Oxford transmitting station

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Oxford
Oxford transmitting station is located in Oxfordshire
Oxford transmitting station
Height of mast 165.7 metres (544 ft)
Grid reference SP567105
Built 1962 (original)
1968 (current)
BBC region BBC South (Oxford)
ITV region ABC (1962-1968)
ATV (1962-1981)
ITV Central (1982-2006)
ITV Thames Valley (2006-2009)
ITV Meridian (2009-present)
Local TV service That's Oxford

The Oxford transmitting station (sometimes known as the Beckley transmitter[1]) is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility, situated on land 129.5 metres (425 ft) above Ordnance Datum (mean sea level) to the north east of the city of Oxford, in Oxfordshire, England (grid reference SP567105). It has a guyed steel lattice mast which is 154.4 metres (507 ft) [2] in height to the top of the main steel structure. Mounted above that are the UHF television antennas, contained within a GRP shroud. These antennas have an average height above Ordnance Datum of 289 metres (948 ft).,[3] or 159.5 metres (523 ft) above ground level. The total height of the structure is 165.7 metres (544 ft).[4] It is owned and operated by Arqiva.

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.[5] In July 2007 it was confirmed by Ofcom that Oxford would be reverting to a C/D group transmitter at DSO (Digital Switchover).

History[edit]

  • 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.[6]
  • 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.
  • In 1998, the station began digital transmissions of all six ONdigital multiplexes.
  • In 1999, the station began analogue transmissions of Oxford's RSL local channel, Six TV on low-power.

May 2010 Incident[edit]

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.[1]

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.[7] The new antenna was damaged beyond repair and a replacement is expected to be installed for the end of September 2010.[8]

Coverage area[edit]

Television coverage is most of Oxfordshire, western Buckinghamshire, eastern Gloucestershire and northern parts of Berkshire and Wiltshire. It is sometimes called the Beckley mast, a reference to an adjacent village, or the Ot Moor mast, this referring to the area on which it is located.

From 2006, a new non-franchise regional news area ITV Thames Valley was provided from the ITV Meridian studios at Whiteley, Hampshire. This programme was replaced in February 2009, in a cost-saving reorganisation, by ITV Meridian's Meridian Tonight. However, Central Independent Television remains the licencee and broadcaster.

Services listed by frequency[edit]

Analogue radio (AM Mediumwave)[edit]

Frequency kW Service
1197 kHz 0.25 Absolute Radio

Analogue radio (FM VHF)[edit]

Frequency kW Service
89.5 MHz 46 BBC Radio 2
91.7 MHz 46 BBC Radio 3
93.9 MHz 46 BBC Radio 4
95.2 MHz 5.8 BBC Radio Oxford
99.1 MHz 46 BBC Radio 1
101.3 MHz 46 Classic FM
102.6 MHz 9 Heart Oxfordshire

Digital radio (DAB)[edit]

Frequency Block kW[9] Operator
215.072 MHz 10D N/A NOW Digital (yet to launch)
222.064 MHz 11D 7.8 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 10 BBC National DAB

Analogue television[edit]

29 February 1962 - 17 February 1968[edit]

Frequency VHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.65 BBC-1 (BBC-TV until 1964)

17 February 1968 - June 1970[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.65 BBC-1
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC2

June 1970 - 2 November 1982[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.65 BBC-1
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC1
783.25 MHz 60 500 Central (ATV until 1982)
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC2

2 November 1982 - 3 January 1985[edit]

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
51.75 MHz 2 0.65 BBC-1
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC1
783.25 MHz 60 500 Central
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC2

3 January 1985 - 30 March 1997[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC1
783.25 MHz 60 500 Central
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC2

30 March 1997 - 15 November 1998[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service
695.25 MHz 49 40 Channel 5
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC One
783.25 MHz 60 500 Central
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC Two

Analogue and digital television[edit]

15 November 1998 - June 1999[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
538.000 MHz 29 8 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 10 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
690.000 MHz 48 8 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 40 Channel 5 PAL System I
713.833 MHz 51- 6 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
721.833 MHz 52- 6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC One PAL System I
783.25 MHz 60 500 Central PAL System I
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC Two PAL System I
850.000 MHz 68 10 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T

June 1999 - April 2009[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
538.000 MHz 29 8 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 10 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
679.25 MHz 47 Six TV (The Oxford Channel until 2003) PAL System I
690.000 MHz 48 8 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 40 Channel 5 PAL System I
713.833 MHz 51- 6 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
721.833 MHz 52- 6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC One PAL System I
783.25 MHz 60 500 ITV1 (Central until 2002) PAL System I
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC Two PAL System I
850.000 MHz 68 10 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T

April 2009 - 14 September 2011[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Service System
538.000 MHz 29 8 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 10 BBC (Mux 1) DVB-T
690.000 MHz 48 8 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 40 Channel 5 PAL System I
713.833 MHz 51- 6 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
721.833 MHz 52- 6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
727.25 MHz 53 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC One PAL System I
783.25 MHz 60 500 ITV1 PAL System I
807.25 MHz 63 500 BBC Two PAL System I
850.000 MHz 68 10 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T

14 September 2011 - 28 September 2011[edit]

BBC Two closed on UHF 63 on 14 September 2011. Channel 4 temporarily moved into its frequency at the time to allow BBC A to launch on UHF 53. The remaining analogue signals ceased on 28 September.

Frequency UHF kW Service System
538.000 MHz 29 8 Arqiva (Mux D) DVB-T
578.000 MHz 34 8 Arqiva (Mux C) DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 40 Channel 5 PAL System I
713.833 MHz 51- 6 SDN (Mux A) DVB-T
721.833 MHz 52- 6 BBC (Mux B) DVB-T
730.166 MHz 53+ 100 BBC A DVB-T
759.25 MHz 57 500 BBC One PAL System I
783.25 MHz 60 500 ITV1 PAL System I
807.25 MHz 63 500 Channel 4 PAL System I
850.000 MHz 68 10 Digital 3&4 (Mux 2) DVB-T

Digital television[edit]

28 September 2011 - 18 April 2012[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
730.166 MHz 53+ 100 BBC A DVB-T
746.000 MHz 55 12.5 Arqiva B DVB-T
762.000 MHz 57 100 BBC B DVB-T2
777.833 MHz 59- 12.5 Arqiva A DVB-T
785.833 MHz 60- 100 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
802.000 MHz 62 12.5 SDN DVB-T

18 April 2012 - present[edit]

Arqiva A & B and SDN increased to 50 kW on 18 April 2012, after completion of the digital switchover at Crystal Palace transmitting station.

Frequency UHF kW Operator System
730.166 MHz 53+ 100 BBC A DVB-T
746.000 MHz 55 50 Arqiva B DVB-T
762.000 MHz 57 100 BBC B DVB-T2
777.833 MHz 59- 50 Arqiva A DVB-T
785.833 MHz 60- 100 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
802.000 MHz 50 50 SDN DVB-T

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°47′26″N 1°10′45″W / 51.79056°N 1.17917°W / 51.79056; -1.17917