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JEREMY BILLINGHAM

Television Reception Specialist

Freeview - Freesat - SKY - DAB & FM​​ Radio


Droitwich, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Pershore
Kidderminster & Stourport

22/06/16
I received an interesting phone call this afternoon and have been assured that the fault regarding transmission and reception of the BBC channels via the Bromsgrove transmitter has been resolved.

It's just over three weeks since the BBC reception problems first started but I can also independently confirm since carrying out some reception tests of my own this evening all is now well with multiplex 26 and the BBC reception fault from Bromsgrove has indeed been fixed.

It was while working for a customer in Vines Lane, Droitwich who had lost all of her TV channels last Friday afternoon that I suddenly realised that the problem was not directly a fault of the Bromsgrove transmitter but it in fact was the fault of another transmitter near Telford called "The Wrekin"

There are three transmitters in the West Midlands that use the same frequency (multiplex 26) to transmit the BBC and although the Lark Stoke transmitter near Stratford, which is one of them, along with our local transmitter at Bromsgrove transmit their signals vertically I was certain that it was the horizontally polarised transmitter "The Wrekin" that was the cause of the problem, stopping many from watching the BBC.

Apparently these three transmitters have to be synchronised and locked together to stop them interfering with each other and for some reason and probably sometime during the work that was carried out on the 1st of June The Wrekin lost that lock which then created problems for thousands of TV Aerials that were pointing at Bromsgrove.

Slightly off the subject but worth a mention here as there's a connection with my news item above and a question that I've been asked a dozen or more times over the years, mostly from people living in and around Worcester with regards to TV reception from the Malvern transmitter.

"To improve reception why don't they put the transmitter on top of the Malverns instead of just half way up"?

The simple answer is - For all of the thousand plus TV transmitters that serve the UK to work in harmony together, their power output as well as their positioning & height are all super critical so placing even a relatively low powered TV transmitter (like the one at Malvern) a few hundred feet higher on the top of the hills could cause mass interference, with the potential to disrupt TV reception for millions in the Southern and Eastern parts of the UK.
14/06/16
​As of today Tuesday the 14th of June 2016, almost two weeks since work was carried out to upgrade the Bromsgrove transmitter there appears to be no end in sight or hope that standard definition BBC will return to the TVs affected by the current reception problem.

I again called the BBC TV / Radio investigation service this morning to check on any progress they may have made in identifying the fault but as in the previous calls I've made (See below) the person I spoke to informed me that there was no fault with BBC transmissions from Bromsgrove.

As I'm still receiving many telephone calls, text messages as well as messages here on my website regarding this problem I am acutely aware that this problem still persists and is affecting many hundreds or even thousands of TVs throughout Worcestershire.

Interestingly, I am now increasingly aware of a pattern that is emerging, when I call out to homes that have lost their BBC channels almost all of them have something wrong with their Aerial system, when I've been able to identify these, often small faults and correct them the BBC then returns to the TV.
To see two examples click HERE and scroll down to "Installer Fault 16" and or "DIY Fault 4"

Of course this still doesn't answer the question as to why this should happen now when everything was fine up until a couple of weeks ago and also why none of the other channels are affected but I guess that if any BBC engineer was to pay a visit to any of the homes I've been into over the last two weeks they could possibly point to the small faults that I've found, correct them and say "Look Mr Smith there is nothing wrong with the BBC transmission from Bromsgrove" and at that point with BBC One working perfectly on the TV in front of you, you'd have to agree.

Despite what I have written above I would strongly urge anyone reading this who is still having trouble receiving the BBC to log your complaint with the BBC TV & Radio investigation service, their number is - 0370 901 6789

In the meantime if the thought of missing another episode of Eastenders or much much worse a match from Euro 2016 etc then please give me a call, if I do then call out to you and I'm still unable to get you your BBC channels back I make NO charge what so ever.

Remember that if you have a HD TV then you should be watching all football matches and even Eastenders on the HD channels which are unaffected by the current problem. BBC One = 101, BBC Two = 102 etc.

Note - Midlands Today is not yet available on BBC One HD.

Mobile number - 07850 969 307 normal working hours

Home number - 01905 799 152 6pm to 8pm only
06/06/16
Today, Monday the 6th of June and still there is no resolution to the on-going reception problems of the BBC channels via the Bromsgrove transmitter.

