menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Freeview



Click to see updates

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 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 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), 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.

Saturday, 29 February 2020
Brian Gilbraith
1:38 PM

It may be helpful if the information presented was explained better and better presented.

Customers need to know that the UHF band is divided up into a series of channels. The more technical may wish to know that the channels are 8MHz wide.

They need to know that the channels are numbered and that a particular transmitter site will broadcast several TV transmitter signals each on its own channel and that typically, a transmitter site will transmit on three or more channels.

They need to know that, in order to receive the full range of TV available from a particular transmitter, they will need to have a antenna capable of receiving all the UHF Channel Numbers the transmitter uses. They need to know that antennas are classified by their capability of receiving a group of UHF channels Group A, B, C/D, W/T whatever and they need to know what antenna group their antenna needs to be capable of.

This suggests that for a particular transmitter the information supplied should be:

Transmitter Name:

UHF Channel Numbers used:

Antenna Group Necessary:

Then they need to know that each UHF Channel Number is used to transmit a digital signal containing a multitude of Freeview TV Channels which their TV set can decode and display. They need to know that the Freeview channel number is different from the UHF Channel Number over which they are transmitted and that it is the Freeview channel number that is displayed on their TV program guide.

This suggests that for each UHF Channel Number that a particular transmitter site transmits on should be followed by a list of Freeview TV Channel Numbers contain in that UHF Channel transmission and available for their TV set to decode.


Winter Hill UHF Channel No XX contains Freeview TV Channel Number 01, 03, 33, 45, .........60 etc

Winter Hill UHF Channel No YY contains Freeview TV Channel Numbers 05, 06, 08, 52, ........58 etc

and so on.

After that, viewers need to know what tv service is contained on each Freeview TV Channel Number

I do think the industry and professionals need information such as multiplexer type and compression method etc but mixing that with consumer/viewer information is confusing for them and the information is only really of use to equipment manufacturers who will have different sources.

link to this comment
Brian Gilbraith's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 1 March 2020

6:09 PM

Brian Gilbraith:

This is a free independent help site for those with reception and technical problems.
Apart from the fact that the site owner has not had sufficient time to update every transmitter page with the current and remaining changes resulting from the 700MHz clearance programme (bear in mind there are over 1100+ transmitters in the UK) virtually all the sort of information you mention is available either on the various transmitter pages, or elsewhere on the site via links given on various pages.

Where it isn't, or where up-to-date information is needed where this site is out of date, on most transmitter pages, recent posts will provide the correct information. eg. here for Winter Hill have a look at some of the posts from 12th January onwards (p189) and in a lot of cases you'll find links to Freeview site pages where a lot of the current information is given.

Non technical people are able to (and usually/very often do) ask questions, they don't have to understand every bit of information here, explanations can be provided if needed, and very often are by most of the regular posters here.
As for information such as "The more technical may wish to know that the channels are 8MHz wide" I think you will find that not only is that information available elsewhere on the site, there are many places on the internet you can find it, but the technical people posting here (or even reading) already know that! Granny does not need to be told how to suck eggs.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,242 posts GB flag
Saturday, 7 March 2020

6:47 AM

I think I've found the answer to a question I asked on here years ago.

I was puzzled by the different bitrates of BBC B and COM7/COM8.

At that time, the BBC B bitrate was 40.215 Mbps while the COM7/COM8 bitrates were 40.200 Mbps, yet both were said to be using the same T2 parameters.

I could find a T2 parameter set with a match of 40,214,645 bps for BBC B but nothing matched COM7/COM8.

Recently, the Winter Hill BBC B bitrate changed to 40.209 Mbps.

Strangely, the BBC B off Haslingden, which has parent transmitter Winter Hill, still had a bitrate of 40.215 Mbps.

I determined to find the reason why.

Now, Haslingden comes and goes with the wind, but a couple of weeks ago, I was able to record simultaneously, the full transport streams off Winter Hill and Haslingden without error.

The idea was to match them packet for packet.

I thought, that's easy, just find PCRs with the same time value.

I found that the PCRs were slightly different but I was able to find the same packets in each file.

