Wenvoe Transmitter
The Wenvoe transmitting station is a facility for broadcasting and telecommunications situated close to the village of Wenvoe in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales in the UK. It comprises a 248-metre (814 ft) guyed mast with antennas attached at various heights. The mast (with extension completed Feb' 2008) plus the Main UHF antenna on top now gives a structure height of 260.7 metres (855 ft). The average height above sea level is 392 metres for the television antennas. It is owned and operated by Arqiva.

History
The original mast at the site was built in 1952 by the BBC to provide 405-line VHF television to south Wales and the west of England. The station broadcast on Band I channel 5 (66.75 MHz) from August 15, 1952 using its reserve transmitters, and from December 20, 1952 with its main high-power transmitters. It remained on air until the closure of 405-line television in 1985. In 1955, VHF FM radio was added to the mast, carrying the BBC's Home Service. This was followed by the addition of the Light Programme in 1956 and the Third Programme in 1959. In 1963, a second mast was built alongside the existing structure. This was in order to carry the new BBC Wales 405-line TV service on Band III VHF channel 13. On the 12 September 1965 BBC2 a 625-line black and white television service became available from Wenvoe on UHF. This new transmitter was capable of colour broadcasting from the start and was used for unannounced colour TV engineering test-transmissions from that point onwards. In September 1967 BBC2 officially launched a colour TV service from Wenvoe, a few months after BBC2 Crystal Palace and others had launched the UK's first colour broadcasting in July of that year. In 1970, UHF 625-line colour television was introduced for BBC1 and ITV Wales ( HTV Wales). S4C was added later when it launched in 1982. In 1985, when 405-line TV closed, the site was re-engineered and both of the existing masts were taken down. They were replaced by a brand new mast (to be known as Wenvoe "A"), which is the structure currently in place at the site. Wenvoe "B" is a self-supporting telecommunications mast nearby. The VHF FM antennas were upgraded from the old horizontally polarised slot antennas to new mixed polarisation antennas, and the transmitter power was doubled. The new analogue Channel 5 was launched in 1997, but this was never transmitted from Wenvoe. It was presumably thought that the 125 kW transmitter at Mendip would serve a satisfactory number of homes in Wenvoe's service area. At the time, many homes within range of Mendip already had aerials pointing at it so as to receive the English-only Channel 4 rather than the bilingual English/Welsh S4C transmitted from Wenvoe. Work began on a new temporary 217.7 m (714 ft) stayed mast (Wenvoe "C") on June 14, 2006 and it was completed in September 2006. This carried the analogue signals whilst Wenvoe "A" was to be structurally improved and extended by 23 metres (75 ft). Wenvoe "A" was fitted with a new high power digital antenna and a full reserve antenna. New high power digital TV transmitters were installed in the buildings, which would allow Wenvoe "A" to broadcast all 6 main digital TV multiplexes, as well as a seventh currently proposed by OFCOM after the analogue signals were switched off in 2010. This mechanical upgrade was completed by the summer of 2009 and Wenvoe "C" was dismantled starting in late August 2009. Other sites that required major engineering work before Digital Switchover were Divis ( Northern Ireland) and Sandy Heath, ( Bedfordshire), which also required mechanical strengthening work. Furthermore, complete replacement masts were required at Caldbeck ( Cumbria) and Black Hill, ( Lanarkshire). Wenvoe's analogue BBC Two service was switched off on 3 March 2010 and the remaining analogue TV services were switched off on 31 March 2010. At this point, Wales had officially completed its switchover to digital TV services.

Channels listed by frequency

Analogue Radio (VHF FM)
  • 89.9 MHz - BBC Radio 2 #
  • 92.1 MHz - BBC Radio 3 #
  • 94.3 MHz - BBC Radio 4 #
  • 96.8 MHz - BBC Radio Cymru #
  • 99.5 MHz - BBC Radio 1 #
  • 101.7 MHz - Classic FM (125KW)
  • 106.8 MHz - Nation Radio (4.04KW)
#: High Power transmission (250KW).

Digital Radio (DAB)
  • Block 11D: 222.06 MHz - Digital One (4KW)
  • Block 12B: 225.64 MHz - BBC (9KW)
  • Block 12C: 227.36 MHz - Severn Estuary (4KW)


Analogue Television (1952-08-15 until 1963)
  • VHF 05 (66.75 MHz) - BBC TV


Analogue Television (1963 until 1965-09-12)
  • VHF 05 (66.75 MHz) - BBC West
  • VHF 13 (214.75 MHz) - BBC Wales


Analogue Television (1965-09-12 until 1970-04)
  • VHF 05 (66.75 MHz) - BBC One
  • VHF 13 (214.75 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 51 (711.25 MHz) - BBC Two Wales (Monochrome initially: Colour TV service started 1967-09)


Analogue Television (1970-04 until 1982-11-01)
  • VHF 05 (66.75 MHz) - BBC One
  • VHF 13 (214.75 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 41 (631.25 MHz) - ITV1 Wales
  • UHF 44 (655.25 MHz) - BBC One Wales (Monochrome initially - Colour production at BBC One Wales started 1970-07-09)
  • UHF 51 (711.25 MHz) - BBC Two Wales


