Moel-y-Parc transmitting station

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Moel-y-Parc
Moel-y-Parc transmitting station is located in Flintshire
Moel-y-Parc transmitting station
Height of mast 235 metres (771 ft)
Grid reference SJ123702
Built 1963
BBC region BBC Wales
ITV region ITV Wales

The Moel-y-Parc transmitting station is situated on Moel y Parc, a hill in north-east Wales at the northern end of the Clwydian range, close to the town of Caerwys and several kilometres north-east of Denbigh. It was built in 1962/1963 by the IBA to bring 405-line VHF ITV television to North Wales and it has been on the air since 1963. Its original height of 229 m made it the tallest structure in North Wales and it stands on land that is itself about 335 m above sea level. In 1965, VHF television transmissions from the BBC commenced from the site.

With the addition of the UHF aerials in 1969, the mast height increased to 235 m high. Its official coverage area includes parts of Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham (although the majority of Wrexham is in a blindspot of direct transmission from Moel-y-Parc, its analogue transmissions were relayed via the Wrexham-Rhos transmitting station). A network of relay stations extends television coverage as far as Colwyn Bay in the west and Bala in the south.

VHF television services from both BBC and ITV were discontinued in January 1985 as the 405-line TV system was switched off across the UK as a whole.

Moel-y-Parc's UHF channel allocation made it a "Group B" transmitter, but with the roll-out of the UK's first digital TV services in 1998, a "Group W" wideband aerial was needed. The site reverted to being a "Group B" transmitter at digital switchover (DSO).

The site is currently administered by Arqiva

Channels listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue television[edit]

28 January 1963 - 28 October 1965[edit]

ITV 405-line TV commenced.

Frequency VHF kW Service
204.75 MHz 11 25 TWW (WWN until 1964)

28 October 1965 - 5 July 1969[edit]

BBC 405-line TV was added, obtaining its signal from an SHF link on the Great Orme which picked up the signal from Llanddona on Anglesey.

Until the mid-1960s, it had been common practice for BBC and ITV transmitters to be hosted from different masts. Moel-y-Parc had been engineered to take both services and be capable of the UHF transmission when they arrived. Additionally (and unusually) the BBC's VHF television transmissions were on Band III as were the ITV's transmissions. Having both services on the same mast meant that the region's viewers only needed one aerial.

This was the final BBC VHF television "main station" to be commissioned. The BBC published a technical report[1] on the mast and its aerials.

Frequency VHF kW Service
179.75 MHz 6 15 BBC1 Wales
204.75 MHz 11 25 HTV Wales (TWW until 1968)

5 July 1969 - 1973[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
179.75 MHz 6 15 BBC1 Wales
204.75 MHz 11 25 HTV Wales
663.25 MHz 45 100 BBC2 Wales

1973 - 1 November 1982[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
179.75 MHz 6 15 BBC1 Wales
204.75 MHz 11 25 HTV Wales
663.25 MHz 45 100 BBC2 Wales
695.25 MHz 49 100 HTV Wales
719.25 MHz 52 100 BBC1 Wales

1 November 1982 - 3 January 1985[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
179.75 MHz 6 15 BBC1 Wales
204.75 MHz 11 25 HTV Wales
639.25 MHz 42 100 S4C
663.25 MHz 45 100 BBC2 Wales
695.25 MHz 49 100 HTV Wales
719.25 MHz 52 100 BBC1 Wales

3 January 1985 - 15 November 1998[edit]

405-line television was switched off across the UK and both Moel-y-Parc's VHF transmitters ceased operation after 20 and 22 years of service for the BBC and ITV respectively.

Frequency UHF kW Service
639.25 MHz 42 100 S4C
663.25 MHz 45 100 BBC Two Wales
695.25 MHz 49 100 HTV Wales
719.25 MHz 52 100 BBC One Wales

Analogue and digital television[edit]

15 November 1998 - 28 October 2009[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
546.000 MHz 30 0.25 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 0.25 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
639.25 MHz 42 100 S4C PAL System I
663.25 MHz 45 100 BBC Two Wales PAL System I
695.25 MHz 49 100 ITV1 Wales (HTV Wales until 2002) PAL System I
719.25 MHz 52 100 BBC One Wales PAL System I
738.000 MHz 54 1 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
770.000 MHz 58 1 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
794.000 MHz 61 1 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
818.000 MHz 64 1 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T

28 October 2009 - 25 November 2009[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
546.000 MHz 30 0.25 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 0.25 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
639.25 MHz 42 100 S4C PAL System I
666.000 MHz 45 20 BBC A DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 100 ITV1 Wales PAL System I
719.25 MHz 52 100 BBC One Wales PAL System I
770.000 MHz 58 1 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T
794.000 MHz 61 1 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
818.000 MHz 64 1 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T

Digital television[edit]

25 November 2009 - 14 November 2012[edit]

As part of the digital switchover, analogue BBC Two Wales ceased transmission on 28 October 2009, followed by analogue BBC One Wales, ITV1 Wales and S4C on 25 November 2009. They were replaced by higher powered digital transmissions.

