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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, 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, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Granada),

 H max
C35- (585.8MHz)726mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 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, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! movies action, 46 Channel 5 +1, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 74 Dave ja vu, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

 H max
C31 (554.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
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, 57 Smithsonian Channel, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 75 Yesterday +1, 83 Together TV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 71 Quest Red +1, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 88 Classic Hits, 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
 Spotlight TV,  Now 70s,  Country Music Entertainment , 63 GREAT! movies Christmas 1, 77 NOW 80s, 80 Clubland TV, 87 Now 90s, 91 Classic Hits MCR,

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 (139°)
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, 4 July 2020

2:16 PM


Undoubtedly the cliff edge approaching. How particular sets cope when approaching such limits will vary from one set design/manufacturer to another. Some sets can cope with much lower signal strength before the quality starts dropping and even then how they cope with that will vary. I was rather surprised the other week when we had some tropo with a good lift, one multiplex I managed to pick up on one set was showing 14% signal occasionally dropping and 9% quality peak dropping to almost 0% quality, yet I has steady picture and sound for most of the time, no break-up!
Whilst following general guidance - if your set displays 100% signal, as long as it still shows 100% quality then you may be ok, but if you have occasional picture/sound break-up or a missing weaker mux, consider the fact you may have too much signal and need to wind the signal down a bit. Some sets can start having overloaded front ends/tuner desensitisation at less than 100% displayed signal.
It can be very much a case of experiment, suck and see in some circumstances, some times it can need to be a compromise to get what you want (and in some cases not want!). I have come across cases where a manual tune isn't possible and to avoid a 2nd unwanted transmitter, put in some attenuation whilst tuning, then remove it after.

This is a very much overlooked tool for such situations, eg. - Coax TV Aerial Attenuator Adjustable Variable Between 0-20 dB Reduces signal | eBay (eBay item 310039226920)
There are other suppliers available (and some rip-off prices) but I've found that brand good value for money.

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
Sunday, 5 July 2020
9:47 AM


Thanks for the link, those kind of things are really useful actually.

The big problem/s I have with juggling attenuators are these:

1/ The Sony HDD recorder (HXD870) has no means of preventing it background scanning for channels when in standby. Although any rogue entries can be deleted from the EPG and seeming got rid of that way I find that timer recordings still get confused and consequently the program from the wrong region will be recorded.

2/ The much newer (still current) Panasonic HD HDD recorder has a well documented issue of locking up and becoming unresponsive, usually overnight. Lots of customer reports of this. I've noticed it happens every time there is a change to the Freeview platform and so that leads to suspect it also locks up when out of region transmissions are strong enough to be logged as a new channel or a change in channel lineup. So I have an attenuator in that feed as well.

I'm hoping both these issues will be improved once the final shuffling is done.

The Sony TV just sorts everything automatically and never blinks.

Amplifying only to attenuate again breaks all the rules but it seems to provide a workable solution in my case. It would be interesting to see how much attenuation the incoming signal from the aerial could stand and perhaps use that as a basis for how well a loft aerial might perform... but you know what it's like... its a bit a chore going up there and running up and down ladders to look at the effect as you change something.

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Karl's 17 posts GB

10:29 PM


> .. its a bit a chore going up there and running up and down ladders to look at the effect as you change something.

Ha, we've all been there at one time or other :D
Your amplifier isn't external is it?
The main thing about using amplifiers is to get as good a signal as possible at the aerial. The worst thing is amplifying an unnecessarily poor signal. Nothing wrong with attenuating a "good" signal that's too strong.
With the aerial connected direct to the downlead, you can experiment with the attenuator at the set, in any event it's the best place to do any attenuation.
If you are messing around with a loft aerial, a portable set if you have one is useful, otherwise if you can put a set somewhere near the loft ladder (not where you might fall on it!) and use a short cable to connect the set to the aerial/distribution.

