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Photos by Chris Longhorn

Portishead Somerset
NGR: ST458764 Maps: Google  Bing (Ord Surv) Site Height: Structure Height: 5m
Digital TV: BBC A: 59 D3&4: 50 BBC B: 55
BBC Radio:
Ind. National Radio:
Ind. Local Radio:
Digital Radio:
Comments: Portishead is a relay of Mendip

Portishead is one of the worst areas for trying to get consistent TV reception I have come across! It's all down to the topology, with a coastal location plus a series of hills and valleys breaking up the lie of the town. About a quarter of the town has access to the Portishead relay, with another quarter having a reasonable signal from Redcliff Bay, and the rest of the town pointing at anything remotely viable. This is sometimes Mendip, but also some of the nearby relays like Portbury, or Backwell (although these are quite directional). Most new build houses don't even bother; they just go straight to Sky Digital. It will be fascinating to see how they ever manage to facilitate Digital Terrestrial, I'd bet this will be one of the last places for analogue to be switched off. The local aerial contractors must tear their hair out.

Portishead transmitter is situated on a block of flats which itself sits on the highest hill near the centre of town. However, the hill itself is semi-surrounded by other hills, blocking the south-west of the town from getting a clear line of sight. Redcliff Bay is sited around a mile down the coast, and attempts to provide coverage for a narrow coastal strip of houses that stretch along the cliff side for a couple of miles along the banks of the Severn estuary. There's a lot of cellular, TETRA and other stuff around both sites so unfortunately it was a bit tricky to get clear shots, but hopefully they are okay. Both relays have to find space in the spectrum against each other and the main transmitters and relays about 10 miles across the river Severn in South Wales.

Redcliff Bay

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