Pontop Pike Television Transmitter

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Pontop Pike Television Transmitter

The Pontop Pike transmitting station is a facility for telecommunications and broadcasting situated on a 312 metres (1,024 ft) high hill of the same name, between Stanley and Consett, County Durham, near the village of Dipton, England. The mast is 149 metres (489 ft) high, giving average antenna height of 461 metres (1,512 ft) above sea level. It is owned and operated by Arqiva.


The mast was built in 1953 and its construction was brought forward by the BBC so that people in North East England could watch the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II live on the 405-line television system VHF then in use in the UK. Test transmissions from a low-power temporary aerial began on Monday, 20 April, 1953, and the first programmes were transmitted on Friday, 1 May, 1953, in plenty of time for the Coronation on 2 June. UHF transmissions (625 line colour) began in 1966 and the VHF television signal was switched off in 1985.


The Pontop Pike transmitter provides UHF analogue and digital television transmissions to Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Tees Valley, most of Northumberland and parts of North Yorkshire. It also carries the national BBC Radio FM signals, covering the whole North East, as well as 95.4FM Radio Newcastle. It was one of the first national FM transmitters in December 1955. All of its television output (analogue and digital) is within the C/D group.

Digital TV switchover

Analogue TV transmissions from this mast are due to cease on 25 October 2012, making Pontop Pike the very last transmitter in Great Britain to complete digital switchover (DSO). In July 2007 it was confirmed by Ofcom that Pontop Pike would remain a C/D group after DSO.

Services listed by frequency
Analogue radio
Digital radio
Analogue television

Analogue television will be switching off in late 2012 from this transmitter. Pontop Pike transmitter does not transmit analogue Channel 5. Instead, this channel is transmitted from a transmitter near Burnhope, on UHF 68.

Digital television
Relay services

Being the main broadcasting transmitter, there are also a number of relays (or repeaters) to cover patches where this transmitter can't properly serve.

Analogue radio
Analogue television

The following is a list of the television relays served by Pontop Pike:

† This relay also carries Channel 5 on UHF 56 (Vertical - Aerial group W)

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