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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.

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.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

4:19 AM

Graham Plumb:

If you read the previous posts, it's a problem with signal strength not where the channels LCNs are in the EPG.

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Chris.SE's 4,199 posts GB flag
Ian Arthur Laidler
3:32 PM

Hi,littleor no signal in ashton OL79JL.BBC just about watchable,ITV channels not watchable if any.Tried reset and retuning several times.Definite problem from winter hill.

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Ian Arthur Laidler's 1 post GB flag

6:24 PM

Ian Arthur Laidler:

You should get excellent reception of all main multiplexes and the two Local Manchester ones from Winter Hill.
There's no reported transmitter problems at Winter Hill or a couple of nearer relay transmitters although one of them is lised for Planned Engineering.
It possible when you retuned, you might just have done so at a time when reception of some mutiplexes from Winter Hill reception were affected by interference or engineering and inadvertently got tuned to one of these weaker realy stations.

You could first try a retune BUT done as follows - unplug the aerial and carry out an automatic retune. No channels should be found so this should clear memory of any previous tuning.
Plug the aerial back in and carry out a manual tune if possible, UHF channels are -
The main multiplexes are C32, C34, C35, C29, C31, C37, C55 for PSBs1-3, COMs 4-7.
The Local ones are Local Manchester, Manchester GI on C24 & C27.
If you are unable to do manual tuning then repeat the automatic one and check it tuned to the correct UHF channels in your TV Tuning section.

Now there is another possibility if this is not a very recent problem, but has been occuring continuously since August the 12th. Before that date, were you getting the main BBC channels at LCNs 751, 752 etc. in your EPG rather than the usual 1, 2, 9 etc.? And since that date have you've lost those and had intermittent problems with some of the others as well as the ones you've just mentioned? If so, then it may be that your aerial could be an old Group C/D and is not able to reliably receive the multiplexes on the new UHF channels. If you know you have a Wideband aerial, then there could be other issues.
Check that your aerial looks intact and is pointing in the correct direction ~WNW bearing 298 degrees at your location with the rods horizontal Check all your coax plugs and connections for any bad connections or corrosion. Check your downlead looks intact and undamaged and is secure.

If it turns out it's an old aerial and you had to watch BBC channels at 751, 752 etc. and it's your own home and aerial, and you don't have satellite or cable, then you can get free help from Freeview with a replacement aerial FoC. Ring them on 0808-100-0288.

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Chris.SE's 4,199 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Andy Donaldson
8:58 PM

Hi, we had real problems with reception yesterday which I assumed was the atrocious weather. However, it led me to check signal strength on the tv which showed very low values for strength and quality. Today I've checked again (clear skies, no rain) and still find what I would think are low values. The aerial/cabling is new, pointing to Winter Hill from Glossop (we're reasonably elevated) with no splitters/joins from the aerial right through to the tv. I've tried your recommended re-tune method but wondered if you could look at the values my TV displays (these are for BBC1 HD) and comment as to whether they are within an acceptable / expected range?
Freq.-586000KHz Bandwidth-8MHz Service ID-4484 Multiplex 10720(TSID 4088, ONID 233a) Network-North West(ID302a) Bit error level(E-6) 0 BER Signal Strength 14% Signal Quality 100% Channel ID 35
sorry If this is a bit over-kill but most of it is meaningless to me! Thanks for any help.

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Andy Donaldson's 5 posts GB flag
Thursday, 27 August 2020

5:14 AM

Andy Donaldson:

The information that's most important is the "Bit Error Level" (BER) being 0 (no errors), Signal Quality 100% - the signal is being received and decoded without any resulting errors. A signal level of 14% does seem rather low, but without a full postcode we can't examine the predicted reception for your location. You could well be in an "awkward" spot and that may be the best that can be expected but a lot depends on the aerial.

Who installed the aerial? What type, make, model is the aerial? How long ago was it installed? Is it low loss double screened coax that is being used?

