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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, 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 MAX, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 14 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, 13 April 2013
Dave Lindsay

2:29 PM

David Rogers: geeman said he did a search of the 800MHz band and then ran the automatic tuning function. He didn't say that the 800MHz search yielded success.

There are factors which apply in some circumstances which be an issue for reception of the new BBC multiplex:

- Communal aerial systems may need adjustment.

- Viewers that have two aerials, each on a different transmitter and combined into one cable. For example, so as to view Welsh regional programming and North West programming.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Brian Ingersent
2:30 PM

Numerous retunes and still no BBC or Pick TV/Dave channels. Channels 49 & 50 still showing as no signal.

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Brian Ingersent's 4 posts GB
Brian Ingersent
2:36 PM

Just read Dave's post - I have 2 aerials combined into 1 cable: Windermere & Winter Hill. Although the BBC service from Windermere is ok, there is only a very limited Freeview service. At the moment with the 2 transmitters I can get BBC from Windermere but not Winter Hill and just about everything else except the Pick TV/Dave batch, presumably from a mix of the two. I am missing my Stargate fix from Pick TV!! If the problem is 2 aerials into 1 cable can this be readily sorted?

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Brian Ingersent's 4 posts GB
David Rogers
2:56 PM

I've just got my BBC channels back - purely by chance! I don't know if this has anything to do with "800 MHz", or if it's coincidence, but on my Panasonic remote, BBC1 is now 800, BBC2 is 801, BBC3 is 802, BBC News is 803 and BBC4 is 805. Previously they were on 1, 2, 7, 80 and 9 respectively.

I don't know if this is peculiar to my set-up, but offer it as yet another possible solution for those who still can't get these channels.

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David Rogers's 12 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

2:58 PM

David Rogers: What are on the correct logical channel numbers (1, 2, 7, 9 etc)?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Tom Linson
2:59 PM

Who do I sue ? Work on the Transmitter has resulted in my suffering and wasting time with this nonsense of re-tuning. I did not cause it.

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Tom Linson's 2 posts GB

3:37 PM

martin brown: Thanks for the update, although I did say - on each these of these five "muxes" - shortly after having mentioned the plus points of using a Humax box for tests, the programmes in brackets at the side of the mux channels simply given to represent an EPG programme number used by each of the individual mux, and which would have saved you using the manual tune test if you had selected the programme then checked the levels (called "condition" on most Humax's) although obviously this short cut would not be applicable unless all muxes had previously been stored.

However levels measured only using the 9300 is perfectly suffice for accuracy, as indeed are levels measured on any Humax by them being more in line with the reality of the situation compared to indications taken from most other devices, and even although the 9300 cannot indicate HD quality levels (albeit that it does strength) this is neither here nor there.

As far as your signal readings are concerned, these are roughly in line with what was expected when taking the problem you referred to into account, and as you will most probably have gathered the problem encountered unfortunately being of a nature where about the only action that could be taken at the receiving end in an attempt to improve reception being to carry out some experiments with an alternative aerial position, such moving the aerial slightly to the left or right, higher or lower, or a combination of both, because other than trying that I don't see any chances of the signal improving except by that caused by seasonal changes.

The reason for saying this being, I suspect that the problem is mainly being caused by the propagational differences of the new frequency, this always occurring to a certain degree but with it always having a greater effect on reception for viewers who might reside in an area where the signal path from the transmitter is being partially obstructed at some point along the way, which indeed I noticed applies with a number of people who made complaints, knowledge of their post code allowing the terrain indicator to be accessed, the possibility of this being applicable in your case being unknown.

That said though, there is also the possibility that the problem is being partially caused by a very slight phase matching deficiency between the radiating panels used on the mast that sweeps across your area and which is now being revealed by the frequency change, and if anything like that did apply a transmitter engineer would be totally unaware of this as the loading indications on the TX would appear as being within limits.

By the way, the panels referred to are arranged in a circular fashion to cover all points of the compass.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
David Rogers
3:51 PM

Dave Lindsay: It says "channel unavailable" in every case using the old station numbers on the remote.

I've just checked again, and the signal strength and quality is still very poor on all BBC channels, with frequent degradation of both sound and picture.

Still far from being a satisfactory situation.

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David Rogers's 12 posts GB
4:18 PM

Still cant get BBC and some other channels have done more 15 retunes. can this problem at winter hill not be solved??

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Phyllis's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

5:32 PM

Brian Ingersent: The practical outcome of your two aerial set-up is that when you tune anywhere from 21 to 50, your Windermere aerial is used, and anything from 52 to 69, your Winter Hill aerial is used. This assumes that the diplexer which combines the feeds "splits" at C51, which often they do.

One possibility is that you keep the two separate. Perhaps use Winter Hill as the "main" transmitter, feeding it into your PVR and TV. And feed Windermere into a separate set-top box, for use when there is regional programming being transmitted that you wish to view.

Of course, this solution means that if you distribute TV signals to your rooms that you will only have Windermere available in one (or else install a second distribution system with secondary boxes for each TV!).

The diplexer acts as a filter for the feed from each aerial. It ensures that 51 to 69 aren't allowed through from the Windermere aerial and that 21 to 51 aren't allowed through from the Winter Hill aerial.

I write as someone who isn't an aerial professional. You may find that replacing the diplexer with an unfiltered splitter will work, or you may find that it results in some or all unuseable signals due to it not being filtered.

If not then it will be tricky. At this point I will pause to allow you to cool off having learned that the powers that be change direction every five minutes which has a knock-on effect on you....

Your choices for reception of Border may be Windermere (44, 47 and 41) or Kendal (60, 53 and 57). Both these are Public Service (PSB) only stations, and so don't carry the Commercial (COM) channels.

In addition to Winter Hill, reception from Lancaster may be possible. Google Streetview shows the house with the balcony has a Lancaster aerial. The caution must be that the COM channels from Lancaster are on lower power than its PSBs, so some fringe viewers will be PSB-only, or else have intermittant COMs.

As a relay of Winter Hill, Lancaster carries North West/Granada. Its PSBs are 27, 24 and 21 and its COMs are 25, 28 and 22. They would combine with Windermere or Kendal, but you wouldn't be able to receive channels in the range 31 to 37 from Winter Hill (if they come on air - see the P.S.).

Your C51 diplexer could be used to combine Lancaster and Kendal. For Lancaster and Windermere you would need a C38 diplexer.

I can hear you saying "bring back analogue". The four channels from every transmitter didn't have any of this.

P.S. As part of switchover, channels 31 to 37 were cleared. I'm not sure how set in stone what will be happening to them yet, but there is a suggestion that the biggest "main" transmitters may utilise these channels for HD services: Ten more HD channels on two new Freeview HD multiplexes on air from 2014-18 | Freeview news | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

At your location the only possible such transmitter appears to be Winter Hill. Your current set-up would preclude reception of these channels, "if" they were to come to fruition.

P.P.S. "If" the powers that be decide to clear more of the upper part of the TV band (possibly about 50 to 60) then things could change again.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
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