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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.

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 15/04/2024 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 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, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 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), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 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.

Saturday, 7 December 2013
Dave Lindsay

1:56 PM

Barry: Well done. Is you surname Bean by any chance? Are you looking for an award?

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Sunday, 8 December 2013
11:18 AM

I was hoping for any clues as to why the BBCA mux is not receivable on an indoor aerial (43db gain) whereas the other Mux's are fine.

Is the transmitter array for BBCA lower down the mast for instance?

link to this comment
Barry's 4 posts GB flag
Barry's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

3:41 PM

Barry: With knowledge of your location why on earth do you think this might be a weaker signal???!!!

The terrain plot suggests you have clear line-of-sight at 7.6 miles. The transmitter is 100kW on all channels!

Your problem could be that the signal is too strong and that "the right angle" is one where the strength is a little lower.

As for an antenna that has 43dB gain, I doubt there is such a thing. The claim is presumably one put there by marketeers and applies to a device which combines an antenna and amplifier (which as a whole is referred to as an "aerial").

If this has a variable amplifier then I would start by turning it down to minimum and work from there.

Providing it is sited in a room with good quality reception, which is preferably with as few a walls in the way in the direction of the transmitter as possible, then something like this should be suitable:

SLx Indoor Digital Aerial ANR310 UHF DAB Fully Flexible Caravan Motorhome | eBay

I have one of these and received digital television before switchover, when the transmission power was lower than now. I am 25 miles from Emley Moor with a relatively clear signal path (the top of the tower being visible above the horizon from a nearby railway bridge) and the signals were radiated at 20kW.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
3:57 PM

The only mux that is a problem is BBCA. It would seem that there is line of sight to the transmitter. I am at a loss as to why the one mux is being received at a lower level than all the rest.
I have tried the amp at minimum and another indoor aerial with a lower claimed gain.

link to this comment
Barry's 4 posts GB flag

5:26 PM

Barry : Purely with reference to your question regarding the TX aerial mast, the PSB transmission aerials (panels) are always located at the top of the mast and as such can sometimes be received in a not too distant location at a "slightly" lower strength than that of the other transmitters radiating from lower down the mast, the signal "over the head" effect being totally dependant on the terrain, and of course with the reverse situation sometimes being the case if the receiving aerial is located on high ground.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:40 PM

Barry: Different frequencies travel differently which explains why all signals broadcast from the same place and at the same power can be received at different levels.

As jb38 says, you could potentially be affected by the "umbrella effect". This is where the high power transmitter focuses the beam further away - which is towards its horizon. This is opposed to focusing on the ground closer to it.

If you can then use the loft aerial. This may provide more stable reception anyway.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

8:57 PM

Most main transmitter sites use 'trapezoid slot' aerials which are positioned around the cylindrical sleeve (weather protection) so radiate equally in all directions. A typical aerial array has a number of such slots around the circumference and stacked in a slightly staggered pattern to ensure equal radiation in all directions. Each slot aerial radiates *all* the signals for *all* the multiplexes so there is not significant difference in radiate pattern or power density.
It does differ on the smaller 'repeater' or 'freeview light' transmitters as they are required to me more directional.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

9:19 PM

MikeP: That's interesting because the aerial heights given for PSB channels and COM channels of some of the high-power transmitters are different where they are all at the same power, e.g. Emley Moor. The latter is usually slightly lower down.

I'd read into this that there are two different arrays, perhaps with the latter having the beam tilted lower than the latter. (I note that all six of Winter Hill's are 726m. Sutton Coldfield's are all the same.)

The main transmitters where the COMs run at half power to the PSBs generally have all six muxes at the same height which would suggest that they all use the same array, presumably because the additional cost of a second array isn't seen as worthwhile and that reducing the power is a more economical way of reducing the coverage footprint (so as to reuse the channels).

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 9 December 2013
1:35 PM

L35 8PT.


I'm experiencing an odd problem on Freeview HD channels only.

On HD, there's an occasional black flash on the picture, almost as if someone walked in front of the camera. Sound is uninterrupted.

There can be no problem for a while, then these flashes will occur several times a minute.

Any clues as to where to look?


link to this comment
Ste's 5 posts GB flag
Ste's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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