Kilvey Hill transmitting station

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Kilvey Hill
Kilvey Hill Transmitters - geograph.org.uk - 19836.jpg
Kilvey Hill transmitting station is located in Swansea
Kilvey Hill transmitting station
Height of tower 45 metres (148 ft)
Grid reference SS672940
Built 1967
BBC region BBC Wales
ITV region ITV Wales

The Kilvey Hill transmitting station was originally built at the summit of Kilvey Hill in Swansea, Wales, by the BBC[1] in 1967 as a relay for VHF and UHF television. VHF television came on air a few months before the UHF services. As built, the station did not radiate VHF FM radio, this was added later. Currently, the hill's transmitters cater for the entire network of digital terrestrial and digital radio subscribers in the city and county of Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and possibly even further. The transmission station located on top of Kilvey Hill is owned and operated by Arqiva.

Freeview digital terrestrial TV was already available at low power from this transmitter before the digital switchover process began, with the first stage taking place on Wednesday 12 August 2009. The second stage was completed on Wednesday 9 September 2009, with the transmitter becoming the first in Wales to complete digital switchover. After the switchover process, analogue channels ceased broadcasting permanently and the Freeview power increased from 383 W ERP to 2 kW ERP, a 7dB power increase.[2]

Channels listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue television[edit]

December 1967 - 17 February 1968[edit]

Kilvey Hill provided BBC 405-line VHF television to the Neath and Port Talbot area which is strongly shielded by local hills[3] from the Wenvoe transmitter just to the west of Cardiff. Kilvey Hill was a relay of the Wenvoe transmitter. Despite being sited at Swansea, no effort was made to provide the VHF TV signal to Swansea itself - the town was already deemed to be well served by Wenvoe.

Frequency VHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.5 BBC1 Wales

17 February 1968 - 28 January 1972[edit]

A BBC R&D report[4] details the coming of 625-line UHF television to the Kilvey Hill site. This again was with the station acting as an off-air relay of Wenvoe, which was (at that point) only transmitting BBC 2 (in colour) on 625-lines. This time, the northern parts of Swansea were intended to be covered by the signal as local hills (including Kilvey Hill itself) shielded those parts of the town from the UHF signal from Wenvoe.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.5 BBC1 Wales
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC2 Wales

28 January 1972 - 1 November 1982[edit]

BBC 1 and HTV Wales came on air from Wenvoe in April 1970, but it was nearly two years later[5] before Kilvey Hill started to relay those channels.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.5 BBC1 Wales
487.25 MHz 23 10 HTV Wales
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC2 Wales
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC1 Wales

1 November 1982 - Second Quarter 1983[edit]

Channel 4 launched across the UK in 1982. Kilvey Hill (being in Wales) transmitted the S4C variant.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.5 BBC1 Wales
487.25 MHz 23 10 HTV Wales
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC2 Wales
535.25 MHz 29 10 S4C
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC1 Wales

Second Quarter 1983 - 15 July 1997[edit]

405 line television was discontinued early,[6] and from then onwards TV transmissions were on UHF only.

Frequency UHF kW Service
487.25 MHz 23 10 HTV Wales
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC2 Wales
535.25 MHz 29 10 S4C
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC1 Wales

15 July 1997 - 15 November 1998[edit]

During 1997, Channel 5 gained an analogue channel from some transmitters and Kilvey Hill was one of them. The site radiated all five UK terrestrial analogue television services at 10 kW until digital switchover was completed on 9 September 2009.

Frequency UHF kW Service
487.25 MHz 23 10 HTV Wales
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC Two Wales
535.25 MHz 29 10 S4C
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC One Wales
583.25 MHz 35 10 Channel 5

Analogue and digital television[edit]

15 November 1998 - 12 August 2009[edit]

The initial rollout of digital television in the UK involved radiating the signals at low power in between the existing analogue channels. The apparent use of channels "21" and "22-" for muxes "C" and "2" respectively might look like a mistake, but is confirmed by OFCOM's site.[7]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
474.000 MHz 21 0.1 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
481.833 MHz 22- 0.6 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
487.25 MHz 23 10 ITV Wales (HTV until 2002) PAL System I
505.833 MHz 25- 0.6 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
511.25 MHz 26 10 BBC Two Wales PAL System I
529.833 MHz 28- 0.3 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
535.25 MHz 29 10 S4C PAL System I
553.833 MHz 31- 0.1 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
561.833 MHz 32- 0.6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC One Wales PAL System I
583.25 MHz 35 10 Channel 5 PAL System I

12 August 2009 - 9 September 2009[edit]

The UK's digital switchover commenced with Kilvey Hill on 12 August 2009. Analogue BBC Two Wales on channel 26 was first to close, and ITV Wales was moved from channel 23 to channel 26 for its last month of service. With it went Mux 1 from channel 25- to be replaced by the new BBC A mux which started up in 64-QAM and at full power (i.e. 2 kW) on channel 23 which had just been vacated in the shuffle.

