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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 04/12/2023 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.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

4:34 PM

Liz: Do you have any duplicate BBC channels in the 800+ number range? It may be that your box has wrongly put the weaker signals on 1,2,etc and put the stronger ones in the duplicate channel range.

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StevensOnln1's 3,567 posts GB flag
5:17 PM

Hi Steve,
No, the only 800 we have is BBC 1 Wales, which isn't a great signal either.

I have no problem with this being "I need a new aerial" I just don't understand why it's only channels on the C32 we have signal problems with; All the other channels are completely fine, with high signal and quality.

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Liz's 4 posts GB flag
Liz's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 21 August 2020

3:08 AM


When aerials are picking up signals "out of band/group" their performance can vary dramatically from one channel nto the next, and in your case it doesn't look as though it's working well on Ch.32 for whatever reason. What helps here is that it is the BBC multiplex that you aren't getting, so Freeview have no reason not to provide the In-Home support (providing you qualify as previously explained).
I wouldn't mention about your original box getting Ch.32 (it may have had a more sensitive tuner). You just need to say that prior to Aug.12th you only got the BBC channels on 751, 752 etc and now you can't get them. They'll go through the retune procedure with you (which you can say you've done several times) and check you don't have cable or satellite.
Ask if you have any more queries.

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Chris.SE's 3,922 posts GB flag
9:29 AM

Many thanks Chris. Just the info I needed. :)

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Liz's 4 posts GB flag
Liz's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 23 August 2020
John Pratt
11:25 AM

I have a historic group C attenae,
After the feb retune channel 32 became very weak in comparison with channel 55.. After the August retune the channel 32 is stronger, along with the other grpup A channels. I suspect that there is an automatic gain control sonewhere in the receiver, which was dominated by the channels 55 etc between Feb and August.
Now after the August retune channel 55 is weaker at the transmitter the gain control boosts the combined signal. so it is just workable.

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John Pratt's 2 posts GB flag
2:06 PM

Channel 264 Revelation TV is on FreeviewHD. Why can I not receive this on the Winter Hill Transmitter? Thanks.

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Maggi's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 24 August 2020

3:41 AM

John Pratt:

There has been no changes to transmitter power for any of the multiplexes, just the final move in UHF channels on August 12th and of course the closure of the orignal BBCA mux on UHF C50 which was simulcast after the February 20th retune so those with old aerials could still get the BBC channels at 751, 752 etc in the EPG until their aerials were updated.

As you may appreciate that if you are in a strong enough signal area (generally fairly close to the transmitter) you could still get out of group lower channels with adequate signal, however it may be quite marginal and close to the "cliff-edge", this could mean that any receiver "desensitisation" can cause loss of signal. If a combination of received signals are sufficiently strong, then it can cause front-end overload (a reduction in gain due to agc is one of the effects) and so you lose the weaker signals as they fall off the cliff edge! The reception of the "extra" multiplex (the simucast) could be just enough to cause this, and it won't be the first time I've heard of some with this sort of thing happening.

Also remember you cannot always rely on the receiver's strength reading in such cases, as it also reduces due to the agc effects. The only way you an prove or demonstrate any of this reliably is firstly to use a professional signal strength meter to look at the received signals, as well as maybe a spectrum analyser, and use a variable attenuator to reduce what the receiver is getting and see how it behaves.

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Chris.SE's 3,922 posts GB flag
John Pratt
8:24 AM

Looking at the Winterhill channel listing it states that channel 55, COM 7, is now 25,700 W , compared with the main multiplexes at 100,000W. As this is the only remaining channel my group C aerial is now only seeing a quarter of the signal it used to. So the AGC has lifted the gain of the group A channels.
Looking at the TV report channel 55 is still reading 90%, compared to channel 32 at 45%.. Just about usable, but when 5G transmissions start I think I will still have problems of the AGC seeing the @700 signals So I think a new Group A aerial is justified.

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John Pratt's 2 posts GB flag
Graham Plumb
2:02 PM

Liz: Hi Liz
Do you still have problems on Ch32? If so, have you tried rescanning your box with the aerial lead disconnected and then rescanning again with the aerial lead reconnected? It could be that the box has become confused and you need to flush all the previous services out of the service list. Graham

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Graham Plumb's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 25 August 2020

3:06 AM

John Pratt:

As I said, there has been no change in power transmitted, COM7 has been at 22.9kW for well over a year according to DUK (probably at least since it moved to C55 in Mar.2018 without looking up some old documents!). The listings on this site are out of date as the site owner has not had time to update them - in fact there are currently a large number or errors on this site that currently need fixing.

As you haven't given a full postcode, I don't know your predicted reception of the various multiplexes, so there are a number of points to make so as not to create misunderstanding for other posters or readers -

1) You won't have problems with 5G transmissions as they won't be transmitted at anything like the same sort of powers and they will be transmitted from MNO local masts, so unless you will have one very close to you especially on the line-of-sight between you and Winter Hill, you are very unlikely to have a problem.
2) 700MHz frequencies haven't even been auctioned yet and it wil be sometime later next year at the earliest before any transmissions are likely to start anywhere in the country after the sale - tx equipment, antennae & etc have to be set up, handsets have to be available on the market and so on!
3) For the tiny minority that might be affected, 700 MHz filters will become available.

4) Assuming you are in an area predicted to receive all multiplexes, if you want to receive all current multiplexes from Winter Hill (& the other 24 main transmitters that carry COM7) you ideally need a Group T aerial which doesn't include the 700MHz band. (A Wideband will also receive the multiplexes for anyone that has one, and there would be no need to change it. )
5) If you are in an area that can get the Preston Local multiplex but not COM7 (or you are not interested in COM7) then a Group K aerial should be used as a Group A may not have adequate gain at C40. In fact there are SOME Group K aerials being sold by one supplier I know of (ATV) that they have tested and would usually have sufficient gain for C55!
6) Even in weaker signal areas those same Group K aerials may have better gain in Group A channels than the average Group A aerial unless you are starting to look as some very high gain spec. aerials.
7) In strong enough signal areas, a lot of people will get adequate and stable reception of all the new channels on their old aerials.
8) For those not getting stable reception of the PSB multiplexes especially (BBC, ITV, Ch4 & Ch5 etc.) then if they don't have cable or satellite, are in their own home with their own aerial, they can get a free replacement from Freeview by contacting them as detailed in my previous posts.

I hope that is now nice and clear for you. And for anyone else reading, I've given a lot of updated information and advice in many previous posts here over recent weeks, it could be useful to read some of them.

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Chris.SE's 3,922 posts GB flag
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