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Full Freeview on the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps53.625,-2.516 or 53°37'30"N 2°30'56"Wsa_postcodeBL6 6SL


The symbol shows the location of the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter which serves 2,690,000 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 Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter.

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

Which Freeview channels does the Winter Hill 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
C32 (562.0MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
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, plus 17 others

 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
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),

 H max
C35- (585.8MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
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, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
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 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
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 max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 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 -20dB
C40 (626.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Manchester,

 H -17dB
C24 (498.0MHz)572mDTG-122,000W
Channel icons
from 30th June 2014: 7 Bay TV Liverpool,

 H -20dB
C56 (754.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Lancashire,

 H -20dB
C57 (762.0MHz)572mDTG-21,000W
Channel icons
 Now 90s,  Spotlight TV,  Clubland TV,  Country Music Entertainment ,  Classic Hits MCR, 76 That's TV 2 MCR, 77 That's 60s MCR, 80 That's 80s, 86 That's 90s MCR, 88 TV Warehouse+1,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-2 16QAM 2K 3/4 18.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

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

regional news image
BBC North West Tonight 3.1m homes 11.8%
from Salford M50 2QH, 22km southeast (140°)
to BBC North West region - 92 masts.
regional news image
ITV Granada Reports 3.1m homes 11.6%
from Salford M50 2EQ, 22km southeast (139°)
to ITV Granada region - 80 masts.

How will the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1956-80s1984-971997-981998-20092009-132013-182013-1720 Feb 2020
C49tv_off ArqAArqA
C50tv_off BBCABBCA

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 500kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 100kW
com7(-12.9dB) 25.7kW
com8(-13.4dB) 22.6kW
Analogue 5(-16dB) 12.5kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 10kW
LL(-24dB) 2kW
GIM, LM, LPR(-27dB) 1000W

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.

Friday, 19 December 2014
H J Hill
4:49 PM


For newcomers: this affects the following: Freeview: 64, 71, 106,107,108,109, 110, 111, 134
BBC News HD: BBC Four HD: CBeebies HD: Ch4+1 HD: Ch4-seven HD: Aljazeera HD: Community HD
Jewellery Maker: Motors TV: Aljazeera Arabic (these 3 in Std Def)

Further to my post on p116 - Tue 9 December 2014 at 5:12pm:
I have had an update email from Arqiva today (Fri 19 Dec) at 16:07.
They know they have a problem but they cannot find what is causing it.
They are still working on it.

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H J Hill's 17 posts GB flag
Paul Ryan
5:05 PM

Good to here they are working on it I have reverted to std def for the affected channels for now as it cab be really annoying

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Paul Ryan's 7 posts GB flag
10:50 PM

I have signal dropout issues on BBC4 HD and other com7 channels from Winter Hill. I did a complete re-tune to clear and re-install channels. This didn't work so an installer fitted a wideband aerial and new cable. The signal meter confirmed all signals were good strength. I still had intermittent problems though. I tried a 4G filter and bought some new shielded cable to connect my DVD recorder/tuner to my TV. All the signals show full strength. The drop-outs aren't as frequent now but they still happen. I have complained to Digital UK. I am in the M25 postcode area in North Manchester.

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Gareth's 2 posts GB flag
Saturday, 20 December 2014

12:34 AM

Gareth: As an engineer who up until recently has been involved with transmission equipment for years, albeit I still am to a certain extent, I am therefore naturally rather interested in this problem, especially the aspect concerning the levels of the strength and quality of the signal prior to the drop out, as well during the actual drop out.

Insomuch, is the signal "strength" seen to fluctuate immediately prior to the drop out, and when the drop out occurs does both the strength and quality vanish? (indicating an RF carrier failure) or is it only the quality that vanishes but with the strength still being indicated at roughly the same level as before? this then inclined to suggest that the signal data is being seriously corrupted by such as a spurious burst of oscillation whereby it cannot be decoded by the receivers, hence a blank screen.

