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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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 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, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H -3dB
C32 (562.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 Great! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 69 HorrorXtra, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 16 others

 H -3dB
C34 (578.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 71 That's 60s, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 70s, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H -3dB
C35 (586.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 73 HobbyMaker, 76 That's 80s, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 90 Together TV +1, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 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.

Thursday, 14 November 2019
paul milne
9:49 AM

Ps I live in the Lukes Lane area of Hebburn on Tyneside

link to this comment
paul milne's 5 posts US flag

10:45 AM

paul milne:

Firstly, this site is not responsible for any transmitters or broadcasters, it's an independent help site.
To look at your predicted reception a full postcode is needed. The Freeview Detailed Coverage Checker does not work on addresses or partial postcodes (nor does the BBC Reception help site).

2nd, it sounds like your set/box memorys need clearing. Unplug the aerial and do a full retune on both. This should clear all previous tuning as no channels will be found.
Plug the aerial back in and do a full retune on each which should restore the channels correctly to the correct LCNs.

If you still have problems after that, post back with more detail and the postcode.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
paul milne
11:03 AM

Chris.SE: Hi Chris - another user on twitter from very close to the transmitter exactly the same issue since yesterdays update half of the signals garbled - my post code is ne31 2as and is pointing towards pontop pike - sorry I thought this site was linked to pontop pike - is there any way you can pass this information on so they can check the transmitter as is seems a wider issue ...also I will try what you have said tonight when I return home...

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paul milne's 5 posts US flag
paul's: ...

11:15 AM

paul milne:

Neither Freeview nor the BBC are reporting any current issues with the transmitter.
The twitter user needs to follow the same advice as I've given, but post back later if you've still got issues.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
paul milne
11:33 AM

Chris.SE: ok Chris I have passed your advice on to the twitter user and we will both report back tomor
row to see if your solution works...

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paul milne's 5 posts US flag
gary mckenzie
8:52 PM
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Since the update on 13/11/19 hd channels 101 to 105 have disappeared from my guide totally. I have a talktalk youview box.
Talktalk no help. Freeview no help.

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gary mckenzie's 2 posts GB flag
gary's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 15 November 2019

7:13 AM

gary mckenzie:

Somehow it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Freeview didn't help! That said, the standard recommendation in these situations (although I don't know the specifics for the TalkTalk box - they should have been able to tell you that) -
is to unplug the aerial and do a full automatic retune which should clear all previous tuning from memory as no channels will be found. You then plug the aerial back in and repeat the process which should hopefully restore all receivable multiplexes and the channels in their correct LCNs. It's only where you might readily get reception from more than one transmitter that the final tune has to be a manual one using the UHF channels from the desired transmitter.

paul milne:

You may have noticed Freeview giving identical advice to some users ;) How helpful they can be seems to depend on who you happen to get on the end of the phone, whether it's a script monkey or one of the more experienced advisers!

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Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
paul milne
9:31 AM

Problems with Pontop Pike Transmitter since retune 13/11/19...


One retuning my Talk Talk set top box last night (clearing all channels then retuning again) I lost a few channels - and some were still pixelated.

After many attempts - seemed to be worse when the showers of rain were about _ I managed to get 148 freeview aerial channels . I took the connector off the box and redid it to make sure I had the best connection possible and even banged my set top box a little which strangely seemed to help. As of this morning I can view all of the channels - although still getting slight pixilation now and again on sky news and pick tv. I tested the signal strength on the best channels and this was around 40 - I do not know what it was before the retune but I never had any issues with any channels previously.

Freeview said they would look into it - they have just come back with your solution and even hinted at a new aerial or cable tv. Seems they are washing their hands of any responsibility as its only a few users reporting this and not 100s - I may be proven wrong in the coming days...I am not happy but will just have to live with this - whatever they did to me seems to have reduced the signal on certain channels - and nobody wants to go up to pontop pike and move them to a better slot or improve the signal disillusioned this morning tbh...

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paul milne's 5 posts US flag

10:04 PM

paul milne:

For a list of which channels are on which multiplexes see Channel listings | Freeview
I'm beginning to wonder about two possibilities, leaving aside the possibility of a fault on your aerial system for a moment.

Whilst Pontop Pike is your predicted transmitter, you may be getting signals from another transmitter. There is Fenham and Bilsdale giving predicted coverage at your location. Although Fenham requires a vertical polarisation, Pontop Pike being horizontal, Bilsdale is also horizontal but much further away, Fenham much closer.
Although they are in different directions, it's possible to receive signals of the wrong polarisation and also maybe off "side-lobes" of the aerial reception characteristics.
Have you been having continuous trouble with BBC channels at all since the September retune?

Now, I'm not familiar with the TalkTalk box is it a Youview box?
But leaving that aside for a moment, if you plug the aerial directly into your TV, can you get all the channels on your TV without any problem?

The other possibility apart from wrong transmitter is too much signal. Power on PSB1 was turned up from 90 to 100kW, the COM 4-5 muxes had power doubled to 100kW , whereas COMs 7&8 did have the power turned down to 19kW from 33/34. Do you have any aerial amplifiers or distribution to more than one room, splitters etc.?
Can you also check your aerial has the rods horizontal and is pointing slightly W of SW (239degrees).

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Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
Sunday, 17 November 2019
12:28 PM
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Was told by freeview telephone helpline that changes to accommodate 5G is the reason for the recent retune and also why we now can only get 13 channels after a retune, none of which are watchable. HD channels have also disappeared. Their advice - you'll need to buy a new aerial. I'm in rented accommodation - that's not my responsibility, and even if it was, making such changes with only a warning of 'you'll need to retune' is a bit of a joke

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KarlR's 4 posts GB flag
KarlR's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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