DVB-T scandvb frequencies for Sandy Heath


If you use the Linux Video Disc Recorder (VDR) software on your PC/server, you may have found it difficult to keep on top of the constant re-tunes. The channel list ends up in a mess as VDR finds newly moved MUXes and it becomes difficult to find the programme you want to record. Detailed below is the most up-to-date DVB-T MUX transmitter frequencies for Sandy Heath and a guide to creating a channels list for VDR.


This version of uk-SandyHeath supercedes the file in the dvb-apps RPM found in /usr/share/dvb/dvb-t. I will endeavour to update the file after any re-tunes of the multiplexes. Please note: This file does not contain the DVB-T2 High-Def MUX.

# UK Sandy Heath DTT multiplex frequencies
# National Grid Reference: TL2036249485
# Operator: Arqiva
# Mast height: 244 metres
# Aerial type: W - Wideband - caution 4G QRM may occur on 800MHz.
# Aerial polarisation: Horizontal
# All power-levels are shown as Effective Radiated Power (ERP)
# Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Heath_transmitting_station

# Multiplex frequencies are subject to change. Ofcom's proposed local
# TV may operate from this transmitter.

# Information correct as of 22nd April 2013.

# T freq bw fec_hi fec_lo mod transmission-mode guard-interval hierarchy

# Band IV Ch.27 - 522.0MHz - 180kW
# 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
T 522000000 8MHz 2/3 NONE QAM64 8k 1/32 NONE

# PSB2: D3+4
# Band IV Ch.24 - 498.0MHz - 180kW
# 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
T 498000000 8MHz 2/3 NONE QAM64 8k 1/32 NONE

# Band V Ch.51 - 714.0MHz - 170kW
# 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
T 714000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/32 NONE

# COM5: ArqA
# Band V Ch.52 - 722.0MHz - 170kW
# 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
T 722000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/32 NONE

# COM6: ArqB
# Band V Ch.48 - 690.0MHz - 170kW
# 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
T 690000000 8MHz 3/4 NONE QAM64 8k 1/32 NONE

You can download the file here: uk-SandyHeath.

The DVB-T2 High-Def MUX is transmitting with the following (incomplete) details:

# Band IV Ch.21+ - 474.2MHz - 180kW
# 256QAM 32KE 2/3 40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
T 474200000 8MHz 2/3 NONE QAM256 32KE ??

If you have a DVB-T2 tuner and can complete the details for this listing, do please drop me an email.


You will need to use the scandvb application to prepare a channels.conf for VDR. This is my method for creating the list.

If you have VDR running, you will need to stop the service to allow scandvb to use the tuner card. Use service vdr stop or systemctl stop vdr.service depending on your version of Fedora/Red Hat.

Use the following command to scan for TV channels: scandvb -o vdr -u -t 1 uk-SandyHeath > channels.conf (this assumes you are in the same directory as uk-SandyHeath).

As the scan runs, you will see something like this:

scanning uk-SandyHeath
using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
initial transponder 522000000 0 2 9 3 1 0 0
initial transponder 498000000 0 2 9 3 1 0 0
initial transponder 714000000 0 3 9 3 1 0 0
initial transponder 722000000 0 3 9 3 1 0 0
initial transponder 690000000 0 3 9 3 1 0 0
>>> tune to: 522000:I999B8C23D999M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:
0x0000 0x104d: pmt_pid 0x0064 (null) -- BBC ONE (running)
0x0000 0x10bf: pmt_pid 0x00c8 (null) -- BBC TWO (running)
0x0000 0x10c0: pmt_pid 0x012c (null) -- BBC THREE (running)
0x0000 0x11c0: pmt_pid 0x0190 (null) -- BBC FOUR (running)
0x0000 0x1200: pmt_pid 0x02bc (null) -- CBBC Channel (running)
0x0000 0x1240: pmt_pid 0x0320 (null) -- CBeebies (running)
0x0000 0x1100: pmt_pid 0x01f4 (null) -- BBC NEWS (running)
0x0000 0x1280: pmt_pid 0x0258 (null) -- BBC Parliament (running)
0x0000 0x1140: pmt_pid 0x0a8c (null) -- BBC Red Button (running)
0x0000 0x1c00: pmt_pid 0x0384 (null) -- 301 (running)
0x0000 0x1a40: pmt_pid 0x03e8 (null) -- BBC Radio 1 (running)
0x0000 0x1700: pmt_pid 0x0708 (null) -- BBC R1X (running)
0x0000 0x1a80: pmt_pid 0x044c (null) -- BBC Radio 2 (running)
0x0000 0x1ac0: pmt_pid 0x04b0 (null) -- BBC Radio 3 (running)
0x0000 0x1b00: pmt_pid 0x0514 (null) -- BBC Radio 4 (running)
0x0000 0x1600: pmt_pid 0x0578 (null) -- BBC R5L (running)
0x0000 0x1640: pmt_pid 0x05dc (null) -- BBC R5SX (running)
0x0000 0x1680: pmt_pid 0x0640 (null) -- BBC 6 Music (running)
0x0000 0x16c0: pmt_pid 0x06a4 (null) -- BBC Radio 4 Ex (running)
0x0000 0x1740: pmt_pid 0x076c (null) -- BBC Asian Net. (running)
0x0000 0x1780: pmt_pid 0x07d0 (null) -- BBC World Sv. (running)
0x0000 0x1c40: pmt_pid 0x0b54 (null) -- 302 (running)
Network Name 'Cambs & Beds'