Would appreciate clarification on which of the two aforementioned situations applies.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
12:57 PM

jb38: I am not very good with the technical side of TV transmission but when I have the signal condition window open on the TV whilst watching a COM7 channel, the signal quality and strength are both at maximum on the COM7 channels. When the signal drops out, both the quality and strength drop to zero and I receive a No Signal message on screen for about 1 or 2 seconds. I don't notice any fluctuation in strength and quality before the signal drop out, the drop in strength and quality to zero happens instantly and lasts for 1 or 2 seconds. The strength and quality then return back to maximum as soon as the signal is back.

The strength and quality were slightly lower on the TV as the signal is piped through my DVD recorder with a freeview tuner. When I changed the cable connecting the DVD recorder and TV the strength and quality on the TV were at the maximum. So the signal on the TV is now the same as that when using the DVD recorder tuner.

I received a message from Digital UK this afternoon to say that they are aware of the COM7 issues at Winter Hill and they are investigating the problem.

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Gareth's 2 posts GB flag
4:51 PM

The fluctuation in signal strength that I see isn't prior to anything, if I hadn't had the strength meter on I would have been unaware of anything. The drop outs cause the meter to show zero strength and quality, the fluctuations show sometimes quite a large drop in level but only a small one in quality hence no effect on the picture but I do live in a high signal strength area. Although it is 18 miles away I can see not just the mast but the hill as well from my bedroom window. There are no fluctuates on the other coms including the new local one. I'm on the edge of the beam for the older GMAN com but it usually works despite very low signal strength and iffy quality.

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anthony's 18 posts GB flag

10:12 PM


Just a thought but you might have too much signal! If you use the search on this site looking to 'too much of a good thing' you will see a discussion about having too strong a signal can give the symptoms you describe. I'm not in your area so can't be sure, but it's worth investigating - possibly by adding an attenuator in the signal cabling (they just plug in).

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag

11:57 PM

Gareth / anthony : Many thanks for the replies, the content of having clarified the issue, insomuch confirming that the signal strength drops to zero when the drop out occurs, and that its "not" one of those cases where a message indicating "no signal" is being triggered by something having affected the quality of the signal, as happens in many devices.

By the way, although having followed all said on the subject by viewers affected by the problem, the issue on continuity of signal strength was raised by a former work colleague who dropped by yesterday evening for a chat, a quick re-check on the aforementioned postings referred to leaving us unsure as to whether the strength was vanishing or not, hence the main reason for requesting clarification on the issue.

Thanks again / jb.

PS: Just noticed MikeP's posting on the subject, although the symptoms of an overly strong signal can indeed result in exactly that said by MikeP, and so by all means try a test by inserting an attenuator in line, but considering the fact that the main BBC B HD transmitter is radiating on 100Kw without any problems having been reported, I very much doubt if COM7 radiating on only 25.7Kw is likely to result in overloading anything.

But though one never knows! as predictions involving RF signal strength is seldom ever really accurate apart from when taken from some test point on the actual transmitter.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 21 December 2014
3:55 PM

The problems started for everyone at the same time and in my case ceased for a while after Arqiva's first fix. I have two independent systems one of which is on a very good aerial and the other on a fairly poor one, the faults occur on both systems at the same time. It is not therefore too little/much signal. H.J.Hill has conformation from Arqiva of a fault, see P118 19th December.
In my professional experience, fixing an intermittent fault like this is very difficult and frustrating, you are sure you have the solution only to be disappointed.

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anthony's 18 posts GB flag

11:43 PM

anthony: Yes, intermittent faults are always difficult to cure, but judging by what Gareth and others have reported, including of course yourself, the content of being highly suggestive of intermittent carrier failure, and as such I feel that its only a matter of time before field checks are carried out in various localities around the circumference of the coverage area in order to determine one way or another if the problem is being caused by a defect on the mast, (nasty!!) as its rather obvious that nothing abnormal is showing up on the TX indicator meters otherwise the problem would have been rectified by now.

One thing I forgot to ask being, on average how many times in an evenings viewing is this drop out problem liable to be experienced?

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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