Analogue Television (1982-11-01 until 1985-01-03)
  • VHF 05 (66.75 MHz) - BBC One
  • VHF 13 (214.75 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 41 (631.25 MHz) - ITV1 Wales
  • UHF 44 (655.25 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 47 (679.25 MHz) - S4C
  • UHF 51 (711.25 MHz) - BBC Two Wales


Analogue Television (1985-01-03 until 2010-03-03)
  • UHF 41 (631.25 MHz) - ITV1 Wales
  • UHF 44 (655.25 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 47 (679.25 MHz) - S4C
  • UHF 51 (711.25 MHz) - BBC Two Wales


Digital Television (from 1998-11-15 until 2010-03-03)
This was the initial roll-out for digital television using the DVB-T system. The transmitter frequencies and power outputs were chosen not to interfere with the UHF TV channels, but to be received with the same aerial-group. The QAM constellations and number of carriers were changed around 2002 after the collapse of ITV Digital as the service was taken over by the Freeview consortium.
  • UHF 30 (546.000 MHz) - Multiplex 1 BBC 5 kW
  • UHF 34 (578.000 MHz) - Multiplex 2 Digital 3&4 5 kW
  • UHF 40- (625.833 MHz) - Multiplex A SDN 5 kW
  • UHF 43- (649.833 MHz) - Multiplex C National Grid Wireless 5 kW
  • UHF 46- (673.833 MHz) - Multiplex D National Grid Wireless 5 kW
  • UHF 50- (705.833 MHz) - Multiplex B BBC 5 kW


Analogue Television (from 2010-03-03 until 2010-03-31)
The BBC Two Wales service on channel 51 closed after 45 years of service, and the ITV1 Wales from channel 41 was moved to that channel for what would be its final month of service.
  • UHF 44 (655.25 MHz) - BBC One Wales
  • UHF 47 (679.25 MHz) - S4C
  • UHF 51 (711.25 MHz) - ITV1 Wales


Digital Television (from 2010-03-03 until 2010-03-31)
Multiplex 1 from channel 30 was renamed PSB1 and moved to channel 41+ (which had just been vacated by analogue ITV Wales). In addition to the power increase to 100 kW ERP, it was reconfigured to 64QAM and 8k carriers, which resulted in a service area similar to the old analogue transmissions but with much more bandwidth available than Multiplex 1 ever had. For the duration of the switchover, all the channels carried on Multiplex B were duplicated on this new PSB1 multiplex. Channel 30 was re-used for Multiplex C, freeing Multiplex C's old allocation at channel 43-
  • UHF 30 (546.000 MHz) - Multiplex C National Grid Wireless 5 kW
  • UHF 34 (578.000 MHz) - Multiplex 2 Digital 3&4 5 kW
  • UHF 40- (625.833 MHz) - Multiplex A SDN 5 kW
  • UHF 41+ (634.167 MHz) - PSB1 BBC (the first digital transmission at full power - 100 kW)
  • UHF 46- (673.833 MHz) - Multiplex D National Grid Wireless 5 kW
  • UHF 50- (705.833 MHz) - Multiplex B BBC 5 kW


Digital Television (from 2010-03-31 until 2011-04-27)
All remaining analogue television was shut down after 40 years of service. The pre-switchover low power digital transmissions (apart from Arq A and SDN) were upgraded to full power and configured to 64QAM and 8k carriers, with frequency changes and with new names for the multiplexes:
  • UHF 30 (546.000 MHz) - Arq A Arqiva (temporary frequency) 10 kW
  • UHF 41+ (634.167 MHz) - PSB1 BBC 100 kW
  • UHF 44 (658.000 MHz) - PSB2 Digital 3&4 100 kW
  • UHF 47 (682.000 MHz) - PSB3 - High-definition channels; BBC HD, ITV HD and Clirlun (S4C HD Service) using DSB-T2 transmission, coded with MPEG4 100 kW ERP
  • UHF 49 (698.000 MHz) - Arq B Arqiva 50 kW
  • UHF 51 (714.000 MHz) - SDN SDN (temporary frequency) 10 kW


Digital Television (After 2011-04-27)
Unusually, the digital switchover at Wenvoe requires a third phase to allow time for channels 42 and 45 to be cleared at Ridge Hill transmitting station. At this point, Arq A and SDN will be shifted fully into the group with a power increase:
  • UHF 41+ (634.167 MHz) - PSB1 100 kW
  • UHF 42 (642.000 MHz) - SDN SDN 50 kW
  • UHF 44 (658.000 MHz) - PSB2 Digital 3&4 100 kW
  • UHF 45 (666.000 MHz) - Arq A Arqiva 50 kW
  • UHF 47 (682.000 MHz) - PSB3 - High-definition channels; BBC HD, ITV HD and Clirlun (S4C HD Service) using DVB-T2 transmission, coded with MPEG4 100 kW ERP
  • UHF 49 (698.000 MHz) - Arq B Arqiva 50 kW


Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 2 digital references and added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com