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

first published this on - UK Free TV
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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 - Winter Hill transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 27/11/2023 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, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 35 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 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 Christmas, 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
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 20 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 Christmas MCR, 77 That's 60s MCR, 80 Best Xmas Music, 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, 18 July 2020
Dvae Mann
1:32 PM

I retuned my bedroom TV's on 22nd June. and have lost Freeview CH37 which I beleive contains about 19 networks/Programs? as follows - Ideal world, Yesterday, Sony Movies, QVC Beauty, DMAX, CBS Justice, HGTV, 5Star, CBS DDrama, CBS Just+1, Jewellery Maker, Dave Ja Vu, Talking Pictures, Together TV+1, PBS America TV+1, Forces TV, POP, RT, Al Jazera.

My main TV an LG and Humax Box both appear to have picked up Freeview Ch37, although others are aslo missing.

My arial is pre-ditgital, but has a booster in the loft. Most used channels are good Quality i.e.BBC and ITV. HD is also fine. Why cannot I pick-up Freeview CH37 on my bedroom TV's Which only pick-up 102 Freeview TV programs as opposed to 116+ on my main TV? I spent many hours yesterday retuning both via Auto and Manual to no avail.

Your thoughts on this aspect would be gratefully received. Thank you Dave Mann. 18/7/2020

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Dvae Mann's 2 posts GB flag

1:33 PM

Further to my post on Thursday, 16 July 2020, a corrected Clearance document for the Granada region has been issued on the 16th July (the previous was the 15th July)….pdf
Ladder Hill has been added to the Granada relays which we spotted missing here back on Sunday, 12 January 2020 (p189)

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Chris.SE's 3,911 posts GB flag
Dave Mann
1:40 PM

Chris.SE: Sorry Chris Dave Mann here, my post code is CW4 8JF Roof Aerial attached to chimney.

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Dave Mann's 2 posts GB flag
Dave's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:24 PM

Dave Mann:

One possibility was that the Winter Hill transmitter has been undergoing Planned Engineering off and on for several weeks so there's the possibility you may have retuned when the COM6 multiplex on C37 was on reduced power, but as you've tried a retune since that's least likely.
You've mentioned that your aerial is "pre-digital" - not that the aerial receives digital signals any differently from the old analogue ones, they are all RF (Radio Frequency). The difference is possibly that older aerial may be "Grouped". Winter Hill originally was Group C/D where all the channels are at the top of the UHF band. Changes as part of the 700MHz clearance programme mean they are being moved to lower UHF channels. (Most will be in Group A - more on this in a moment).

COM6 moved to C37 in March 2018 at the same time COM8 (now closed) had moved from C37 to C31, and COM7 moved from C31 to C55. I wonder did you ever get COMs 7 or 8 when they were on C31 and C37?
(COMs 7&8 are temporary HD multiplexes for which you need a set with an HD/T2 tuner).

In Oct.2019 the local multiplexes move dfrom C56, the Manchester one to C24, did you previously get it, and do you get it now?
For which channels are on which multiplexes see…ngs.

Now in Feb.2020 COM8 moved to C56 so you should have been able to get them both on C55 & C56. But COM8 closed in June for commercial reasons. You shouldn't have any problems getting any of the multiplexes at your location according to the Freeview detailed Coverage Checker. But also in February the main BBC multiplex moved to C32, the TV programmes remaining in the LCNs 1,2, etc in the EPG, but the multiplex continued a simulcast on its previous C50 but with the TV programmes in LCNs 751 et seq.
Now, are you getting the BBC channels BBC1, BBC2 etc on LCN's 1,2, etc.? (and the old multiplex at LCN751 et seq.)?

Older Group C/D aerials will still pick up some signals on "out of band/group" channels lower down in the UHF band (but not often the other way about) but they may be too weak for a given TV receiver to decode.
Even if you are getting the BBC channels on C32 they may not be as reliable as they should be depending on your aerial, and reception of the lower channels will be very variable so C37 may be less reliably received if it's a C/D group aerial. If you can see the ends of the aerial (maybe use binoculars or a telescope) if it has a Green plastic plug in the ends then it's a C/D group. If you happen to know that it's a Wideband aerial (which receives all Groups) the this isn't the issue and we need to look for other reasons, but we can probably check more if the right information is in your TV's tuning sections.

