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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.

MuxH/VFrequencyHeightModeWatts
PSB1
BBCA
 H max
C32 (562.0MHz)726mDTG-3100,000W
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

PSB2
D3+4
 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)726mDTG-3100,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV (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 ITV +1 (Granada),

PSB3
BBCB
 H max
C35- (585.8MHz)726mDTG-6100,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV 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

COM4
SDN
 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 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, 211 Ketchup TV, 212 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

COM5
ArqA
 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

COM6
ArqB
 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)726mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
 FreeSports, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 71 Quest Red +1, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 91 Classic Hits, 235 Aljazeera English, plus 18 others

LM
 H -20dB
C56 (754.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Manchester,

LL
 H -17dB
C56 (754.0MHz)572mDTG-122,000W
Channel icons
from 30th June 2014: 7 Bay TV Liverpool,

LPR
 H -20dB
C56 (754.0MHz)572mDTG-121,000W
Channel icons
from 1st October 2014: 7 That's Lancashire,

com7
 H -5.9dB
C55 (746.0MHz)726mDTG-625,700W
Channel icons


GIM
 H -20dB
C57 (762.0MHz)572mDTG-21,000W
Channel icons
 Spotlight TV, 63 GREAT! movies classic +1, 76 Now 70s, 77 NOW 80s, 79 Now 90s, 80 Clubland TV, 88 Country Music Entertainment ,

DTG-3 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-6 256QAM 32KE 2/3 40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
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?

1956-80s1984-971997-981998-20092009-1310 Apr 132013-1720 Feb 2020
VHFC/D EC/D EC/D EC/D EC/D E TW TW T
C9ITVwaves
C12BBCtvwaves
C24_local
C29SDN
C31com7com7
C32BBCA
C34D3+4
C35BBCB
C37com8com8
C40LOCAL2
C48C5wavesC5waves
C49tv_off ArqAArqA
C50tv_off BBCABBCA
C54tv_off-BBCB-BBCB-BBCB
C55tv_offBBC1wavesBBC1wavesBBC1wavesArqBArqBArqBcom7tv_off
C56tv_off_local_local_localLPR
C57tv_offGIMGIMGIMGIM
C58tv_offSDNSDNSDN
C59tv_offITVwavesITVwavesITVwavesD3+4D3+4D3+4
C61ArqA
C62BBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBCA
C65C4wavesC4wavesC4waves

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.

Comments
Friday, 24 December 2021
K
Karl
10:58 AM

I noticed a couple of days ago that 'BBC Wiltshire' appeared in the EPG in the 800's on my Sony RDR-870 along with some other '+1''s' such as ITV3. Wiltshire is quite a long way out of area from the Fylde coast. These look to be on Ch24 and 27.

I'm using a loft mounted Group A log periodic on Winter Hill.

link to this comment
Karl's 8 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:07 PM

Karl:

Hi. It would have been the weather conditions at the time.

There had been moderate Temperature Inversion/Tropospheric Ducting affecting large parts of the UK for several days, it sometimes accompanies high pressure.
In such conditions, do NOT retune, it will more likely remove your correct tuning. It may even leave you incorrectly tuned to distant transmitters whose signals then disappear as conditions change.

These conditions cleared the UK by Thursday morning.
Despite the incorrect spelling, this link does work - simple technical explanation
https://www.bbc.co.uk/rec….jpg

I would say you were possibly lucky that you didn't have any disruption to your normal multiplexes from Winter Hill.
Essentially it results in interfering signals from other transmitters in the UK or Europe reaching you and so your wanted signals are disrupted, and of course ability to receive signals from transmitters further afield that are on different frequencies. It can/did also affect FM and DAB.
I would guess that with reception of BBC Wiltshire you received one of the transmitters in the south of the UK. Without out looking up the channel numbers, I can't say which one of the top of my head.

It won't necessarily affect all multiplexes or necessarily at the same time if more than one. It can last for seconds, minutes, sometimes hours or longer.

The BBC had a warning on their Works and Warnings page for a few days, and Freeview had added one last Wednesday (better late than never!) but at the time it was then mainly affecting the S & SE.

