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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.

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

Winter Hill transmitter - Winter Hill transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 15/04/2024 Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels Digital tick

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.

Sunday, 15 September 2019
9:12 AM

Will the Sony Christmas channel be available in Southport at all from the Winter Hill transmitter?

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Sally's 2 posts GB flag

10:41 AM

Sally: Sony Movies Christmas is broadcast on the local TV mux, make it available in areas where a local TV station is broadcast on Freeview channel 7 or 8. This includes some, but not all, of the areas served by Winter Hill.

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StevensOnln1's 3,623 posts GB flag
Thursday, 19 September 2019

8:13 AM

Chris.SE: Sorry about the late reply.

Yes, these bad codes will be generally discarded by the receiver software leaving mostly grammatical errors due to the resultant missing quotes, dashes, hyphens and apostrophes.

As you know, the reason I am aware of the errors and no one else seems to be is I am fairly unique in having written EPG software for my own personal use.

In fact, I initially failed to spot the errors as I had included such a discard routine in my EPG program.

I became aware of them when they appeared in the output of the Huffman decoder, which I expect to be pristine UTF-8 and thus not needing to be processed.

The culprits are always much the same - never from ITV or Channel4 services.

The following is part of an automated dump from my program.

Note the Sony errors appear thrice because EPG for the three local multiplexes is sent from Winter Hill.

Invalid Character Codes in the EIT off North West multiplex BBC A. Date: 2019/09/18 01:20:19

There are 1239 events with invalid codes in the current EIT.

The Culprits:
service_name, number of events containing errors

BBC ONE W Mid, 22
BBC ONE N West, 22
CBBC, 26
CBeebies, 39
BBC Parliament, 4
BBC R5L, 2
BBC 6 Music, 4
BBC Radio 4 Ex, 48
BBC R1X, 1
BBC Asian Net., 2
BBC World Sv., 48
BBC Manchester, 1
BBC Stoke, 1
BBC Lancashire, 1
BBC Radio 1, 5
BBC Radio 2, 5
BBC Radio 3, 10
BBC Radio 4, 16
BBC RB 1, 7
BBC ONE Yorks, 21
BBC ONE Wales, 21
BBC TWO Wales, 24
Blaze, 6
ADULT Studio 66, 32
Planet Knowledge, 17
Sports Channel Network, 41
Sony Movies Action, 1
Ketchup TV, 14
RNIB Connect, 3
TBN UK, 13
YourTV, 6
Sony Movies, 14
POP, 116
Al Jazeera Eng, 4
Sony Channel +1, 31
POP Max, 134
Tiny Pop, 62
Sony Movies +1, 4
Sony Channel, 39
Tiny Pop, 62
Sony Movies +1, 4
Sony Channel, 39
Tiny Pop, 62
Sony Movies +1, 4
Sony Channel, 39
CBeebies HD, 39
PBS America, 20

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js's 827 posts GB flag

9:53 AM

A new stream has appeared sometime during the last two months in the Winter Hill BBC A and BBC B multiplexes with a Packet IDentifier (PID) value of 21 or hex 0x15.

From ETSI TS 101 191 V1.4.1 (2004-06):

"The present document specifies a mega-frame, including a Mega-frame Initialization Packet (MIP), which may be used for synchronization of Single Frequency Networks (SFN) as well as for the optional control of other important parameters in an SFN."

"The PID value for the Mega-frame initialization Packet (MIP) shall be 0 15."

A PID 21 stream has been present in the Winter Hill D3&4 multiplex for many years but is not present in the com7 and com8 multiplexes.

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js's 827 posts US flag
Friday, 20 September 2019

7:16 AM

I had hoped might show the new stream but apparently not.

0 - - DigitalBitRate

They have the Winter Hill BBC B on "738.166Mhz", which it isn't, it's on uhf 54- or 737.833MHz and they pay no respect to Hertz.

They have a section under the heading "This Mux has Ghost PIDs : total bitrate of these PIDs"

They inform us:

"These PIDs are not declared within the DVB tables. They are not usefull and are taking bandwith inside this Mux.
The PID list is available in PRODBR website, you can also contact us for more information."

It is a common error to refer to PIDs where streams are meant. PIDs don't have a Bitrate.

I couldn't find any PID list at the PRODBR website.

Finally, they show the Winter Hill BBC B Bitrate as 40.10 Mb/s. It isn't. It's now 40.209 Mbps but it used to be 40.215 Mbps so something has changed.

