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

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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.

Are there any planned engineering works or unexpected transmitter faults on the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) mast?

WINTER HILL transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 12:52 on 07 Dec to 13:15 on 07 Dec. BBC

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-3100,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One North West, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 601 BBC RB 1, plus 12 others

 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)726mDTG-3100,000W
Channel icons
 E4, 3 ITV (Granada), 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 15 Film4, 24 ITV4, 33 ITV +1 (Granada), 73 Sewing Quarter,

 H max
C35- (585.8MHz)726mDTG-6100,000W
Channel icons
101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV HD (ITV Granada), 104 Channel 4 HD North ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 204 CBBC HD,

 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5 USA, 30 5STAR, 37 Quest, 54 5SELECT, 57 Paramount Network, 61 True Entertainment, 63 Blaze, 66 CBS Reality, 70 Horror Channel, 80 Blaze +1, 203 CITV, 211 Ketchup TV, plus 17 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
11 pick, 12 Dave, 17 Really, 32 Sony Movie Ch, 38 Quest Red, 41 Food Network, 46 Challenge, 48 Movies4Men, 72 YourTV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
18 4Music, 19 Yesterday, 25 Home, 31 5Spike, 39 CBS Action, 42 Travel Channel, 47 4seven, 62 True Christmas, 71 CBS Drama, 79 Dave ja vu, plus 19 others

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

 H -17dB
C56 (754.0MHz)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 -5.9dB
C55 (746.0MHz)726mDTG-625,700W
Channel icons
67 CBS Reality 1, 82 Vintage TV, 87 Keep It Country, 107 BBC News HD, 109 Channel 4+1 HD, 110 4seven HD, 113 RT HD, plus 2 others

 H -6.5dB
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-622,600W
Channel icons
55 5STAR+1, 64 CBS Action +1, 64 Freesports, 86 More4+1, 86 More4 1, 88 NOW 80s, 93 Together, 94 PBS America, 96 Forces TV, 106 BBC Four HD, 115 BT Showcase HD (not free), 205 CBeebies HD, plus 2 others

 H -20dB
C57 (762.0MHz)572mDTG-21,000W
Channel icons
69 Tru TV 1, 75 True Christmas 1, 89 Now 90s, 210 Tiny Pop 1,

DTG-3 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-6 256QAM 32KE 2/3 40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
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 (139°)
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?

years1956~851984-971997-981998-20092009-1310/4/13-2013-177th Mar 2018
aerial groupVHFC/D EC/D EC/D EC/D EC/D EWW
700C49 ArqAArqAArqA

orange background for multiplexes names more
green background for transmission frequencies
lilac background for power levels in watts
800MHz band: 4G mobile started in 2013
700MHz band: 4G from 30 June 2020more
600MHz band: new or moved digital TV services more
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W
Italics for analogue, digital switchover was Wednesdays 4th November and 2nd December 2009.

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, 18 May 2018
5:34 AM

Chris.SE: Here is the same event, this time from DVBGuide's Freesat output file rather than Freeview:

<programme channel="2.840.d7e6" start="20180524190000 +0000" stop="20180524200000 +0000">
<!--locator uri="dvb://2.840.d7e6;789b@2018-05-24T19:00:00Z/PT01H00M" -->
<!--crid type="0x32" uri="crid://" -->
<!--crid type="0x31" uri="crid://" -->
<title lang="en">Castle</title>
<desc lang="en">Wrapped Up in Death: The death of a museum curator takes a bizarre turn when Castle and Beckett learn that he isn&apos;t the first member of a recent archaeological expedition to die. (S2 Ep19)</desc>
<!--content id="0x30" user="0x00" -->
<category lang="en">Entertainment</category>
<!--component content="0x01" type="0x03" language="und" -->
<!--component content="0x02" type="0x03" language="eng" -->

The xmltv app loads DVBGuide's Freesat output file without complaint.

link to this
js's 617 posts Gold Gold GB
Monday, 11 June 2018
7:10 AM


The only time I ever see any "corruption" to the Freeview EPG data is when the relevant information doesn't appear to completely load for whatever reason.
I don't think it's worth me commenting further on this issue as I can't add anything constructive further to what I've already said in previous posts. Sorry.

link to this
Chris.SE's 115 posts Silver Silver GB
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
10:14 PM

Now 80s has moved from GIM to COM8

ONID.TSID = 233A.7401
762 MHz, uhf 57, 8 MHz, 16-QAM, 8k, 3/4, 1/32
Target Regions = (GBR.England.North West)U(GBR.Isle of Man)
075 77C1 01 The Vault
089 7701 01 Now 90s
090 7601 01 TV Warehouse
091 7641 01 Clubland TV
209 7681 01 POP+1
210 7741 01 Tiny Pop+1

ONID.TSID = 233A.B000
plp_id = 00
T2_system_id = B02A
040 B100 22 Rocks & Co 1
055 B090 22 5STAR+1
086 B0E0 22 More4+1
088 B150 22 Now 80s
093 B140 22 Together
094 B130 22 PBS America
095 B110 22 FreeSports
096 B120 22 Forces TV
106 B040 25 BBC FOUR HD
111 B000 25 QVC HD
112 B010 25 QVC Beauty HD
115 B050 25 BT Showcase HD
205 B030 25 CBeebies HD

The static Tiny Pop+1 placard is back on GIM - together with the same old problems - continuity errors in its audio and video streams and a continually changing PAT.