As an aside, if your aerial is a log-periodic it won't be a group A as most are wideband, some newer ones are tuned/filtered to cut out signals above UHF Channel 48 (essentially Group K).
Does your Sony RDR-870 have a setting to auto-retune if it has no signal or receives new signals? If so, I would turn such a setting off as it can be more trouble that it's worth if your regular multiplexes are affected by interference.


link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,043 posts GB
Saturday, 25 December 2021
K
Karl
8:05 AM

Thanks for the reply Chris,

The Sony does scan for channels in the background and this has been a bit of a nuisance in the past because of picking up North Wales and this causing problems with timer recordings and the PDC (programme delivery system). It was frequent enough to be a problem and prior to the Log Periodic I had a roof mounted wideband Yagi. The log aerial set up has stopped this particular issue. Possibly lower signal levels (loft) have helped as well.

As an aside to that, the Panasonic DMR-EX97 HDD recorder has countless reviews where owners comment on lockups and having to unplug the recorder. Panasonic are aware of the issue but had no fix. I have one of these and it suffered this issue. Since switching to the Log Periodic loft system the issue has vanished confirming my suspicion that the lockups were a result of out of band transmissions causing problems with background channel scans. I noticed the problem was guaranteed to show whenever Freeview changes occurred, but not now.

The recent BBC Wiltshire event caused no apparent problems in use. The Panasonic has not registered anything in the EPG.

The aerial I chose was a Blake BLA-LP28A which is a Ch 21-37 Log Periodic. It is marketed as a Group A with 28 elements.

I deliberately went down that route and sacrificed COM 7 on the basis that it is going to disappear anyway. The Yagi had to go because I had an external chimney removed and in all honesty the loft set up has been truly excellent in everyway. The change from C/D to A for Winter Hill really worked in my favour on this one and going 'loft'.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

link to this comment
Karl's 8 posts GB
K
Karl
8:07 AM

Thanks for the reply Chris,

The Sony does scan for channels in the background and this has been a bit of a nuisance in the past because of picking up North Wales and this causing problems with timer recordings and the PDC (programme delivery system). It was frequent enough to be a problem and prior to the Log Periodic I had a roof mounted wideband Yagi. The log aerial set up has stopped this particular issue. Possibly lower signal levels (loft) have helped as well.

As an aside to that, the Panasonic DMR-EX97 HDD recorder has countless reviews where owners comment on lockups and having to unplug the recorder. Panasonic are aware of the issue but had no fix. I have one of these and it suffered this issue. Since switching to the Log Periodic loft system the issue has vanished confirming my suspicion that the lockups were a result of out of band transmissions causing problems with background channel scans. I noticed the problem was guaranteed to show whenever Freeview changes occurred, but not now.

The recent BBC Wiltshire event caused no apparent problems in use. The Panasonic has not registered anything in the EPG.

The aerial I chose was a Blake BLA-LP28A which is a Ch 21-37 Log Periodic. It is marketed as a Group A with 28 elements.

I deliberately went down that route and sacrificed COM 7 on the basis that it is going to disappear anyway. The Yagi had to go because I had an external chimney removed and in all honesty the loft set up has been truly excellent in everyway. The change from C/D to A for Winter Hill really worked in my favour on this one and going 'loft'.

Thanks again and Merry Christmas.

(Posting again as get a 'fatal server error'. This happened yesterday as well. Might take a screen grab of the error)

link to this comment
Karl's 8 posts GB
K
Karl
7:54 PM

Looking further on the EPG on the Sony and I've got:

BBC Berkshire
BBC1 South
BBC Solent
BBC Solent Dorset
BBC Sussex
BBC Wiltshire.

Wow, I wish I had been aware and had a poke around at the time.

link to this comment
Karl's 8 posts GB
Sunday, 26 December 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:21 AM

Karl:

Hi Karl. Merry Christmas to you.
As soon as I saw mention of your Blake LP28A I realised I'd completely forgotten about that one, haven't seen it mentioned for a while. Blake make some good aerials. Having a loft mounted aerial will certainly drop the signal strengths, so as your wanted signals seem strong enough, it's obviously helped with the unwanted ones.

Your posting error is not an uncommon problem that the site owner has had since some software upgrades, but also posts sometimes take a while to appear, so wait about 5 mins and do a refresh before trying a repost (so ignore the error message).

You are lucky in one way that Winter Hill's main multiplexes are within Group A (UHF channels as mentioned in Winter Hill (Bolton, England) Full Freeview transmitter | free and easy ).
COM7 as you probably know will close by the end of June 2022 so probably no real sacrifice (dont' know what will happen to those channels yet). The one exception for your area is the Preston Local mux on C40, just outside Group A. I don't know how sharp the fall-off in response is on the LP28A, do you get any signal on C40?