I would be interested in reports as to the presence or otherwise of a stream with PID 21 in the BBC A and BBC B transport streams from other regions.

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js's 827 posts GB flag
Monday, 23 September 2019

9:36 PM

Bad Character Update.

The BBC seems to have fixed its EPG text.

There are just two BBC events with errors left.

Curiously, it's the same expression in both events, but with different error bytes, specifically:

The low byte 0x10, substitute {-), of a Unicode hyphen 0x2010 in the first and the low byte 0x0B, substitute {), of a Unicode zero-width space 0x200B in the second.

As is most often the case, the EIT off BBC A has the error bytes and that off BBC B omits them. As usual, Freesat show what the text should be.

BBC Radio 3, Wed 25 Sep 14:00 - 15:30: Afternoon Concert:

Poulenc's Organ Concerto, Mathias's Threnos and Saint{-}Saens's mighty Symphony No 3 from the St Davids Cathedral Festival with organist David Briggs. Conducted by Daniel Blendulf.
Plain: 53 61 69 6E 74 10 53 61 C8 65 6E 73

Poulenc's Organ Concerto, Mathias's Threnos and SaintSans's mighty Symphony No 3 from the St Davids Cathedral Festival with organist David Briggs. Conducted by Daniel Blendulf.
Huffman: 53 61 69 6E 74 53 61 C3 AB 6E 73

Poulenc's Organ Concerto, Mathias's Threnos and SaintSans's mighty Symphony No 3 from the St Davids Cathedral Festival with organist David Briggs. Conducted by Daniel Blendulf.
Huffman: 53 61 69 6E 74 E2 80 90 53 61 C3 AB 6E 73

BBC Radio 3, Mon 30 Sep 19:30 - 22:00: Radio 3 in Concert

The opening concert in the Ulster Orchestra's 2019/2020 season, conducted by the orchestra's new chief conductor, Daniele Rustioni. Music by Verdi, Elgar and Saint-Saen{}s.
Plain: 53 61 69 6E 74 2D 53 61 C8 65 6E 0B 73

The opening concert in the Ulster Orchestra's 2019/2020 season, conducted by the orchestra's new chief conductor, Daniele Rustioni. Music by Verdi, Elgar and Saint-Sans.
Huffman: 53 61 69 6E 74 2D 53 61 C3 AB 6E 73

The opening concert in the Ulster Orchestra's 2019/2020 season, conducted by the orchestra's new chief conductor, Daniele Rustioni. Music by Verdi, Elgar and Saint-Sans.
Huffman: 53 61 69 6E 74 2D 53 61 C3 AB 6E E2 80 8B 73

As for errors from other service providers, they continue much as before.

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js's 827 posts FR flag

11:26 PM


Unfortunately this website doesn't correctly show some characters which is why they have shown as ? in your post!

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Chris.SE's 4,146 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
Tom Quirk
11:15 AM

I live in Winstanley, Wigan and living halfway up a huge hill have really good reception from Winter Hill when viewing freeview. However on days like today (24 Sep 2019), cloudy and rainy, I have lost all freeview channels. No reception at all. Not a problem as I usually watch Virgin TV but really irritating as it limits my choices. Am I alone in this or do other people have this problem. I have tried to contact Winter Hill but, understandably, they do not seem to have a general contact email.

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Tom Quirk's 1 post GB flag

2:47 PM

Tom Quirk:

In theory you are in a very good reception location but would need a full postcode to provide a more accurate predicted reception at your location, see About us | Freeview
Winter Hill does have Planned Engineering this week with "Possible service Interruptions"

Other than that, my immediate reaction, apart from checking that the aerial hasn't moved in any winds, is that you may have damaged cable or aerial connections and rain is getting in, hence affecting the signal.

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Chris.SE's 4,146 posts GB flag
Friday, 27 September 2019
Chris Benson
7:54 AM

Hello! A couple of questions to ask for a good friend of mine who lives in WN7 (Leigh, near Winter Hill).

1. Looking at this link - About us | Freeview - does this mean that from early next he will receive the local TV channel? He can't view it at the moment. Also, what other channels will he pick up that he won't be able to view now (guessing Sony Channel and maybe a couple of others?)

2. I notice on the same website it's suggesting a wideband aerial to pick up channels going forward, is this right?

Thanks once again - brilliant website. Chris

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Chris Benson's 3 posts GB flag
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