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Poor Oxford Reception?
Digital Switchover (DSO) of the Oxford transmitter was completed on Tuesday 28th September 2011. All analogue TV services were switched off on this date and a digital re-tune of all Freeview equipment (including any Freeview TV and set top box) was required. After switchover the UHF channels carrying each Oxford digital multiplex changed to those given in the table below.
The Oxford TV transmitter (Beckley) provides DVB-T Freeview coverage to Oxfordshire (including Oxford, Banbury, Bicester, Abingdon, Didcot, Witney and parts of Aylesbury).
Fringe Freeview reception from the Oxford DTT transmitter is also possible in parts of Newbury and Milton Keynes and south west Northamptonshire using a high gain TV aerial and subject to favourable local terrain.
To check whether you are in the Oxford DTT transmitter coverage area enter your postcode at the Freeview site by clicking here. For long distance DX Freeview coverage predictions for the outer Oxford digital terrestrial TV service area click here.
UHF DVB-T multiplex channels and power levels for the Oxford digital TV transmitter are given in the table below.
|After Digital TV Switchover Date 28 September 2011 (DTT power increase to 75kW)|
|BBC A||BBC B HD||Mux D / ARQ B||Mux 2 / D3&4||Mux C / ARQ A||Mux A / SDN|
|UHF Ch53||UHF Ch57||UHF Ch55||UHF Ch60||UHF Ch59||UHF Ch62|
Final digital switchover DVB-T multiplex channel information is subject to change. The Oxford DTT channel numbers are listed above.
We recommend high gain Group CD aerial for Freeview reception from the Oxford TV transmitter although a wideband aerial will suffice. Some homes served by this south Midlands transmitter may need an aerial upgrade to get good Freeview reception if their aerial is in poor condition or single screened coaxial cable has been used.
If some Oxford Freeview channels are missing from your digital TV channel line-up, set top box retuning is recommended. Refer to the instruction manual of your Freeview box or TV and carry out a 'new Freeview installation' to delete the old (pre-digital switchover) channels and then re-scan and re-install the new frequencies.
I recently tested fringe area Oxford Freeview reception at my home in Greenham, Newbury, Berkshire using my Humax PVR 8000T - known for its high sensitivity DVB-T digital tuner.
The path from to the Oxford transmitter (28 miles distant) isn't at all favourable. Although my Pyle Hill, Newbury home is a respectable 110m above sea level (410ft ASL) and has a good view to the north, the path to the Oxford transmitter is totally obscured by the high ground of the Berkshire Downs and the Ridgeway - a mass of chalk rising to around 195m! To make matters worse, I only have an indoor wideband Set Top TV Aerial for Oxford which gives poor analogue TV reception. The aerial is located in a north facing first floor bedroom.
To give you some idea of what analogue TV reception is like on my set top aerial, Six TV at Oxford on UHF Channel 47 (which has now ceased broadcasting) was a very poor TV picture, as was Analogue channel 5 from Oxford which ran low power. Other analogue TV channels from Oxford had considerable picture noise, but were just about watchable.
Consequently, getting pre-DSO Oxford DVB-T reception in Newbury on this poor indoor TV aerial was always going to be a real challenge, given it doesn't even give decent analogue TV reception!
To my amazement my Humax PVR 8000T Freeview box actually managed to receive all but one of the Oxford DTT multiplexes on the set top TV aerial. Signal strength of most DTT multiplexes was around 25 - 30% and signal quality between 60 and 90% on the set top aerial here.
Very little picture break up was seen on any Freeview channel with the picture being perfect 99% of the time. The DTT multiplex that wasn't receivable was UHF Channel 51 (Mux A). With a high gain wideband TV aerial mounted on my roof, I would expect perfect DTT reception from the Oxford transmitter here. However, the town centre of Newbury is on considerably lower ground and Oxford DTT may not be possible there.
This test shows that the Humax PVR performs brilliantly in poor Freeview reception areas. Terrestrial Digital TV reception was far better than the equivalent analogue reception from the Oxford transmitter. The Humax Freeview box is therefore highly recommended for fringe DTT reception areas or for DX TV enthusiasts.
Some wideband aerials have lower signal gain than high gain Group CD aerials, so you may see lower signal quality readings on some digital multiplexes from the Oxford Beckley transmitter.
The information contained in this page is provided in good faith and is accurate to the best of our ability. No guarantees are offered concerning accuracy of information provided.