Although I have gained a lot more information regarding this problem I'm still at a loss as to it's exact cause.

The problem seems to have developed on Wednesday the 1st of June when households were requested via an on-screen message to re-tune their TVs on or after this date.

Going by the amount of calls I've received it would suggest that after the re-tuning was completed many people reported that they had either lost their BBC channels altogether or are now experiencing pixilation / picture break-up.

As I continued to receive more and more calls and with the weekend fast approaching I made a call to the BBC Radio & TV investigation Service to inform them of a possible transmission fault on multiplex 26 at the Bromsgrove transmitter.

Despite having received up to a couple of dozen calls from people complaining of the same problem I was absolutely dismayed with regards to their attitude. They informed me that there was NO fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter.
I also informed them that a local TV shop in Droitwich "Brown & Fincher" had received even more calls than myself but this just fell on deaf ears and made no difference, they just repeated the same blurb...."There is no fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter"

As I felt that I was banging my head against a brick wall I made an initial call to Worcester News reporter "Sam Greenway" who seemed very interested in running a story should the problem not get resolved over the weekend.

I thought it only fair that I try the BBC Radio & TV investigation service one more time, so calling them this morning (Monday) I asked to speak to a manager and despite the fact that after a very long wait I did eventually get through to a duty manager the response was the same..... "There is no reported fault with the Bromsgrove transmitter" I suggested to them that, I, on behalf of a few dozen customers was reporting a fault, but as before I felt like I was wasting my time.

Speaking to Sam Greenway again from the Berrows newspaper group this afternoon proved much more successful as an article regarding this problem has now appeared online on the Worcester News website as well as going to print in many of Berrows newspapers. See that story HERE

The image above shows the display on my meter but a similar sort of signal condition display is often seen on many makes of TV, especially in the case of Panasonic as they also display signal strength and signal quality reception bars.

Interestingly the display above is taken from my customers Aerial/incoming signal which initially looks excellent until you notice the ERR 999 display at the bottom of the screen, also a glance at the unhappy face indicates a major signal corruption problem. The signal strength indication on most if not all TVs will only normally indicate, at best just two parameters and with this particular fault any signal indication on a TV screen will also suggest that the signal for the BBC channels from Bromsgrove is good, possibly making some people unwittingly think that they are in need of a new TV or TV Aerial.

I will keep working on trying to find out the cause and resolution to this fault until resolved but in the meantime remember that if you have a TV made in the last 3 years or so there is a chance that it's a HD receiving TV and the two most watched BBC channels are broadcast from an unaffected multiplex 30 on the Bromsgrove transmitter. For BBC1 punch in 101 into your remote and BBC2 - 102, if your TV just bounces back to the channel your watching then it's more than likely your TV is not HD.

Should the fault not get resolved in time for a particular programme you want to watch and you don't have a HD receiving set then please give me a call as there are sometimes things I can suggest over the phone that you can try that may restore BBC to your TV, failing that there is always a solution to the problem by making a rooftop adjustment to your TV Aerial either by re-positioning or re-aligning onto another, more reliable transmitter, but please don't try this yourself and end up making the same mistake as Rod Hull.

Mobile - 07850 969 307

Home - 01905 799152
01/06/16
I am aware of a transmission fault which is affecting the reception of most of the BBC channels being broadcast from the Bromsgrove transmitter.

If your TV Aerial is pointing towards this transmitter then poor reception or no reception of the BBC channels can be expected until the fault is rectified.

I have no further information regarding this current fault other than I would expect the problem to be resolved as a matter of urgency as there are thousands of households affected.

My advise for this particular fault goes against what I normally advise but if this problem persists then an automatic retune of your TV or Set Top Box may just return the BBC channels to your TV guide.

As mentioned above, I would normally advise AGAINST the retuning of TVs when you experience reception problems as this can often make the situation worse but on this occasion it may be the only way to get the BBC back. If the fault continues beyond this coming weekend then the tuning of your TV will NOT cure the problem and so for this reason I would recommend trying the auto re-tune only once or twice per day.

If you require any further information regarding this fault and or the tuning of TVs or any other reception fault for that matter then please don't hesitate to contact me via my mobile during the working day or at home up until 8pm each evening.

Mobile - 07850 969 307

Home - 01905 799152