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Photos by Rory Clark, Phil England and Wayne Brewer Page last updated: 2016-11-16
Blaina Blaenau Gwent
NGR: SO196083 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: 381m      Structure Height: 45m
Digital TV: BBC A: 43 D3&4: 40 BBC B: 46
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:
Comments: Blaina is a relay of Wenvoe (via Abertillery)

RC: Like many valley relays, Blaina was under utilised for much of its early life, most households having already adopted cable ("piped") TV from Rediffusion and its ilk to receive BBC2 and alternative regions. It really came into its own in the early 80s when the cable system was freed up for pay TV (which never happened) and the companies installed aerials for subscribers to receive the four main channels off-air. This relay really didn't work properly after the introduction of NICAM in the early 90s. The pictures were prone to pattern interference on all four channels. I was told by an IBA engineer that the problem was that relays don't use discrete amplifiers for each element of the broadcast signal and were thus more prone to cross modulation, etc... They paid a visit to the site and increased the signal-to-noise ratio (treating the symptom rather than the illness?) but nothing much improved. The BBC engineering department were very solicitous and asked for a tape which I duly sent and the problem on BBC1 and BBC2 was quickly cured, but HTV Wales and S4C remained poor.

PE: On spotting this transmitter mast from the road, something in my head said 'take pics' so I got on the road that was heading for the site. It was a winding road, I thought I would turn around and face back the way I came, but the road came to an abrupt end so had to turn round in someones drive! There were a few houses close to the site which I believe is a relay of Abertillery. There isn't much of a view from the site, but took one picture of the view I could see.

Blaina was originally a BBC landlord site which entered service on 9th August 1974, with S4C added on 1st November 1982.

We're accustomed to seeing masts and towers on top of hills, but not in this case!


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