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
474.000 MHz 21 0.1 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
481.833 MHz 22- 0.6 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
490.000 MHz 23 2 BBC A DVB-T
511.25 MHz 26 10 ITV Wales PAL System I
529.833 MHz 28- 0.3 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
535.25 MHz 29 10 S4C PAL System I
553.833 MHz 31- 0.1 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
561.833 MHz 32- 0.6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
567.25 MHz 33 10 BBC One Wales PAL System I
583.25 MHz 35 10 Channel 5 PAL System I

Digital television[edit]

9 September 2009 - present[edit]

The remaining analogue TV services were closed down, the digital multiplexes took over their original frequencies (and a few new ones) with a power increase and a move to 64-QAM encoding.

Frequency UHF kW Operator
482.000 MHz 22 2 Arqiva A
490.000 MHz 23 2 BBC A
506.000 MHz 25 2 SDN
514.000 MHz 26 2 Digital 3&4
530.000 MHz 28 2 Arqiva B
538.000 MHz 29 2 BBC B

Analogue radio (VHF FM)[edit]

30 September 1974 - Early 1980s[edit]

The first FM radio from the site was Wales' first independent radio station, Swansea Sound.[8]

Frequency kW Service Description
95.1 MHz 1.0 Swansea Sound Contemporary and chart music and information station for under 44s

Early 1980s - 1989[edit]

Swansea Sound changed frequency to 96.4 MHz as required by a new bandplan for Band II broadcasting which placed BBC stations below 96 MHz and Independent Local Radio stations above that. The band limit was 98 MHz at that point. BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio Cymru commenced from the site sometime before 1988 as the BBC's Service Area map of 1988 shows.[9]

Frequency kW Service Description
89.5 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 2 Adult contemporary music-led service
91.7 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 3 Classical, jazz, world music and the arts
93.9 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio Cymru Welsh language service
96.4 MHz 1.5 Swansea Sound Contemporary and chart music and information station for under 44s

1989 - 30 September 1995[edit]

The 1988 bandplan for Band II raised the upper limit for broadcasting to 100 MHz and Radio 1 gained its own frequency.

Frequency kW Service Description
89.5 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 2 Adult contemporary music-led service
91.7 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 3 Classical, jazz, world music and the arts
93.9 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio Cymru Welsh language service
96.4 MHz 1.5 Swansea Sound Contemporary and chart music and information station for under 44s
99.1 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 1 New and popular music, news, entertainment and talk

30 September 1995 - 1997[edit]

Swansea Sound changed its name first to "96.4 Sound Wave" then (quickly) to 96.4 The Wave.

Frequency kW Service Description
89.5 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 2 Adult contemporary music-led service
91.7 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 3 Classical, jazz, world music and the arts
93.9 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio Cymru Welsh language service
96.4 MHz 1.5 The Wave Contemporary and chart music and information station for under 44s
99.1 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 1 New and popular music, news, entertainment and talk

1997 - present[edit]

Classic FM came on air in 1997, the other new services have joined at various times since then. Radio Cymru has moved to 104.2 MHz with BBC Radio Wales taking over the vacated 93.9 MHz slot.

Frequency kW Service Description
89.5 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 2 Adult contemporary music-led service
91.7 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 3 Classical, jazz, world music and the arts
93.9 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio Wales A music-led service, with talk and entertainment revolving around Wales
94.6 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 4 Speech, news and current affairs
96.4 MHz 1.5 The Wave Contemporary and chart music and information station for under 44s
99.1 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio 1 New and popular music, news, entertainment and talk
101.3 MHz 0.5 Classic FM Classical music
102.1 MHz 1.25 Nation Hits Easy listening, adult-orientated[10]
104.2 MHz 0.925 BBC Radio Cymru Welsh language service
106.0 MHz 1 Heart Wales Adult contemporary, news, entertainment and sports. Formerly Real Radio
107.3 MHz 1.25 Nation Radio Rock music

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency Block kW Operator
222.064 MHz 11D 1 Digital One
223.936 MHz 12A 2 Swansea SW Wales
225.648 MHz 12B 10 BBC National DAB
227.360 MHz 12C 0.5 MXR Severn Estuary

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1968-50.pdf
  2. ^ "Freeview on Kilvey Hill TV transmitter". ukfree.tv. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Reception, Port Talbot area (Hansard, 2 June 1964)". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 1964-06-02. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1968-05.pdf
  5. ^ "Welcome to the Gallery Upgrader". Txlib.mb21.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  6. ^ http://www.bbceng.info/Eng_Inf/EngInf_8.pdf
  7. ^ "UK Television Reception Advice". Ofcom.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to the Gallery Upgrader". Txlib.mb21.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  9. ^ Mike Brown. "mb21 - The Transmission Gallery". Tx.mb21.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  10. ^ "National Grid Wireless wins 102.1 Swansea Bay Radio contract". National Grid Wireless. 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°37′45″N 3°55′13″W / 51.62917°N 3.92028°W / 51.62917; -3.92028