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Black Hill Transmitting Station

A collection of radio and television masts which form a notable landmark lying to the north of the M8 Motorway in North Lanarkshire, the Black Hill Transmitting Station lies 1½ miles / 2.5 km northwest of Kirk o' Shotts, where there was once a transmitting station that Black Hill has replaced. It was commissioned on 31st August 1957 by the Independent Television Authority, competing with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) facilities at Kirk o' Shotts. It is now owned and operated by a commercial company, Arqiva. The principal mast is guyed and extends to 306.6m (1006 feet) in height and was constructed in 2008 to broadcast digital television services including a range of BBC, other public-service and commercial channels. The original mast was of similar height but shortened and now broadcasts FM and DAB radio services. The station reaches a population of around 2.5 million, extending from Glasgow, to Edinburgh and Dundee. Other masts on the site provide additional communications facilities.

The Black Hill transmitter began broadcasting the ITV television channel using the 405-line black-and-white system on VHF, using a 229-m / 750-foot mast but this was reconfigured and raised in height in 1959. It was the most powerful transmitter in the ITV network, with 475 kW of radiative power. The VHF system was turned off in 1985, having been displaced by the higher-quality 625-line system on UHF, which could handle colour broadcasts. This was the last transmitter station in Scotland to switch off analogue television, converting to digital-only transmission on the 22nd June 2011.


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