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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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 16 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, 109 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! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 69 HorrorXtra, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 16 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 71 That's 60s, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 70s, 233 Sky News, plus 9 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! romance, 73 HobbyMaker, 76 That's 80s, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 90 Together TV +1, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 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, 63 GREAT! romance 1, 77 That's 60s MCR, 80 That's 70s MCR, 86 That's 80s 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.

Friday, 19 April 2013

8:45 PM

DebbieK: Thanks for the report on your findings, although just for clarification, were these levels obtained using the procedure mentioned to cake?

The other point being, (and purely for the notebook!) that to put these indications into perspective it would also have been of assistance if you had given a clue as to your location, as the distance / angle you are from the mast could have been cross referenced against the whereabouts of others who might also be having difficulties, this giving an idea if the problem is confined to only being experienced by those who reside at a certain angle from the mast.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
9:33 PM

jb38: Hi. Yes I followed your instructions re going into manual tuning but not starting a scan. I'm at M29 8DT. Thanks.

link to this comment
DebbieK's 7 posts GB flag
DebbieK's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:39 PM

jane: The easiest way to solve this problem is to clear the channel list, then commence a re-scan with the aerial unplugged. Plug in the aerial at C46 in the scan to cover the Winter Hill frequencies. Otherwise it is necessary to do a manual tune (where equipment allows manual tuning) for each of the Winter Hill frequencies. With the present frequency allocation, auto-scan will always find the signals from Moel-Y-Parc in Wales and possibly The Wrekin (West Midlands) before the NW/Winter Hill signals are found at your location.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Saturday, 20 April 2013
Mrs Hopkins
9:16 AM

Hi since the re tune some channels are pixalated especially bbc1 and sky news? Have re tuned three times The aerial is on the roof

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Mrs Hopkins's 1 post GB flag

10:49 AM

DebbieK: Thanks once again for the info! this having been noted for reference purpose, Winter Hill being indicated at 8 miles away from you on a bearing of 344 degrees and which according to the natural terrain indicator should be reasonably line-of-sight from the transmitter but with the exclusion of any possible man made structures being in the way, as the indications given only refer to the bare land devoid of forest's or anything man made, these being completely excluded from the indications.

That said though, I did notice a number of the aerials in your area having been positioned on exceptionally long mast poles, something which contrary to the indications referred to suggest that your particular part of the area can suffer from reception difficulties caused locally by the signal being obstructed, and in these types of areas variations in the reception level between each of the muxes tend to be common place even when in areas located as close as (or even less) than 8 miles away from a 100kw transmitter, this seemingly the case I was wondering if you as yet have made any "local" enquiries to determine as to whether or not the Ch50 / Ch49 problem is affecting anyone else? albeit I suspect that it will be.

Another point that always has to remembered being, that even although a person might well have had good reception prior to the recently made changes its not necessarily the case that the signal level received was particularly strong, although albeit with it possibly being stable hence why no problems were noticed even although it "might" have been hovering at just above the lower threshold cut off level of the receiver, but which has now fallen well under, the reason for possibly being a combination of the aerial now being much less efficient due to the new channels in use being at lowest end of the aerials operating range "if" a C/D group aerial is being used (identified by a green end blanking plug) and with this deficiency in the aerial being coupled to level changes caused by propagational variations that exist between frequencies.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
10:58 AM

Thanks jb38. You're right, all the houses in our immediate area have their aerials on long poles, so I guess we're not in the best place to receive these signals. I'll ask around the neighbours, see if they're having the same problems.

I was interested to hear the new channels (49 & 50) are at the lowest end of the operating range. Why on earth would they move BBC & Sky News there?! Why not shove Pick TV or some of the other cr@ppy channels in there? Why would they choose to move the channels that folk watch the most?

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DebbieK's 7 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

11:52 AM

DebbieK: The difficulty with reception on your road would appear to be due to the terraces on Elliott Street and Alexander Street which are on higher ground.

On standing on Elliott Street and looking down Norris Street the apex of the houses on Maesbrook Drive appear to be about level with the bottom of the first floor of the terraces:

M29 8DT - Google Maps

You can also see quite a way to the horizon.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
1:35 PM

Dave Lindsay: that sounds about right, it is quite a steep hill. So the hill and the houses on Alexander Street etc are in the way of the signal?

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DebbieK's 7 posts GB flag
1:51 PM

Since the 10th I have also not been able to get any signal from channel 50. Also my HD channels on 54 pixelate and usually have no signal quality. I have noticed that the frequency for 54 is set at 738000hz on mt LG TV but above it says it should be 737800hz?!

Tried retuning numerous time. Tried retuning with no arial then plugging it back in again and repeating. Tried removing and inserting the arial in from channel 46 onwards.

I live in an apartment block so can't simply check the arial.

Any advice? I live in Manchester city centre M1 1EW.

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JamesT's 1 post GB flag
JamesT's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

2:05 PM

DebbieK: Think of yourself as being in a shadow.

If the sun is low in the sky, you get long shadows from objects on the ground like trees and buildings. The transmitter is, of course, low to the ground which is why I draw the similarity.

The fact that there is a 'shadow' doesn't necessarily mean that you will definately have an issue, it just follows that there may be more issues in such an area because there are objects in the way.

The good signal is probably quite a bit above you. Theoretically, if you had a long enough pole to get your aerial to the height of (and therefore in line with) the aerials on the rooves of the terraces on Elliott Street then reception may be as easy (good) as at those properties.

So it is the ground dropping, as it were, that means that the signal closer to that ground level isn't as good.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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