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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:

There are two main causes of this type of intermittent 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.

Freeview, aerials?
My Freeview box has no EPG, is blank on FIVE, ITV3, ITV4, ITV2+1, has no sound o1
I have now lost all signal can you tell me what the problem might be?2
My ITV/C4 Freeview channels have disappeared - what can I do? Is it my SCART ca3
What is the Inversion Effect and why does it effect my Freeview TV reception? 4
My high gain aerial can't get all the Freeview channels I expected5
In this section
Which free digital TV system will give me the most reliable reception?1
High pressure causing channel loss through "Inversion"2
Digital Region Overlap3
Freeview reception has changed?4
Two frequency interference 5
Single frequency interference6

Monday, 30 March 2015
John Couch
10:51 PM

We have had continual regular interference on freeview. Key factors -
- Always - a strip from top to bottom of the screen about 20% of the screen width - where there is continuous pixel activity blocking out the image. The rest of the screen is fine and shows image. However sometimes the band broadens to up to 40% of the screen.
- During interference it can sometimes stop for a minute or two and then restarts
- usually happens at weekends after mid morning
- or mid to late evening on any day
- TV can run fine for an hour or more and then the interference starts.
- some days we have no problem
There is no mobile phone or other home based signal that could cause this as far as I can determine since our house is about 150 - 200 yards from any other home and I have shut down internet and mobile phones to try to isolate the cause.
I must suspect possible transmission interference from outbound signals - it is almost like "radio ham" interference of old.
Any suggestions?


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John Couch's 3 posts xx
11:26 PM

John Couch: We dont have a postcode, which might help.

Single source interference is the most likely cause - water heaters etc? Mobiles wouldn't cause a problem, but the power supply to a DEC phone might. Its generally the timer or power supply which causes interference.

There is one other thing. If your using a digibox attached to a TV, then the signal is fed from the aerial socket, to the box, and then to the TV via scart. My old CRT TV has various scarts/RCA's into a scart switcher, including the DVD player, and the PVR runs via a decent quality set of RCA's. However, I get interference on the DVD (dark ghosting bands across the screen) and sometimes the PVR as well. The scart switcher and most of the cables into it are not well shielded (and a dodgy scart imput into the TV means I'm not touching the cable), and this leads to interference. A better scart cable or aerial lead might help.

Of course the other thing could be the TV itself...

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MikeB's 1,309 posts Gold Gold xx
Tuesday, 31 March 2015
12:10 AM

John Couch: Although the fact of your home being relatively isolated from your nearest neighbour is inclined to eliminate the possibility of the interference entering your receiver via the aerial, therefore it could be caused by mains borne interference, something which you can check out with the aid of a small AM / FM portable radio using the following procedure.

Although portable radio's with an LW facility are better for this type of test, however medium wave or VHF FM types can still be used. The procedure being to tune the radio to the top end of the band where no transmissions take place followed by turning up the volume until background noise is heard, finally positioning the radio close to a socket near to the incoming mains, as should any interference be entering your household via the mains, its presence will be known about by a loud ripping type noise coming through the radio.

By the way, if using an FM radio, make sure that you fully extend its telescopic aerial.

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jb38's 6,379 posts Platinum Platinum xx
John Couch
12:21 AM Bingley

Thanks Mike
This may help a bit:
Post code is BD16 1UH
Water - central heating which is always on
DEC - we do use a number of wireless phones through the house and have for many years. The nearest unit is about 20 ft away (living on its battery) and the main phone power supply is two rooms away from the TV
We don't use a digibox, the TV (Toshiba) has its own inbuilt freeview . The signal is run from an external multi-feed aerial direct to the TV via plug in connector.
We have no other kit connected to or near the TV since we use it the kitchen.
We had no problem for several years and then this all started

Maybe I need a new TV ?? :-(

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John Couch's 3 posts xx
John's: Freeview map terrain plot frequency data R&TI Service digitaluk trade DAB coverage
John Couch
12:26 AM


I suspect it is not mains driven since it is occasional, sporadic, and mainly at week ends or the evening. If mains induced I would have expected it to happen soon after switch on and regularly. Nevertheless, will check because anything will help.


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John Couch's 3 posts xx
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