reported problems with BBC DAB stations, but if it's FM BBC Radios 1-4, this comes from the Holme Moss transmitter and has been having major ongoing engineering since the end of June with periodic reduced power.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
S
Stanley Rae
8:23 PM

Digital TV drops out at 20 the hour causing loose of recordings and loose of signal for short time

link to this comment
Stanley Rae's 1 post GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

8:35 PM

Stanley Rae:

As you have provided little information, we need more to offer any advice.
Is it all channels you are losing or just some, if some, which ones?
It this happening everyday at the same time, or is it at the same time every hour as your post implies and is this only during parts of the day or all the time?
Do you anything else in the house that switches on at the time this occurs?
Please give a full postcode so we can look at which transmitter(s) and multiplexes your locale is predicted to receive.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
Thursday, 25 November 2021
H
Helen
1:28 PM
Keighley

Chris.SE: yes it's 101-105

Aerial is in the loft so I can't see that's it's moved since it was installed.

The problem is intermittent, we can have now issues all afternoon then get no signal or pixelating in the evening or visa versa.

Could it be atmospheric?

link to this comment
Helen's 4 posts GB
Friday, 26 November 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

1:22 AM

Helen:

I think atmospherics are highly improbable right now. Two of the respected sources of predictions for "temperature inversion/tropospheric ducting" show absolutely nothing over the UK at present. Also, still no faults or engineering being reported.

People chuck stuff up in their lofts which is why I suggested checking. Other than that, have you checked all your connections and cables as suggested? if you have any flyleads try swapping them, they can be a frequent problem. I assume your downlead from the aerial doesn't go outside, if so you need to check it for damage, water ingress etc.
Be aware, problematic connections, water ingress etc. can seem to affect reception of just an individual multiplex not always all of them.

You haven't mentioned it, so I assume you don't have any distribution amp/splitter?

See what signal strengths and quality you are getting for the multiplexes (groups of channels) shown in your TV's tuning section, they should all be pretty much the same.

Other things (other than interference) that could affect reception of a multiplex are new buildings nearby, scaffolding, trees growing bigger, indeed anything close by that could be on the line-of-sight to the transmitter especially if it's metallic.

Other things (including interference) - have you changed anything in your set up since this problem started?
Have you got any new electrical/electronic equipment? Set up any sets of xmas lights that have power units?
Does the problem occur when you switch any lighting or other equipment on, or even when a boiler runs?

If you post back with all that information, if it's not cables and connections we might be able to narrow down the potential problem.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
H
Helen
7:18 AM
Keighley

We have booked a visit from the engineer that installed the aerial to check out the problem

The wiring for the tv is all internal fitted 5 years ago by the builder of our new home.

Nothing regarding electrics etc have changed

We have tried a new aerial cable
Thank you for your assistance

link to this comment
Helen's 4 posts GB
Saturday, 27 November 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:21 PM

Helen:

I hope that the person who installed the aerial is a different person from the one that installed the wiring. I'm afraid there are too many situations where "builders" do not understand how to correctly install such wiring, telephone/broadband wiring is another example - in most cases where the wrong type or grade of cable has been used and the way it's all been connected up.

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Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:23 PM

Helen:

Forgot to add "Nothing regarding electrics etc have changed" may be the case, BUT things can go faulty, so there should not be the assumption that it doesn't need checking.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
H
Helen
10:32 AM
Keighley

The engineer has identified that the Antiference A240LPRO had failed and installed a new one.

link to this comment
Helen's 4 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

4:54 PM

Helen:

Thanks for updating, nice to hear your problem is fixed.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 2,576 posts GB
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