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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.

Are there any planned engineering works or unexpected transmitter faults on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) mast?

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 29/05/2023 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 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.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Transmitter engineering

4:23 PM

SUTTON COLDFIELD transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 13:43 today to 14:58 today. FM: Radio 1 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 today to 14:58 today, Radio 2 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 today to 14:58 today, Radio 3 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 today to 14:58 today, Radio 4 FM [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 140,888 posts xx

11:33 PM

I am once again baffled on how to solve our reception problems.

We use a wideband aeriel mounted in the loft (unable to put outside) this has been in the loft for many years providing reasonable reception, even after DSO the TV reported 70% signal on the SD channels. HD channels are ok but with a really high reported bit error rate. This is for the summer time.

However this winter, I think due to atmospheric pressure the signal has greatly reduced to the point where it breaks up to make it unwatchable. Couple this with the fact that there seems to be an increasing amount of trains (next to a train track) that go past seem to also affect the signal and a busy road.

Also making me confused is that the BBC multiplex on C43 has inferior reception to the other channels. I would have thought it would be worst at C46?

Is there anything I can do?
I have a couple of ferrite cores on the cable that go immediatly in and out of the distribution amp, will these do more bad that good? These were added in the hope of reducing the error on the HD channels but had no effect.

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Matthew's 22 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

11:48 PM

Matthew: I can't answer your question about whether the ferrite cores are doing any good or not (I'm not an installer), but I couldn't help notice that a lot (possibly most) aerials at your postcode point towards Waltham. This suggests that there is something which makes reception from Sutton Coldfield difficult.

It appears that the terrain blocks line-of-sight:

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

I also wonder if the industrial units adjacent to Clarendon Park may be an issue. Streetview photos, which were taken in May 2009, show an empty piece of land with a "to let" sign whereas satellite images show a large building on the site.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Dave Lindsay

2:59 AM

Matthew: Silly question: I note in previous postings you make mention of reception of some signals from Lichfield. If the aerial was aligned for best reception of channels from both transmitting stations have you tried re-aligning it solely for Sutton Coldfield?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Transmitter engineering

4:23 AM

SUTTON COLDFIELD transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 13:43 yesterday to 14:58 yesterday. FM: Radio 1 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 yesterday to 14:58 yesterday, Radio 2 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 yesterday to 14:58 yesterday, Radio 3 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 yesterda [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 140,888 posts xx

8:45 PM

Dave Lindsay: Thanks for the reply.

I have been informed that the building near the park has been there at least a couple of years, this may or may not affect my signal but is not something I can do anything about.

After DSO the aerial was adjusted to the correct position. It was pointed to Lichfield at the time as they were doing HD tests if I remember.

After going into the loft and adjusting the aerial this time I have been able to restore the signal levels to what they were previously. I can only conclude that the coax which is not secured had moved. So reception has been restored.

I have been reading posts from Kevin Gardiner, I seem to be experiencing a similar effect as to what Kevin is reporting. I also have a Samsung TV.
My SD channels are between 70-80% signal with 0 bit error rate.
My HD channels are:
C40+ (626.2MHz) bit error rate 1100-1180 out of 2000, signal strength jumping from 84-88%
C33 (570.0MHz) bit error rate 740-840 out of 2000, signal strength jumping from 88-92%
As my normal SD signal strength is between 70-80% signal I dont see value in using an attenuator and dont suspect that the television is being overloaded. However I may be wrong?
I thought I would add this information to hep both me and Kevin, for me this remains unsolved.

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Matthew's 22 posts GB

10:48 PM

Just thought that you may like to know this. I made a few test sample recordings in HD from the new Hd multiplex on frequency channel 33. It turns out that the data streams have a rather low bit rate. A recording of a programme I already have in my archive with a bit rate of over 8.000 kb was being transmitted at just over 4,000kbs on BBC 4 Hd. Not only is the low bit rate being applied to BBC4 Hd, but all the other channels on this multiplex are low bit rated also. Anyone else noticed this? And if so, why are they transmitting programmes at 50% data stream?

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10:51 PM

KEVIN GARDINER: It could be possible you are recording a programme that was not available in HD and is being just transmitted in MPEG4?

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Transmitter engineering

4:23 AM

SUTTON COLDFIELD transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 13:43 on 21 Jan to 14:58 on 21 Jan. FM: Radio 1 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 on 21 Jan to 14:58 on 21 Jan, Radio 2 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 on 21 Jan to 14:58 on 21 Jan, Radio 3 FM Weak Signal from 13:32 on 21 Ja [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 140,888 posts xx
Thursday, 30 January 2014

4:17 PM

Today, I did my usual channel re-scan and noticed that Aljazeera news have two channels on standard Freeview. One news channel in English on channel 83 and on in Arabic on channel 84. However, the Arabic version of the channel is only available from Sutton Coldfield and not from the local re-lay to me Brierley Hill. I wonder if it's the same case elsewhere, i.e., only available from the main transmitters?
On another matter, the local tv channel that is going to be broadcasting on frequency channel 51, channel 8 on standard Freeview, is not going to start broadcasting, at the earliest , till this coming Easter, that being April ,or as late as June from what I've read.

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