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Chris.SE's 4,199 posts GB flag
Andy Donaldson
6:16 AM

Thanks for that Chris, and apologies for not providing the postcode (must learn to read before posting!) SK13 8ED. The cable is marked Triax RG6/U 19.5dB/100m (plus various other numbers) and is about a 25m run. Looking at Brian's aerial guide it looks somewhere between the class 2 and class 3 high gain types - there's 8 single horizontal elements (similar to the class 3) with the reflector having 4 horizontal bars per part as in the class 2, model unknown I'm afraid. It was professionally installed around 5 months ago and from the untrained eye seems to be solidly mounted. Checking this morning the figures for BBC1 HD are BER 500, Strength 9%, Quality 71% while such as BBC1 (non HD) show BER of 0, Strength 54%, Quality 100%

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Andy Donaldson's 5 posts GB flag
Andy's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:47 AM

Andy Donaldson:

Hmm. Whilst you are actually predicted to get good reception from Winter Hill for all multiplexes except COM7 which could be quite variable, sometimes poor, you are nevertheless 42km from the transmitter. Are you getting a Local Station (Manchester) at LCN7 in your EPG?

Those latest figures for the HD multiplex are poor. What sort of figures are you getting for the SDN/COM4 multiplex on UHF C29, ArqB/COM6 on C37, and the Local mux on C24?
For which channels are on which multiplex see Channel listings | Freeview

Whilst TV set strength figures aren't definitive, they are a (good) guide and my suspicion is that the aerial I'm afraid sounds very much like a Class 3 and IMHO is not high enough gain considering your distance from the transmitter. The coax I wouldn't have not considered to be low enough loss for a 25m run.
I'm thinking that as it's all only 5 months old, getting the installer back mightbe a consideration, but lets see what the other figures are.

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Chris.SE's 4,199 posts GB flag
Andy Donaldson
6:00 PM

Hi Chris, thanks for the help. Yes, LCN7 in the EPG carries a local (Manchester) station. The other figures you requested are; SDN/COM4 - Strength=22%, Quality=100%, BER=0. ArqB/COM6 - Strength=8%, Quality=95-100%, BER=0 and Local mux - Strength=46%, Quality=100%, BER=0. I also re-checked BBC HD; Strength=8%, Quality=25%, BER=1400. These were all noted with this afternoons overcast/rainy skies. I did notice at the time that our aerial looked generally smaller than various neighbours who also point to Winter Hill, but the installer came highly recommended and I wasn't about to question his choice (doh!) Thanks again.

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Andy Donaldson's 5 posts GB flag
Friday, 28 August 2020

5:27 AM

Andy Donaldson:

Sorry for the typo double negatives about the coax, to be clear IMHO it's not low enough loss, in other words it's not good enough quality for a 25m run (but it's not the worst quality) that coupled with the fact that it's not a high enough gain aerial results in poor signal at the receiver. (Best quality cable would be CT100/WD100 specification).

I should have asked if you were getting a signal for COM7 on C55 and if so what the figures are, I suppose that because the initial concerns with most people on Winter Hill is whether they have old group C/D aerials (doesn't appear you have) but also your prediction for COM7 isn't brilliant. Nevertheless it'd be good to see the figures.

With those figures I can suggest full "informed" comments you can give to the installer - any difficulty with him, you could also talk to your local Trading Standards people.

You can get away with lower quality cable if you have a high enough gain aerial, but the net result of the two should be a signal of minimum strength 45 to 60dBuV at the receiver as measured with a professional signal strength meter - the actual value the installer should be able to physically show you - not just state you've got it.
Higher values can always be attenuated if the need arises.

The only other point I should make is check you coax connectors and cable at the back of the TV to be sure you don't have any broken connections.

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Chris.SE's 4,199 posts GB flag
Andy Donaldson
5:54 AM

Thanks again Chris, and I'd realised what you meant with regards to the cable after I'd looked it up . The set didn't have any of the Channels carried on COM7 so I tried a manual tune for that frequency (2 in fact - 1 for the Channel number and one for the frequency, in case I'd messed up) - the set found 0 channels both times, which I assume is what you expected? I will recheck connections (the only join, which I'd forgotten about, between aerial and tv is a 2m length of Webro WF100 connected using F type connectors and a barrel).

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Andy Donaldson's 5 posts GB flag
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