Frequency UHF kW[2] Operator
642.000 MHz 42 20 BBC B
666.000 MHz 45 20 BBC A
689.833 MHz 48- 10 Arqiva B
698.166 MHz 49+ 20 Digital 3&4
713.833 MHz 51- 10 SDN
722.000 MHz 52 12.5 Arqiva A

14 November 2012 - present[edit]

As a side-effect of frequency-changes elsewhere in the region to do with clearance of the 800 MHz band for 4G mobile phone use,[3] Moel-y-Parc's "Digital 3&4" multiplex was moved from channel 49+ to channel 39+.[4]

Frequency UHF kW[5] Operator
618.166 MHz 39+ 20 Digital 3&4
642.000 MHz 42 20 BBC B
666.000 MHz 45 20 BBC A
689.833 MHz 48- 10 Arqiva B
713.833 MHz 51- 10 SDN
722.000 MHz 52 12.5 Arqiva A

Analogue radio (FM VHF)[edit]

Frequency kW Service
106.9 MHz 0.44 Real Radio Wales

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency Block kW[6] Operator
215.072 MHz 10D MuxCo Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool
222.064 MHz 11D 9.5 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 10 BBC National DAB

Reception area[edit]

In terms of land area and population, Moel-y-Parc delivers a receivable signal to a greater area, and a greater number of potential viewers, in North West England than in its intended coverage area of north-east Wales. Transmissions can be received using standard aerials in Liverpool, parts of Manchester, parts of Lancashire as far north as Blackpool, and Wales-facing coastal areas of Cumbria and the Isle of Man. In the past, some English viewers have erected a second aerial for Moel-y-Parc in order to receive a slightly increased choice of viewing, although this practice has declined with the introduction of satellite television and the reduction in schedule variations between different ITV regions. Liverpool is located directly between the Winter Hill transmitter and Moel-y-Parc, and many Liverpudlians obtain a watch-able picture through the back of their normal TV aerial.

The Welsh stations transmitted from Moel-y-Parc compete with English TV stations transmitted from the Winter Hill, which can be received in the Wrexham area and along the North Wales coast.

Prior to 1963, the only official ITV provider for north-east Wales was Granada Television based in Manchester. Pressure for a distinctly Welsh TV station was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Moel-y-Parc mast, along with the need to deliver television to the more mountainous interior of Wales, which was out of range of English transmitters. As late as the 1980s, Granada continued to claim north Wales as part of its coverage area. After a series of mergers, Granada and ITV1 Wales are now both part of ITV plc, and competition between the two providers is undoubtedly more muted, however both Granada and ITV1 Wales still provide local news and programmes for those in North Wales. The ITV Regions Official Map distinctly shows the area of North Wales as part of Granada, however for many across North and Mid Wales, it is possible to receive Central (West) via The Wrekin Transmitter. Unlike Granada, these areas are not shown as part of Central's coverage area on the ITV Regions map, and neither are they included as part of the region in Central's weather forecasts [1].

DSO problems[edit]

Moel-y-Parc has always had co-channel interference issues with a number of other co-receivable transmitters such as Llanddona, Storeton, Fenton, Sutton Coldfield and The Wrekin B (see external links). In analogue, Greater Manchester area was also able to receive Welsh channels because the Saddleworth transmitter, a relay of Winter Hill, used the same frequencies as Moel-y-Parc.

By December 2009, more than 6,000 complaints over interference from Moel-y-Parc had been received following the changeover to digital in the Granada TV region Many residents in Wirral and west Cheshire only found Welsh channels including BBC Wales and S4C at the top of their channel listings (instead of BBC North West and Channel 4). Digital UK, the organisation responsible for the switchover, said interference had always occurred and responded by telling consumers to retune their systems manually.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/reports/1966-59.pdf
  2. ^ Television Viewers Guide 2009
  3. ^ Summers, Nick (2012-02-15). "EU States Must Allow 4G on Analogue TV Spectrum". Thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ "4G clearance retunes". a516digital. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  5. ^ Television Viewers Guide 2009
  6. ^ Radio Listeners Guide 2010
  7. ^ "Digital UK advises Granada TV viewers over Welsh channels problem". 2009-12-24. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°13′16″N 3°18′52″W / 53.22111°N 3.31444°W / 53.22111; -3.31444