thebigtower


hannington

 


THE HANNINGTON TRANSMITTING STATION provides UHF Television, FM and Digital (DAB) Radio services to most of in-land Hampshire, much of Berkshire and some bordering parts of Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

It is situated on Cottington's Hill in North Hampshire, near the village of Kingsclere.  Towards the west, the station immediately overlooks Watership Down as made famous by Richard Adams' novel of the same name.

For regional television purposes, Hannington has always been part of the 'South' region of both BBC1 and ITV which is currently based also on the service areas of the Rowridge, Oxford and Midhurst transmitters and their respective relays. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Aerials Index

 

 UHF Coverage Map

 

 Station Plates

 


UHF AERIAL GROUPING (ANALOGUE)

In common with most of the UHF main stations located near the south coast of England, Hannington was for the purpose of analogue transmission required to utilise one of the three highest UHF channels (66-68) which, although widely used at some of the later relay stations, were fundamentally excluded from the main UHF transmitter network.  In respect of these south-coast stations, the allocation of these channels was necessary due to the conventionally used frequencies creating potential co-channel interference issues with neighbouring stations in Europe.

In the case of Hannington, the unavailable frequency was UHF Channel 49 (based on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV using the first three in the standard aerial Group B channel grouping of 39-42-45-49) requiring instead the use of UHF Channel 66 for Channel 4 and forcing the use of Group E aerials to enable reception of all services.

Of the other south-coast area stations affected, Bluebell Hill in North Kent used Channel 65 instead of 50 resulting in the one other UK example of a Group E UHF main station.  As for the remainder, Dover, Heathfield and Midhurst respectively utilised Channels 66, 67 and 68 and, in the case of the first two, as part of an overall grouping of non-conventional channels.

(With the exception of Dover, the use of Channel 66-68 across these sites was reserved for Channel 4 which deferred their use until 1982 onwards).

The only south-coast area UHF main station to use a standard channel grouping for analogue UHF was Rowridge.

DIGITAL SWITCHOVER (DSO) AND CURRENT UHF AERIAL GROUPING

Hannington completed Digital Switchover by means of the usual two stage process with Stage 1 (DSO1) on 8 February 2012 (closure of analogue BBC2/digital BBC Mux 1 and launch of PSB1/BBC A multiplex) followed by Stage 2 (DSO2) on 22 February 2012 (closure of remaining analogue services/pre-DSO multiplexes and launch of remaining PSB/COM multiplexes).

All post-DSO services fall within the UHF Channel range of 39-47 allowing Hannington to finally revert to the Aerial Group B status that was lost with the start of analogue Channel 4.


 

 

 

 

 

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STATION HISTORY

Hannington was built as one of the new transmitting stations commissioned for the 625-line UHF-colour network.  Under 405-line VHF, the Hampshire area was served primarily by Rowridge (BBC) and Chillerton Down (ITV) with the reception of transmitters serving neighbouring regions, such as the London stations at Croydon and Crystal Palace, also possible in places.

The first regular transmissions from Hannington commenced on 13 June 1970 with BBC2 on UHF Channel 45.  By November 1971, transmitters for BBC1 and ITV were also in service.

The station has had a complex history with regards to ownership, the origins of which lie in the fact that Cottington's Hill was already the base for a government installation when the BBC sought its use for television transmission.

By the time both the BBC and IBA transmitter divisions had been privatised, this had evolved into the unusual scenario where NTL Broadcast (the IBA successor) was landlord to a site including a transmitter facility owned by Crown Castle (the BBC successor). This anomaly (illustrated in the Station Plates page) was only resolved once the successors to NTL Broadcast and Crown Castle (Arqiva and National Grid Wireless respectively) merged into the single Arqiva now currently in operation.

A more detailed history is available at mb21 here.



STATION INFORMATION


Location:

Cottington's Hill, Kingsclere, North Hampshire

Grid Reference:

SU527568

Landlord:

Arqiva (Legacy: BBC/Crown Castle UK/NGW)

Ground Height:

216.4m

BBC1 Region:

South

Mast Height (+):

151.9m

ITV Region:

Meridian West

Aerial Height (*):

369m

 

UHF Tx Number:

12600

(+) Height including main UHF antenna

 

(*)  UHF aerial height above sea level (a.o.d)   

 

 


  CURRENT TRANSMISSIONS

Digital Television 

 

 

 

Analogue Radio (FM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

: Ch/Polarisation/e.r.p

 

 

 Station:

(MHz)

(e.r.p)

PSB1

: 45 / H / 50kW 

 

 

BBC Radio Berkshire:

104.1

3kW

PSB2

: 42 / H / 50kW 

 

 

Heart Thames Valley:

 102.9

4kW

PSB3

: 39 / H / 50kW 

 

 

 

COM4

: 41 / H / 25kW 

 

 

Digital Radio (DAB)

COM5

: 44 / H / 25kW

 

 

 

COM6

: 47 / H / 25kW

 

 

 BBC National (Block 12B)

 Digital One (Block 11D)

 Berkshire and North Hampshire (Block 12D)

 

PRE-DIGITAL SWITCHOVER UHF TRANSMISSIONS

(Shutdown completed 22 February 2012)

Analogue Television 

 

 

 

Digital Television

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Service

  Ch/Polar/e.r.p

 

 

 

 

Service

 Ch/Polar/e.r.p

BBC1

: 39 / H / 250kW

 

 

 

 

Mux1

: 50 / H / 20kW

BBC2

: 45 / H / 250kW  

 

 

 

 

Mux2

: 43 / H / 20kW

ITV1

: 42 / H / 250kW 

 

 

 

 

MuxA

: 40 / H / 20kW

Ch4

: 66 / H / 250kW

 

 

 

MuxB

: 46 / H / 20kW

Ch5

: 35 / H / 60kW

 

 

 

 

MuxC

: 44 / H / 10kW

 

  

 

MuxD

: 41 / H / 10kW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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