Crystal Palace TV transmitter up close.
See Crystal Palace`s height in relation to other transmitters.
The tip of Croydon transmitter framed by Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace television transmitter from the athletics track of the same name.
Crystal Palace television transmitter Channel Allocations*
Note the gaps in the table below for channels 31 to 37 and 61 to 68, they`re reserved for “other uses”........
The frequencies given are for (most) digital MUXES, for analogue channels deduct 3MHz.
* There are a few retune events (temporary MUX reallocations) just before and after DSO which may not be shown on these tables.
Those situated to the North or NW of Crystal Palace may find that during certain
weather condition they can suffer from co-
In the old 405 line VHF days the transmitter only broadcast the BBC and a second
similar design (152m in height) was constructed in 1962 for ITV* at Croydon. When
UHF started transmission in the 60`s (1964 from Crystal Palace) the distinction between
BBC and ITV broadcasting sites was discontinued and everything was transmitted from
Crystal Palace. In fact in 1985 when the VHF signals were finally switched off it
seemed Croydon`s days as a TV transmitter were over. However that wasn`t quite the
end of the story because when Channel 5 began broadcasting in 1997 Croydon was given
the job of transmitting it to the London and SE area, though it wasn`t transmitted
at full power to the south so as not to cause co-
* This double transmitter scenario was also used for (BBC first) Sutton Coldfield / Lichfield,
The site gets its name from the original Crystal Palace which was built for the Great Exhibition (of 1851) and moved to this site in 1854, unfortunately it was tragically destroyed by fire in 1936. Also located near the tower is the National Sports Centre of 1964. For years this housed London`s only 50m swimming pool (until a second one opened in Ealing) but it also has various sports halls plus the the well known athletics track.
Also see other relevant A group curves.
These are the wrong aerials for Crystal Palace (or any other A group transmitter)
(see Crystal Palace graph)
Both these aerials were spotted in Purley On Thames, just West of Reading, and they`re both on Crystal Palace transmitter which is about 40 miles away. The thing is, they`re the wrong aerials for Crystal Palace, or any A group transmitter come to that. I`m not familiar with the signal strength in this location (though the one on the left was on a bleedin` high pole....) but whether it`s a strong or weak area the installer has still fitted the wrong aerial.
Well if it`s a weak reception area an A group aerial should have been used.
On the other hand if it`s a strong or medium reception area he should have fitted a Log Periodic aerial,
Let`s assume it`s a weak area. I estimate that over the Crystal Palace frequencies the aerial on the left would average about 1.5 dB more than a DM Log and the one on the right about 2.0 dB more. But if you`re short of signal a Yagi18A would give about 4.7 dB more, and an XB16A about 6.5 dB more. We had a customer who was shielded from Crystal Palace transmitter by the Arsenal football stadium. He originally had a DAT75 (a large wideband Tri boom aerial) but his pictures were very poor, so he swapped to an XB16A and reported that whilst his signal wasn`t perfect it was much better, “we can actually watch TV now” was his exact comment ! QED #1
Now don`t get me wrong, I`m not saying these wideband aerials aren`t working for these particular installations. Let`s be honest, if it`s a decent signal area they`ll work fine. But the fact is that on Crystal Palace there would be a minimal performance difference between one of these huge wideband aerials and a Log36. The latter performs just as well (in the A group) as any wideband Tri Boom antenna, yet has much less wind loading, it`s still a wideband, and has all the advantages that a Log Periodic aerial offers. QED #2
The thing is a Log36 is smaller than a Tri Boom so some installers find it harder to justify their (large ? ) bills..... Any connection ? Or am I just getting cynical as I get older ?
In my opinion if any installer tries to sell you this type of Tri Boom aerial for Crystal Palace (or any other A group transmitter) you can quote me that he’s fitting the wrong antenna.
Although I think Tri Booms are over rated (particularly for frequencies at the bottom of the band) it`s possibly a little unfair to pick on them because all of the comments in this article apply (to a large extent) to any wideband Yagi type aerial, whether X Beam or not.
But all Tri Booms are wideband so at least I can be sure what I`ve photographed !
Crystal Palace transmitter is situated 6 miles South of The Tower Of London, though it was built rather more recently than the latter, in 1950. The tower is 222m high (see How High is High ? ) and in some ways looks similar to the Eiffel tower in Paris, although the French structure is taller at 318m. I have often wondered why the owners of Crystal Palace don`t learn from their Parisian counterparts and build a public viewing platform. I`m sure they would recoup the investment many times over, after all it`s far higher than, say, “The London Eye” ! There`s probably some Health & Safety B******s ruling to stop it...... On the subject of views of London, see this panorama from the top of the Post Office Tower (and that`s the Post Office tower, not the BT Tower).
Crystal Palace Transmitter OS Grid Ref TQ 339 712
Also see basic digital fault finding.
Switchover occurred at Crystal Palace in April 2012.
Crystal Palace transmitter`s population coverage is unsurprisingly the highest in the UK at around 11 million and it is also the joint most powerful transmitter in the country at 200kW. Note how the latter increased substantially at the switchover
Since switchover Crystal Palace`s digital radiation pattern is nominally omni directional
There is one interleaved spectrum channel allocated to Crystal Palace, CH29, this may be used for a local TV channel.
There may, or may not, at some future stage, be more TV transmissions between CHs 31 and 37, but all the aforementioned channels can be picked up by decent A group aerials anyway.
For Crystal Palace`s broadcast frequencies see its channel allocation guide. This
also includes the same information for most of the other major transmitters receivable
within the coverage area of Crystal Palace, i.e. Sandy, Sudbury, Bluebell Hill, Dover,
Tunbridge Wells, Heathfield, Reigate, Midhurst, Guildford, Rowridge, Hannington,
Oxford and Hemel Hempstead. This data can be of great use in determining possible
alternative transmitters to try if Crystal Palace fails to give an adequate signal,
the importance of “Line Of Sight”. Note how most of the broadcast channels from the
various transmitters “Dovetail” together but it has not been possible to eliminate
The channel planners were able to fit all the Digital / Freeview MUXES in the A group so an aerial change shouldn`t normally be necessary. Furthermore those in poor reception areas, who may require an upgrade, can take advantage of the superior performance of an A group aerial over a wideband. In fact such is the widebands inferiority at the bottom of the band that there is no such thing as a “High Gain” wideband aerial for the A group frequencies and nobody should ever fit a “high gain” wideband on an A group transmitter, e.g Crystal Palace. If the site is in a poor spot an A group aerial should be used. On the other hand if the signal is strong (or medium) then by definition it doesn`t need a “high gain” antenna anyway! Under these circumstances a Log Periodic should be fitted instead.
For Crystal Palace we recommend the DM log for strong signal areas, the Log36 for medium signal areas, the Yagi18A for outside installs in poor signal areas, the XB10A for loft installations in poor signal areas, and the XB16A for those with the most marginal signals. Unless you have a massive loft we`d normally recommend the XB10A over the XB16A for a loft install due the smaller size of the former aerial. The dimensions and test performance of the aerials can be found on the relevant tables.
We are more than willing to give advice to those actually purchasing from us. Could those only seeking information please just find the answer somewhere on this site, or ring an aerial installer local to them, or call the reception advice phone numbers.
If you`ve found this site informative and, hopefully, interesting as well,