All About The Hastings Freeview TV Transmitter, Frequencies, Channels & Polarisation
I recently wrote a blog on the Heathfield transmitter as this was the most common transmitter that I use for TV Aerial installations in Sussex. The next common transmitter I use is the Hastings TV transmitter so I thought I must write an article about this too. In this blog, I discuss TV channels and services that can be received from the transmitter, frequencies that it broadcasts on, best antennas to use for Hastings reception and the polarisation it broadcasts in among many other things. So let’s begin.
Before we go any further though, there are actually in fact two transmitters in Hastings. There is the one most commonly used that offers nearly all Freeview services and the Hastings Old Town transmitter that broadcasts Freeview Lite only. This blog is about the main (not actually a main, but we will come to that) Hastings transmitter.
Best TV Aerial/ Antenna For The Hastings(Full Freeview)Transmitter
I have already written a blog on best TV aerials that I recommend, but it’s also important to stress that the installation dictates the aerial that you install and not the other way around. What I mean by this is that it’s no good installing a ginormous high gain TV antenna is a high signal area/ near the transmitter which could overload your TV tuner and cause pixelation, likewise installing a log periodic aerial in a weak signal area is no good.
As the Hastings transmitter is a Group A transmitter, meaning that it transmits with the frequency range of 474-606 Mhz. I recommend Group A aerials as being a good choice for increasing signal gain and reducing the strength of unwanted signals without having the increase the physical antenna size. It’s also worth noting that as log periodic aerials give a very flat signal response across the whole frequency band, that these too are ideal for group A transmitters. A small log periodic aerial can often perform as well as a high-gain wideband aerial in the lower frequencies of the UHF as the high-gain wideband will favour the higher frequencies. A Group A log periodic aerial would be ideal, but ti be honest I rarely install there nowadays.
Specific Manufacturers/ Aerial Types For Hastings
Reputable TV aerial and antenna manufacturers include Vision, Antiference, Triax, Wolsey and Televes. I can recommend the following antenna types as a rough guide only, as there are many things that could affect which TV antenna should be used. The following aerials are all suitable for reception from the Hastings TV transmitter.
Strong signal areas – Optima K Band Log Periodic or similar
Medium signal areas – Vision 20 element Group A Log periodic
Weak Signal Areas – Antiference XG8A – Group A high-gain aerial
What UHF Aerial Group Is The Hastings Freeview Transmitter?
As already stated in above, The Hastings transmitter in East Sussex is a Group A transmitter. The Group A is UHF channel 21-37 and frequencies 474 Mhz-606 Mhz but the transmitter only broadcasts as high as UHF channel 30 (550 Mhz).
The Hastings transmitter has nearly always been a group A transmitter, with the exception of the early days of digital TV where multiplexes were broadcast on UHF channels 60 and 63(now in the 4G range), but the transmitter later moved these multiplexes back to the Group A.
Hastings Transmitter Broadcasting Frequencies & Channel Allocations
For information on specific frequencies that Hastings transmitter broadcasts on and channel Allocations please see below. Please note, that unlike old analogue signals, digital multiplexes on a single UHF channel will broadcast multiple TV channels and services. The information below will provide you with the info that you need to manual tune your TV.
Multiplex UHF Channel Frequency Polarisation (H/V) Power (Watts) Standard
PSB1 – BBCA 25 506Mhz V 1000W MPEG-2
PSB2 – DC+4 28 530Mhz V 1000W MPEG-2
PSB3 – BBCB 22 482Mhz V 1000W MPEG-4
COM4 – SDN 23 490Mhz V 1000W MPEG-2
COM5 – ArqA 26 514Mhz V 1000W MPEG-2
COM6 – ArqB 30 546Mhz V 1000W MPEG-2
To be able to tune and receive the TV channels on the PSB-BBCB multiplex on UHF channel 22, you will need a compatible Freeview HD TV or a tuner that can de-code DVB-T2 signals which uses MPEG-4 compression. Please note that if you're trying to receive the COM7 and COM8 multiplexes that the Hastings transmitter does not broadcast these, depending where you are in relation to the Hastings transmitter you may be able to pick these up from the Bluebell Hill Transmitter.
What Polarisation Is Hastings TV Transmitter?
It’s important when installing and aligning TV aerials that the polarisation is set correct, to get this wrong will see a huge reduction is received signals strength and quality. Most main transmitters (not all)broadcast in a horizontal polarisation and most relay transmitters (not all)broadcast in a vertical polarisation. There are exceptions to this like the Rowridge Transmitter which broadcasts in both.
The Hastings transmitter broadcasts in the vertical polarisation.
Signal Problems From The Hastings Transmitter
It’s important to note that the vast majority of signal problems that arise are at the reception end, meaning that the problem is usually something to do with faulty aerials, cables, equipment or outside interference or simply just a weak signal. This means that if you’re having problems with reception from the Hastings transmitter that you should have your aerial tested by a professional aerial installer.
Co-channel Interference in Hastings
One thing that can affect your TV signal quality from the Hastings transmitter is co-channel interference. This is an unwanted, interfering signal comes in on top of the signals that you’re trying to receive. This usually happens in periods of high pressure which is usually accompanied with hot weather, where signals from the continent drift in to the UK and interfere with TV signals. This usually only effects the coastal transmitters like Hastings. There is not a great deal that can be done about this as to try and filter the unwanted signal out would in fact filter out the signals you want also. The main remedy for such a situation would be to try and receive your TV signals from another transmitter like Heathfield.
There is another problem in some areas for the Hastings transmitter, there is a transmitter in Eastbourne that also broadcasts on UHF channels 23, 26 and 30 and causes co-channel interference on the corresponding channels from the Hastings transmitter, again an aerial alignment to the Heathfield transmitter or depending on your location the Eastbourne transmitter itself should resolve this issue.
Finally, in the build up to the digital switch-over in parts of East Sussex like Eastbourne, Hailsham, Bexhill it was common to align TV aerials to the Hastings transmitter in order to get Freeview early, even where this meant compromising on signal strength. Since 2012 when Heathfield completed it’s digital switch-over it is advised to re-align your TV aerials to this transmitter to improve signal reception. This may also mean having to remove any unnecessary amplification, filters and/or the fitting of attenuators which could themselves cause problems.
Hastings Transmitter Works
From time to time, transmitter works can cause a bit of disruption to receivers of Freeview. In recent years there has been quite a lot of transmitter works on the Hastings transmitter, like for the digital switch-over. This is usually only for a very short period of time and your TV reception usually corrects itself shortly afterwards. On occasion, you may need to re-tune your TV after transmitter works to get some channels back, if there has been a change is broadcasting frequencies. Viewers are normally warned with on screen messages on the TV before the happens.
Heathfield Transmitter Questions – In Blog Comments Section Only Please
If you have any questions arising from this blog please do POST THEM IN THE BLOG COMMENTS SECTION BELOW and I will get back to you ASAP.
I welcome telephone calls for those looking to book in an installation or a quote, but please bare in mind that we are a small business operating in Sussex/ Kent only. If you're having signal problems relating to reception from the Hastings transmitter this is something that we can help resolve for you.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL US WITH GENERAL QUESTIONS OR ADVICE – Our phone-lines are plagued with people looking for advice of some sort and it’s making our day to day running of our business very difficult. Our blog now has a huge following and I guess, that’s one of the downsides. The only way you will get a response to general support questions is by posting them in the Blog Comments section below.
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All that being said, I will help where I can. Until next time,
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