The effective radiated power of the analogue TV transmissions was 500 kW except for Channel 5 which had an ERP of only 40 kW. This was to avoid causing co-channel interference to other transmissions in surrounding areas. In July 2007 it was confirmed by Ofcom that Oxford would be reverting to a C/D group transmitter at DSO (Digital Switchover).
The station was originally constructed by the BBC to provide VHF/FM transmissions of the BBC's three national radio networks and one 405-line VHF TV service. The mast carried a two-tier Band I array above a six-tier slot array for Band II FM. A smaller 150 foot tower in the western corner of the site carried receiving aerials.
The station was extended in 1968, having been chosen as a suitable site for high power colour UHF transmissions, which entered service on 17 February 1968 carrying BBC Two. ITV (ATV/Central) and BBC One followed in June 1970. Channel 4 was carried from launch day in 1982.
In 1997, the station began analogue transmissions of Channel 5.
On 13 May 2010 the digital and analogue television transmitters (except Channel 5) went off the air at about 13:20 UTC following an incident when smoke was seen drifting from the top of the mast. The fire service reported that there had been an intense fire and that the cause was unknown. Engineering work to reinstate service began once fire crews left and the mast was made safe. Transmissions were restored via the reserve transmitter at reduced power by 20:30 UTC.
The incident occurred during testing of a new main antenna which had been installed during the previous few months in readiness for the proposed digital switchover. Investigation into the cause of the fire and the damage to the antenna may result in daytime interruptions in service. The new antenna was damaged beyond repair and a replacement is expected to be installed for the end of September 2010.