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Freeview Light on the Londonderry (Northern Ireland) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps55.003,-7.370 or 55°0'11"N 7°22'11"Wsa_postcodeBT48 0JS


The symbol shows the location of the Londonderry (Northern Ireland) transmitter which serves 37,000 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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Londonderry (Northern Ireland) transmitter.

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

Which Freeview channels does the Londonderry 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
C29 (538.0MHz)286mDTG-2,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) Northern Ireland, 2 BBC Two Northern Ireland, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 13 others

 V max
C31 (554.0MHz)286mDTG-2,000W
Channel icons
3 UTV (SD) (UTV), 4 Channel 4 (SD) NI ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 NI ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 30 E4 +1, 35 UTV +1 (UTV),

 V max
C37 (602.0MHz)286mDTG-2,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD Northern Ireland, 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 UTV HD (UTV), 104 Channel 4 HD NI ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 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 43 Freeview channels?

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

The Londonderry (Northern Ireland) mast is a public service broadcasting (PSB) transmitter, it does not provide these commercial (COM) channels: 4seven, 5Action, 5STAR, 5USA, Al Jazeera Eng, Blaze, Blaze +1, CBS Reality, Challenge, Channel 5 +1, CITV, YAAAS!, Dave, Dave ja vu, DMAX, Drama +1, E4 Extra, Film4 +1, Food Network, GB News, GREAT! movies, GREAT! movies action, HGTV, HobbyMaker, ITV2 +1, ITV3 +1, ITV4 +1, ITVBe +1, Legend, PBS America, pick, Pop Player, Quest +1, Quest Red, Really, Sky News, Smithsonian Channel, Talking Pictures TV, TCC, That's TV (UK), Together TV, 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 Londonderry transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Newsline 0.6m homes 2.5%
from Belfast BT2 8HQ, 1,052km northeast (50°)
to BBC Northern Ireland region - 46 masts.
regional news image
UTV Live 0.6m homes 2.5%
from Belfast BT7 1EB, 1,052km northeast (50°)
to UTV region - 46 masts.

How will the Londonderry (Northern Ireland) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20122012-134 Sep 2019

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 10 Oct 12 and 24 Oct 12.

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

Analogue 5 10kW
Analogue 1-4(-4.9dB) 3.2kW
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 2kW

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

Oct 1959-May 2006Ulster Television
May 2006-Dec 2014UTV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only. Londonderry 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.

Thursday, 25 October 2012
Dave Lindsay

11:40 AM

Mark: Transmitters are located where they are most effective which is generally on higher ground where they can be seen by the populations they serve. The purpose of any relay transmitter like Derry is to fill in gaps in coverage that the main transmitters miss out due to the terrain.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
2:21 PM

I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I retuned yesterday, which in itself was an anticlimax due to the pathetic amount of channels the Londonderry (NI's second largest city) transmitter recieves. I however noticed that I wasn't getting the UK HD channels despite picking up RTE2 HD from Saorview. I realise that my tv needs to be compatable with Freeview HD in order to pick these up. Does the fact that I am able to recieve the RTE HD channel not mean that my TV is HD compatable and therefore should be able to pick up the UK HD channels also?

Apologies for the tetchy tone of this post however it really grates me that these freeview plans have been years in the making, we have been the very last people to recieve the freeview service and then are landed with much less channels than seemingly 90% of the rest of the country.

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Johnny's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

2:38 PM

Johnny: (See above to my posting of yesterday @ 10:46PM for an explanation as to why you only have some channels.)

The only thing you can do is investigate the possibility of receiving directly from Limavady, although even then, the COM channels are on lower power and may be difficult. I looked on Streetview and can see a few aerials on Limavady, although as I say, the Commercial channels "may" be unavailable - that is, the fact that aerials point to Limavady doesn't mean that they are sufficient to receive the COMs.

Saorview signals are broadcast using DVB-T standard. These signals carry a HD picture which is encoded using MPEG4 format.

Freeview standard definition signals use DVB-T standard whereas Freeview HD signals use the newer DVB-T2 standard. Hence a receiver that doesn't have a DVB-T2 tuner cannot receive Freeview HD.

