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Full Freeview on the Pontop Pike (County Durham, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps54.868,-1.771 or 54°52'5"N 1°46'15"Wsa_postcodeDH9 9AT


The symbol shows the location of the Pontop Pike (County Durham, England) transmitter which serves 700,000 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 Pontop Pike (County Durham, England) transmitter.

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

Which Freeview channels does the Pontop Pike 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.

 H max
C39 (618.0MHz)447mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) North East and Cumbria, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 16 others

 H max
C42 (642.0MHz)447mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Tyne Tees), 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 (Tyne Tees),

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)447mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD North East and Cumbria, 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, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H -3dB
C32 (562.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
20 U&Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 U&Dave ja vu, 58 ITV3 +1, 59 ITV4 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 91 WildEarth, 93 ITVBe +1, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

 H -3dB
C34 (578.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
11 Sky Mix, 17 Really, 19 U&Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 U&Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 &UYesterday +1, 75 That's 90s, 233 Sky News, plus 11 others

 H -3dB
C35 (586.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 U&W, 27 U&Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 63 GREAT! romance mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 18 others

 H -13dB
C33 (570.0MHz)447mDTG-125,000W
Channel icons
from 22nd September 2014: 7 Made in Tyne and Wear,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

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

regional news image
BBC Look North (Newcastle) 1.6m homes 6.0%
from Newcastle NE99 2NE, 15km northeast (42°)
to BBC North East and Cumbria region - 70 masts.
regional news image
ITV Tyne Tees News 1.4m homes 5.4%
from Gateshead NE11 9SZ, 12km north-northeast (29°)
to ITV Tyne Tees region - 47 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 50% evening news is shared with Border

Are there any self-help relays?

Kieldor DamActive deflector6 homes Holiday complex
Low HaberActive deflectorWest Allen Dale, 18 kn SW Hexham caravan site
North HartlepoolTransposer84 homes

How will the Pontop Pike (County Durham, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20122012-1313 Nov 2019

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 12 Sep 12 and 26 Sep 12.

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

Analogue 1-4 500kW
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 100kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB(-10dB) 50kW
com8(-11.6dB) 34.6kW
com7(-11.7dB) 33.8kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 10kW
LNE(-20dB) 5kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Pontop Pike transmitter area

Jan 1959-Feb 2004Tyne Tees 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. Pontop Pike 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.

Monday, 18 June 2012
Roy M
9:13 PM

Am having intermittent reception problems for channel 59 transmissions in Gosforth. Is this a known problem.
In particular we are being affected on ITV 3.

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Roy M's 2 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
11:37 PM

Can anyone confirm if "301 HD" has appeared on Pontop Pike?

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Stuart's 17 posts GB flag
Friday, 22 June 2012
William Laverty
11:24 AM

I have recently taken advantage of the government's changeover scheme for pensioners. As we already have a Sky dish for the main tv; We purchased two tv's (both with Freeview) for bedrooms and were advised to have an arial to service those sets. But under the government scheme only one of the sets could be wired to the new arial and it would be necessary to have private contracter to wire up the second set. However the engineer we hired to do the job has stated that the arial is pointing to Newton which is apparently a relay from Pontop Pyke and will be switched off after the changeover added to which we would be unable receive digital signals from other station because of our geographical position (i.e. in a valley) In other words we are having to use our existing Sky Dish. Is this true, is Newton being switched off? after the changeover _ Thanks for your help! William Laverty

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William Laverty's 1 post GB flag
Les Nicol

1:15 PM

Seems to me William,from what you describe that the better option (and the most cost effectve) irrespective of the onboard "Freeview" tuners in the bedroom sets,would have been to have purchased two "Freesat" SD satellte receivers and then connected these to the TV's in the bedrooms concerned. As for the for the "Freeview" transmitter issue in your area I cannot comment, but perhaps another poster to here may be able to give a definitive.

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Les Nicol

1:24 PM

P.S - Should have ended as "definitive answer". Also, if the transmitter is remaining active after switchover,then there may be enough channels available even with "Freeview Lite" to meet your viewing needs with the bedroom sets;given what you currently have for reception vis a via the dish and aerial installed..

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Les Nicol's 991 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

2:10 PM

William Laverty: According to Digital UK, Newton relay transmitter will be operational after switchover.

However, it will be a Public Service (PSB) only transmitter (sometimes referred to as "Freeview Lite") and will not carry Commercial channels. PSBs carry BBC, ITV1, ITV1+1, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, E4, More 4, Channel 5 and the four HD services.

