Sandy Heath transmitting station is a television broadcast station located between Sandy, Bedfordshire and Potton near the B1042. It is owned by Arqiva, formerly NTL Broadcast. It was built in 1965, originally broadcasting Anglia Television on VHF 405-lines, UHF with 625-line services of BBC2, BBC1 and Anglia Television being added by January 1971. It carried Channel 4 and Channel 5 from their launch days, Channel 5 at lower power than the other four services. Today it broadcasts digital television on the DTT platform as Digital Switchover took place on 13 April 2011.
It is a wideband TV transmitter (horizontal polarization), though an original A group aerial will still receive the three main Public Service Broadcast (PSB) Muxes. During DSO the digital transmission power for the PSB and Commercial muxes increased from 20 kW to 180 kW and 170 kW respectively.
Sandy Heath is the main local TV transmitter for Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and north Hertfordshire as well as North West Essex, bringing the nearby area Look East and Anglia Tonight. Coverage extends to parts of Buckinghamshire, Norfolk, Leicestershire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.
It also broadcasts the BBC local radio station BBC Three Counties Radio and the independent radio station Heart Bedford formerly Chiltern.
It was opened on 5 July 1965 by Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton for the ITA (Anglia TV). By the end of 1965 it was hoped that nine ITA transmitters would be open.
From its start until late 1966, the transmitter could not broadcast schools programmes in the morning because the frequency (waveband) clashed with the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in nearby Cambridgeshire. Anglia TV broadcast on channel 6 from noon to midnight, and the astronomy observatory broadcast on it during the morning.