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

First published
on on UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps52.600,-1.835 or 52°36'1"N 1°50'5"Wsa_postcodeB75 5JJ

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. Click to recheck [+] is loading, please wait...

The symbol shows the location of the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter which serves 1,870,000 homes.

Other mapstxdabSutton Coldfield DABtxradioSutton Coldfield AM/FMtxregionSutton Coldfield TV regiontx1BBC West Midlands
tx3Central (West micro region)txdabxxDAB in BirminghamtxradioxxAM/FM in Birmingham

Is the transmitter output the same in all directions?

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What do the colours on the map mean?

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.

List by multiplex|List by channel number|List by channel name|See terrain plot

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.

MuxAerial positionFrequencyHeightModeWatts
 horizontal max
C43 (650.0MHz)433m64QAM 8K 2/3
24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
1 BBC One West Midlands, 2 BBC Two England, 7 BBC Three, 9 BBC Four, 120 CBBC, 121 CBeebies, 130 BBC News, 131 BBC Parliament, 301 BBC Red Button 1, plus 13 others

 horizontal max
C46 (674.0MHz)433m64QAM 8K 2/3
24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
3 ITV (Central (West micro region)), 4 Channel 4 Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5 Part Network ads, 6 ITV 2, 13 Channel 4+1 Midlands ads, 14 More 4, 15 Film 4, 28 E4, 33 ITV +1 (Central west),

 horizontal max
C40+ (626.2MHz)433m256QAM 32KE 2/3
40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
Channel icons
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 BBC Three HD, 123 CBBC HD, plus 1 others

 horizontal max
C42 (642.0MHz)433m64QAM 8K 3/4
27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
10 ITV 3, 20 Drama, 25 Dave ja vu, 26 ITV Be, 27 ITV 2 +1, 30 5*, 31 5USA, 34 ITV 3 +1, 37 Quest, 44 Channel 5 +1, 55 Channel 5 +24, 61 True Entertainment, 62 ITV 4 +1, 66 CBS Reality, 122 CITV, plus 21 others

 horizontal max
C45 (666.0MHz)433m64QAM 8K 3/4
27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
 BBC Red Button 2, 11 pick, 12 Dave, 17 Really, 29 E4+1, 32 Movie Mix, 38 Quest +1, 41 Food Network, 42 Travel Channel, 46 Challenge, 48 Movies4Men, 63 Community Channel, 68 truTV, 69 truTV +1, 132 Sky News, 242 Vintage TV, plus 11 others

 horizontal max
C39+ (618.2MHz)433m64QAM 8K 3/4
27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
18 4Music, 19 Yesterday, 21 VIVA, 24 ITV 4, 45 Film 4 +1, 47 4seven, 58 BT Sport 1 (not free), 59 BT Sport 2 (not free), 90 CBS Action, 133 Al Jazeera English, 135 RT English , plus 21 others

 horizontal -13dB
C51 (714.0MHz)433mQSPK 8K 3/4
8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
Channel icons
from 31st October 2014: 8 City TV Broadcasting, 67 Chart Show TV, 125 Pop, plus 1 others

 horizontal -14.9dB
C33 (570.0MHz)433m256QAM 32KE 2/3
40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
Channel icons
106 BBC Four HD, 107 BBC News HD, 108 Al Jazeera HD, 109 Community Channel HD, 110 Channel 4+1 HD, 111 4seven HD, 124 CBeebies HD, 134 Al Jazeera Arabic, plus 1 others

 horizontal -13.8dB
C35 (586.0MHz)433m256QAM 32KE 2/3
40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
Channel icons
starts sometime during 2014:

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
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
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?

aerial groupVHFB EB EEB E KB E KW

orange background for multiplexes names moregreen background for transmission frequencieslilac background for power levels in watts800MHz band: 4G mobile to start in 2013700MHz band: possible 4G in 2019 more600MHz band: new or moved digital TV services more
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W
Italics for analogue, digital switchover was Wednesdays 7th September and 21st September 2011.

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

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 200kW
LB(-20dB) 10kW
com8(-20.8dB) 8.3kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-21dB) 8kW
com7(-21.9dB) 6.4kW

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.

Your comments: most recent posts are at the bottom

firstFirst comments prevEarlier comments  ◊  Later commentsnext Latest commentslast

Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

Chris Onion
Sunday 22 January 2012 6:32PM Derby

Is there a problem today because of the weather. All the channels on 674 (ITV1 in particular but all the others on that frequency) and 642 seem to have signal quality down to 15% and a signal strength of about 25%? The picture keeps freezing and pixelating and then states the Freeview signal is of twoo poor a quality. Have disconnected and reset the box but the fact the BBC isgnals are fine, I can't see it being a problem with my equipment or surely all the challens would have some sort of interference.

