ABC TV Channels disappeared

ex-vectis 9 June 2010 21

Woke this morning and turned on the TV to watch ABC2 Breakfast. But no ABC Channels!! My TV is a VISTA HTPC box receiving digital broadcasts, but nothing has changed since last night when all was hunky dory (IE. No updates etc….).

I’ve checked the aerial/cable and all looks fine.

Anyone else having any problems with ABC? I’m in Isaacs and think I use the syringe for all channels.


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21 Responses to ABC TV Channels disappeared
sybil sybil 1:22 pm 21 Jun 10

It is bizarre; I suspect the same as you, that these ‘works’ to the digital services might have inspired a boffin to tweak but they yanked instead.

My partner scanned from scratch on the Media PC on Saturday and we ended up with two sets of ABC channels, the newer ones worked.

– Yes, sharing aerial.
– Yes, same for all receivers.
– The analog was the grainy picture, yes – the digitals alternated between ‘no signal’ and ‘no service’ just like for HellsBells.
– We can see the tower, our roof is just high enough to clear the other houses.
– Not sure about our neighbours either, I’ll ask them next time this happens. I don’t know many other people who watch free-to-air TV any more…

ABC rang back just now and gave me the standard advice – I’ll have to get the Nerd to follow up on some of it when he gets home, seeing as how us trolls can’t do much more than turn such fancy equipment on and off. Irons are much easier to operate, even while watching TV ;D
They said there had been no other reports in the last week and no work in the schedule. They claimed that a lot of equipment sold in Australia and made overseas doesn’t quite match the standards, and that Australia are rare users of the 9A channel. That doesn’t answer the question of why it all suddenly went pixel-shaped this month.

ex-vectis ex-vectis 4:22 pm 19 Jun 10

Hi Sybil, bizarrely no. On Thursday – again, for no apparent reason – ABC and the others all came back!! I checked the PC’s event logs, updates etc. but nothing. I cant find anything my end that could have caused this.

I can only guess that something/someone up Black Mountain has been mucking around and not told anyone. My suspicion is still firmly with the ABC – but that is only based on information from folk here and by ABC saying that work was/is going on up Black Mountain.

Thats weird you are getting those problems, could I pose some questions;

– are your TV’s sharing the same aerial?

– are the problems you are having exactly the same for all your receivers?

The B&W grainy issue shows you are receiving an analogue signal – a digital one would have frame drop-outs, pixelation etc. if there was a poor signal. Do you have analogue and digital channels?

From your aerials, can you visually see Black Mountain (i’m assuming you use Black Mountain)? If not, what is blocking the view (hill/s, house/s, water tanks)?

Finally, and this is one I admit I didnt do, do your neighbours have the same issue/s?

sybil sybil 10:27 pm 18 Jun 10

Ex-victus, you are not alone. You still having problems?
While our TVs and media PC have had intermittent drop-outs with both ABC and Prime over the last few months (in Amaroo) it is definitely getting worse with the ABC. We haven’t been able to get any ABC channels for days now. Oh, sorry, we CAN get the main analog channel on one TV but it’s B&W and grainy.
We have trouble-shot all devices (including several re-scans) until the urge to throw the remote at the screen sends us to other forms of entertainment. I am expecting a call back from ABC’s reception advice hotline on Monday, will let you know if they have anything useful to say. These works from 9 June should be over and there’s nothing on ABC’s reception maintenance schedule webpage.
Found the article troll-sniffer was referring to at

Gerry-Built Gerry-Built 11:17 pm 10 Jun 10

Lazy I said :

In before “I have Transact, I don’t have any reception problems”

You’ve got a problem alright… TransACT. No HD.

bd84 bd84 9:20 pm 10 Jun 10

One day someone is going to turn their tv on, find all their beloved digital channels gone and think the world has ended then proceed to take their own life..

I bought the DSE $79 HD box, it works well for a cheap box only annoyance is the a slow start up time and my rabbit ear antenna picks up all the channels.

ex-vectis ex-vectis 6:34 pm 10 Jun 10

Aw, this isn’t fair. Why me! Was up until 3am last night trying to sort out what the problem is (hardware checks, software checks, logs, google searches) but I’ve got precisely nowhere (even my spelling is now affected!).

On Tuesday night I went to bed happy and contented that I could hold my head high and watch ABC and Prime channels whenever I wanted without hinderance or concern. But now, all I have is Portugese News, Italian Food Safari, Neighbours and Masterchef (IE. The offerings of SBS and SC10). Now, i’m not dissing this channels and programmes but oh I wish I could watch ABC2 Breakfast, The hottest place on Earth (with the lovely Kate Humble) and Today In Parliament. Might even be forced to go out and socialise! Even do some excersize, God forbid!!

Ho hum. Can anyone recommend a dirt-cheap, disposable, digital STB I can use to verify that the signals from ABC & Prime etc and actually getting down my wire? At least then I could narrow the investigation to the PC/Tuner-Card/Software (even though I can see nothing that changed Tuesday night!)

ex-vectis ex-vectis 9:22 pm 09 Jun 10

georgesgenitals said :

ex-vectis said :

Update – just got a call from home that more channels have gone missing.

