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Black Mountain transmitting station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black Mountain
Black Mountain transmitting station is located in Northern Ireland
Black Mountain
Black Mountain
Mast height228.6 metres (750 ft)
Coordinates54°35′13″N 6°01′20″W / 54.5869°N 6.0222°W / 54.5869; -6.0222
Grid referenceJ278727
Relay ofDivis
BBC regionBBC Northern Ireland
ITV regionUTV

The Black Mountain transmitting station is a broadcasting and telecommunications facility, situated on land 301 metres (988 ft) above Ordnance Datum (mean sea level) to the west of the city of Belfast, in Northern Ireland (grid reference J278727). It includes a guyed steel lattice mast which is 228.6 metres (750 ft) [1] in height. The height of the top of the structure above mean sea level is 529 metres (1,736 ft). It is owned and operated by Arqiva.



It was built by BICC.[1]


  • 1959: The station is commissioned by the Independent Television Authority to transmit ITV signals (provided by Ulster Television) on 405-line VHF, using Channel 9 (Band III) on high power. Service commences on 1 October.
  • 1970: UHF 625-line PAL colour TV begins at high power from the adjacent Divis transmitting station.
  • 1975: A low power UHF filler service begins, designed to cover districts close to the station that cannot pick up Divis.
  • 1976: FM commercial radio station Downtown Radio (later Cool FM) starts transmissions.
  • 1985: VHF 405-line television is discontinued in the UK, having been replaced by the UHF service. The VHF service from Black Mountain closes.
  • 1990: FM commercial radio station BCR (later City Beat) now Q Radio begins on 96.7 MHz on 6 April.
  • 1997: Analogue transmissions of Channel 5 begin at high power.
  • 2001: DAB Digital Radio transmissions start from Score Northern Ireland on block 12D on 6 September.
  • 2005: FM station U105 begins on 105.8 MHz on 14 November.
  • 2012: On 24 October analogue television services are ceased and replaced by digital multiplexes. NImux launches at this and two other transmitter sites in Northern Ireland transmitting TG4, RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta to the region.
  • 2019: Further frequency changes took place in September as part of the 700 MHz clearance plan for new mobile telecom services,


For high power transmissions of Cool FM, and formerly analogue Channel 5, coverage includes most of central and eastern Ulster, north as far as Ballymena, south as far as Downpatrick and Newry, and west past Dungannon and Cookstown.

Radio stations Q Radio and U105 have a more restricted coverage area, including areas around Greater Belfast, up to Carrickfergus, Antrim, and the shore of Lough Neagh.

With the exception of the NIMM broadcasts, the low power digital TV transmissions are designed only to cover areas of Belfast not already covered by Divis.

Service availability by frequency

Analogue radio

Frequency kW Service
96.7 MHz 0.55 Q Radio Belfast
97.4 MHz 3.2 Cool FM
105.8 MHz 0.96 U105

Digital radio

Frequency Block kW Operator
229.072 MHz 12D 7 Bauer Radio

Analogue television

31 October 1959 – 8 August 1975

Frequency VHF kW Service
194.75 MHz 9 100 UTV

8 August 1975 – 2 November 1982

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
194.75 MHz 9 100 UTV
615.25 MHz 39 0.025 BBC1 Northern Ireland
663.25 MHz 45 0.025 BBC2 Northern Ireland
695.25 MHz 49 0.025 UTV

2 November 1982 – 3 January 1985

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
194.75 MHz 9 100 UTV
615.25 MHz 39 0.025 BBC1 Northern Ireland
631.25 MHz 41 0.025 Channel 4
663.25 MHz 45 0.025 BBC2 Northern Ireland
695.25 MHz 49 0.025 UTV

3 January 1985 – 30 March 1997

Frequency UHF kW Service
615.25 MHz 39 0.025 BBC1 Northern Ireland
631.25 MHz 41 0.025 Channel 4
663.25 MHz 45 0.025 BBC2 Northern Ireland
695.25 MHz 49 0.025 UTV

30 March 1997 – 10 October 2012

Frequency UHF kW Service
599.25 MHz 37 50 Channel 5
615.25 MHz 39 0.025 BBC One Northern Ireland
631.25 MHz 41 0.025 Channel 4
663.25 MHz 45 0.025 BBC Two Northern Ireland
695.25 MHz 49 0.025 UTV

Analogue and digital television

10 October 2012 – 24 October 2012

Frequency UHF kW Service System
599.25 MHz 37 50 Channel 5 PAL System I
615.25 MHz 39 0.025 BBC One Northern Ireland PAL System I
631.25 MHz 41 0.025 Channel 4 PAL System I
666.000 MHz 45 0.005 BBC A DVB-T
695.25 MHz 49 0.025 UTV PAL System I

Digital television

24 October 2012 – present

Digital television replaced the old analogue signals during October 2012. An additional multiplex named NImux including TG4, RTÉ One, RTÉ Two and RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta launched at switchover here and at two other transmitters in Northern Ireland. In September 2019 further frequency changes took place.

Frequency UHF kW Operating Name System
570.166 MHz 33 (was 39+) 3 NImux DVB-T2
642.000 MHz 44 (Was 42) 0.005 Digital 3&4 DVB-T
634.000 MHz 41 (Was 45) 0.005 BBC A DVB-T
682.000 MHz 47 (Was 49) 0.005 BBC B DVB-T2

See also


  1. ^ Times Tuesday 27 October 1959, page 6

External links

This page was last edited on 26 October 2021, at 11:29
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