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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
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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.

MuxH/VFrequencyHeightModeWatts
PSB1
BBCA
 H max
C43 (650.0MHz)433mDTG-3200,000W
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

PSB2
D3+4
 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)433mDTG-3200,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV (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 ITV +1 (Central west),

PSB3
BBCB
 H max
C40+ (626.2MHz)433mDTG-6200,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV 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

COM4
SDN
 H max
C42 (642.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 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 MAX, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

COM5
ArqA
 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 8 others

COM6
ArqB
 H max
C39+ (618.2MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
Channel icons
 FreeSports, 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 Aljazeera English, plus 19 others

LB
 H -13dB
C51 (714.0MHz)433mDTG-1210,000W
Channel icons
from 31st October 2014: 7 Big Centre TV,

com7
 H -3.5dB
C55 (746.0MHz)433mDTG-689,200W
Channel icons


DTG-3 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-6 256QAM 32KE 2/3 40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
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
VHFB E TB E TB E TB E K TW T
C4BBCtvwaves
C33com7
C35com8
C36LOCAL2
C39+ArqBArqB
C40BBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBC2waves+BBCBBBCB
C42SDNSDN
C43ITVwavesITVwavesITVwavesBBCABBCA
C45ArqAArqA
C46BBC1wavesBBC1wavesBBC1wavesD3+4D3+4
C48_local
C50tv_offC4wavesC4wavesC4waves
C51tv_offLB
C55tv_offcom7tv_off
C56tv_offCOM8tv_off

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.

Comments
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
R
Roy
8:04 AM

Hi both. I was referring to what it says on this very page Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) Full Freeview transmitter | free and easy namely 'Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) by 30 June 2020' with the crossed-out logo against Com7 & Com8 and against C55 & C56 where they currently reside. The linked page Rebuilding Freeview High Definition from 2019 onwards | free and easy states that Com7 & 8 'Expire 21 June 2020' which I took to mean scheduled rather than just speculated.

I find Channel4+1 HD and 4seven HD which reside on Com7 very useful, as repeats of a major channel are useful when the major broadcasters put out their prime content 8pm-10pm and some (BBC channels) may not repeat even once. So I've clung to the Com7 channel despite a power reduction this year (I'm 30 miles from the transmitter) with more reduction to come I think I read. The Interim 209Mbps quote was again taken from the second page I mention. What I was getting at in my post was whether there was going to be a temporary (or even permanent) loss of these C4 HD repeat channels during these rearrangement phases.

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Roy's 18 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

1:00 PM

Roy:

As mentioned by StevensOnln1, UHF55&56 are in the gap between Uplink & Downlink allocations for 5G. It is the rest of the 700MHz band that will be cleared by June 2020. I'm afraid there are many listings on various pages on this site that are wrong and information that has not been fully updated by the site owner to reflect the current situation, there are over 1100+ transmitters in the UK. Some main transmitters have already lost COMs 7&8 as has been mentioned in part due to technical aspects of SFNs, but mainly due to the fact that existing equipment (mainly pre-DSO AFAIK) has to be repurposed for the new SFN allocations and it's not always technically possible and/or cost effective for Arqiva to do this.
The current allocation (gap) is planned for 5G SDL for which there is yet no proposals by the mobile operators AFAIK.
As you know there are no other HD muxes other than BBCB on which there is no more room. So until there is some future proposal by Arqiva, or intervention by HMG/OFCOM (or new agreements resulting from CEPT proposals) it's all speculation.

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Chris.SE's 3,089 posts GB
R
Roy
1:35 PM

Chris.SE - so if I understand you correctly, that switchoff info for Com7 & 8 may be wrong? And that Channel 55 & 56 (on which they reside) is not under threat from 5G for some time? If so, I'm hoping that gives a stopgap until the later stages create more TV stations via higher bps transmissions. Assuming that's correct, would you know if Ch55&56 will for now retain their current power output? They were reduced earlier this year, presumably interference to something else was the issue, but for outlying areas any more reduction becomes serious.

