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Freeview Light on the Black Mountain (Northern Ireland) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps54.586,-6.024 or 54°35'10"N 6°1'28"Wsa_postcodeBT17 0LU


The symbol shows the location of the Black Mountain (Northern Ireland) transmitter which serves 6,600 homes. The bright green areas shown where the signal from this transmitter is strong, dark green areas are poorer signals. Those parts shown in yellow may have interference on the same frequency from other masts.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Black Mountain (Northern Ireland) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Black Mountain transmitter broadcast?

If you have any kind of Freeview fault, follow this Freeview reset procedure first.

Digital television services are broadcast on a multiplexes (or Mux) where many stations occupy a single broadcast frequency, as shown below.

 V -26dB
C41 (634.0MHz)486mDTG-5W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) Northern Ireland, 2 BBC Two Northern Ireland, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 13 others

 V -26dB
C44 (658.0MHz)486mDTG-5W
Channel icons
3 UTV (SD) (UTV), 4 Channel 4 (SD) NI ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 NI ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 30 E4 +1, 35 UTV +1 (UTV),

 V -26dB
C47 (682.0MHz)486mDTG-5W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD Northern Ireland, 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 UTV HD (UTV), 104 Channel 4 HD NI ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C33+ (570.2MHz)486mDTG-112,000W
Channel icons
53 TG4, 54 RTÉ One, 55 RTÉ Two,

DTG-11 QPSK 32KN 2/3 10.0Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Are you trying to watch these 0 Freeview HD channels?

The Black Mountain (Northern Ireland) mast is not one of the extended Freeview HD (COM7 and COM8) transmitters, it does not provide these high definition (HD) channels: .

If you want to watch these HD channels, either use Freesat HD, or move your TV aerial must point to one of the 30 Full Freeview HD transmitters. For more information see the want to know which transmitters will carry extra Freeview HD? page.

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Black Mountain transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Newsline 0.6m homes 2.5%
from Belfast BT2 8HQ, 1,044km northeast (51°)
to BBC Northern Ireland region - 46 masts.
regional news image
UTV Live 0.6m homes 2.5%
from Belfast BT7 1EB, 1,044km northeast (51°)
to UTV region - 46 masts.

How will the Black Mountain (Northern Ireland) transmission frequencies change over time?

1959-80s1984-971997-981998-20122012-134 Sep 2019

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) after November 2020 / June 2022 - more
Table shows multiplexes names see this article;
green background for transmission frequencies
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W T
waves denotes analogue; digital switchover was 10 Oct 12 and 24 Oct 12.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 5 50kW
NIMM≡(-14dB) 2kW
Analogue 1-4(-33dB) 25W
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-40dB) 5W

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Divis transmitter area

Oct 1959-May 2006Ulster Television
May 2006-Dec 2014UTV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only.

Is the transmitter output the same in all directions?

Radiation patterns withheld

Saturday, 6 October 2012
Dave Lindsay

11:55 AM

mr v johnston: At the first stage of switchover (10th October), BBC standard definition channels go on full power from pre-switchover transmitters such as Divis and they become available from relays such as Black Mountain for the first time. On 24th October the other digital channels become available.

If your main aerial points to Black Mountain then you probably know that it does not broadcast Freeview now. It will also only carry Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) channels after switchover. These are BBC standard definition TV, BBC high definition TV, BBC radio, UTV, UTV+1, UTVHD, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, Channel 4HD, E4, More4 and Channel 5. Existing aerials on Black Mountain are expected to work after switchover as all channels are in the current analogue group.

Those who cannot receive from a full-service transmitter (which amounts to about 8.5% of the population) and rely on a PSB-only relay will only have access to PSB channels.

You refer to a "digital aerial". You must be receiving from another transmitter, presumably Divis. This will carry the full complement of Freeview channels after switchover, so you may wish to retain it for this purpose.

Aerials aren't designed specifically to pick up analogue or digital signals. In some cases different aerials are required due to different channels being used or perhaps lower power (weaker) signals).

Reception of RT/TG4: There is a potential added complication if you would like to receive RT and TG4, if you are in an area where they can be picked up. If you have another aerial pointing to a transmitter located in the Republic, then you should be OK with that.

However, these channels will also be broadcast from three Freeview transmitters in Northern Ireland, this being the "NI Mux".

The NI Mux will be broadcast on high power from Black Mountain rather than Divis. It will be horizontally polarised unlike the other Black Mountain channels which are vertically so. The reason for this is because it is principally intended to serve those who receive from Divis. With the two transmitters being close together, the angle between the two is slow small for those at a distance (e.g. for those in Belfast) that a single horizontally polarised aeial will work for both.

If you are in an area where Black Mountain isn't that far off the bearing for Divis, then the single aerial may work for both. If they are in different directions you may wish to try reception of the NI Mux using the horizontal Divis aerial (even though it faces another direction).

