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Advice about TV reception in Canberra – digital repairman

By Echidna 29 July 2010 38

Hi fellow Rioters,

A pertinent topic for a dreary day.

I have a digital set top box attached to a middle aged analogue TV but my reception is an atrocity. It was pretty bad with analogue signals already but has not gotten better since moving to digital. I have an antenna just about the size of my house on top of the roof. 

Does anyone have any advice as to what I can do to fix this or who can fix it for me.

The antenna seems to be working (i.e. the cable makes the reception better) but watching anything but the SBS news is unbearable due to the high-pitched squeaking sounds.

Enough complaining! Grateful for any help you could provide!

What’s Your opinion?


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38 Responses to
Advice about TV reception in Canberra – digital repairman
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kambahkrawler 5:13 pm 30 Jul 10

Al’s Antennas in Kambah are great if you need someone to look at it. He came to ours because we had crap reception when we moved into a rental and it turned out there were two cables to our TV (one from the antenna, the other to another TV for video sharing). He’d spent half an hour looking at everything, finally spotting this (it was hard to see), swapped them over, problem fixed, and charged nothing.

aidan 5:10 pm 30 Jul 10

JC said :

Bzzt, a VHF antenna is still needed if your pointed at black mountain, actually even more so as each station now has a their primary channel on VHF. As for range, it needs to start at 2. Have a look at this PDF that shows the channel listings in Canberra.

http://freeview.com.au/pdf/channels_region6.pdf

Whadda you know. ABC1 is channel 2, SBS1 is channel 3, Capital is channel 5, Win is channel 6 and Prime is channel 8. You will also notice that except for the ABC, each station’s HD channel you add a 0 to the end of the primary channel number.

Do you have to be so rude when clearly you don’t know as much as you think you do. Those are Logical Channel Numbers (LCN).

This is explained in the dtvforum link above but you have to be a member to access the pdf. If you look this ACMA list of TV by channel order and search for Canberra you’ll see that actual channels range from 6 (SC TEN) to 12 (Prime). ABC is 9A.

Hells_Bells74 4:47 pm 30 Jul 10

JC – I think it’s 8/80 Win and 6/60 Prime? My ABC HD is on channel 20 on my STB, nothing on 24.

JC 4:32 pm 30 Jul 10

aidan said :

JC said :

aidan said :

What the others said. Depends very much on where you are. Old analogue antennas have very large elements which the digital channels don’t need (in fact they can cause interference).

No such thing as a digital/analogue antenna, though yes in Canberra generally 2 different types are needed, being VHF (to get the channels below 12) and UHF for the channels above 21. VHF antenna’s tend to be bigger, and in Canberra, like most regional area’s the antenna is aligned vertically. UHF has smaller elements and are always horizontally aligned.

Sorry to have been imprecise in my language. I should have said “Old Antenna’s for analogue broadcasts were designed to receive signals from channels 2-12 and so have very large elements which the current digital channels do not need (in fact they can cause interference)”.

I was just pointing out that should the OP need a new antenna he/she does not need one of the humungous ones designed for Channel 2-12, but the more modestly sized ones designed for Channel 6-12, like the digimatch dg27. I bought one and installed it myself. The digimatch people were very nice when I called them to ask about the specifics of installation — you should use a stand-off if the VHF (long) elements are vertical and you are attaching it to a metal pole, as the pole can act as an element. In my case I mounted it to some wood inside my roof, which works fine.

Bzzt, a VHF antenna is still needed if your pointed at black mountain, actually even more so as each station now has a their primary channel on VHF. As for range, it needs to start at 2. Have a look at this PDF that shows the channel listings in Canberra.

http://freeview.com.au/pdf/channels_region6.pdf

Whadda you know. ABC1 is channel 2, SBS1 is channel 3, Capital is channel 5, Win is channel 6 and Prime is channel 8. You will also notice that except for the ABC, each station’s HD channel you add a 0 to the end of the primary channel number.

prhhcd 1:41 pm 30 Jul 10

Thanks all. I think I will call Kaz and Palmers and compare prices and go from there. Appreciate all your advice. 🙂

samson13 1:35 pm 30 Jul 10

I get high pitched chirps and squarks with bad signal. Think its due to the mpeg decoder not being able to detect or correct the errors and letting them get through to the analogue side.

I hadn’t seen it for a while but got some problems the other night with the rainy weather. Had poor signal on ABC and was getting the picture blocking up and the occasional chirp. Maybe I’ve got water into my antenna.

On a side note not all antenna’s are built for the same band. I brought a large vhf/uhf antenna for the III/IV used by Black Mountain when digital first came in. I wanted to get digital from black mountain because Tuggers didn’t have it yet. Once Tuggeranong hill went digital I pointed my antenna in that direction figuring its a good uhf antenna so it should work.. I got no signal. After some playing I found my reception was better without the antenna.

