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A sad story about blu-ray player/recorders in Canberra.

By farnarkler - 8 September 2011 47

If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry. A week ago we had an MTV set top box connected to an old cathode ray tube tv and a pretty old rabbit ear antenna. It all worked pretty well despite the set top boxes inability to tune in some of the newer digital channels; Go and Gem come to mind.

So it was time to upgrade. Out goes the old gear and in comes a Samsung 40inch 3D LED tv and a Panasonic twin tuner recorder blu-ray player. The TV picked up all the channels available but the blu-ray picked up all but the SBS channels.

Back went the Panasonic to be replaced with a Samsung twin tuner recorder blu-ray player. How many channels do you think it picked up? None, zero, nada. Strangely it had a BBC channel in there somewhere.

I’ll now be getting an antenna person to come and sort it out.

So be warned, if you’re going to buy a new everything in the box blu-ray player recorder, you may need to upgrade your antenna.

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47 Responses to
A sad story about blu-ray player/recorders in Canberra.
troll-sniffer 10:59 am 08 Sep 11

As with everything electronic, it’s a good idea to carefully RTFM when dealing with the switch to digital. It’s important to ensure that during the tuning process the correct region etc is selected. Some make it easier than others. I have had digital devices that have tuned in all channels perfectly first go, others, even of the same model, didn’t. One Sony HDD recorder needed to have the tuner manually offset by 0.125MHz or whatever in order to find the ABC on Black Mountain!

IMHO it’s rare for a digital signal to be harder to lock in than a reasonable analogue one but Murphy always hangs around looking for excuses to pop up.

If you have the luxury of being able to install a good antenna tuned to the Canberra transmitters then the $90-$150 cost (DIY price) is money well spent. Even if you’re renting you can often rig up something, a friend of mine was renting in Nicholls so didn’t want to install an antenna for the landlord, we simply bought a UHF/VHF antenna from Kaz and wedged it between the rafters inside the roof cavity. Worked a treat and when she moved so did the antenna.

A note for all the luddites who are ‘stuck’ with the old SD tuners… a cattle dog I was flicking through yesterday (Auspost?) had HD tuners for $49.00. Problem solved.

molongloid 10:51 am 08 Sep 11

molongloid said :

A good time to refresh the antenna system meaning the antenna, mount, coax and connectors.

Ideally all of the following, but the reality is as long as it works it works….

(and assuming you’re pointing at Telstra Tower)

A short length of fencing wire stuck into the antenna socket of the lounge room TV seems to do the trick for me though. 🙂

TrenboloneBandit 10:45 am 08 Sep 11

You do realise its 2011 right? Call the antenna guy on your rotary phone and book an installation.

TV isnt a god given right

I can’t wait for the sh*tstorm in this forum when NBN becomes freely available.

molongloid 10:42 am 08 Sep 11

A good time to refresh the antenna system meaning the antenna, mount, coax and connectors.

Ideally all of the following, but the reality is as long as it works it works….

Antenna: A high gain band 3,4&5 antenna will pick up the channels you want from the direction you point it and do a good job rejecting the rest (including impulse noise/glitches). (It doesn’t *have* to be high-gain if you’re close to black mountain, but a high-gain antenna will give better rejection than a smaller one – you just need to include an attenuator so you don’t overload the receiver).

Mount: Your old antenna may be blocked by trees that have grown up in the meantime. Review and relocate the mount. Clear line of sight best, but multipath is okay too as long as it’s off big fixed surfaces and the signal is stable (off buildings or hills). Band III is vertically polarized from Black Mountain, so make sure the larger VHF elements of the antenna can be set vertical and the antenna is on a stand-off arm.

Coax and connectors: Go with quad shielded RG6 and F-type connectors. Use the supplied boot and self-amalgamating tape at the antenna connection.

If you want to hook up multiple rooms to an attic splitter box then go with the higher gain antenna and a passive splitter over a small antenna and an amplified splitter. Better rejection and signal/noise.