Video Bitrate (Mbps) sampled at 30 <= dPCR <= 69 ms intervals over 15 seconds for LocalMux1 North West (12/06/2018 20:44:43)
maximum | minimum | average | service_name
01.193 | 00.214 | 01.012 | Tiny Pop+1
03.478 | 01.376 | 02.101 | The Vault
02.555 | 00.993 | 01.319 | Now 90s
03.038 | 01.173 | 01.756 | POP+1
02.124 | 00.922 | 01.299 | Clubland TV
01.552 | 00.623 | 00.980 | TV Warehouse
08.158 | 04.609 | 06.391 | Null Packets
03.719 | 02.193 | 03.239 | All Other Streams
18.096 | 18.096 | 18.096 | TS Bitrate

link to this
js's 617 posts Gold Gold GB
Wednesday, 20 June 2018
11:59 AM

truTV+1 was added to GIM:

ONID.TSID = 233A.7401
762 MHz, uhf 57, 8 MHz, 16-QAM, 8k, 3/4, 1/32
Target Regions = (GBR.England.North West)U(GBR.Isle of Man)
075 77C1 01 The Vault
089 7701 01 Now 90s
090 7601 01 TV Warehouse
091 7641 01 Clubland TV
092 8440 01 truTV+1
209 7681 01 POP+1
210 7741 01 Tiny Pop+1

link to this
js's 617 posts Gold Gold GB
7:44 PM Manchester

I have not been able to watch any channel 58 or 59 programmes for the last 2 weeks; all show very low signal strength all other channels indicate max (Winter Hill. Manchester M20 2QA) There are no indications of reduced power ?

I have a rooftop aerial. 4G filter fitted.

Any suggestions


link to this
Andy's 6 posts US
8:22 PM

Andy: If other multiplexes are indicating maximum signal then the tuner may be being overloaded by too much signal (it's effectively being deafened). Try fitting an attenuator to reduce the signal strength. Also, check for any loose or damaged cables or connections.

link to this
StevensOnln1's 2,142 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Sunday, 24 June 2018
8:51 AM

Invalid Codes in the Freeview EIT:

What I'm talking about here is the EIT text - the titles and descriptions of events.

There are two processing paths for the Freeview EIT.

The EIT text off DVB-T2 multiplexes is entirely Huffman coded.

The EIT text off DVB-T multiplexes is only Huffman coded for services on DVB-T2 multiplexes.

Thus a DVB-T only device will not normally encounter Huffman coded text.

Generic DVB-T2 receivers are not able to decode the Huffman coded text and will typically display gibberish - what their users often describe as Chinese.

The BBC is responsible for Huffman coding the EIT text, the objective being the ability to dictate DRM implementation requirements to manufacturers in exchange for the Huffman decode tables.

Thus the recordings made on Freeview HD certified devices are encrypted to disk and only playable on the device that they were made on.

Now that's out of the way, let's get back to the errors in the EIT text.

By observation, it has become evident that the invalid codes are the Least Significant Bytes of a group of Unicode punctuation characters.

The invalid codes seen so far are:

0x10 = LSB of Unicode Character 'HYPHEN' (U+2010)
0x13 = LSB of Unicode Character 'EN DASH' (U+2013)
0x14 = LSB of Unicode Character 'EM DASH' (U+2014)
0x18 = LSB of Unicode Character 'LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+2018)
0x19 = LSB of Unicode Character 'RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+2019)
0x1C = LSB of Unicode Character 'LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+201C)
0x1D = LSB of Unicode Character 'RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+201D)

The Current State:

The Freeview EIT stream, together with the NIT, SDT and TDT/TOT streams, were recorded for 360 seconds off BBC A and BBC B multiplexes.

The overall EIT cycle time is 300 seconds so recording for 360 seconds ensures all events are captured.

The file off BBC A was 33.4 MB.

The file off BBC B was 19.0 MB.

The BBC B file was much smaller because of the Huffman coding - a lossless compression.

Only the EIT text from events from services carried on DVB-T2 multiplexes is Huffman coded in the EIT off BBC A.

The files were processed by my EIT program which produced xmltv output files:

North West_BBC A__2018 06 23 041950.xml - 31.2 MB and North West_BBC B__2018 06 23 042617.xml - 31.0 MB.

