Freeview is Australia’s free digital television service. The ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network, Ten Network, Prime, WIN and Southern Cross all broadcast on Freeview.
1. Line of sight from main transmitting towers.
Obstructions that block a clear line of sight between your location and the transmission tower impacts the quality of your TV reception signal. Trees, mountains, tall buildings and other structures can cause interference to the signal.
2. Distance from main transmitting towers.
The quality of TV reception is directly impacted by the physical distance between your location and the transmission tower from which the signal is broadcast. The further away from the tower the higher likelihood that reception can be affected.
3. Condition of existing antenna.
Antennas, like everything, have a lifespan. Australia’s climatic conditions can be harsh, and an antenna is subject to these conditions 24/7. An antenna will gradually deteriorate over time and if your TV signal is suffering from interference, it is possible that your antenna may be damaged and in need of replacement.
4. Your TV / Home Entertainment Equipment
- Additional TV outlets
The more TV outlets you add to operate additional TVs from a single antenna can weaken the signal and may require the installation of an amplifier (also commonly referred to as a booster) to increase signal strength.
- Antenna facing wrong direction
If your signal is poor, it may be because your antenna is not facing the transmission tower.
- Age of equipment
The age of your television, home entertainment equipment etc can impact on the quality of signal received.
5. Impulse Noise
- Impulse noise can be caused by household electrical items like appliances, light switches and hairdryers. Try moving items away from the TV and cabling.
A digital ready antenna system has:
- An antenna designed to receive VHF Channels 2 to 12 & UHF Channels 28 to 48;
- Has a high quality cabling system with high immunity to electrical interference, eg. RG6 quad shield; &
- Has an F-type connector interface from the antenna throughout the system to the wall plate.
An antenna can be installed in a roof space. However, we do not recommend this practice as this significantly increases the likelihood of a compromised TV reception signal.
Whether in use or not, each TV point reduces the signal by approximately 8%. The desired signal strength is between 55 to 80 dB. If there are four or more points operating from the one antenna, the signal would likely fall below the required standard and an amplifier with power supply would be required to boost the signal
The government allocates VHF and UHF channels at various locations to avoid interference between transmitters. Polarisation can also be either horizontal or vertical as another means to avoid interference. Your particular location will determine what type of antenna will be required.
An antenna should be installed at its highest possible point on your roof or chimney in a location with as a clear line of sight to the transmitter as possible.
When signal levels are weak an amplifier becomes an important part of the antenna system as it can boost the signal level to the desired range. An amplifier, where required, should be installed about 300-500 mm below the antenna to ensure the cable length is as short as possible to avoid adding noise to your receive system.
There are many benefits to digital TV, including:
- Higher quality picture and sound
- Interference such as static and ghosting don’t occur
- It has an electronic program guide (EPG), which is an interactive programming schedule displayed on screen
- The digital signal takes up less broadcasting space, freeing room for more channels
- You can pre-record single shows or entire series
A set-top box can be connected to most analogue TVs to receive a digital signal, so in most cases, you won’t have to replace your old TV. A digital TV receives a digital signal, so there’s no need to add a set-top box.
A personal video recorder (PVR) has the same functionalities as a set-top box with the added benefits of a built-in recorder and play-back device.
- Retune your set-top box or digital TV
- Wait for poor weather conditions to pass over
- Check for obstructions or impulse noise
- Review your antenna system
Most set-top boxes or digital TVs will slightly differ although most will follow similar basic steps to retune:
- Access ‘settings’ or ‘menu’ on your remote control
- Look for the ‘retune’ option. This may be found in the ‘set up’, ‘channel’ or ‘store channels’. The retune option may also be named ‘re-scan’, ’replace’ or ‘store channels’.
- Select the relevant option and your digital receiver should then automatically identify digital TV channels and store them in memory.
Vast is the government’s satellite service that supplies free-to-air TV around Australia. If you reside in a regional or remote area, watch TV from a self-help transmission tower or have poor TV reception you may be eligible for VAST.
If you’re travelling around Australia in a motor home or caravan you may go through areas that are unable to receive television signal from from land-based broadcast sites. The option is available to access the digital satellite TV network, Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST), for the duration of your travel. You will require suitable equipment to receive VAST including a portable satellite dish and a VAST set-top box with smartcard. You are catered for as a special category that can be granted a six-month period of VAST access for which can apply for an extension of this period at any time during the final four weeks before scheduled expiry.
Once you have your equipment, you will need to register your new VAST set-top box before you receive all your services.
To fully register your VAST set-top box you’ll be asked for the decoder or model number, the serial number and the smartcard number inside the set-top box.