menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Freeview



Click to see updates

Freeview Light on the Darwen (Blackburn with Darwen, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps53.696,-2.444 or 53°41'47"N 2°26'37"Wsa_postcodeBB3 3SE


The symbol shows the location of the Darwen (Blackburn with Darwen, England) transmitter which serves 15,000 homes. The bright green areas shown where the signal from this transmitter is strong, dark green areas are poorer signals. Those parts shown in yellow may have interference on the same frequency from other masts.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Darwen (Blackburn with Darwen, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Darwen transmitter broadcast?

If you have any kind of Freeview fault, follow this Freeview reset procedure first.

Digital television services are broadcast on a multiplexes (or Mux) where many stations occupy a single broadcast frequency, as shown below.

 V max
C45 (666.0MHz)312mDTG-100W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) North West, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 16 others

 V max
C39+ (618.2MHz)312mDTG-100W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Granada), 4 Channel 4 (SD) North ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 North ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Granada),

 V max
C42 (642.0MHz)312mDTG-100W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD North West, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Granada), 104 Channel 4 HD North ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Are you trying to watch these 45 Freeview channels?

the effected channels
the effected channels
the effected channels
the effected channels

The Darwen (Blackburn with Darwen, England) mast is a public service broadcasting (PSB) transmitter, it does not provide these commercial (COM) channels: 4seven, 5Action, 5STAR, 5USA, Al Jazeera Eng, Blaze, Blaze +1, CBS Reality, Challenge, Channel 5 +1, CITV, Dave, Dave ja vu, DMAX, Drama +1, E4 Extra, YAAAS!, Film4 +1, Food Network, GB News, GREAT! movies, Great! Movies Action, GREAT! romance, HGTV, HobbyMaker, HorrorXtra, ITV2 +1, ITV3 +1, ITV4 +1, ITVBe +1, Legend, PBS America, pick, Pop Player, Quest +1, Quest Red, Really, Sky News, Talking Pictures TV, TCC, That's 70s, That's TV , Together TV, W, Yesterday +1.

If you want to watch these channels, your aerial must point to one of the 80 Full service Freeview transmitters. For more information see the will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters? page.

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Darwen transmitter?

regional news image
BBC North West Tonight 3.1m homes 11.8%
from Salford M50 2QH, 27km south-southeast (159°)
to BBC North West region - 92 masts.
regional news image
ITV Granada Reports 3.1m homes 11.6%
from Salford M50 2EQ, 27km south-southeast (159°)
to ITV Granada region - 80 masts.

How will the Darwen (Blackburn with Darwen, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20092009-1331 Mar 2018-
C39BBC1wavesBBC1wavesBBC1waves D3+4

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) after November 2020 / June 2022 - more
Table shows multiplexes names see this article;
green background for transmission frequencies
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W T
waves denotes analogue; digital switchover was 4 Nov 09 and 2 Dec 09.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 500W
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 100W

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Winter Hill transmitter area

May 1956-Jul 1968Granada Television†
May 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Feb 2004Granada Television
Feb 2004-Dec 2014ITV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only. Darwen was not an original Channel 3 VHF 405-line mast: the historical information shown is the details of the company responsible for the transmitter when it began transmitting Channel 3.

Is the transmitter output the same in all directions?

Radiation patterns withheld

Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Dave Lindsay

10:19 PM

paul marsh: I think that it's not very likely that you will be able to receive from Winter Hill even though it is only 5.5 miles away.

Have a look around and see if anyone has a horizontally polarised aerial on Winter Hill. This (if there are any) might be a clue as to whether it might be possible. If there aren't any, then it might be because no one else has tried or it might be because it isn't possible.

Other than that, Freesat is probably your best option for additional free-to-air channels. There are some differences in the offerings of Freesat and full Freeview (ITV3 IS on Freesat):

Compare TV | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 8 April 2013
6:45 PM

My internal freeview HD tuner in my TV has lost all signal, yet my two set top boxes (not HD) are fine. I got a signal back on the HD tuner for a few hours the other day but it soon disappeared again. The aerial is on the roof.

link to this comment
shaun's 2 posts GB flag
shaun's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:53 PM

shaun: As the Mendip transmitter is located at just under 5 miles away from you then your problem "might" be caused by an excessively high level of signal being received, this always affecting HD before SD and with in many instances the latter showing no signs of any problems.

Should you have any type of booster fitted then for a test either remove or bypass it.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
10:02 PM

Thanks for your answer but isn't the mendip transmitter in the southwest? I'm near the winter hill transmitter group in north west England. There is some work going on at the moment at the Darwen transmitter (part of the winter hill group) but would that explain my HD TV receiver not picking up any channels (not just the HD ones) whilst my other set top boxes are fine. I tried removing the booster I have but then none of the receivers worked! Bizarre.

link to this comment
shaun's 2 posts GB flag
shaun's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:46 PM

shaun: Yes, sorry about that as I had meant to say Winter Hill, everything else said still applies though.