Which makes me think ‘what does she do all day, watch TV!!!’. Should be ironing or cleaning or making my dinner!!! (Is that a ‘troll’ lol?)

Calling the missus a troll? Niiiiiiiice.

Yeah, you havent seen her! Found her while clipcloppingover over her bridge….

On the TV side of things – I’m down to SBS and SC10! The troll (who never reads RA, as you may guess!) loves Neighbours and Masterchef so she’s happy but i’m very confused!

Just checked aerial and the TV cable from aerial to PC and that is fine. Checked event logs, updates etc. and again nothing. However, the lack of millions of posts saying ‘the channels have disappeared!’ still seems to suggest the problem is at my end…. Hmmm…

Blingerific Blingerific 7:58 pm 09 Jun 10

I have issues with reception all the time, some say that it is being too close to the transmitter is bad (too much power is as bad as not enough in digital TV apparently). But the ABC also appears to be having issues due weather, bogans drag racing up Macpherson St, granny needing a nap or some other random process…

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 6:41 pm 09 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

Update – just got a call from home that more channels have gone missing.

Which makes me think ‘what does she do all day, watch TV!!!’. Should be ironing or cleaning or making my dinner!!! (Is that a ‘troll’ lol?)

Calling the missus a troll? Niiiiiiiice.

ex-vectis ex-vectis 6:11 pm 09 Jun 10

Hahaha! ROFL. Good point, hadn’t thought of it that way….

BimboGeek BimboGeek 3:09 pm 09 Jun 10

ex-vectis said :

Update – just got a call from home that more channels have gone missing.

Which makes me think ‘what does she do all day, watch TV!!!’. Should be ironing or cleaning or making my dinner!!! (Is that a ‘troll’ lol?)

Sounds like she should be fixing it. What does she expect you to do about it?

ex-vectis ex-vectis 2:21 pm 09 Jun 10

Update – just got a call from home that more channels have gone missing.

Which makes me think ‘what does she do all day, watch TV!!!’. Should be ironing or cleaning or making my dinner!!! (Is that a ‘troll’ lol?)

ex-vectis ex-vectis 2:11 pm 09 Jun 10

OK, just got this in from ABC:-

“At the moment there are some works being carried out on the digital services in Canberra to change the way we broadcast. These works may have impacted on your reception. These works are scheduled to be complete tomorrow.”

I asked why the transmitter status pages had no mention of the work and the problems it may cause and got this:-

“…the reason it’s not in the database is because all we have done is change the feed to the transmitter which is not classified as maintenance, and normally doesn’t have any impact.”

Pray contrare… We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 11:56 am 09 Jun 10

There’s an anomaly, or at least there was an anomaly last time I tried tuning my STB in the ABC Canberra signals. The software in the box couldn’t find the ABC channels, so I went onto the Whirlpool forums and found an article about the frequency being slightly different to what is published. I can’t remember the exact details but the upshot was that the broadcast channel was .025 MHz different ot what the STB expected. I went into the manual channel tuning and with the different value all the ABC stuff popped up.

Might be an idea to google the problem if a rescan doesn’t pull in the channels.

(Note this was only for a second hand set top box purchased via eBay, so the software may have been old. My current STB and TV all tune in perfectly.)

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 10:37 am 09 Jun 10

Technical nudge.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 9:58 am 09 Jun 10

Oh I reread that first part and it didn’t make sense. I mean to say at times, in the lounge a set of channels won’t work, but when I go down to the one in the room, they will work fine, but another set of channels may not work on it.

Hells_Bells74 Hells_Bells74 9:56 am 09 Jun 10

Oh yes, my lounge STB won’t show either ABC’s or Prime/72 or Win/GO and mine is the same in my room, except they do it completely opposite of each other at the same time.

If I stand there and toggle the aerial for ten minutes sometimes it will come back or briefly. It has two different messages at any given time, no signal and no service. I used to be able to just turn it off and it would come back, but not anymore.

I might add, this is pretty recent in the last few weeks. Just started happening lots. This time, I was sure it was just my insanity surfacing.

Lazy I Lazy I 9:31 am 09 Jun 10

In before “I have Transact, I don’t have any reception problems”

ex-vectis ex-vectis 9:10 am 09 Jun 10

MrPC – Ah, missed those. I dived straight onto the ABC transmitter status site and saw nothing there. Probably left-hands not telling right-hands etc…. It is a Vista PC (Vista Media Center) rather than an STB.

CoC – Yes. I even did a full rescan of the frequencies (after a reboot) but it still couldn’t the ABC stuff.

I also checked the event logs (and file changes etc) to see if anything at all had happened or changed since 11pm last night (IE. It worked last night, but not now; so something has changed), but no as far as I can tell nothing has changed since 11pm last night when the world was good and ABC viewable 🙂

MrPC – I’ll start working along those lines. It did actually happen to me (but only ABC was not viewable, ABC2 was fine) a couple of years ago and a registry hack was needed to enable the tuner to scan the side-bands (or whatever they are called). I’m wondering if the change you mention may have shifted something that may need another tweak.

Thanks folks – but be good to hear if anyone else has _any_ issues with ABC TV channels in ACT as of last night….

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 8:40 am 09 Jun 10

Did you try turning it off and back on again?


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