What is interesting is that Freeview standard definition pictures are encoded using MPEG2 and as such a lot of Freeview standard definition receivers don't have the capability to decode MPEG4 (used by Saorview). Evidently yours does. May I ask what is the make and model of the receiver you are using to receive Saorview? Also, is it a "Saorview" labelled product or a "Freeview" one?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

2:41 PM

Johnny: It comes back to politicians not mandating licence-holders to broadcast from the relays. They have been allowed to pick and choose what suits them rather than working to provide a (more) universal public service.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
seamus o'doherty
2:46 PM

Considering the Strabane transmitter is the tallest structure in Ireland and covered the whole west of N.Ireland I find it amusing that it's referred to as a small relay site.

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seamus o'doherty's 6 posts GB
3:17 PM


Thank you for your speedy reply. I understand the differences between the main and relay transmitters and plan to rotate the aerial towards Limavady at the weekend to see if that improves things. I won't hold my breath however. Its just quite frustrating after waiting so long for freeview, I can't get the full service. Had just assumed till yesterday that all the channels would be available.

My main confusion was that I was recieving RTE HD and not UK HD but you have cleared that up for me nicely and can only assume my tv does not have a DVB-T2 tuner. As far as I remember (not home at the minute) the model is LG 42LH3000. I plan to buy a digital recorder soon anyhow so will look to getting a freeview hd one which should at least get me the HD channels.

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Johnny's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

3:19 PM

seamus o'doherty: I did refer to them as "smaller" rather than "small".

Maybe it is your sense of humour...

Anyway, this document lists the number of households expected to use each transmitter:


I haven't found a way of putting it into a spreadsheet, but having just looked down the list, I think that Derry is the largest relay to be PSB-only. Strabane with 14,000 households is nowhere near coming second.

The sizes (smaller/larger) are a measure of the number of households they serve rather than the length of the mast!

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

3:45 PM

Johnny: Undoubtedly the whole Freeview Lite thing must be the biggest let-down.
The page on the LG site about your TV is:
LG 42LH3000 Television - 42" HD Ready 1080p LCD TV - LG Electronics UK
You will, of course, have to switch your aerial to horizontally polarised. For lots of information about aerials, including an online shop, see ATV Sheffield's site A.T.V (Aerials And Television) TV Aerial, DAB Aerial, FM Aerial. (It says that there is an additional charge for orders to Northern Ireland.)
See this page for suggestions for Limavady:
A.T.V (Aerials And Television) TV Aerial, DAB Aerial, FM Aerial. digitalnationwide2.html#L
Derry uses Group B channels whereas Limavady uses Group C/D ones so you may need to replace the aerial. In any case, you may be looking for something with a higher gain. However, you might be able to use the current one for test purposes with Limavady.
Use manual tuning to select the Limavady channels. Select a UHF channel and wait a moment for the strength and quality to show (but don't press "Add" just yet). Doing this will allow you to use your TV as a meter.
The objective isn't to see the signal strength at 100%; it is quality that matters.
The six UHF channels from Limavady are:
PSB1 | BBC One | C50
PSB2 | UTV | C59
PSB3 | BBC One HD | C55
COM4 | ITV3 | C54
COM5 | Pick TV | C58
COM6 | Film4 | C49
In order to receive RT you will need a separate aerial. I guess that you may have one now and that it is pointing to Holywell Hill which is just over the border and not far from Sheriff Mountain. Unfortunately Holywell Hill is horizontally polarised and Sheriff Mountain is vertically polarised else you may have got away with a single aerial for both (as they are on bearings only 14 degrees apart from your location).
If you have combined the two aerials into one downlead (so as to feed it into the same receiver without having to swap aerial leads) then this should still work for Holywell Hill and Limavady.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
4:41 PM


Thanks again. Thats alot of information to get my head around but it will be a great help and will have to look into it over the weekend.

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Johnny's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

5:08 PM

Johnny: The only other thing I will say is that the Digital UK Postcode Checker "thinks" that COM4 and COM5 are "poor" at your postcode whereas COM6 is "good". The figures that it calculates are the percentage of the area of the postcode that are "served" and "marginal". It should be taken with a pinch of salt as such predictors can never be entirely accurate.

The reason I raise this is because I have been wondering why the marked difference between COM6 and COMs 4 and 5. Unfortunately it doesn't let on why it has calculatated it like this!

In some cases one can make a guess that the likely reason is due to a particular transmitter that uses the same channel. This transmitter, the predictor "thinks", may act to degrade reception. But as reception prediction is not an exact science, so too is interference from unwanted signals.

The only thing I can think is that the calculation has taken into account a former analogue transmitter in the Republic. Interestingly those which used 54 and 58 used 64 as well (but not 49). So I think that this is probably nothing to be concerned about.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
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