Freeview recordings stuttering when lights turned on


Active Member
I've just bought a DMR-EH60D to replace a Pioneer DVR-220S and external Panasonic Freeview decoder.

This problem occurs on both recorders and I wondered if there was an easy fix and if someone can tell me why the problem is occuring.

When recording or viewing a programme from Freeview and a table lamp is switched on the Freeview recordings/viewings pause or pixelate for a second and the sounds clicks. These are also recorded to DVD and HDD and are annoying when archiving material.

In the worst case scenario the sounds then becomes out of synch and can only be corrected by changing channels and going back to the original channel.

The table lamp is plugged into the right hand side of a double wall socket, with the DVD recorder and TV connected to a four way block which is plugged into the left hand side double socket. The four way block has surge protection and cost around £40.00.

The same problem occurs on both the Pioneer and Panasonic DVD recorders and only affects Freeview recording. Analogue recordings are not affected in any way.

I've tried relocating the lamp to other sockets in the room and the same problem occurs. Other table lamps also cause the same problem and all lamps have switches which require some force to switch on and off. The problem only occurs with table lights plugged into the wall sockets not the lights in the ceiling.

I presumed our wiring was iffy as the house is 30 years old but have passed on the Pioneer recorder and Panasonic Freeview decoder to a relative who lives in a newly built house, the same problem occurs when a closely located lamp is switched on.

Any ideas to resolve this and what is causing the problem?

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Most likely radio interference, caused either by a contact spark in the light switch or the power-on surge from low power bulbs.

You need to find out if the noise is injected at the aerial or in the cabling or any interconnects. Upgrading to better shielded cables may help, if you're in a low signal area it might need a better aerial. In reality you can expect to see some interference whatever you do, for most of us its passing cars or mopeds that do the damage. Freeview is an all or nothing proposition, what would cause a few speckles on analogue can toast the entire frame on digital.


Active Member
If you use low-energy lightbulbs these can call problems all the time they are on. I can't use my cordless phone within about 6 feet of an old Philips one but it's OK with new Osrams.

But as the effect is "transferrable" it sounds more like a signal strength problem.


Active Member
I've checked the signal strength indicator and it shows as maximum. We've also have had a new high gain ariael fitted.

Incidently the table lamps contain either a 40w bulb or a very low wattage halogen bulb.


Well-known Member
You are not the only one with this problem. I use surge protection on all my Hi Fi, and I still get it at odd times, particularly when table lights fed from the ring main are switched on and off. This with a big Freeview signal from an outside aerial fed with double screened co-ax. No solution from me, I'm afraid..
Any one else got a solution.?


Active Member
As lamp socket switches can be pretty low quality you could try using the switches on the wall sockets instead. Sometimes socket switches are just a short piece of brass rod that is held against two contacts or away from them.

Check the pins on the lamp plugs. Brass can get a black oxide coating after a time and this could cause poor contact in wall sockets, with arcing when you switch on and off (although this usually happens in the switches). Clean dirty pins with very fine emery paper. The contacts in the sockets look like springy bronze which doesn't seem to get affected as badly.

Assuming you are happy with minor wiring tasks you could also check the condition of the bared wire ends in the plugs and the lamp sockets, and re-strip them if necessary. I was told many years ago that the ends of wires should always be stripped double length and folded back on themselves to give a more secure fixing

Paul Shirley

Active Member
With a good signal and cabling it looks like noise injected through the power line. You need line-conditioning to block RF, not all surge protectors include it.

You may get some improvement fitting chokes to the power cable(s). A more extreme solution is a UPS, it will totally remove mains noise. I'd try to confirm its the power line before buying one though ;)
[EDIT] The UPS needs to be and 'online' or 'line interactive' type, one that feeds power from its battery - otherwise it won't isolate noise.

You don't get interference from the wall switches because the main lighting has a different circuit with enough cable length to the distribution board to suppress noise and wall switches are usually in metal boxes preventing direct RF radiating.


Active Member


Standard Member
Has this sorted the problem? I have the same problem and need to do something about it. I don't need a six way though, anybody found any smaller ones?

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