The output to channels.conf should look something like this:

BBC ONE;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:101:102=eng,106=eng:0:0:4173:9018:4173:0
BBC TWO;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:201:202=eng,206=eng:0:0:4287:9018:4173:0
BBC NEWS;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:501:502=eng:0:0:4352:9018:4173:0
CBBC Channel;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:301:302=eng,306=eng:0:0:4608:9018:4173:0
BBC Parliament;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:601:602=eng:0:0:4736:9018:4173:0
Channel 4;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:560:561=eng,562=eng:0:0:8384:9018:8194:0
More 4;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:590:591=eng,592=eng:0:0:8442:9018:8194:0
Channel 4+1;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:580:581=eng,582=eng:0:0:8452:9018:8194:0
Channel 5;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:540:541=eng,542=eng:0:0:8500:9018:8194:0

Using a text-editor, use the channel numbers to re-organise the file so all of the :@ numbers are in order. You will need to copy both lines, so :@4 and Channel 4;(null)... need to be kept together. Once you are happy with the ordering, delete all of the lines containing :@ as these are not used by VDR.

Your final file should something look like this:

BBC ONE;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:101:102=eng,106=eng:0:0:4173:9018:4173:0
BBC TWO;(null):522000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:201:202=eng,206=eng:0:0:4287:9018:4173:0
Channel 4;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:560:561=eng,562=eng:0:0:8384:9018:8194:0
Channel 5;(null):498000:I999B8C23D12M64T8G32Y0:T:27500:540:541=eng,542=eng:0:0:8500:9018:8194:0


Copy your new channels.conf file to /etc/vdr and ensure it has 644 (chmod 644 channels.conf) and vdr:video (chown vdr:video channels.conf) permissions.

Start VDR with service vdr start or systemctl start vdr.service depending on your version of Fedora/Red Hat.

For the curious, run the command tail -f /var/log/messages to watch VDR tune to the various MUXes. As it does so, it will update the channels.conf file with its own details. If you have left all of the channels found by scandvb, it will not re-arrange anything. This does unfortunately mean you have to leave the shopping channels in the list!

The updated channels.conf file should look something like this:

BBC ONE:522000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:101=2:102=eng@3,106=eng@3:0;105=eng:0:4173:9018:4173:0
BBC TWO:522000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:201=2:202=eng@3,206=eng@3:0;205=eng:0:4287:9018:4173:0
Channel 4:498000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:560=2:561=eng@4,562=eng@4:0;563=eng:0:8384:9018:8194:0
Channel 5:498000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:540=2:541=eng@3,542=eng@3:0;543=eng:0:8500:9018:8194:0
BBC THREE:522000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:0:0:0:0:4288:9018:4173:0
BBC FOUR:522000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:0:0:0:0:4544:9018:4173:0
Pick TV:722000000:B8C34D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:301=2:302=eng@4,304=eng@4:0;303=eng:0:22208:9018:20544:0
Channel 4+1:498000000:B8C23D12G32M64S0T8Y0:T:0:580=2:581=eng@4,582=eng@4:0;583=eng:0:8452:9018:8194:0

A tip for picking up BBC THREE and BBC FOUR: After 19:00, when the channels have switched from CBBC and CBeebies, stop VDR, re-scan with scandvb and generate a new channels.conf (in a separate directory), copy the references for BBC THREE and BBC FOUR to the channels.conf in /etc/vdr, then re-start VDR and leave it to tune and update. This should ensure both channels appear in the right part of the schedule listing.

Page updated: 17th February 2014