Huntshaw Cross transmitting station

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Coordinates: 50°58′37″N 4°06′04″W / 50.977°N 4.101°W / 50.977; -4.101

Huntshaw Cross
Huntshaw Cross transmitting station is located in Devon
Huntshaw Cross transmitting station
Height of mast 164 metres (538 ft)
Grid reference SS527220
Built 1968
BBC region BBC South West
ITV region ITV Westcountry

Huntshaw Cross transmitting station is a telecommunications facility serving North Devon including the towns of Barnstaple and South Molton. It broadcasts television, radio and mobile telephone services and is currently owned by Arqiva. It is located on the B3232 road at Huntshaw, Great Torrington. Grid reference SS527220. The mast is 164 metres (538 ft) high.

The site was opened by the Independent Television Authority on 22 April 1968 carrying the ITV programmes of Westward Television using the now defunct 405 line VHF transmission system. In this context, the site was treated as an off-air relay of Stockland Hill.

625 line UHF colour TV transmissions commenced on 5 November 1973. The high power output of the UHF transmitter and its location allowed its signal to be received clearly in parts of south Wales. From 1985 and before Freeview it became a popular transmitter from which to receive Channel 4 which was not broadcast on Welsh transmitters (Channel 4 launched in 1982, but wasn't available from Huntshaw Cross until the summer of 1985). Evidence of this can easily be seen in Swansea (for instance) where many Group C/D TV aerials can be seen pointing south, across the water.

The 405-line transmissions from Huntshaw Cross were discontinued in the 2nd quarter of 1983, somewhat before the final UK-wide shutdown of the VHF system in January 1985.

Digital switchover began at the site in the early hours of 1 July 2009 when the BBC Two analogue service was switched off just after 01:20 BST. Switchover was completed in the early hours of 29 July 2009 with the analogue services disappearing one by one, starting with BBC One at a few seconds after 01:30. Viewers were required to perform another retune on 30 September 2009 as SDN, Arqiva A and Arqiva B reached their final frequency positions. Final post-DSO power levels were not reached by all multiplexes on this transmitter until March 2012.

Freeview HD became available to viewers using this site from 24 September 2010.

A local DAB multiplex for North Devon began transmitting on 2 February 2012 ahead of full launch on 6 February 2012, the local DAB service is an exact mirror of the DAB service for Exeter and Torbay.

Channels listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue television[edit]

22 April 1968 - 5 November 1973[edit]

Frequency VHF kW Service
204.75 MHz 11H 0.5 Westward Television

5 November 1973 - 1 November 1982[edit]

UHF colour television commenced.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
204.75 MHz 11H 0.5 Westward Television (TSW from 1982)
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC1
775.25 MHz 59 100 Westward Television (TSW from 1982)
799.25 MHz 62 100 BBC2

1 November 1982 - Second Quarter 1983[edit]

The UK's fourth UHF television channel started up.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
204.75 MHz 11H 0.5 TSW
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC1
775.25 MHz 59 100 TSW
799.25 MHz 62 100 BBC2
823.25 MHz 65 100 Channel 4

Second Quarter 1983 - March 1997[edit]

405 line television was discontinued early,[1] and for the next 14 years only the four primary analogue UHF channels were radiated.

Frequency UHF kW Service
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC1
775.25 MHz 59 100 TSW (Westcountry Television from 1993)
799.25 MHz 62 100 BBC2
823.25 MHz 65 100 Channel 4

March 1997 - 1 November 1998[edit]

The fifth UK analogue UHF channel was added.

Frequency UHF kW Service
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC One
775.25 MHz 59 100 Westcountry Television
799.25 MHz 62 100 BBC Two
823.25 MHz 65 100 Channel 4
839.25 MHz 67 2 Channel 5

Analogue and Digital television[edit]

1 November 1998 - 1 July 2009[edit]

The initial roll-out of digital television involved running the digital services interleaved (and at low ERP) with the existing analogue services.

