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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 22/07/2024 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 U&Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 U&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 U&Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 U&Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 &UYesterday +1, 75 That's 90s, 233 Sky News, plus 11 others

 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 U&W, 27 U&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.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Dave Lindsay

1:33 PM

Gary Smyth: Following your follow-up posting, that there is no manual tuning, then in answer to your question: it depends on which channels are missing. Knowledge of which channels are missing will allow an assessment to be made of whether they may be missing because the aerial wasn't plugged in soon enough.

As I say, ITV/C4/C5 etc is on the highest frequency from Winter Hill, so just leave the aerial in until the end of the scan.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Phil C Chester
3:27 PM


Thank you for your continuing interest. There is already a 4 way booster fitted in the arial lead.Talking to my radio ham neighbour he suggests as do you that my arial may need to be higher as it is about 3ft or so lower than most others round here. Could the change in channel cause such a dramatic loss of signal?

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Phil C Chester's 8 posts GB flag

5:44 PM

Aerial height discussion.
The actual height an aerial needs to be depends entirely on local signal reception conditions. Higher is not always better and lower is not always worse. Example, in 1969 a road in South Croydon was found to have very poor reception of UHF ITV and several houses had aerials fitted on very long, guyed, poles but still had problems. Investigations showed that in many cases a lower aerial height cured the problem. It was caused by the curved copper roof of the Fairfield Halls about half a mile away, the curve acting as a director for some UHF signals and 'bending' the ITV signal to leave a blank spot. So higher is not always the cure and such instances should always be carefully investigated and analysed.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Thursday, 25 April 2013

9:28 AM

Phil C Chester: As far as aerial heights are concerned, I feel that the situation has been admirably explained by MikeP, and so its really a case of experimenting with the aerial in various positions, whether it be higher or lower / left or right of its present position, and with anyone who might be called in to have a look at the situation not automatically "going with the flow" of what might be seen around, likewise casting aside any preconceived idea of "the higher the better", as this rule exclusively applies only to aerials mounted on masts for transmission purposes.

On the subject of the channel change, and in particular about whether this could cause such a dramatic signal loss, its not just so much the channel change as such that can cause problems (excluding your aerials contribution) but the other factors that come into play at the transmitter, e.g: aerial matching changes etc to keep the loading on the transmitter within limits, but though with this resulting in slight changes to the actual output which can have a knock on effect on the way that the signal being radiated from the mast by the series of phased panels that makes up the 360 degree coverage, and with any effects that might cause only ever being found out by field checks being made around the mast at evenly spaced compass points, not of course that this is ever done nowadays as its something which is only carried out via a helicopter sweep after completion of a major mast refit.

If your neighbour is a radio ham of the more "in-depth" technical variety (as many are not!) then you could maybe mention what I have said to him and he might be able to somewhat elaborate, as its one of those fields that can only be abbreviated to a certain extent without the plot being lost, because if explained in more detail could fill a complete page.

But though my comment (or suspicion) about your aerial making the situation worse is based purely on the signal strength findings on mux Ch49 when compared to Ch55 and upwards, but though I feel that a change of aerial on its own would not really improve Ch50 as far as its lagging quality is concerned, albeit that both strength and quality would most likely be higher but with the likelihood of the ratio between them remaining the same unless the aerial is moved.

By the way, now its known that you have a booster in line I would be interested to know what indications you would get on Ch50 if you tried a quick check by temporarily connecting the aerial directly onto the feed used by your main TV, i.e: bypassing the booster.

Finally! if you can get hold of a pair of binoculars have a look up at the front of the horizontal beam that holds all of the elements to see if its fitted with a green end blanking plug, if it is then its a C/D aerial.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Martin Brown
4:16 PM


Sorry for delay since your last posts to me of 7.25 and 8.00 PM on 13 April. I checked with the only neighbour with freeview in this sparse country area (retuned no probs); followed up the Humax help desk's further suggestions to carry out a Maintanence Mode software update and Reset (no change from 39 channels); and rang Digital UK for advice (nothing helpful). I then moved on as you advised to aerial engineers. The first would not even come out, suggesting I needed to retune (doh!). The second has just been out and after considerable testing and head-scratching we have a result!

As he explained it, the new (lower) frequency of the BBC channels was coming through more weakly on my aerial than the previous position, and he resolved the problem by making a minor tweak to the direction in which the aerial was pointing, which improved the signal strength a little, and adding a signal booster in my loft. This has now restored service to 113 channels.

I remain aggrieved that I have had to shell out £ 158 to correct a problem caused by the transmitter people beaming out a signal on a frequency that (for me at least) caused reception problems. (I asked Digital UK who I would sue if I wanted to, but predictably they could not tell me!)

But I am am very grateful to you for your helpful advice which eventually led me in the right direction.


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Martin Brown's 5 posts GB flag
7:11 PM

Live in BB1 area in flats. Lost BBC channels after 10th April. My tv in the living room is connected to the communal aerial which is not recieving BBC channels and other channels like Dave and ITV3/4 are weak. I have another TV in my bedroom that uses a freestanding aerial and reception on that is fine with all channels working. I used the freestanding aerial on my main tv instead of the communal one and it received all the channels.

So where does the problem lie? Is it my Tv that needs retuning ( which have done many times) or communal aerial needs readjusting?

I use humax PVR for my main viewing.

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Celia's 2 posts GB flag

7:13 PM

Celia: You should perhaps read your comment again and see that you have basically answered you own question - if you the TV works with the indoor aerial then the communal aerial is the problem. Speak to neighbours to double check then to your property manager.

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Michael's 358 posts GB flag
7:30 PM


Thanks for your comment. I did get in touch with management but they said no one else has complained. Most others have Sky have yet to find someone who uses communal like me. I contacted a local tv place they said no one else has complained so must be my tv. They said would send.someone round to look but am worried that I will be charged for it hence finding out first where the problem is.

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Celia's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:37 PM

Celia: The communal aerial system is likely to be the issue. As Michael says, speak to whoever is responsible for the property.

Some are fitted with filters that only allow through the frequencies used by the desired transmitter. In the case of BBC standard definition and ITV4/4seven, they are on new frequencies.

ITV3 and Dave are on the same frequencies as they were before.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:39 PM

Celia: If they are using satellite (Sky or Freesat) then it won't affect them.

This is an issue with the aerial system.

As Michael says, you have answered your own question.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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