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The Belmont transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility, situated next to the B1225, one mile west of the village of Donington on Bainmarker, near Market Rasenmarker and Louthmarker in Lincolnshiremarker, Englandmarker ( ). It is owned and operated by Arqiva. It has a guyed tubular steel mast, with a lattice upper section. Standing a total height of it is considered to be the tallest structure of its kind in the world (taller masts, such as the KVLY-TV mastmarker in the United Statesmarker, use steel lattice construction), the tallest structure of any type in the United Kingdommarker and also the tallest structure within the European Union.

Construction

The mast was constructed in 1965 and it came into service on 20 December of that year. As built it was a tubular pipe 900 feet long by 9 feet in diameter, surmounted by a 365 ft lattice upper section. (An identical mast was constructed in 1964 at Emley Moormarker near Huddersfieldmarker in Yorkshiremarker, but that mast collapsed due to guy failure caused by icing and high winds on 19 March, 1969.)

In September 1967 meteorological equipment was added to the 1,265 ft mast extending its height to 1,272 ft (387.7m). The imperial measurement was the accepted value quoted by a number of publications, including the 1993 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. The metric measurement quoted by the current owners is shorter.

Coverage

From its location, high in the Lincolnshire Woldsmarker, it is used to broadcast both analogue and digital television and radio to parts of Lincolnshire, north Nottinghamshiremarker, South Yorkshiremarker, north-west Norfolk, Hullmarker and East Yorkshire. When it was first operated it transmitted (amongst others) pictures from ITV station Anglia Television. Following a re-organisation of ITV coverage in 1972, from 1974 it started transmitting pictures from neighbouring station Yorkshire Television instead, which it continues to do to this day.

Relay stations

Belmont has few relay stations, with a lot of Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire being flat. The strongest relay station is at Oliver's Mount and there are two in the Yorkshire Woldsmarker. The Belmont transmitter can be received some distance outside of the intended broadcast area.

Transmitter power

At 500 kW E.R.P. (for the four main analogue channels) Belmont is one of the most powerful transmitters in the UK, though there are four UK transmitters which are more powerful. Sutton Coldfield, Crystal Palace and Sandy are all 1000kW and Emley Moor is 870kW. Channel 5 is only broadcast at 50 kW from Belmont and digital at 10 kW (Multiplex 1, 2, A, B) and 4 kW (Multiplex C, D) although this level of digital power is theoretically equal to 500 kW on analogue in terms of the received carrier to noise ratio required to give a "perfect" picture. After digital switchover Belmont's digital transmitting power will rise to 50 kW (for MUX4), 100kW (for MUXES 5 & 6) and 150kW (for MUXES 1 to 3), source Ofcom.

It should be noted that different sources (even "official" ones) give differing digital output powers for Belmont, and several other transmitters come to that, e.g. this Ofcom source published Feb. 2009 and this Ofcom source.

Height reduction

In May 2009, Arqiva obtained planning permission to install new aerials and reduce the height of the mast by 118 feet as part of re-engineering for digital switchover. The structure will then be only 1,154 ft tall, relegating it to 14th highest structure in the EU and second highest in the UK after Skeltonmarker.

Channels listed by frequency

Analogue radio (FM VHF)



Digital radio (DAB)



Analogue television



Digital television



Details of all the muxes can be found at [97528]

Digital switchover

Belmont began digital TV on November 15 1998. In July 2007 it was confirmed by Ofcom that Belmont would be remaining a wideband transmitter after digital switchover, though the first four - of the six - MUXES would still be available within the original A group, as this graph makes clear. The switchover will occur at the Belmont site in July 2011, the existing analogue and digital signals will be turned off and replaced with higher power digital signals, the channels for these signals will be:

  • UHF 22 - BBC A - Previously Multiplex 1
  • UHF 25 - D3&4 - Previously Multiplex 2
  • UHF 28 - SDN - Previously Multiplex B
  • UHF 30 - BBC B - Previously Multiplex A
  • UHF 53 - NGW A - Previously Multiplex C
  • UHF 60 - NGW B - Previously Multiplex D


See also



References

External links




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