If a different aerial is required for Divis and for the NI Mux from Black Mountain, then your existing Black Mountain aerial should work if you change it to horizontal. You can combine the signals from two aerials using a diplexer (providing the channels used by each transmitter suit this setup):

Online TV Splitters, Amps & Diplexers sales

The NI Mux from Black Mountain will be on C39. Divis' channels will range 21 to 29. There is the potential (if the powers that be so decide) that in the future there will be a multiplex on C36 from Divis and two others in the range 31 to 37. For this reason a diplexer that "splits" at C36 would inhibit reception of that channel. The one that splits at C38 would allow it, but the neighbouring channels C37 and C39 will be attentuated. As the NI Mux from Black Mountain will be much higher power than the vertically polarised PSB channels, this may not be an issue.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

1:06 PM

mr v johnston: I've taken a closer look at this.

The Divis coverage map suggests some gaps in the Hannahstown area. If, however, you currently receive analogue from Divis rather than Black Mountain, then your existing aerial would be expected to work for digital after 24th October.

Divis will use Group A channels exclusively, so a Group A aerial will be best, if a yagi type is used. Wideband yagi aerials have less gain on Group A channels which is why they aren't advised. See:

Digital TV Transmitters

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Tuesday, 23 October 2012

9:17 AM

At switchover the Black Mountain transmitter will be off air from midnight until 6am on 24th October 2012 - see UK Digital switchover ends - Northern Ireland completes on 24th October 2012 | - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice for full details.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Saturday, 27 October 2012
chris mcculloch
5:52 AM

ecellent in ballantrae s ayrshire from blackmountain also tv recetion is now good at lendanfoot from west kilbride when very poor before

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chris mcculloch's 1 post GB
Friday, 2 November 2012

6:14 PM

Briantist: NIMM is 2kW HORIZONTAL. See DUK postcode checker.

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mrdtv's 321 posts GB
Sunday, 4 November 2012

2:02 PM

mrdtv: Sorry, about that ... minor typo in the database. Now fixed.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
P. Kieran Ward

1:34 AM

Hi all!

I was wondering if anyone on this site can help me with what I describe as a mind-baffling problem. I live in North Belfast and my main transmitter is Divis (UHF C21, C23, C24, C26, C27 & C29). I am in the position where I also receive from Black Mountain and receive the UHF channels (C42, C45 &49) along with the Northern Ireland mini-multiplex - UHF C39. As for transmissions from the South of Ireland I receive Saorview from Clermont Carn on UHF C52.

I recently rewired/upgraded my television signal distribution system using RG6 co-axial cable (by Kontrakt) and a new Philex SLx Distribution Amplifier, 8+1 Way, 27824R (each outlet is 20dB gain). Four of my five cable runs are working fine and I receive all of the above channels. The cable run I have a problem with is < 70 feet (just over 21 metres) and the typical loss for the cable type would be in the order of 3 to 4 dB.

The equipment at the end of this run is a Bush DVB680 Freeview HD Digital Set Top Box (this box has a DVB-T2 tuner) along with a Toshiba DVB-T television set. I can tune UHF C21, C23, C24, C26, C27 & C29 from Divis, C39 from Black Mountain along with C52 from Clermont Carn at the other four points throughout the house but I cannot tune C39 (from Black Mountain) and C52 from Clermont Carn. All other channels are of good signal strength and quality. I have inspected the cable run visually and cannot see any problems. Any suggestions as to what could be wrong!


P. Kieran Ward

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P. Kieran Ward's 89 posts GB

9:23 PM

P. Kieran Ward: Although I might well be misinterpreting what you have said, but I am curious with regards to when you refer to being able to receive all of the channels mentioned perfectly OK on the other four positions but "not" on the equipment used at the end of the run, have you tried out these two devices when connected into any of the other four positions?

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
Friday, 30 November 2012
P. Kieran Ward

12:07 AM

Hi jb38!

I have already tried two of the other Bush DVB680 Freeview HD set-top boxes - this model has the DVB-T2 tuner on-board to no avail. I think it is a cable problem but as I don't have any test equipment other than a multi-meter I can't test the cable. Oh! if I only had a signal generator I might be able to test the cable.

Regards anyway!

P. Kieran Ward

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P. Kieran Ward's 89 posts GB

8:18 AM

P. Kieran Ward: Well provided that its a straight cable run with nothing in between you dont really require anything else more sophisticated than what you already have to check the cable, as a continuity "and" a short circuit test can be carried out at the same time on the cable (unconnected) by setting your test meter on low ohms (up to 1k) and connecting it across the coax plug which of course should not read anything, then whilst leaving it still connected go to the other end of the cable and short out the coax plug, then returning to the meter end and making sure that continuity is now indicated on the loop circuit you have just created by shorting out the remotely positioned coax plug.

Should this prove as being OK then the second test is to use one of your receivers with a manual tune facility and that you know works OK on the channels referred to when connected into one of the other positions, then whilst still at one of those positions go into its tuning menu / manual tune and enter Ch39 but do "not" press search or scan, as on most equipment the strength the signal is being received at will immediately be indicated as soon as the channel number is entered, make a note of whatever it is then change Ch39 to Ch52 and also note its level.

Once completed move the device you are using to the end of your extension cable and then carry out exactly the same test there and see what results you get, because should any signal be present irrespective of strength it will still be indicated, the reason being that this type of test measures the actual signal pre the receivers reception threshold cut off circuitry as this only comes into play once search has been pressed, this being why some might see a signal being indicated on entering the channel number and yet nothing is found on a search.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
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