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Roy's 18 posts GB
S
StevensOnln1
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:10 PM

Roy: Nothing has been formally announced regarding what will happen with COM7 & COM8 beyond next year. The centre gap frequencies are due to be auctioned by Ofcom to the mobile operators for 5G SDL (as mentioned by Chris.SE) next year, however it is not expected that whichever mobile operator(s) end up with those frequencies will make use of them for some time (SDL is additional downlink capacity which can only be used in conjunction with another pair of downlink and uplink frequencies), hence Ofcom have said that COM7 & COM8 can continue to broadcast on those frequencies until the mobile operators are ready to use them. Reductions in broadcast power have taken place at various transmitters in order to reduce interference, whereas other transmitters have increased their output power in order to overcome additional losses at higher frequencies.

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StevensOnln1's 3,376 posts GB
R
Roy
2:39 PM

StevensOnln1 - OK thanks. A slightly uncertain picture but at least some hope that Com7 & Com8 may limp along for a while yet. I'll have to keep a close eye on Sutton Coldfield's 'events' schedule to see if they'll be reducing it further.

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Roy's 18 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:51 PM

Roy:

1st, this may be of interest - today, More4+1 has moved from BBCB/PSB3 mux to COM7. So some space on BBCB - speculation!

2nd, to follow any changes at Sutton Coldfield (look for it in the detail) -

Go to Freeview | All your favourite TV shows, all in one place and all for free scroll down the page to the box "Check Freeview at my home" and enter your postcode and house number/name. Scroll down the new page where available channels are shown in "tiles". Below the initial block there is a "down arrow" if not all are displayed. If you are only interested in a particular group of channels click on that button on the top row.

If you scroll down just after half way down the page, there is a button "Detailed view". If you click on that it will show the predicted reception of transmitters and multiplexes that may be receivable at your location on another new page. Transmitter distances and aerial directions etc are given at the top of that page.

If you hover over any given channel number a pop-up box will show you the transmission details, power etc.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,089 posts GB
R
Roy
7:16 PM

Chris.SE - I noticed More4+1 had moved recently when my PVR failed to record it or show any EPG. I'm sure retune notices used to appear automatically? Certainly there seem to be some obscure channels which I struggle to believe attract any real audience. At the risk of being controversial (or showing my ignorance) I do wonder if these tiny audience ones couldn't be grouped on the more problematic Muxes? Anyway, the link you provide shows that on 13 November, Sutton Coldfield will again hack at the power of Ch55 +Ch56, reducing those 'served' by either by another 5%. Feels like the 'death of a thousand cuts', hence my original post. I did recently try a modern aerial fitted in the loft (seeking to avoid the cost of an installer going on the roof) but despite being Group T and therefore better suited, the overall signal strength was less than my old one outside. It would be nice know their plans better, before shelling out for a professional install that might be not required in 2 years time when all settles down (maybe), but it looks like no one really does.

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Roy's 18 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

8:02 PM

Roy:

I'm not sure what you looked at, but there is no change to the power being transmitted by COMs 7&8 at Sutton Coldfield between now and 2020 and thereafter on current planning, they remain at 56.162kW.
You may be affected by reception changes at your location due to other transmitters moving their COMs 7&8 muxes to UHF55&56, but as I don't have your postcode, I can't confirm that one way or the other.

Reception using a loft aerial will normally be worse than an external one (using like for like aerials) due to the attenuation produced by the roof, often more when wet. A Group T will be fine in years to come. It's always possible that you'd need a filter for 5G if there's a very close 5G transmitter in your line of sight whatever aerial you use (if 4G experience is anything to compare with).

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Chris.SE's 3,089 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

8:04 PM

Forgot to say, I did have a screen pop-up today saying that Programme mapping had changed .....

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Chris.SE's 3,089 posts GB
R
Roy
9:49 PM

Chris.SE - OK, so it's not power but other factors at work reducing the reception area. Shame anyway. Yes I was fully aware a loft aerial was less sensitive than a roof one, it was a cheap gamble, although if they work they're spared the weathering and wind blowing them over the years, sunlight cracking the coaxial, water penetration, birds sitting etc. I'd hoped a modern aerial might outweigh the loss of sensitivity from being behind the tiles. So far it hasn't, though it might as you say perform better in future. I do have a pair of 4G filters (top and bottom) fitted when Freeview eventually sent some engineers out after I initially complained of poor reception. They thought a nearby mast was interfering, and the filters did help. It's just coverage of 55 & 56, for whatever reason, continues to decline.

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Roy's 18 posts GB
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