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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.

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
aidan 3:17 pm 29 Jul 10

Oops, sorry, I mixed up VHF and UHF (just assumed previuos poster was correct and didn’t check). Here is a revised version with the terminology correct:

If you do decide to get a new aerial and you are getting your signal from Black mountain then you need a cross-polarised job, where the long (VHF) elements are vertical and the UHF elements (little short jobs) are horizontal. The one that fits the bill is the Digitmatch DG27.

The cheapest place (I didn’t find in time …) to get it is battery shack

If you’re in Tuggeranong then all you need is a UHF aerial, which is smaller and cheaper and widely available.

Having said all that, I have line of sight to Telstra tower and I could get all the channels with rabbit ears, and even with a tiny $4 cheapy from dealextreme.

Fraser is tricky, as line of sight to Black Mountain is obscured by Mt Rogers. If your aerial was pointed out the low power translator on the back side of Mt Rogers that might be your problem. You could try making sure it is directed at Black Mountain, otherwise I’d be calling Kaz.

prhhcd 3:02 pm 29 Jul 10

switch said :

pps The repeater at Broadcast/CMTS Site off Wallaroo Rd BELCONNEN only transmits ABC and SBS analogue TV. Is that where your antenna is pointed?

Up is not the right answer is it????
Seriously Switch – no idea. It seems to have bitties going everywhere. It has fat horizontal bars and skinnier vertical bars. The whole antenna is in a T(ish) shape facing east/west. So it faces toward belconnen mall and Hall. Mt Rogers is just behind. Does that make sense?

screaming banshee 2:45 pm 29 Jul 10
johnboy 2:45 pm 29 Jul 10

That would be firefox.

switch 2:45 pm 29 Jul 10

pps The repeater at Broadcast/CMTS Site off Wallaroo Rd BELCONNEN only transmits ABC and SBS analogue TV. Is that where your antenna is pointed?

switch 2:41 pm 29 Jul 10

Please get your facts right. Two posters have made this mistake, so far.

VHF = Very High Frequency, 30 MHz to 300 MHz. Wavelengths 10 metres to one metre (which means the longest antenna elements are between 5 and 0.5 metres, approximately). In Canberra VHF TV signals are vertically polarised.

UHF = Ultra High Frequency, 300 MHz to 3000 MHz. Wavelengths 1 metre to 0.1 metre (which means antenna elements are between 0.5 metre and 50 millimetres). In Canberra UHF TV signals are horizontally polarised.

Both VHF and UHF frequencies are used in Canberra (from Black Mountain) for both analogue and digital TV transmissions. In fact, only SBS is really UHF. The various low power repeaters around the suburbs (Mt Taylor, Tuggeranong Hill etc.) are all UHF.

There is no such thing as a “digital” antenna. Digital transmissions just use different channels (frequencies) for their broadcast.

ps Why are all my correct spellings being flagged (metres, polarised…)? Something in Firefox, or just bloody American interference?

prhhcd 2:06 pm 29 Jul 10

noconnection said :

We had this problem at a house we recently moved into.Old house-old analogue aerial, all we could see what Capital (10). We live in Goulburn and had a fellow from there just install a brand new digital area. The aerial itself only cost us about $100 or so and now we have perfect picture! It was less hassle get to the new aerial than go through trying to ‘patch up the old one’.
I can give you his number is you would like it?

Yes would love it pls.

prhhcd 2:04 pm 29 Jul 10

sorry. Live in Fraser – lower half.

aidan 1:27 pm 29 Jul 10

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).

If you do decide to get a new aerial and you are getting your signal from Black mountain then you need a cross-polarised job, where the long (UHF) elements are vertical and the VHF elements (little short jobs) are horizontal. The one that fits the bill is the Digitmatch DG27.

The cheapest place (I didn’t find in time …) to get it is battery shack

If you’re in Tuggeranong then all you need is a VHF aerial, which is smaller and cheaper and widely available.

Having said all that, I have line of sight to Telstra tower and I could get all the channels with rabbit ears, and even with a tiny $4 cheapy from dealextreme.

Spectra 12:27 pm 29 Jul 10

Most of the stuff said above is worth checking (though odds are if your analogue signal was crappy, you’ll have difficulties with your digital one – digital is brilliant, but it’s not magic – you still need enough signal for the STB to actually decode). If you decide to get a professional in, I recommend the good folk at Kaz Electronics. You’re up for somewhere in the range of $200-$300 (if my memory serves) for a brand new, properly setup antenna.

noconnection 12:19 pm 29 Jul 10

We had this problem at a house we recently moved into.Old house-old analogue aerial, all we could see what Capital (10). We live in Goulburn and had a fellow from there just install a brand new digital area. The aerial itself only cost us about $100 or so and now we have perfect picture! It was less hassle get to the new aerial than go through trying to ‘patch up the old one’.
I can give you his number is you would like it?

Rawhide Kid No 2 11:29 am 29 Jul 10

I would be checking out the Set Top box first. There are some dodgy ones being sold at the moment. If you have a friend with one , see if you can borrow it and try it. If you still get the same problem then its not your set top box. Next the coax . Check for kinks. If all is ok then the Antenna. Make sure its for UHF not VHF TV transmission.

troll-sniffer 11:26 am 29 Jul 10

Without telling us where you live it’s pretty unlikely you can get meaningful advice from this forum. The cures to TV reception problems are mostly dependant on where you are in relation to the signal.

Digital is unlikely to be the source of your high pitched sqeaking sounds, as there’s nothing in the stream of digital data that can suddenly decide it wants to do something unintended like produce a different noise. So the squeaking sounds are more likely to be related to something going haywire in the TV or connections.

The ideal antenna for inner Canberra is a combine VHF UHF one tuned for the Black Mountain signals, most other areas just require a UHF aerial that is generally a long set of up to 15-20 horizontal metal bars about 20cm long, the closest analogy I can think of is a swordfish’s weapon.

Anyway, more info about what you’ve got is required.

PURSUTE 11:17 am 29 Jul 10

Well worth checking out DTV Forums:

http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showforum=28

A couple of things to check:

– Is your antenna horozontal or vertical (it should be vertical in Canberra)
– Is it pointed at the tower?

Also, there are definitely people you can pay to come and fix this up, but I’m not sure of who or how much.

tortfeaser 11:14 am 29 Jul 10

You might have an aerial more suited for UHF than VHF. UHF was exclusively used for analogue, you wnt a combined UHF/VHF aerial.

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