That Sony HDD must be a right pain, as for Panasonic, lots of people say their stuff has gone right down the pan in recent years. I've given up recording stuff, never manage to find time to watch it :yikes: I can use catch-up if I want to and find time!

Shuffling is likely to continue aside from 700MHz Clearance. Broadcasters have this nasty habit of closing/opening channels and moving multiplexes depending on the deal they get with the mux operator. A pain in the butt, to put it moderately politely.
Don't forget to keep any HDMI leads as far away as possible from aerial & flyleads as they can sometimes cause interference, notably with C55 (COM7) where a number of people have had problems.

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
7:53 PM


That very problem you mention of HDMI leads and cable routing is something I came across a couple of years ago with this set up. I had wondered if I could dispense with the amplifier altogether and which is in the loft by the way and not external... and all seemed OK until the Sony recorder was turned on, and when it was BBC4 HD and News24 HD etc went AWOL. If I separated the leads somewhat then it was OK but having untidy wiring is something that drives me nuts and so the amplifier stayed. I hadn't got the Panasonic at that time.

I must admit I time shift pretty much everything and aside from the Sony's little tendency to want to grab out of band signals I have to say that it has been the single best bit of kit I have owned. On average I bet it has seen 4 to 5 hours daily use... it may even be more. The attenuators have pretty much 100% fixed those other issues though.

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Karl's 17 posts GB
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

11:52 PM


Well you should be all clued up now Karl and know what to expect. Do post back with any other queries/ideas whenever you need.

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
Wednesday, 15 July 2020
Peter Wickes
6:40 PM

I have lost BBC1 on 751, BBC2 on 752, and BBC News on 758 from Winterhill. Retuning does not rectify the errorr

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Peter Wickes's 1 post GB

7:54 PM

Peter Wickes:

The Winter Hill transmitter is listed for Planned Engineering this week with "Possible Service interruptions".
The Freeview site is also listing there being a current live issue that may be affecting reception.
This is the most likely cause of the problem.

As you have retuned whilst the signals were missing, you may have to retune again when signals return as the correct tuning may have been cleared. You may have to try several times as no detail of when signals will return has been provided.

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
Thursday, 16 July 2020

12:12 AM


Major update since my last post here, Freeview have just announced the dates for the final 700MHz Clearance events. It will be the 12th August for Winter Hill and some relays (and some remaining Granada region transmitters and relays). Douglas is on the 19th August.

So as previously posted the final channels for Winter Hill will be -
C32, C34, C35, C29, C31, C37, C55, C24, C21, C40, C27 that's in the order
PSBs1-3, COMs4-7, Manchester Local, Liverpool local, Preston Local, Manchester GI multiplex.
(There is a query on the channel for the Liverpool local mux as the clearance document says C24 -same as Manchester so unlikely) whereas other documents all say C21 as at present).

NOTE: IF you are not currently getting good/any reception of the BBC SD main channels on UHF C32 in their correct LCNs 1,2,& etc and only getting them in LCNs 751 & seq. on UHF C50, then the C50 simulcast will cease on the 12th August, and if you haven't arranged for the Free In-Home Support to have your aerial replaced you should do so A.S.A.P. by ringing Freeview on 0808-100-0288.

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
10:21 AM


Thanks for the update Chris.

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Karl's 17 posts GB

2:47 PM

Peter Wickes:

An update on your problem - the BBC have this posted on their website Problems with Freeview reception? | Help receiving TV and radio

"Latest Freeview works and warnings
Television problems at the Winter Hill transmitter in the North West - 15th July

There was planned engineering work overnight to power test antennas at Winter Hill. Unfortunately this overran, resulting in reception issues to some BBC services.

Work will continue throughout the day to restore services as quickly as possible. You do not need to take any action or retune."

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Chris.SE's 3,327 posts GB
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Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentIf you have Freeview reception problems before posting a question your must first do this Freeview reset procedure then see: Freeview reception has changed, Single frequency interference, and Freeview intermittent interference.

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