I discovered the only difference, apart from the PCR values, was the number - and type* - of Null Packets.

The PCR values had to be different precisely to account for the different number of Null Packets.

So, it appears, the number of Null Packets explains these differences in measured bitrate.

Now, Null Packets are used to maintain a constant bitrate for the transport stream; if the input data to the multiplexer falls below the target bitrate then Null Packets are inserted as required.

So there it is. Someone at Arqiva had entered the round number 40.200 as the target bitrate for COM7/COM8, and someone else had entered the exact theoretical bitrate as the target bitrate for BBC B.

It was pretty thick of me not to realise that the measured bitrate of a transport stream is determined by what might be an essentially arbitrary value in the multiplexer configuration.

*The Null Packets off the Haslingden BBC B have headers 47 1F FF 10

*The Null Packets off the Winter Hill BBC B have headers 47 1F FF 1F

link to this comment
js's 827 posts NL flag

1:27 PM


Nice bit of research there, I wish I was more into this sort of thing (and had time for it!).

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,242 posts GB flag
Ken W
3:06 PM

Just wondering if anyone could advise with regard to the retune for Winter Hill on 22nd April. I am away from home from 16th April and won't be here on the date. I use a computer program called MythTV to record programmes. Is it likely that the new frequencies will be available early so that I can retune before leaving.

I guess it's a long shot as I image the antennas etc. at Winter Hill will need to be switched over on the day.

link to this comment
Ken W's 3 posts RO flag

3:26 PM

Ken W:

AFAIK there's no way round that problem. The transmissions are not at all likely to start before the 22nd April as they have to use the same transmitters (retuned etc.) Duplicate transmissions for the PSB1/BBCA mux have only been done because of the significant change of the UHF channels from aerial Group C/D to Group A for the primary multiplexes. This is so people that have problems with UHF C32 have time to resolve aerial problems with Freeview 0808-100-0288 for help with free aerial replacement if they don't have Cable or Satellite.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,242 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 March 2020
Ken W
1:07 PM


Many thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay in replying due to work away. I thought it would be a long shot but had to ask. I'll do it on my return and shouldn't miss too much.

link to this comment
Ken W's 3 posts GB flag

1:24 PM

Ken W:

I don't suppose you can program it to power up and rescan after say 0900 on the 22nd when everything should be up and running ok by then? (I did say should!).

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,242 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 11 March 2020

6:16 AM

Ken W: You could use Wake-on-LAN and Remote Desktop Connection if you have a machine with you.

link to this comment
js's 827 posts GB flag

6:19 AM

Bad Characters Update

It's interesting to look at these events on the Freeview site:

TV Guide | Freeview

When I looked on there a few weeks ago, they were displaying the correct characters. They now seem to be using the same corrupt data they transmit.

For example, take error event #327 below:

This is what's transmitted:
Al Jazeera Eng, Fri 13 Mar 20:00 - 21:00: title = "The Coming War On China", description = "Journalist John Pilger, reveals what the news doesn't {--} that the world's greatest military power, the U.S. may well be on the road to war with China."

Freeview site:
The Coming War On China

13 Mar 2020 - 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Download our Freeview mobile app

Journalist John Pilger, reveals what the news doesn't that the world's greatest military power, the U.S. may well be on the road to war with China.

Note how ungrammatical that is without the --

A shortened error report follows:

Invalid Character Codes in the EIT off North West multiplex BBC A. Date: 2020/03/11 02:31:50

It has become apparent through observation that invalid bytes in the Freeview EIT text strings are the low-order bytes of the Unicode General Punctuation Block:

Of course only bytes less than 0x20 qualify as invalid codes in the context of EIT text strings.

