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Full Freeview on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter which serves 1,870,000 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 Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter.

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

Which Freeview channels does the Sutton Coldfield 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
C43 (650.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) West Midlands, 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 18 others

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Central (West micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 Midlands ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Central west),

 H max
C40+ (626.2MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Central West), 104 Channel 4 HD Midlands ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C42 (642.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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 max
C45 (666.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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 max
C39+ (618.2MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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

 H -13dB
C48 (690.0MHz)433mDTG-1210,000W
Channel icons
from 31st October 2014: 7 Big Centre TV,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

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

regional news image
BBC Midlands Today 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 1RF, 15km south-southwest (200°)
to BBC West Midlands region - 66 masts.
regional news image
ITV Central News 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 2JT, 15km south-southwest (201°)
to ITV Central (West) region - 65 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Central (East)

Are there any self-help relays?

Burton (shobnall)Transposer1 km W Burton-on-Trent60 homes
CoalvilleTransposer18 km NW Leicester600 homes
SolihullTransposerLand Rover building400 homes

How will the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-137 Mar 2018

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 7 Sep 11 and 21 Sep 11.

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

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 200kW
com7(-10.5dB) 89.2kW
com8(-10.7dB) 86kW
LB(-20dB) 10kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-21dB) 8kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sutton Coldfield transmitter area

Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision†
Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1981Associated TeleVision
Jan 1982-Feb 2004Central Independent 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. Sutton Coldfield 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, 20 December 2013
Dave Lindsay

6:23 PM

Syd: Unfortunately they're not coming to Redruth transmitter, at least not before the end of 2018.

You should now have BBC Three HD and CBBC HD as they're on all transmitters because they're on the existing country-wide PSB3 multiplex.

If you are on high ground perhaps you can receive them from Caradon Hill. However, the transmission power will be, according to Digital UK, 11.2kW as against 100kW/50kW for the other channels. The multiplex from Caradon will start some time in 2014.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
6:29 PM

Thanks for the information Dave. Guess I'll have to wait until 2018 and stick with SD for now.

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Syd's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

6:45 PM

Dave Lindsay: With knowlegde of your location, I think we can safely say you're unlikely to be able to enjoy stable reception from Caradon Hill.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
6:53 PM

Dave Lindsay:
Yes Dave, you are correct as already tried to get reception from Caradon Hill. My aerial is only a small yagi which is OK for my proximity to Redruth. Even a crewdriver in the aerial socket works fine ! I may try a larger aerial in the spring/summer and see if I can get a signal from Caradon Hill.

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Syd's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

7:06 PM

Syd: A terrain plot is here:

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

The transmitter is 43 miles away and at 24 miles from you is Hensbarrow Beacon. Near to you there are more obstructions in the form of the terrain and objects on the ground.

For lots of information, see:

Aerials, TV Aerial and Digital Aerial

A wideband, or semi-wideband yagi aerial isn't as good on Group A channels, which Caradon Hill uses exclusively.

Rowridge Transmitter

Also, in the future Redruth could potentially use Group A channels, this being after 2018 when frequencies are replanned in order to clear more for use by mobile phone/broadband services.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB

10:34 PM

I understand what you are saying with regards to HD coverage in the uk. However, I've been checking the very latest viewing figures for both standard Freeview and HD versions of a particular programme being broadcast, and the viewing figures tell a different story. The latest viewing figures available are for the week ending December 8th. And the most viewed programme on ITV1 that week was " I'm a celebrity, get me out of here " Sunday show. It has a total viewing audience of 11,922,000. of this total, 1,731,000 watched it in HD. My argument is this, if HD coverage is 98.5 % of the Uk and equipment take up is above 50%, then why are viewers watching the tv in standard Freeview when they have the ability to watch the programme in HD? Either take up of Hd equipment is low, or the Uk public can't be bothered to watch it in Hd even if they have a HD compatible tv. Hence my opinion that the BBC etc need to get an advertising campaign going demonstrating the benefits of HD.

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11:01 PM

KEVIN GARDINER: I think this subject has been discussed elsewhere on this site, but I think your looking at current figures, rather than the trend.

Freeview HD TV's have been around for about 3 years, with the biggest growth (the bulk of TV's of 32in and above) coming in the last two years. Certainly, looking around my department tonight, there were only 3 TV's that did not have DVB-T2 tuners in them (I tried to tell a couple that they shouldn't buy one with just a Freeview tuner in it - what the the point?).

If you look at the replacement rate, 6-7 years is average, and it might be less than that. And of course even if you have a Freeview TV, a T2 tuner can be easily added via a PVR, etc. And while the main TV will tend to be the one with the latest features, as time goes on, that will be passed on to other people, end up in another room, etc.

HD really doesn't need advertising, just viewing. There might be people who say they can't notice the difference, but its very easy to see, and as time goes on, T2 tuners will be standard by default. In other words, by 2018, there will be 7 years of pretty much all T2 tuner equipment being bought, hence the likely 80% figure.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB
Saturday, 21 December 2013

4:08 PM

Dave Lindsey, could you read my two posts about my HD reception from Sutton Coldfield on page 103. I would be most grateful for your advice as to what may be going on, and if possible, how to cure it.

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8:25 PM

Kevin Gardener:
With regard to why many people who may have access to HD services don''t actually use them is a matter of audience/viewer inertia. Most non-specialist viewers are only interested in the programme *content* and are not concerned about how that content is delivered. As the vast majority of viewers what entertainment in its several forms they do not want to be bothered with whether it is available in SD or HD - just that it is as enjoyable as they expect. How that enjoyment is delivered is mainly of interest to technofiles, but the broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Sky, etc) keep on about also being on HD that some don't even care as they can enjoy it on the programme they are currently watching even if that is not an HD service!
To try to encourage the non-technical viewer to watch in HD when it is available (not all programmes are made in HD) the providers like Sky and Freeview try to get the receivers to display the HD version in the most advantageous position, so BBC1 (for example) is on Sky 101 and Freeview 101 and that may be in SD if the receiving equipment is not HD capable (or the Sky subscription does not include the HD premium) or it is in HD if that is available.
So figures about how many viewed in SD or HD are often misleading as rthey fail to take account of viewer inertia and preference. .

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB

9:39 PM

MikeP: I suspect that inertia might be another word for 'forgetfulness'. There must be many people who will have watched 'Strictly' tonight on BBC1, because thats what they normally watch it on.
Yes, they have a nice new HD equiped TV, but they cant remember the channel number, etc.

Of course, you have to remember that 'Strictly' looks pretty good even on my CRT, because its filmed in HD, and watching it in SD isn't a massive disappointment, so there isn't so much of a visual prompt.

I suspect that younger viewers are already watching HD by default, but older viewers are more likely to stick with SD out of habit.

Most HD PVR's will prompt the viewer if they want to record in HD if the HD alternative exists, but not everyone uses those functions.

There are also certainly customers I've come across who connected up the Freeview TV to an HD box, but kept the old scart (with or without the HDMI), which meant that the feed from the box is still SD. It was only last year that Panasonic changed its default imput settings to automatically start from the HDMI's - before then it went to AV1/2 as you scrolled through the sources - which means that a fair number of people are hitting source, and find an SD imput from an HD box, and thinking thats it.

The good news is that we all live and learn, and gradually watching in HD will be standard, not only becuase of the equipment, but because of the mindset.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB
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