It is a pain as the programs are impossible to watch.

This seems to be happening a lot since the digital switchover.

We have had new aerials - the HA came out and put them in. Seriously why on earth can't they sort these problems out - isn;t that what we pay TV licences for????

Saturday 28 January 2012 11:31PM Pershore

Postcode WR10 2BP. Tuned to the Sutton Coldfield transmitter, and signal strengh is an average 51% on nearly all channels. What I want to know is why, when watching some channels, the sound and vision go completely out of syncro? It starts off OK but after a while you can sense the syncronisation is out of phase with the picture. Switching channel off, then back on again solves the problem for a while, but surely one should not need to do this to digital TV. Never had this problem with analogue, and yet they say digital is better. If I set my PVR to record a programme whilst I am in bed, how can I correct the sound syncronisation? At the end of the programme it would be out by as much as 5 minutes.

barry lloyd
Tuesday 31 January 2012 7:15PM

i have a loft aerial that was fitted brand new about 12 months ago,my lounge TV is analogue and i have a PVR hard drive recorder,for some reason over the last 2 months it keeps freezing, and will not let you record or change channels,i have sent it to a company who specialise in these PVRs, and they tell me there is nothing wrong with it,if i connect it to my bedroom TVs [we have two] both with freeview built in it works fine, can any one tell me what to do im at my wits end.

c/s GBXZ
Tuesday 31 January 2012 8:49PM

barry lloyd:

A couple of main things spring to mind -

1/ THE USUAL CULPRIT IN MOST HOUSES - Overheating in the lounge, but not in the bedroom??? Allow plenty of ventilation around and under it. Don't put it in a cabinet for example, even if it's an open-fronted one (+on top of a TV is a _very_ bad place, both old CRT/glass TVs (heat, strong magnetic fields and static) and new "flat" ones (mainly heat)

To improve ventilation, stand it on 4 empty matchboxes or similar small blocks and make sure the vents aren't blocked with dust.

NEVER cover things like this with ANYTHING. Even a TV remote left on top can make some consumer-grade kit overheat nowadays.

If it lasts longer when better ventilated, prove it by blowing a desk fan over it for a few hours and see if it still locks up.

2/ Some PVR things might get very confused if can't get it's channels correctly - a bad signal corrupting the EPG can sometimes cause the software to hang (*)
Check your wiring - coax leads to the wall aerial socket for example.

Other factors:

3/ occasionally (quite rare nowadays) florescent lights interfere with the infra-red remote control codes. Sometimes the remote control command meant for the TV or VCR/DVD/HIFI might get confused and cause a software hang (*) This fault sucks.
To try to rule this out, tape a piece of card over the infrared sensor on the PVR t shade it from the room light but NOT from the remote. This is almost unheard of nowadays but I've had to do this for a couple of mates recently.

4/ Power glitches can cause lockups - things like kettles, washing machines/dryers, welders and other heavy loads on the same ring-main sockets can cause glitches that may not affect upstairs so much. A "transient protector" can sometimes help, but in some cases a house rewire is in order (!). Very drastic but I have seen it.

5/ Some weird interaction due to leakage currents from the various switch-mode PSUs in the TV/DVD/VCR/etc etc downstairs. Try a different socket, or try a 4-way or 6-way strip and plug everything into it (eg: all TV kit on one socket) to see if it makes a difference. This problem is sometimes manifested by a little electrical "tickle" shock when you plug aerial and audio cables into set-top boxes and PVR/DVD kit whist plugged in, even if on standby. It's a nightmare to explain to a layman, never mind sort out.

(*) this is bad programming, the software _shouldn't_ "lock up" on errors like this. Dream on.

My first guess is heat/ventilation problem, given a change in room helps. Next guess is a confused EPG dues to bad connection in aerial lead downstairs

Good luck.

c/s GBXZ
Tuesday 31 January 2012 8:53PM

barry lloyd:

also, bear in mind that loft antennae are _always_ a bad compromise, the fact that there's more signal upstairs due to a shorter cable run than to downstairs may be causing the software to get confused, see above ^

Tuesday 31 January 2012 11:19PM

barry lloyd: Firstly, as your query concerns a reception issue then you really have to state your location and with this preferably in the form of a post code for accuracy, as this would not only enable the freeview signal strength expected at your location to be assessed but also details the transmitting station that covers your area.

Secondly, maybe you could indicate the model number of the PVR in question, as there is a number of these devices in existence that has problems dealing with certain characteristics concerning the transmitting channels being used by some stations.