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
729.833 MHz 53- 4 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
737.833 MHz 54- 4 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC One PAL
761.833 MHz 57- 4 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
769.833 MHz 58- 4 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
775.25 MHz 59 100 ITV1 PAL
793.833 MHz 61- 4 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
799.25 MHz 62 100 BBC Two PAL
817.833 MHz 64- 4 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
823.25 MHz 65 100 Channel 4 PAL
839.25 MHz 67 2 Channel 5 PAL

1 July 2009 - 29 July 2009[edit]

Digital Switchover started at Huntshaw Cross.[2] The analogue BBC 2 service on channel 62 was switched off, along with the BBC Mux 1 service on channel 54- and the new "BBC A" multiplex started up on the newly vacated channel 62 at full post-DSO power.

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
729.833 MHz 53- 4 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
743.25 MHz 55 100 BBC One PAL
761.833 MHz 57- 4 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
769.833 MHz 58- 4 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
775.25 MHz 59 100 ITV1 PAL
793.833 MHz 61- 4 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
801.833 MHz 62- 20 BBC A DVB-T
817.833 MHz 64- 4 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
823.25 MHz 65 100 Channel 4 PAL
839.25 MHz 67 2 Channel 5 PAL

Digital television[edit]

23 July 2009 - 30 September 2009[edit]

All the remaining analogue TV channels were shut down and the new post-DSO digital multiplexes for the PSB channels started up at full power. Huntshaw Cross was subject to a complex multi-stage switchover, and the COM multiplexes (Mux A, Mux C and Mux D) were not switched from their pre-DSO configurations immediately.[3]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
729.833 MHz 53- 4 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
745.833 MHz 55- 20 BBC B DVB-T2
761.833 MHz 57- 4 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
777.833 MHz 59- 20 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
793.833 MHz 61- 4 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
801.833 MHz 62- 20 BBC A DVB-T

30 September 2009 - 28 March 2012[edit]

With the post-DSO retune event at Mendip, the post-DSO COM multiplexes replaced the pre-DSO COM multiplexes on their final channel allocations,[4] though only the SDN multiplex gained full power at this point.[5]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
690.000 MHz 48 10 SDN DVB-T
722.000 MHz 52 4 Arqiva A DVB-T
745.833 MHz 55- 20 BBC B DVB-T2
754.000 MHz 56 4 Arqiva B DVB-T
777.833 MHz 59- 20 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
801.833 MHz 62- 20 BBC A DVB-T

28 March 2012 - May 2013[edit]

With the second post-DSO retune event at Mendip, the Arq A and Arq B multiplexes gained full power.[5]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
690.000 MHz 48 10 SDN DVB-T
722.000 MHz 52 10 Arqiva A DVB-T
745.833 MHz 55- 20 BBC B DVB-T2
754.000 MHz 56 10 Arqiva B DVB-T
777.833 MHz 59- 20 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
801.833 MHz 62- 20 BBC A DVB-T

From May 2013[edit]

Yet another retune will be needed in May 2013 as part of the Europe-wide tactic of clearing Band V above 800 MHz so as to make space for future 4G mobile phone services.[6] The BBC A multiplex will be reassigned to channel 50.

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
690.000 MHz 48 10 SDN DVB-T
706.000 MHz 50 20 BBC A DVB-T
722.000 MHz 52 10 Arqiva A DVB-T
745.833 MHz 55- 20 BBC B DVB-T2
754.000 MHz 56 10 Arqiva B DVB-T
777.833 MHz 59- 20 Digital 3&4 DVB-T

Analogue radio[edit]

Frequency kW[7] Service
94.8 MHz 0.675 BBC Radio Devon
96.2 MHz 2.5 Heart South West
  • Heart Devon also broadcasts on 97.3 MHz in the Ilfracombe area.

Digital radio[edit]

Frequency Block kW Operator
213.360 MHz 10C NOW Exeter & Torbay
222.064 MHz 11D 4 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 2.5 BBC National DAB

References[edit]

External links[edit]