Sammy 10:40 am 08 Sep 11

[Antennas are] something the federal government hasnt factored in with its anologue switch off

Really? For something they haven’t factored in, there sure is a lot of information about it on the Digital Ready website (www.digitalready.gov.au). In fact, they even setup the Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme to assist people with getting their antennas upgraded.

Thoroughly Smashed 10:38 am 08 Sep 11

That BBC channel would have been Samsung’s internet connected BBC news widget.

If you’re getting everything on the TV and nothing on the STB first I’d be wondering what’s going on with your antenna connection(s).

p1 10:33 am 08 Sep 11

steveu said :

You have highlighted a good point – and something the federal government hasnt factored in with its anologue switch off and the hand out of set top boxes. Alot of antennas and possibly the cabling needs to be replaced and this will come out of people’s hip pockets. There will be some unhappy taxpayers out there I think when they realise this.

TV is hardly a human right. Personally I think that they should have just switched off analogue years ago, and people who hadn’t got around to buying a set top box would have lived a more health life.

DarkLadyWolfMother 10:26 am 08 Sep 11

I find it really strange. I have/had 4 devices in my house that can ‘do’ digital. The TV and two set-top boxes/recorders could not get any SBS. On the other hand, my computer tuner card can get SBS with no problems at all. All run off the same aerial (with proper splitters), so … go figure.

Mysteryman 10:26 am 08 Sep 11

johnboy said :

I find a power boost antenna ($20 dick smith) works a treat.

I’ve got a regular set of telescopic rabbit ears plugged into that back of the TV that work well.

Mysteryman 10:25 am 08 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

It’s a nuisence that each station insists on broadcasting something in HD. Old TVs and non-HD STBs won’t get HD. So I can’t get Gem, Go, One or the ABC news thing.

As for why your new stuff won’t get certain things (or anything!) it’ll be good to hear the wash-up as to why etc.

It’s called progress, mate. Most of us would like to see programs in HD, especially since we’ve upgraded TVs.

arescarti42 10:25 am 08 Sep 11

The Samsung one is a pretty amazing device, picking up BBC channels when none are broadcast in the ACT region.

Generally speaking if your antenna gets a decent picture with all the analogue channels, it should pick up all the digital channels with no problem.

johnboy 10:24 am 08 Sep 11

I find a power boost antenna ($20 dick smith) works a treat.

M0les 10:19 am 08 Sep 11

#1 – Personally I find it a nuisance that every station doesn’t broadcast everything in HD (Especially AFL).

I would be surprised if there’s any currently marketed DVB devices are SD-only any more.
Yes, pity the early adopters, who’ve got otherwise perfectly functional SD gear – I was one once too!

I used to work as “Something in the digital terrestrial TV game” and a significant portion of our support requests were from people upset at not getting a channel they used to get fine on analogue with bunny ears. The vast majority of these were fixed by getting a “proper” antenna.

So I strongly suggest that if you’re reading this and about to replace your analogue system with a shiny new digital combo, then get an external antenna installed at the same time. If you already have an external antenna, check it for digital compatibility. Most existing external UHF antennas should be OK (Most installed when SBS came to Canberra). It’s rare that anyone would still have an ancient VHF antenna that wouldn’t be much use for digital (These usually look like a big “H” and might have flat, parallel-wire cables rather than the round coaxial cables).

steveu 10:17 am 08 Sep 11

You have highlighted a good point – and something the federal government hasnt factored in with its anologue switch off and the hand out of set top boxes. Alot of antennas and possibly the cabling needs to be replaced and this will come out of people’s hip pockets. There will be some unhappy taxpayers out there I think when they realise this.

EvanJames 9:46 am 08 Sep 11

It’s a nuisence that each station insists on broadcasting something in HD. Old TVs and non-HD STBs won’t get HD. So I can’t get Gem, Go, One or the ABC news thing.

As for why your new stuff won’t get certain things (or anything!) it’ll be good to hear the wash-up as to why etc.

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