In your TVs tuning sections, there should be an indication of signal strength and signal quality for each multiplex on its respective UHF channel.
One each set, first have a look at C32 for the PSB1/BBCA multiplex and note down the figures. Then look at PSB2/D3&4 at C59 and note the figures. Then have a look at COM5/ArqA on C49 and note the figures.

If you can post those figures and the answers to the questions about previous reception and the aerial, then we should know what is going on and what to do next. If it ends up that you have an old C/D aerial, free help is available.

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Chris.SE's 3,911 posts GB flag
Thursday, 23 July 2020

6:42 PM

What dastardly deeds are done, in the dark, in the night, upon the Hill of Winter?

All is revealed in "Winter Hill: The Movie", coming soon to a transmitter near you!

Free large file hosting. Send big files the easy way!

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js's 824 posts US flag
Friday, 31 July 2020

2:27 AM

As can be seen in the above linked video, all the final Winter Hill frequencies were active but the old BBC A, on Ch50, was missing.

I was struck by the massive s/n on 554MHz, CH31, of 38 dB, but upon loading this in TransEdit and TSReader, I was presented with GARBAGE!

It looked to be a bad signal - full of errors and missing packets.

I recorded a sample of the stream in CrazyScan2, with the intention of analysing it at a later date.

This TS stream crashed the "MPEG-2 TS packet analyser" program.

I finally got a grip on what they were transmitting: random numbers.

In fact a repeating sequence, 8MB in length, of random numbers.

The sequence had been converted into a transport stream by the insertion of sync bytes every 188 bytes.

Transmitting that stream was a good way to crash boxes!

Last time I saw random numbers transmitted was when they tested the new BBC A on Ch32.

In that test, the random numbers were in Null Packets, and therefore ignored by boxes, and thus harmless.

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js's 824 posts GB flag
Saturday, 1 August 2020

12:41 AM


They were messing around at WH a couple of weeks ago. There was some "Planned Engineering" that went awry on the 14th, the BBC mux on C50 went awol! They spent most of the 15th sorting things out (as per posts here on the 15th!) there was a message on Latest engineering works and warnings | Help receiving TV and radio whilst the issue was present as well as one on the Freeview Coverage Checker where a "Live issue" was listed (if you put in a postcode for being served by WH!).

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Chris.SE's 3,911 posts GB flag

12:51 AM


Just been watching again. What and where from, were the T2 transmissions on C29 & C30?
C31 is where ArqA will be moving to on the 12th.

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Chris.SE's 3,911 posts GB flag

5:04 AM

Chris.SE: C29 is normally Haslingden BBC B and 545.833 The Wrekin ch30- BBC B.

C31 was left vacant when com8 moved to C56 - hence the massive s/n - nothing else on that channel here.

I happened upon the tests after reading StevensOnln1's comment regarding Birmingham TV.

My Freeview box has no EPG, is blank on FIVE, ITV3, ITV4, ITV2+1, has no sound o | free and easy

The service tables off The Wrekin BBC B include:

Local Multiplex
ONID.TSID = 233A.800E
690 MHz, uhf 48, 8 MHz, QPSK, 8k, 3/4, 1/32
Target Regions = (GBR.England.West Midlands.Birmingham)
007 804E 01 Birmingham TV
048 84C0 01 Sony Channel
050 8500 01 Sony Movies Classic
060 8380 01 Sony Movies +1
094 8540 01 Ideal Extra
207 82C0 01 Tiny Pop

The Wrekin is, I think, is the only transmitter I have an unobstructed line of sight to - 100km distant!

When I had no lock on ch30- I went to investigate.

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js's 824 posts US flag

8:11 AM

js: C48 is the North petal at Sutton Coldfield IIRC
Now I'm puzzling about the "sudden" change in signal level on C29 & C30 at 0430 (give or take a few seconds)??

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Chris.SE's 3,911 posts GB flag
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