I also realise that work is going on at the Darwen transmitter located @ 4 miles away, but this station is not indicated on the reception predictor as coming into the equation as far as reception at your particular location is concerned hence the reason why I did not mention it.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Alan Smith
3:50 PM

I live in Darwen ( BB3 2QA) and feel short-changed with my freeview reception - do you know if there are any plans for Darwen residents to be able to receive the full compliment of freeview channels.

link to this comment
Alan Smith's 1 post GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

4:32 PM

Alan Smith: No, there are never likely to be more channels broadcast from Darwen transmitter, and over 1,000 other Public Service-only transmitting stations. See here for an explanation:

Londonderry (Northern Ireland) Freeview Light transmitter | - 11 years of independent, free digital TV advice

Judging by the Digital UK predictor you are not in a position to receive directly from Winter Hill, and therefore pick up the full complement of channels.

Recently Film4 became available from Public Service (PSB) relays, but this was because capacity became available on an existing multiplex, so there isn't likely to be any more new services.

The only advice I can offer is to look at free-to-air satellite such as Freesat.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 10 February 2014
Anthony Grime
11:17 AM

Hi, I have recently installed a 52 Element Wideband Aerial to hopefully receive broadcasts from Winter Hill as opposed to the Darwen transmitter due to a muh more comprehensive channel line-up.

I receive some channels now from Winter Hill, but not the rest? I am receiving Al Jazeera English HD, which isnt really of any use to me, was hoping to receive the channels on the same lineup as Dave.

Any suggestions anyone?

Thankyou in advance.

Anthony (SD6895521703) 

link to this comment
Anthony Grime's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

2:40 PM

Anthony Grime: Try manually scanning each UHF channel - it is worth looking at the different equipment you have to see which is most useful here. Some have no manual tuning at all and some do but give little information.

If you enter/select the channel but do not press the button to scan/add services and instead wait and see if it gives you an indication as to strength/quality, as in doing so receivers operate as basic signal meters, something which wouldn't be the case having scanned.

See the full list of Freeview services:

Digital UK Industry - Channel listings

There are six main multiplexes plus the new quasi-national COM7 HD mux that you are receiving (as you have Al Jazeera HD). Each is a single signal, so focus on one service from each. For example, for PSB1 look at BBC One, all other BBC standard definition services are also on PSB1 so there is no need to look at them:

PSB1 - BBC One - C50
PSB2 - ITV - C59
PSB3 - BBC One HD - C54
COM4 - (10)ITV3 - C58
COM5 - (11)Pick - C49
COM6 - (18)4Music - C55
COM7 - (107) BBC News HD - C31

Ensure that you aren't tuned to the Darwen relay (for PSB channels) on 45, 39 and 42 respectively. This information is usually given on the signal strength screen.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

4:44 PM

Anthony Grime: I help out on here as a technical bod rather than an aerial installer.

The higher the gain of the aerial the narrower its acceptance angle. That is, gain in one direction is gained by increasing "loss" in others.

As you live at the bottom of a drop you don't have any "beam" from the transmitter to which direct your aerial. For that reason a high gain aerial is not recommended.

A lower gain aerial will offer a wider acceptance angle over which to receive. With digital quality is important, and more so than strength. Strength can be increased with an amplifier whereas quality is down to the aerial. That is, a poor quality signal can't be improved with an amplifier whereas a low strength one can be increased in strength. A low strength poor quality signal with an amplifier will give a higher strength poor quality signal which is therefore of no use:

Television Aerial Boosters / Amplifiers, Splitters, Diplexers & Triplexers

There are no guarantees in your situation, but a log periodic aerial, probably in conjunction with an amplifier, would seem to be the most suited. A DM Log from Aerials and TV Sheffield is one example:

Aerials, TV Aerial and Digital Aerial

This is in fact a Blake DML26WB. Blake do a DML26T which is wideband expect for the top channels, C61 to C69, which are now in the hands of the 4G operators. Either will work, by with the WB you could, potentially, have to fit a filter to block 4G if it proves to be an issue.

The other thing I'm wondering - as I say I'm not an installer - is whether, because you are at the bottom of a steep drop, tilting the aerial upwards slightly might not be a bad idea. The Blake DML26 has a clamp which allows it to be tilted.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentIf you have Freeview reception problems before posting a question your must first do this Freeview reset procedure then see: Freeview reception has changed, Single frequency interference, and Freeview intermittent interference.

If you have no satellite signal, see Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fault'

If you have other problems, please provide a full (not partial) postcode (or preferably enter it in box at the top right) and indicate where if aerial is on the roof, in the loft or elsewhere.

UK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.