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Waltham transmitter against a beautiful blue sky

Blue sky at Waltham TV transmitter    

Waltham`s pre DSO transmitting array.  Note how the MUX 5/6 antennas were almost hidden on the NW face of the mast so as not to broadcast in the direction of Sandy (which is SSE), which would have caused co channel interference with Sandy`s pre DSO transmissions. Post switchover this isn`t a problem, so now Waltham`s transmissions are omnidirectional.


For details of the transmitting arrays see :


Taylor`s of Oldham  Website / catalogue

RFS (Website)

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Picture showing the feeder cables which carry the Digital signals up to the transmitters. These feeders are about 6” in diameter and and over 300m long they are very expensive (tens of thousands of pounds each) and there are four of them, two each for the main transmitters and two for the reserve antennas. All the main constituent parts of any main transmitter are duplicated at (great cost one might add) so there is always a back up ready to use. Don`t forget these things provide TV pictures for huge numbers of people, around 1.5 million depend on Waltham.


The biggest transmitters (in terms of approximate population coverage * over 1 million) :


Crystal Palace (London) 11 million

Winter Hill (NW of Manchester) 7 million

Sutton Coldfield (N of Birmingham) 5 million

Emley Moor (NW of Sheffield) 4 million

Black Hill (E of Glasgow) 2.5 million

Pontop Pike (SW of Newcastle) 2 million

Sandy (E of Bedford) 2 million

Rowridge (Isle of Wight) 1.75 million

Belmont (ENE of Lincoln) 1.5 million

Mendip (S of Bristol) 1.5 million

Sudbury (WSW of Ipswich) 1.5 million

Waltham (SE of Nottingham) 1.5 million

Bilsdale (S of Middlesborough) 1.0 million

Craigkelly (N of Edinburgh) 1.0 million


* Based on the BBC estimates from 1977, but I can`t imagine they`re that far out. The last time I looked all the major towns and cities were in the same place as they were in 1977.….

I think these figures are more accurate than the Ofcom quoted statistics which don`t seem to take into accout of people in a transmitters reception area actually using a different transmitter. For instance, many people in Waltham`s reception area actually use Sutton Coldfield, or Belmont.

External Links


Waltham transmitter Page at MB21

Waltham transmitter Page at The Big Tower

Waltham transmitter Page on Wikipedia


Digital UK Waltham transmitter

Digital UK details of Central transmitters

Ofcom details of Central transmitters

Waltham TV Transmitter`s Frequencies/Channel Allocations

The guide below also includes the same data for some of the other major transmitters also receivable within Waltham`s coverage area, namely Sutton Coldfield, Oxford, Sandy, Tacolneston, Belmont, Emley, Chesterfield, Nottingham and Fenton.

The channel allocation guides can be very useful in the diagnosis of co-channel interference problems and can also be invaluable if you are trying to find a spare channel for a modulated output (e.g. for a Sky box or CCTV system) to be added to your TV setup/distribution system without suffering from co-channel.

Also check Waltham`s sixteen (including Nottingham) smaller repeaters.


The frequencies given are for (most) digital MUXES, for analogue deduct 3MHz.

Waltham`s channels in relation to the UHF TV band and the gain curves of the aerials we recommend for it.   DM Log    Log36     DY14WB     XB22WB

Note that MUX 4 is out of the original C/D group of the transmitter.

For Waltham`s frequencies see its channel allocation guide.

Also see other relevant Wideband curves.

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Waltham transmitters pre DSO digital transmitting array Feeders carrying the transmissions up to Waltham

Waltham television transmitter (TX) is a "guyed mast" structure 309m in height (see How High is High ?) and is situated 18 miles SE of Nottingham. The mast is identical to Mendip and Bilsdale. It was built by British Insulated Callender`s Cables (or B.I.C.C) who were responsible for much of the infrastructure built in this country from 1945 up to the 1980s. The company is still going but now called Balfour Beatty. The mast is a tubular structure to the top and has in internal lift, though this is out of use partly due to the accident at Belmont.  

The transmitter was originally owned by the BBC before being sold off to Crown Castle then to National Grid Wireless and finally to Arquiva (sic). Waltham was erected in 1968, or to be more accurate the present structure was put up then. The original fell down in 1967 just before entering service !


Waltham broadcasts ITV Central and the relevant  BBC Regional TV programmes from the East Midlands. Its population coverage is around 1.5 million people and many in Nottingham, Leicester, Peterborough, Lincoln, Derby and Mansfield are aligned onto it.


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Note the huge increase in power after the 2011 switchover.


Being a main transmitter Waltham is horizontally polarised and puts out (up to) 50kW. Originally, for analogue, it was a C/D group but since the advent of digital television it is now a T group (or wideband). However, of the main six MUXES only MUX 4 is out of the C/D group and even that may well be receivable in decent signal areas (although this is less likely to apply for some cheap crappy Contract aerials). See Waltham`s graph.


Waltham has has sixteen [including Nottingham] smaller repeaters to improve its coverage in poor signal area

There is one interleaved spectrum channel allocated to Waltham, CH26, which may be used for a local Nottingham TV station. In addition, there are two low power HD MUXES planned (in the CH 31 to 37 gap) on CHs 31 and 37. All of these possible channels will be receivable on the same wideband/T group aerial as the main 6 MUXES.

For Waltham we recommend the DM log for strong signal areas, the Log36 for medium signal areas, the DY14WB for poor signal areas, and the XB22WB for those with the most marginal signals. The dimensions and test performance of the aerials can be found on the relevant tables. If requiring a “high gain aerial” in the loft we recommend the DY14WB over the XB22 because of the former aerial`s smaller size.

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.

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If you`ve found this site informative and, hopefully, interesting as well,

please help us increase the number of people reading it.


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Waltham Transmitter


OS Grid Ref SK 809 233


Note, due to the new phenomenon of MUXICAL chairs you may experience problems with certain MUXES disappearing. First try rescanning your TV / set top box, do it manually if possible. If this fails to sort it check on transmitter work or call the reception advice phone numbers.


Also see basic digital fault finding.


Switchover occurred at Waltham in Aug 2011.

Subjects are listed on this page in the following order :


History and general info of Waltham


Waltham`s coverage (area and population)


Digital power output, aerial group and polarisation of Waltham transmitter


Possible extra (future) channels


Our TV aerial recommendations for Waltham


Waltham external links


Pictures of Waltham


Waltham`s graph (its transmissions v our aerial recommendations)


Waltham`s channels/frequencies (including alternative transmitters)

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The dotted lines are the 2 planned lower power HD MUXES