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Free TV…Free TV…Free TV…?

By tylersmayhem 28 November 2008 27

I’ve seen a few TV ad’s this week announcing something like 15 new free to air channels being made available in Canberra in 2009.

I’ve tried Googling the subject, and so far I’ve come up with all kinds of speculation – whats the deal, anyone know?


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27 Responses to
Free TV…Free TV…Free TV…?
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Kramer 3:21 pm 28 Nov 08

I hope they will fix up their EPGs and broadcast the correct time! I’m looking at you WIN and your dodgy time broadcasting!!!

tylersmayhem 2:12 pm 28 Nov 08

@Darkmilk: I was about to thank you for your advice until I saw your comment accusing me of a troll. Thanks for that mate. Should interpret your ridiculous accusation as a Trolling comment in itself?

Next time decide if you want to be helpful, or possibly appear as a c**k. A little consistency maybe?

aidan 2:11 pm 28 Nov 08

This is a must read:

http://www.dtvforum.info/index.php?showtopic=11430

it describes what sort of signal each of the towers use and how to orient you aerial and what sort of aerial you need.

We are in Giralang and bunny ears work fine as long as I orient them vertically (flatten the ears right down and then orient them straight up and down).

ChrisinTurner 12:28 pm 28 Nov 08

On antennas, if you switch over to digital, the antenna is not so critical. My computer digital TV dongle has a tiny antenna that sits on the desk. The thing about digital TV is that it either works or doesn’t, nothing in between.

Grrrr 12:04 pm 28 Nov 08

Reprobate, that list (post #3) makes sense but it disagrees with the 15 channels listed at http://www.freeview.com.au/#/channels

I can vouch for TV Antenna inside the roof working fine, also. There are plenty of smaller and less-obtrusive antenna designs these days, too.

H1NG0 11:55 am 28 Nov 08

I’m in Ngunnawal and get perfect reception with a $25 set of rabbit ears for big dub. Make sure you get one with a loop. I get far better reception with Digital than I ever did with Analogue. The good thing with digital is as long as the signal is over the threshold, you have perfect image.

niftydog 11:55 am 28 Nov 08

niftydog said :

…it will never have trouble with birds, possums, wind or rain.

Unless, of course, one or more of these gets into your attic space, in which case you’ve got bigger issues to worry about than what’s on telly!

niftydog 11:17 am 28 Nov 08

tylersmayhem said :

Is there any external antennas these days that are much more inconspicuous?

One trick is to install the antenna INSIDE your attic space – it’s a little tricky to align, but it will never have trouble with birds, possums, wind or rain. This may not work if you’re in a fringe reception area though.

darkmilk 11:15 am 28 Nov 08

tylersmayhem, re #12: Unless you want to use it for FM radio too, the classic big TV antenna is not needed. The longer VHF (1/2 to 1 metre each) elements don’t do anything for digital TV, only the shorter UHF ones. I have seen quite a few of the much smaller wall-mount style ones like this lately which ought to do the job in most areas. In strong signal areas you’ll get away with just a small indoor antenna, but the same thing goes: ignore the classic rabbit ears, it’s the dish/loop thing in the middle of most cheap ones that does UHF digital TV. My front window is LOS to Black Mountain at the moment so just a 1/2 wavelength bit of of wire does the job!

Nice troll in #18! Good luck with that

tylersmayhem 10:54 am 28 Nov 08

I do have a digital/DVD recorder at home, and the reception still sucks. I I were to buy a digital tuner, how does it pick up signals without and antenna?

harvyk1 10:53 am 28 Nov 08

R. Slicker said :

I seriously doubt whether we will get the HD channels at all. Six new commercial stations in the district would need local advertising and with the current stations having trouble selling spots it just won’t happen.