Since about April 2018, the following invalid codes have been found in the Freeview EIT text items:

0x01, substitute: {0x01} -> Unicode Character: "EM QUAD" (U + 2001)
0x08, substitute: { } -> Unicode Character: "PUNCTUATION SPACE" (U + 2008)
0x0B, substitute: {} -> Unicode Character: "ZERO WIDTH SPACE" (U + 200B)
0x10, substitute: {-} -> Unicode Character: "HYPHEN" (U + 2010)
0x13, substitute: {--} -> Unicode Character: "EN DASH" (U + 2013)
0x14, substitute: {---} -> Unicode Character: "EM DASH" (U + 2014)
0x18, substitute: {L'} -> Unicode Character: "LEFT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK" (U + 2018)
0x19, substitute: {R'} -> Unicode Character: "RIGHT SINGLE QUOTATION MARK" (U + 2019)
0x1C, substitute: {L''} -> Unicode Character: "LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK" (U + 201C)
0x1D, substitute: {R''} -> Unicode Character: "RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK" (U + 201D)

There are 1235 invalid codes in the current EIT:
invalid code, count, percentage
0x13, 4, 0.32%
0x18, 25, 2.02%
0x19, 1144, 92.63%
0x1C, 31, 2.51%
0x1D, 31, 2.51%

There are 942 events with invalid codes in the current EIT.

The Culprits:
service_name, number of events containing errors

BBC World Sv., 6
BBC Radio 4, 1
BBC World Sv., 6
BBC Radio 4, 1
Yaaas!, 17
Blaze, 22
ADULT Studio 66, 32
Planet Knowledge, 24
Sports Channel Network, 112
Ketchup TV, 11
RNIB Connect, 3
Food Network, 1
Sony Movies, 21
POP, 69
Al Jazeera Eng, 4
PBS America, 4
Sony Channel +1, 24
POP Max, 126
Tiny Pop, 85
Sony Movies +1, 3
Sony Channel, 28
Sony Movies Classic, 2
That's TV, 48
Tiny Pop, 85
Sony Movies +1, 3
Sony Channel, 28
Sony Movies Classic, 2
That's TV, 48
Tiny Pop, 85
Sony Movies +1, 3
Sony Channel, 28
Sony Movies Classic, 2
PBS America +1, 8

Events with invalid codes in the eight-day EIT off multiplex BBC A at 2020/03/11 02:31:50:

#1: BBC World Sv., Wed 11 Mar 11:32 - 12:00: title = "13 Minutes to the Moon", description = "1/6. {L''}Houston, we've had a problem.{R''} To ignite catastrophe would take just the flick of a single switch. Why Nasa's third bid to land on the Moon was flawed from the start.", description error bytes: 0x1C, 0x1D


#4: BBC World Sv., Tue 17 Mar 04:32 - 05:00: title = "In the Studio", description = "Nicknamed the {L''}first lady of graffiti{R''}, Ecuadorian-American artist Lady Pink talks murals, music and money.", description error bytes: 0x1C, 0x1D


#7: BBC Radio 4, Sun 15 Mar 08:10 - 08:48: title = "Sunday Worship", description = "From St Patrick's Church, Coleraine, on the Lenten theme, {L''}Care for God's Creation{R''}.", description error bytes: 0x1C, 0x1D


#15: Yaaas!, Wed 11 Mar 00:30 - 01:00: title = "Wallace and Gromit's...", description = "... Cracking Contrapitions. From the Soccamatic to the 535 Crackervac, Wallace{R'}s inventions are truly imaginative if not always the most efficient!", description error byte: 0x19


#327: Al Jazeera Eng, Fri 13 Mar 20:00 - 21:00: title = "The Coming War On China", description = "Journalist John Pilger, reveals what the news doesn't {--} that the world's greatest military power, the U.S. may well be on the road to war with China.", description error byte: 0x13


#942: PBS America +1, Wed 18 Mar 15:20 - 15:55: title = "Steven Raichlen's...", description = "...Project Fire: Raichlen{R'}s Rules: In this episode, Steven looks at fundamental techniques that he has employed over the years. (Part 12 of 12)", Huffman coded, description error byte: 0x19

link to this comment
js's 827 posts GB flag
Select more comments

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.

If you have no satellite signal, see Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fault'

If you have other problems, please provide a full (not partial) postcode (or preferably enter it in box at the top right) and indicate where if aerial is on the roof, in the loft or elsewhere.

UK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.