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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.

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 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.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

11:35 PM

anthony: A Humax tuner is slightly more sensitive to that of a Sony, although in cases where low level signal levels are involved all devices being used should have their own individual feed from a powered splitter, as thats the only way to guarantee that each device receives exactly the same signal level.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 14 February 2013

5:18 PM

The Sony is after an old Tandy distribution amp, the Humax is before it, which doesn't help either. However as there is nothing that interests me on that multiplex it doesn't matter. Before Tuesday everything worked but the C/N ratio on that multiplex was only 15db (others are 37db) according to the Sony. Signal and quality levels were also low and there were post Viterbi errors but nevertheless it worked and there were no noticeable reception problems. (obviously just on the edge of the digital cliff). The Humax shows a signal strength of 27% (other multiplexes are 77%) I'm sure it was a bit higher than that before but I could be wrong, which made me suspect that DDD's problem was caused by a power reduction at the transmitter. I am to one side of their beam so not really in the service area either.
Someone has also reported this on Digital Spy as well.

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anthony's 58 posts GB flag

6:01 PM

anthony: internal strength indicators on tv and pvr are only for a guide you should have it checked with a proper signal meter if you want a good local firm google grax aerial ring them in the morning and ask them to recommend a local installer they don't install only sell to the trade so instead of poor reception and posting here you could have it fixed

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Mazbar's 384 posts GB flag
Friday, 15 February 2013

3:51 PM

My reception an all the main multiplexes on all TVs in the house is signal level high quality 100%. I was only trying to help DDD with his problem with the Manchester Multiplex that I don't personally use.

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anthony's 58 posts GB flag

5:49 PM

anthony: Re: your signal readings on the Humax, considering that you would appear to be located at approximately 18 miles away from Winter Hill I think that its quite an achievement for you to receive the MEN 1Kw transmitter with the indications that you do, DDD being a couple of miles further away from the TX at 20 miles.

Problems with reception at these sort of distances from a low powered transmitter is almost inevitable, and if prior to your present difficulty you had been receiving a reasonably workable signal then in my opinion its purely through good fortune, albeit that the terrain indicator does not indicate any obstructions to the signal, at least as far as natural ones are concerned as these type of indicators take no account of trees or man made structures.

That said, just out of interest what results do you get signal wise on the Humax if you reverse the Sony / Humax connections? i.e: the Sony being before the Tandy distribution amp and the Humax after it.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 16 February 2013
11:47 AM

I live in Chorley Lancashire (Winter Hill area) and currently have to retune my Sony Bravia ecery other days to pick up the Freeview channels continually get the Poor Signal error. Is it the setting up of 4G that's causing this and any idea if the situation will improve when that's done? Reading between all the technical stuff I half understand (I work in IT) my assumption is that there will be less power available for freeview channel broadcasts - if so, will a higher gain aerial help?

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Nigel's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

12:06 PM

Nigel: There are two possibilities that I can think of as to why you might have to retune your TV:

1. The thing keeps automatically tuning itself at will and every time it picks up another transmitter.

2. The signal level is too high and you need to remove amplification/attenuate.

3. The Winter Hill channels are high up and so are found later in the scan. Some sets don't have enough memory to store all transmitters that are received and by the time it gets to the one you want the memory is full.

Check that it is tuned to Winter Hill for all channels. The UHF channel number or frequency is usually given on the signal strength screen. You need to look at one service from each multiplex: BBC One, ITV, BBC One HD, ITV3, Pick TV and Film4. See above for channel numbers and frequencies.

If, when reception goes poor, the channels are still tuned to Winter Hill, then suspect that the signal level is too high and overwhelming the tuner which causes poor quality, much like turning up the sound full blast on a hifi.

Try removing the aerial plug and holding it close by in an attempt to "loose" a bit of signal.

4G won't affect TV signals being broadcast, at all; they will remain as they are (albeit that channels 61 upwards are being cleared for 4G use). It is the 800MHz 4G base stations that are likely to affect some TV receivers.

There are a whole variety of factors and one is the strength of the TV signal. Chorley is close to Winter Hill and if it has a good view to the transmitter then chances of being affected are lower than where the signal is weaker.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

3:17 PM


It's not easy to re-jig things without tearing everything apart but feeding the aerial directly in to the TV doesn't restore the picture although the TV recognizes that a signal is there,(passable quality but very low level). It's only of academic interest as I don't watch those services anyway.

I used to use a One for all sv-954 distribution amp but when Chanel M switched to 16quam from QPSK nothing after the amp could receive it. This didn't matter as there was nothing of interest to me on it. I had occasional problems with cross mod interference on the ITV multiplex from probably a taxi, it was always between 6.30 and 6.45 in the evening, so I tried an old UHF only Tandy amp I had. That cured the problem and also the Manchester multiplex appeared on the TV. I noticed that it had disappeared last Tuesday,as reported by DDD and someone on Digital Spy. The last time this happened a rigger at winter hill had trodden on one of the log periodic transmitter aerials and it wasn't fixed for some time.
I understand that the new local franchise will use new equipment at 2KW QPSK so it will probably be OK.

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anthony's 58 posts GB flag

6:52 PM

anthony: Well the main reason for my query was really connected to what you had said in your posting made on the 13th @ 4:10pm insomuch that "your Humax could get them but your Sony cant", but though with your later posting made on the 14th @ 5:18pm somewhat arousing my suspicion regarding the "possibility" of a problem existing on your installation by you having said that the Humax was connected before the distribution amp whereas the Sony is connected after it, as even although I did comment that Humax tuners are more sensitive than most Sony's ("most" as they can vary) the fact of the Sony being fed from a distribution amp whereas the Humax wasn't should have levelled this difference out "if" all is OK with the feed being used for the Sony.

The simple way to verify if everything is as it should be would be to test the Humax on the aerial feed used for the Sony, because if the Humax is sitting on the MEN mux and with a note being made of whatever the signal strength / quality level is indicating when taken "immediately" before moving it, then comparing these readings to that obtained on the Humax when its connected to the feed used for the Sony as they should be slightly higher, if not then either the amp (or connections from) is defective.

I do realise that its neither here nor there as you are not interested in the MEN channel anyway, and so my curiosity was purely a technical one as what you have reported can indicate a problem.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

9:27 PM

anthony: Another little point I wondered about being, does that Tandy (Radio Shack) distribution amplifier that you use have an adjustable gain control slot? as some of these are quite powerful offering about 25dB gain and I wondered what the result would be if you tried varying the gain either way, your previous One-for-All being in the region of 20dB.

Once again, my only reason for asking being by the fact of you being able to receive the MEN 1Kw transmitter as this is suggestive of you residing in a particularly good reception area, although one which could result in problems if the signal being received was being over amplified as it could result in elements of instability developing in the tuner, this corrupting the measuring system whereby the signal levels seen indicated cannot be relied upon as they will always give indications much lower than they really are, particularly where quality indications are concerned as in many cases a signal level of about 80% will be accompanied by near zero quality, a reduction in gain generally resulting in the quality zooming upwards.

Not really saying this type of situation applies in your case, but thought it worth mentioning.

By the way, Humax tuners and circuitry associated with is not near so susceptible to this sort of problem, and the reason why signal strength reports as being viewed on a Humax box can always be taken as being closer to that obtained on a proper signal meter, although the latter (provided of the more expensive variety) is always superior as its virtually immune to instability problems.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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