Turns out that a good marginal area antenna is designed to reject signals out of its band. Mine was effectively short circuiting the band V uhf channels that Tuggeranong hill transmits.

AG Canberra 1:23 pm 30 Jul 10

just pay Kaz or Palmers to come and fix it……the other issue is multiple outlets – generally more than 2 and you need a powered signal booster. Gone are the days of one TV in the corner of the living room…..

aidan 12:58 pm 30 Jul 10

Sorry, more imprecise language. I said

“In my case I mounted it to some wood inside my roof, which works fine.”

should have been

“In my case I mounted it inside my roof, to a piece of wood, which works fine.”

NB: I have no foil/sizilation/sarking in that part of my roof.

aidan 12:47 pm 30 Jul 10

JC said :

aidan said :

What the others said. Depends very much on where you are. Old analogue antennas have very large elements which the digital channels don’t need (in fact they can cause interference).

No such thing as a digital/analogue antenna, though yes in Canberra generally 2 different types are needed, being VHF (to get the channels below 12) and UHF for the channels above 21. VHF antenna’s tend to be bigger, and in Canberra, like most regional area’s the antenna is aligned vertically. UHF has smaller elements and are always horizontally aligned.

Sorry to have been imprecise in my language. I should have said “Old Antenna’s for analogue broadcasts were designed to receive signals from channels 2-12 and so have very large elements which the current digital channels do not need (in fact they can cause interference)”.

I was just pointing out that should the OP need a new antenna he/she does not need one of the humungous ones designed for Channel 2-12, but the more modestly sized ones designed for Channel 6-12, like the digimatch dg27. I bought one and installed it myself. The digimatch people were very nice when I called them to ask about the specifics of installation — you should use a stand-off if the VHF (long) elements are vertical and you are attaching it to a metal pole, as the pole can act as an element. In my case I mounted it to some wood inside my roof, which works fine.

Grail 9:43 am 30 Jul 10

Sometimes the high pitched squealing can be caused by incorrectly plugging the video RCA into the left or right channels of the stereo audio.

Hells_Bells74 8:10 am 30 Jul 10

Skid – I think just once sometimes people do get caught out, especially when the salespeople are generally gunning for a sale and seem to have little ‘real’ idea about the product being sold. He stared at the box as long as us and determined I had no reason to be skeptical.

cleo 2:31 am 30 Jul 10

Apparently we won’t be affected here in ACT or Sydney, only Melbourne need to get set top box soon, we have a couple of years to go before we need to worry about that.

Skidbladnir 9:14 pm 29 Jul 10

ABC24 is HD due to every network needing at least one High Def channel transmitting at all times to satisfy their digital broadcast licence, and the ABC not being able to sort out a way of achieving a High Def extra while still transmitting ABC1, ABC2, and ABC3 in SD before the ABC24 channel launched. So it is the High Def one.

You people with an interest in current affairs who can’t afford a HD set top box lose out in favour of people wanting to give infants, toddlers, primary age kids 14 straight daily hours of cartoons and animals.

The good news:
It will probably go Standard Def again when spectrum allocations next get assessed and they can sort something out.

But people get caught out with High Def tuners vs HD-DVD vs tv with a Hard Disk vs tv with HDMI?
Seriously? o_O

Hells_Bells74 7:14 pm 29 Jul 10

Took me ages there cranky to work out you weren’t talking to Johnboy (JB), I get it now..

We had a similiar problem at Harvey Norman early this year, but we confused by HDMI and the salesman said “yeh of course it’ll get digital channels”, I was skeptical all along and turned out it was just a DVD player. I bought two of them, but they happily let me swap for one STB, of course more than double the price 🙂

I also googled ‘digital tv scam’ a few days ago and there were some good sites on the first page (I think), especially from America where they feel completely ripped off. Was a good read (like this thread) and I could relate.

But don’t get me wrong, I love the new channels it provides and I really hope we get it as reliable as analogue before we turn that off.. pipe dream!

cranky 5:39 pm 29 Jul 10

I have now realised that a mid priced DVD recorder, with hard drive included, purchased about 4 months ago, is unable to record high definition chanels.

Being relatively un-savvy, I feel a bit off-pissed that this was not mentioned by staff at the store.

I suspect a fair bit of confusion can be caused by the term HD on the specs. Can refer to high definition or hard disc, and I’m sure in this case the salesman was not going to point out the absence of one, in case the sale was lost.

You could do better JB.

Buzz2600 5:04 pm 29 Jul 10

Astrojax said:

Too right, I was so excited to have ABC news 24 … (yep, I’m a nerd) until I realised I needed to get a new fangled topset box (or something)? to see it … not likely to happen any time soon with my mortgage.

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