It makes TV an even less attractive option for me to put an advert on. One of TV’s biggest winfalls was that with only 5 channels (and only 3 of them really available for advertising by smaller companies) and with a good percentage of the population actually watching TV putting an ad on was relatively cheap and effective (compaired to say newspaper advertising, which for an ad which is likely to be noticed on any sort of scale your still looking at a number with lots of zeros behind it). But with 15 channels to chose from the commercial networks will really need to put some thought into how they handle advertising. I’m not going to be paying the current rate per ad to get to one potential customer because the rest of the potential customers are scattered across 14 other channels.

wishuwell 10:49 am 28 Nov 08

p1 wasn’t that sort of my point? There’s no 15 new channels! Must stop channeling. Friday=tired. TV=bored.

Gungahlin Al 10:44 am 28 Nov 08

D’oh – crossed over saying same stuff as repro, while composing it.

R. Slicker 10:43 am 28 Nov 08

I seriously doubt whether we will get the HD channels at all. Six new commercial stations in the district would need local advertising and with the current stations having trouble selling spots it just won’t happen.

Gungahlin Al 10:43 am 28 Nov 08

I recall in a previous thread someone saying that the digital signal is reduced strength to reduce interference with analogue. DTV tuners are $40 now, and even HD ones are as little as $99, and the picture is MUCH better, so bring on the analogue phase-out I say.

Because on rabbit ears (if you are stuck on them – mongrel landlord etc) the signal strength is crook – even with line of sight to Black Mtn.

tylersmayhem 10:29 am 28 Nov 08

On the topic of “rabbit ears” antennas, I’ve been considering finally buying an external TV antenna – but it’s the eye-sore factor of having those big wire antennas on the roof of our house. Is there any external antennas these days that are much more inconspicuous? I’ve looked around and spoken to various installers and they all indicate that they still only install the old school types.

Reprobate 10:18 am 28 Nov 08

TheScientist and Tylersmahem – Yes, “normal” analogue tv transmissions will be switched off from the end of 2010 (as I recall), meaning that any existing TV, VCR or similar with only an analogue tuner will not receive any stations unless it has a STB (Set top box) attached to it. Most (but not all) flat panel TVs, DVD recorders and PVRs on sale today have SD or HD digital tuners built-in.

SD STBs are available from about $30 – $40 (hell, you can even buy them at Coles), HD STBs from about $90 (Aldi).

Although digital TV gives the best possible picture and sound, it does have a caveat – if the TV signal is not strong enough, you won’t get a picture at all (unlike analogue, where you get progressive loss of signal through ghosting, fuzzy lines, snow etc). So it’s an all-or-nothing technology. For this reason, some units don’t cope well being hooked up to indoor antennas (ie rabbit ears). This can be an issue if you live on the outer fringes of Canberra or in a shadow zone like Mt Taylor; if you are buying a STB for use in such an area, make sure you buy a STB from a store that has an easy refund policy as the performance of STBs does vary a lot.

H1NG0 10:17 am 28 Nov 08

Oh, and the website you are after is http://www.freeview.com.au/, not the FreeTV site.

p1 10:15 am 28 Nov 08

that will be running 24 sports…

Gee I hope one of those sports is lawn bowls.

So if you get 15 new channels (new??)and analogue is phased out thats minus 5 channels so that leaves 10 channels…

No, 5 of the 15 are the same as the analogue.

H1NG0 10:08 am 28 Nov 08

What you are referring to is Freeview. Basically, its the exact same thing as current digital free to air, just rebranded. Don’t be fooled into buying new hardware if you can currently get digital TV, it will work fine with Freeview. Most people should have digital Set to boxes or digital tuners by now anyway. This is largely due to the changes in Free to Air TV laws for 2009 that allow each current station to run programming on seperate channels. For example, channel 10 are launching a new channel called OneHD that will be running 24 sports (woohoo!!)

This is covered in depth on the following forum http://www.dtvforum.info/ which I am a member of.

Unfortunately for us Canberra viewers, the chances of us being shafted are very high. Southern Cross Ten has promised proper HD programming for years now and delivered bugger all. Don’t hold you breath for new Channels, we may not see them for years, let alone months.

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