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Sandy Heath transmitting station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sandy Heath
Sandy Heath transmitter 900H L5.jpg
Sandy Heath transmitting station (Bedfordshire)
Mast height244 metres (801 ft)
Coordinates52°07′49″N 0°14′29″W / 52.130139°N 0.241389°W / 52.130139; -0.241389
Grid referenceTL2036249485
BBC regionBBC East
ITV regionITV Anglia

Sandy Heath transmitting station is a television broadcast station located between Sandy, Bedfordshire and Potton near the B1042. It is owned by Arqiva, formerly NTL Broadcast. It was built in 1965, originally broadcasting Anglia Television on VHF 405-lines, UHF with 625-line services of BBC2, BBC1, and Anglia Television being added by January 1971. It carried Channel 4 and Channel 5 from their launch days, Channel 5 at lower power than the other four services. Today it broadcasts digital television on the DTT platform as Digital Switchover took place on 13 April 2011. On 17 June 2018, as part of the 700MHz clearance, Com5 (ARQ A) moved from Ch52 to Ch36, Com7 (Arq C) moved from Ch32 to Ch55 and Com8 (Arq D) moved from Ch34 to Ch56

It is a K group or wideband TV transmitter (horizontal polarization), though an original A group aerial will still receive four of the main six Muxes, in fact from Feb 2020 only MUX 4 (SDN) will be out of the A group. During DSO, the digital transmission power for the PSB and Commercial muxes increased from 20 kW to 180 kW and 170 kW respectively.

Sandy Heath is the main local TV transmitter for Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and north Hertfordshire as well as North West Essex, bringing the nearby area Look East and Anglia Tonight (except on HD freeview-103 where it sends Meridian). Coverage extends to parts of Buckinghamshire, Norfolk, Leicestershire, Peterborough, and South Lincolnshire.

It also broadcasts the BBC local radio station BBC Three Counties Radio and the independent radio station Heart Bedford formerly Chiltern.


It was opened on 5 July 1965 by Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton for the ITA (Anglia TV). By the end of 1965, it was hoped that nine ITA transmitters would be open.

From its start until late 1966, the transmitter could not broadcast schools programmes in the morning because the frequency (waveband) clashed with the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in nearby Cambridgeshire. Anglia TV broadcast on channel 6 from noon to midnight, and the astronomy observatory broadcast on it during the morning.

Services listed by frequency

Analogue radio

Frequency kW Service
95.5 MHz 1 BBC Three Counties Radio
96.9 MHz 0.84 Heart East

Digital radio

Frequency Block kW Operator
222.064 MHz 11D 4.7 Digital One
225.648 MHz 12B 5 BBC National DAB

Analogue television

Analogue television services are no longer available. BBC Two was closed on 30 March 2011 and the remaining services on 13 April 2011.

Frequency UHF kW Service
471.25 MHz 21 1000 Channel 4
495.25 MHz 24 1000 ITV
519.25 MHz 27 1000 BBC Two
551.25 MHz 31 1000 BBC One
615.25 MHz 39 10 Channel 5


External links

This page was last edited on 8 August 2021, at 20:15
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