Those signals you were getting on C24 & C27 were highly likely to be from the Rowridge transmitter on the Isle of Wight. All those local stations are on BBCA there.
Winter Hill also uses those two channels for the Manchester Local and Manchester GI muxes, but Local muxes are beamed in the direction of the areas they serve.

As you were getting Rowridge at the time, there might have been some quality degradation/increased errors on you PSB muxes. Mendip also uses C32, C34 & C35 for those muxes, they have been received in the Winter Hill region on similar occasion in the past.

If you are interested in Dx, see Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) Full Freeview transmitter | free and easy and the posts before it. The sites mentioned are useful (as well as having some links) but also get familiar with your own set's strength and quality/error figures for your muxes. Changes there will also give you a clue about your local conditions.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,043 posts GB
K
Karl
8:16 AM

Hi Chris, yes Ch 40 comes in at a fair signal strength. The aerial set up is the loft mounted Blake feeding a loft situated distribution amp. I went for a low gain Blake twin output one, I think around 4db gain. One feed from that amp feeds the main lounge where there is a three way passive Triax splitter with a feed each to the Sony TV. Sony HDD recorder and the Panasonic recorder.

The Sony recorder shows 52% strength and 100% quality on Ch 40. Other main muxes are around 89 to 85%. Viewing has been 100% glitch free since installing this set up. The original instinct was to go for the biggest Yagi that would fit the loft but considered thought and all I read of the log periodic giving a flat response and immunity to impulse noise (loft... wiring etc) had me settle on the Blake. Well its proved a winner. Each of the three feeds that already see a loss from the three way splitter will still withstand an additional 10db (at least) before things start to get flaky.

I suspect had Winter Hill remained on groups C/D that the loft set up would not have been as successful as I understand that the higher frequencies would suffer much more attenuation through tiles and from trees and so on.

Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at that.

link to this comment
Karl's 8 posts GB
Monday, 27 December 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

6:38 PM

Karl:

It does sound like your set-up is working very well for you, and you choice of the LP28A was certainly wise.
I have been considering LPs for a while, for similar reasons, flat responses and impulse noise rejection not that I currently have any major issues with my current set-up.
When COM7 closes I shall revisit it so that I'm in a situation where I would be as future proofed as I reasonably could be, you don't know how things could change. Also whilst I'm not expecting any new mobile masts near me, especially on the line-of-sight, you can never be sure. Current masts are behind me and well to my right off the aerial beamwidth.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 3,043 posts GB
Tuesday, 28 December 2021
K
Karl
12:00 PM

One possibly practical bit of advice on logs (and based purely on what I see on rooftops) would be that while the log periodic can be an excellent technical solution they also seem problematic to mount really securely as they all seem to be tail mounted. I see so many drooping down, probably due to birds landing on them, and this I understand is bad news because of the way the log is constructed and the position of the internal terminations which are at the front of the boom. Water then collects in the boom and causes issues. I also believe the F connector that they all seem to use at the back of the boom for connection to the outside world is very difficult to get watertight over the long term. Again looking around I see a lot with a large 'loop' of coax going up and over the height of the installed aerial, presumable to stop water making it right down the cable.

It is certainly something to be aware of for an external installation. Get a good rigger you can talk to.

What I also see around here are a few of the really small logs and they look very sturdy indeed. They are tiny, just looking now.... Labgear LPCT at 340mm length. I'm assuming they are successful as I see a few around, and some on bungalows so at a height disadvantage.

link to this comment
Karl's 17 posts GB
Wednesday, 29 December 2021
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

1:07 AM

Karl:

Some very practical advice there Karl covering issues that some of us have come across. If you are in a strong signal area, yes those "mini" logs seem ok but I haven't installed one personally. I'm not sure the length (from the CPC site?) is correct, Labgear quote it as 445mm. Blake also do a 22-element (mini) log either Group K or Group T both 450mm long and slightly better gain. If anyone needs one now and can get COM7 then Group T is needed, otherwise go for the Group K. Blake seem to have addressed the weather-proofing of the F-connector issue, but there's always belt and braces with use of a bit of silicon sealant or self-amalgamating tape.

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Chris.SE's 3,043 posts GB
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