Upon loading these files, the xmltv viewer app, TVGuide, reported:

"Loaded 33518 in 7.015625 seconds, spanning 23/6/2018 to 01/07/2018" for North West_BBC A__2018 06 23 041950.xml


"Loaded 33518 in 7.609375 seconds, spanning 23/6/2018 to 01/07/2018" for North West_BBC B__2018 06 23 042617.xml

The files thus contained the same number, 33518, of events.

My EIT program has a subroutine which substitutes meaningful strings for the invalid codes:

Private Sub fixbadcode(b As Byte, s As String)
Select Case b
Case &H10 'Unicode Character 'HYPHEN' (U+2010)
s = s + "{-}"
Case &H13 'Unicode Character 'EN DASH' (U+2013)
s = s + "{-}"
Case &H14 'Unicode Character 'EM DASH' (U+2014)
s = s + "{-}"
s = s + "{L'}"
s = s + "{R'}"
Case &H1C 'Unicode Character 'LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+201C)
s = s + "{L''}"
Case &H1D 'Unicode Character 'RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK' (U+201D)
s = s + "{R''}"
Case Else
s = s + "[0x" + hexbyte(b) + "]"
End Select
End Sub

So, for example, invalid code 0x19 is replaced by {R'} signifying 'RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK'.

The curly brackets that enclose the strings are not found in normal EIT text and are used to search for and locate the invalid codes in the output file.

TVGuide has the useful ability to count and display events based on text in event descriptions.

I have defined a "highlighter" in TVGuide as "{ in Description".

Thus upon loading North West_BBC A__2018 06 23 041950.xml, TVGuide shows "{ in Description(710)", indicating there are 710 events that contain invalid codes in the EIT captured off BBC A.

Clicking on the highlighter displays those events.

Upon loading North West_BBC B__2018 06 23 042617.xml, TVGuide shows "{ in Description(17)", indicating there are 17 events that contain invalid codes in the EIT captured off BBC B.

Looking at those events showed they were all off services carried on DVB-T2 multiplexes.

TVGuide also has the ability to restrict its display to categories, for example Sport or Movies.

In my EIT program, I created a "DVB-T2" category to restrict display to events on services carried on DVB-T2 multiplexes.

Upon loading North West_BBC A__2018 06 23 041950.xml and selecting the "DVB-T2" category and clicking the "highlighter" "{ in Description(710)", the same 17 events as those off BBC B were displayed.

So when the invalid codes originate in events from services carried on DVB-T2 multiplexes, they are the same whether the EIT is captured from BBC A or BBC B.

What happened to all the rest? There are 710 events containing invalid codes in the EIT off BBC A - but a mere 17 in the EIT off BBC B.

The invalid codes have simply been omitted in EIT text off BBC B.

This solution causes grammatical errors such as thats in place of that's and cant for can't.

I give a single example to illustrate here:

This event has an invalid code in its title:

Channel 5 HD, Mon 25 Jun 04:00 - 04:45: Now That{R'}s Funny

This error is present regardless of EIT origin and Huffman coded because it is off a service carried on a DVB-T2 multiplex.

The SD version of the event off the Huffman coded BBC B EIT:

Channel 5, Mon 25 Jun 04:00 - 04:45: Now Thats Funny

The invalid code for the intended apostrophe has been omitted, rendering a grammatically incorrect "thats".

The SD version of the event off the non-Huffman coded BBC A EIT:

Channel 5, Mon 25 Jun 04:00 - 04:45: Now That{R'}s Funny

The invalid code for the intended apostrophe is present.

link to this
js's 617 posts Gold Gold GB
Sunday, 1 July 2018
Mark Jolly
3:36 PM

I have just moved to the. Bromley Cross area of Bolton BL79NY and am in line of sight of the transmitter at Winter Hill. The house does not currently have an aerial. Can you suggest a suitable aerial for my area. Regards Mark

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Mark Jolly's 2 posts GB
5:11 PM

Mark Jolly:

As you are just 6 km away frok the transmitter at Winter Hill, you only need a small aerial fitted, which could be in a loft or external. You need to avoid having too much signal so a high gain aerial is not needed, but it is best to have a directional aerial to avoid external interference, hence having a small aerial fitted. Note that there is no such thing as a 'digital' aerial (that's a ploy to increase the costs) as the aerial does not care how the signals are modulated on the carrier.

You should aim to have between 60% and 85% signal strength on all multipexes available. Put your post code into the Digital UK Coverage Checker at Digital UK - Coverage checker and it will tell you the channels currently being used.

link to this
MikeP's 2,471 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Monday, 2 July 2018
3:39 PM

Rather than the above unrelated garbage, it would be timely and helpful to have
updated information on the situation of the Winter Hill with approaching moor fires.

link to this
michael's 814 posts Gold Gold GB
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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.

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