Freeview signal and the weather




I have Freeview and a Humax 9200T PVR - it all works great.

I've never been able to get ITV and Channel 4 great - the picture and sound occasionally breaks up, but on the whole its been OK.

I am in Chelmsford Essex and use the Crystal Palace transmitter - which is a long way away!

Recently and for the past 2 weeks or so the ITV and CH4 reception has been no good at all and unwatchable?

So whats changed? Will it change back??

I guess it something to do with the weather or sun spots? Is that what generally effects Freeview and other tranmissions?



Prominent Member
Is Crystal Palace really the best transmitter to use in Chelmsford?


Standard Member
This has interested me as well since I had poor analogue reception with ITV in one aerial position, and channel 4 in a second. I wondered how bad it would be on digital when we had our plasma Panny recently.

The short answer was that some channels were unwatchable; the built in signal strength meter showed between 0 and 3 with the message “No signal” from time to time.

Now, the interesting thing with all this is that both analogue and digital signals are greatly affected by the weather. In my case I am fairly certain that a row of tall trees about 400-500 metres away, when they get wet, and the wind blows, interfere with the signal. This happens every time in wet and windy weather.

My solution was to buy a Televieves very high gain aerial (not sure of the spelling now!), and mounted it on a 10 foot mast on the chimney. This made a huge difference. The wettest windiest weather now makes the signal strength drop to about 5 with a very occasional glitch on the picture. Normally, and in mild wind/wet, gives a signal strength of 9.

Sunspot activity does have an affect, but it is usually to make signals from stations a long way away “bounce” to your radio or TV. This could interfere with a signal you would normally watch giving herring-bone patterns on the picture with analogue signals. I don’t know what it would do with digital.



Established Member
i also suffer bad reception thru my aerial during bad weather.

Hair driers, washing machines, dyson they also interfere!

i recently set up an aerial for a friend in ingatestone, the best reception we managed getting was with the aerial pointing about 90degrees different to all the other aerials on the street (which i assume are pointing at Crystal Palace). His freeview reception is much better than mine and very rarely stutters.

Perhaps there is another mast we should be using?


I believe there is an aerial at Sudbury which should be closer to your area than the one at Crystal Palace.

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Check which way any recently installed aerials in your neighbourhood are pointing.

Chris Muriel, Manchester

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