Freesat would give you all the PSB channels plus others. There are some which are available on full-service Freeview but not Freesat. See here for a comparison (ITV3 IS on Freesat):

Compare TV | - independent free digital TV advice

Your existing dish will be suitable for Freesat. For each receiver (whether they be Freesat or Sky), you need a separate cable feed from the dish. This includes where a satellite receiver has a recording capability where one channel can be watched and whilst recording another.

The LNB is the bit on the arm that the cables connect to. This may need changing to give greater capacity (which allow more cable to be attached). For example, if you have a dual LNB, and you have two cables feeding your lounge, then you will need to have it replaced with a quad-LNB to allow four cables to be attached, they being the two you have now plus one for each bedroom.

The Freesat option is available now, so you don't have to wait until the terrestrial switchover in September.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 2 July 2012
Janine Hindmarsh
9:53 PM
Newcastle Upon Tyne

My parents receive freeview via shotley field originating at pont top because they live in the transmission shadow of the Derwent Valley (High Westwood) they have lost all channels except BBC 1 + 2 since thursday. They've rescanned etc. Do you have any other information. Keep it simple please they're in their 70s and already stressed as they've lost their BT phoneline too.

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Janine Hindmarsh's 1 post GB flag
Janine's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

10:28 PM

Janine Hindmarsh: Shotleyfield does not broadcast Freeview yet; it currently only carries the four analogue channels.

If their aerial is directed to the Shotleyfield transmitter it will be vertical. If they have been receiving Freeview with it, then they have been lucky!

There is engineering works ongoing at the various transmitters in preparation for switchover. Perhaps this is the cause of the (perhaps) slight change in signal which has resulted in them being unable to pick it up.


As a PS:

After switchover, Shotleyfield will broadcast only Public Service channels which are BBC, ITV1, ITV1+1, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, E4, More 4, Channel 5 and the four HD services.

The transmitters that broadcast Freeview before switchover will carry the full range of channels after switchover. In that general area these are Pontop Pike and Fenham.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:34 PM

Janine Hindmarsh: I have had more of a look at this.

In a valley, which transmitter(s) can and cannot be received from can vary house by house. So my comments are general.

From what I can see, Pontop Pike is the only likely Freeview transmitter that "may" be received in the general area of your parents. With this in mind, they must have been receiving Freeview with the aerial facing another way and of opposite polarisation (aerial vertical whereas signal is horizontal).

This perhaps suggests (I remind you that I can only be general) that the signal is strong and that reliable reception from Pontop Pike "may" be possible with an appropriate aerial aligned correctly.

If they continue with their aerial directed to Shotleyfield, then until switchover, intermittent reception of all channels is possible (due to them being picked up from Pontop Pike).

Come switchover, as Shotleyfield will only carry the Public Service channels, then they will be expected to be OK as the aerial faces the transmitter. Because it won't carry the Commercial channels (ITV3, Pick TV, Film4, Dave etc), then should the receiver pick them up, which it may do, then they can only possibly come from Pontop Pike, so reception may be poor, intermittent or non-existant (a bit like now).

For this reason, they may decide (or you might think it a good idea to advise them) that they have an aerial on Pontop Pike now. I remind you that what I've written is general, and it is also the case that an assessment of whether reliable reception from Pontop Pike is possible can only be made by an installer on site.

The Commercial channels have limited coverage which is about 90% of the population, whereas the Public Service channels serve everywhere that the current analogue does. In some cases, reception may be possible from another transmitter that carries the Commercial channels.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 5 July 2012
Scott Milstead
5:48 PM


I live in NE296AS and use an outside aerial. My Freeview signal has been getting progressively worse for the last 9 months after years of experiencing no signal difficulties. Channels on MUX 2 are at best watchable 25% of the time.

I rescanned my LG LCD TV yesterday as per on screen instructions, however the following channels were not found; BBC1 HD, BBC HD, ITV1, ITV1 HD, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4 HD, Channel 5, and E4.

I have since managed to locate these channels following a manual scan using the TV's booster setting (channels could not be located without the boost), however signal strength is only 12% and signal quality varies from 10% to 65% meaning that the channels are again largely unwatchable.

Is there an ongoing problem with the Pontop Pike transmitter which is causing such poor reception and if so when is it likely to be fixed or the signal boosted?

Whilst I am currently still able to watch ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 on analogue, this option will no longer be available in a couple of month's time.

Any advice/assistance would be greatly appreciated!

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Scott Milstead's 2 posts GB flag
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