Saturday 18 February 2012 12:57PM

During the recent cold spell, I again had trouble receiving just one of the Muxes (COM6) in Great Barr Birmingham.

This is exactly as before the power-up when the signals were low. Now they are high the problem persists, on different Muxes, exactly as I predicted they would do, it is interference from more distant broadcast sites is all that has changed.

As I have said before, no matter how well-spread the channel frequencies are around the country, those using the same frequency will interfere at some times during the year. The whole concept of freeview has this inglorious fault that would never have occurred if the powers-that-be had ignored the whole idea ofground-based broadcast and gone for renting a satellite.

Sunday 19 February 2012 5:31PM Birmingham

David: Fully appreciating and up to a point agreeing with the comments made by yourself regarding Freeview reception, as although being extremely good in a high percentage of areas it will however never have the reliability of Freesat, basically because of it (Freeview) being terrestrial based thereby being open to suffer from interference from a variety of sources, many of totally out with the control of the user.

Freesat reception on the other hand being almost perfect for about 99.9% of the time because of its signal being much less vulnerable to being interfered with, and with about the only thing that can being a really heavy thundery downpour. But the reason for my posting is more from a curiosity angle as on checking back "some" of your previous postings and the problems mentioned therein, its the content of your most recent December posting that has made me curious as to what form of aerial system you are using?

My reason for asking being, that I notice you appear to be located at only about 5 / 7 miles away from the massively high powered Sutton Coldfield transmitter, meaning that unless your location is severely screened from the mast in some way then this type situation just invites signal overloading problems to be experienced in the receiving equipment being used "if" its coupled to an aerial system that just a little too efficient, this effect being made worse if the TV / boxes tuner is of the better and more sensitive type.

I say this based on your comment about the "cheepo" third box working perfectly where the more expensive types didn't, this somewhat suggesting that the signal overloading problem referred to may well be applying in your case, as these less costly boxes do not generally have sensitive tuners and as such much less prone to signal overloading problems, this fact making them "appear" as being better.

I do also realise that your entire area is suggestive of one where difficulties with reception is likely to be in evidence, basically because if it wasn't then there wouldn't be the necessity for the area to be covered by so many relays with 6 being seen within 6 miles, one of virtually next door to the test code used of B43 5EL.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that any signal received slightly over the top power wise can give "exactly" the same symptoms to one on the weak side, and which also in many cases can result in a false indication of low been seen when strength checking, another point being that although muxes are all located on the same mast (albeit at different heights) its not necessarily the case that they will all be received at anywhere near the same level even although their rated powers might well be the same, but a lot of the problems I see mentioned are ones usually always associated with signal strengths of a magnitude that are on the point of causing instability in a receivers tuner.

Its just that at 6 miles or so away from Sutton Coldfield the signal should be so strong to the extent of being immune to a certain extent from interference originating from distant stations, and so I would be interested in knowing details about your aerial set up, as well as knowing if you can receive a workable signal if you tried a test using a set top aerial of the non amplified type?

Monday 20 February 2012 1:45PM

jb38 thank you for your thoughtful reply. You are quite right, despite being 6-7 miles from Sutton Coldfield, there is no line-of-site for me. I am in a dip, and what may be worse, there are a line of power pylons marching away over the hill in direct line towards the SC mast.

All my neighbours have aerials pointing in several directions (as you would guess) and many had aerial upgrades mounted some 15-20 feet above their roofs during the pre-switchover period, but I did not. My wide-band aerial is only about 2-3 feet above the roofline, and gave good reception except during Winter months, when 1, sometimes 2 muxes would break up.

After switchover, nothing much changed except the digibox readings went up from roughly 20-30% level to roughly 70-85 % level. Reception is just as before, generally very good, with occasional lack of picture on just one mux and that only during the coldest periods only.

Interestingly, one can watch the 'quality' reading when a channel is breaking up, and can see it slowly pulsing over a few seconds in a manner that is possibly symptomatic of a distant signal at the same frequency drifting in and out of phase.

I will try to test using just a set-top aerial as you suggest. My aerial feeds three sets, and all I have tried so far is a 12db attenuator before the better sets, which made no difference at all.

Please post a question, answer or commentIf you have Freeview reception problems before posting a question your must first do this Freeview reset procedure then see: Freeview reception has changed, Single frequency interference, and Freeview intermittent interference.

If you have no satellite signal, see Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fault'

If you have other problems, please provide a full (not partial) postcode (or preferably enter it in box at the top right) and indicate where if aerial is on the roof, in the loft or elsewhere.

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