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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 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 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 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 90s, 233 Sky News, plus 11 others

 H -3dB
C35 (586.0MHz)447mDTG-850,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 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.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

3:20 AM

David Landers:

As indicated immediately above the comment box, and in the post before yours (and many others around these boards), a full postcode is needed to see what the Freeview Detailed Coverage Checker is showing for predicted reception at your location. It is possible that reception of one (or more) multiplex(es) can be poorer than others. This can be very often due to interference by other transmitter signals and might vary with weather conditions, or lower transmitter power on some.

As you've had some engineers attend recently, the presumption would be that your installation is ok.
It's not possible to advise on the best possible solutions to your problem without that prediction information and some further information about channels you aren't getting.
See Channel listings | Freeview you'll note that both Blaze and Horror are on the SDN multiplex. Are you getting any of the other channels on the SDN multiplex or are they definitely all missing?

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Chris.SE's 4,240 posts GB flag
Friday, 13 December 2019
David Landers
8:19 PM

Thanks, Chris.

Postcode is NE65 8AR. Signal strength is generally held to be poor at this location and we have always needed an amplifier (even back in analogue days). However; prior to the November 13th frequency changes, we had enjoyed a pretty full range of Freeview channels with decent reception. Then we got the problems that I mentioned.

The position right now is that the lost channels have suddenly come back again! This was some time after the second engineers' visit when they fitted the new mast-head amp. As I said in my previous post, that had pulled back all(?) channels apart from the one multiplex. In answer to your question, as far as I know, all channels on that one (SDN) were missing.

But then yet another retune, and suddenly there they are... Since nothing has changed at our end in-between, I assume it must be something happening at the transmitter, or weather conditions.

Incidentally, our Humax box always seems to pick up more channels than the TV - perhaps a difference in their sensitivity and/or power?

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David Landers's 2 posts GB flag
David's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 14 December 2019

8:59 AM

David Landers:

Oh dear, you are undoubtedly lucky that you get any Freeview reception and that Freeview sent out some engineers as neither they nor the BBC predict that your location is within any normal coverage. I had to resort to Terrain mapping to see you are in an area with very variable terrain and have a large hill between you and the transmitter.
I would have to draw the same conclusion that it was likely to have been something at the transmitter, because unless faults are persistent (and/or affecting BBC channels) finding any reports from Freeview/Arqiva on transmitter problems is something I've not found to be reliable!

At least you have your reception back, and Humax boxes do have a good reputation in general for sensitivity. If in the future you find things being more unreliable, possibly in the main due to weather conditions in the summer, then it looks as though the only alternative option might be to consider Freesat. A lot of modern TVs have in-built satellite tuners so only need the addition of a dish and LNB. I suppose that there could be a possibility that if there are enough of you in the area with similar problems, you could all consider the possibility of having a "self-help" relay, but then you have to find a location where you could get reliable reception and permission to install such a relay.

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Chris.SE's 4,240 posts GB flag
Friday, 16 October 2020
5:55 PM

Our BBC channels have been very pixelated for the last few weeks. We have a two storey house with the aerial on the chimney stack. ITV and Channel 4 are fine.

There are no reports of any issues on Pontop Pike but something must have chnaged recently. Other people in the area have noticed this too (I asked a local Facebook group).

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Phil's 2 posts GB flag
Phil's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 17 October 2020

12:15 AM


Were you still having these problems earlier THIS week?
Several weeks ago it could have been most likely down to adverse weather conditions - There had been some "Tropospheric Ducting" see Effect of tropospheric ducting on Freeview | RTIS for a simplistic explanation.

It can be quite variable, come and go within seconds, minutes or hours. It doesn't necessarily affect all multiplexes at the same time or at all and not everyone will be affected, it will depend on location. At times it can wipe out your reception. People in different parts of the UK and Europe had been experiencing problems.

These conditions cleared and there shouldn't have been any problems at the beginning of this week for example, however there is some more predicted over the next couple of days which may or may not have any effect.
Now if you previously retuned when you had no signal or pictures were badly pixellated, then this can clear correct tuning (advice is not to retune in such conditions otherwise you'll probably have to repeat a retune, maybe several times when signals are normal). When such interference conditions are present you may even get tuned to the wrong transmitter (eg. Fenham for you) which won't provide reliable signals with the wrong aerial polarisation and not pointing in the correct direction.

Check in your TV's tuning section that you are tuned to the correct UHF channels for Pontop Pike.
In the multiplex order PSBs1-3, COMs4-7, Local they are C39, C42, C45, C32, C34, C35, C55, C33

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Chris.SE's 4,240 posts GB flag
Sunday, 18 October 2020
12:46 AM

Hello, I have been unable to receive BBC News HD since about March this year. I have tried retuning automatically and manually many times over during the the last six months but there is no signal at all. I am receiving all the other stations except the ones on Com 7. My transmitter is Pontop Pyke in County Durham. According to this website: Pontop Pike (County Durham, England) Full Freeview transmitter | free and easy it seems Com7 has Expired to make space for 5G on the network. I understand atmospheric conditions can have an effect as you imply but my other stations/channels are not affected. I hope you can provide an explanation for this? Will Com 7 be broadcasting again on Freeview because I miss BBC News HD very much as I am now using the lower definition BBC News instead. Kind regards.

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Bernard's 1 post GB flag

10:08 AM

Bernard : COM7 is still broadcasting from Pontop Pike, it closed at 5 transmitters as part of the 700MHz clearance program, however it moved to form a Single Frequency Network (SFN) on UHF channel 55 at the remaining 25 transmitters and no closure date has been announced. COM8 closed earlier this year for commercial reasons. It may be that you are in an area where interference from another transmitter is now cancelling out COM7. If you provide a full postcode we can see what the predicted signal strength is at your location and may be able to offer further advice.

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StevensOnln1's 3,646 posts GB flag

8:58 PM

Bernard :

The post before your lists all the multiplexes broadcasting from Pontop Pike. Some of the information on this website is incorrect/not up-to-date.
There were no transmitter changes anywhere in March that might have affected your reception of COM7, however at both Emley Moor and Belmont transmitters COM7 moved to the Single Frequency Network of C55 BUT that was in early February which MAY have had some possible effect.
As StevensOnln1 says, a full postcode is needed to see what your predicted reception is.

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Chris.SE's 4,240 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
1:36 PM


BBC channels are back. I did retune the TV and lost the channels, but yesterday I tried re-tuning and thay have re-appeared. So I think I will chalk it up to adverse weather.

Thank you for taking the time to reply with a detailed explanation.


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Phil's 2 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 November 2020
8:21 PM

Since the recent channel changes HGTV should have moved from my Freeview channel 42 to 43 but on retune it has channel 43 doesn't exist. I had it before on 42 . My tv is a Sony and two other Sony's in the house have found it but they are on Bilsdale Transmitter not Pontop Pike. L have done a full retune four times now no success. I have got channel 42 and 44 and all other channels seemed to be relocated ok.
Any advice please.

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Benno's 1 post GB flag
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