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Channel 3, 50 Years


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#1 Skid_MacMarx

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:49 PM

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NBN celebrates 50 years

This year will be one of celebration for Newcastle-based regional network NBN as 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of its debut.

Launching on Sunday, 4 March 1962, it was the first regional television station in New South Wales and the fourth nationally.




http://blog.televisi...s-50-years.html

http://www.nbntv.com.au/myvideo

http://www.theherald...on/2475503.aspx

#2 Skid_MacMarx

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

Programs were then beamed from Mosbri Crescent to a 450-foot mast atop Mount Sugarloaf which would then broadcast the NBN3 signal to an area of over 420,000 people, stretching from Gosford and Sydney’s northern suburbs in the south, almost as far north as Taree and out west to Scone and Muswellbrook.


Grandparents could pick up the signal in Port Macquarie.

#3 Soap

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:33 AM

And astonishingly NBN still broadcasts on Channel 3 analogue (for a little while at least). But in fringe areas local FM transmissions now wipe out reception. Apparently NBN3 & ABHN5A were both meant to go to UHF in 1991. ABHN did (ch 48) but still broadcasts on 5A, while NBN resisted and got their way! Might've had something to do with pensioners who didn't have UHF tuners on their ancient TV sets they didn't want to let go of...

Legacy TV antennas for NBN3 can still be seen in places like Lithgow, Tamworth & Port Macquarie. I still remember watching NBN in a motel in Taree pre-aggregation.

#4 RF Burns

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

Apparently NBN3 & ABHN5A were both meant to go to UHF in 1991. ABHN did (ch 48) but still broadcasts on 5A, while NBN resisted and got their way! Might've had something to do with pensioners who didn't have UHF tuners on their ancient TV sets they didn't want to let go of...


The reason NBN wouldn't go to UHF was, they would've lost viewers. They were to go onto UHF Ch.51, but the UHF channels don't travel as far, they suffer more ghosting & are harder to get around hilly areas, (which Newcastle has a lot of), & most people at the time didn't have UHF antennas. The majority of people either only watched channel 3 & 5A, or had a VHF Band 3 antenna as well, & watched 7, 9 & 10 from Sydney. That's also partly why NBN out rated the other channels, & NBN News became the Local powerhouse it is around Newcastle, over Prime & NRTV/SCTen, after aggregation & until very recently. People watched NBN for local News & some local programming, & watched the Sydney channels for network stuff. I personally still watch very little of NBN or the local Newcastle channels, I watch the Sydney digital channels instead, (old habits die hard).

Edited by GlennP, 28 March 2012 - 12:50 PM.


#5 Digital Penetration

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:05 PM

Grandparents could pick up the signal in Port Macquarie.

My parent's first TV was a 17" AWA, in a beautiful woodern cabinet, but piss-poor sensitivity. It had to go back to the shop for some repairs once and I remember being REALLY upset as a 5yo when the replacement TV we had on loan was taken away. The replacement could easily pick up WIN 4 and NBN 3 in Cronulla, back in the days when there was a lot of difference in programming on the different channels (early sixties, I'm talking here).

#6 lesftv

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:58 AM

I was looking back in the photo files the other day and found pics I took of the new NBN 3 array being delivered to Mt. Sugarloaf. The new array was installed on the tower in October 2005. It will be interesting to learn what will become of this array after November this year. Perhaps, eventually, the top of the tower will be demolished and rebuilt to accomodate a band III array for DAB+. I can't see this happening until after the end of 2013 however. This is just me thinking aloud though.

#7 dkint3

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:26 AM

People watched NBN for local News & some local programming, & watched the Sydney channels for network stuff. I personally still watch very little of NBN or the local Newcastle channels, I watch the Sydney digital channels instead, (old habits die hard).


Yes, NBN certainly isn't the same channel that it used to be.

NBN's refusal to go UHF for analogue has caused a REAL mess on the FM radio band.
98.1 for instance (here in Charlestown) has THREE stations jammed on the one frequency.

Hopefully this will change in 2013, as it will mean with the analogue switch off that the stations that suffer from co-channel interference (namely News Radio Gosford and Radio Yesteryear) can POTENTIALLY move to spare frequencies in the old VHF 3 space (88-92 mhz).

The ABC can also then switch on some more Port Stephens repeaters (JJJ on 91.9 and Classic FM on 92.7).

And does anyone here think NBN have gone overboard with the '50 Years' thing??
NBN are apparently going to be doing their Monday night news specials ALL YEAR (I think I'm starting to get sick of them, and it's only April!).
And some of the choices have been rather odd (eg. a 3 minute interview with WP Brennan all because he appeared on the 'Tonight' show 30 years ago?).

#8 DrP

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:27 AM

Its more a case of the government permitting NBN to remain there. NBN may not want to move and there may well be valid reasons but if the government withdrew (or simply did not renew) the broadcast licence NBN would have set up for UHF faster than you could blink.

#9 nbound

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:33 AM

Programs were then beamed from Mosbri Crescent to a 450-foot mast atop Mount Sugarloaf which would then broadcast the NBN3 signal to an area of over 420,000 people, stretching from Gosford and Sydney’s northern suburbs in the south, almost as far north as Taree and out west to Scone and Muswellbrook.


Grandparents could pick up the signal in Port Macquarie.


You could even receive it in some places in Kempsey.

#10 lesftv

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:01 PM

dkint3,
I don't recognise Power FM on 98.1Mhz as being a locally transmitted radion station. I don't know from where it is transmitted but it is not a Newcsastle Station. In any event, NBN is way outside this frequency and would not interfere with Power FM. ACMA can not guarantee any service being received outside its service area. There is 6.35Mhz between NBNs sound carrier and Power FMs frequency. In any one market, the minimum spacing is 800Khz for the first three stations.
I hope this makes things clear.
lesf

#11 alanh

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

All,
The real question about channel allocations in Newcastle are;
1. ABHN channel 48 analog effective radiating power of 1.2 MW, ABHN 5A 200 kW. To compensate for the drop in V/m from VHF to UHF the power of UHF allocations are 4 times the VHF power, this makes 800 kW on channel 48.

Aggregation meant that Newcastle had Southern Cross and Prime added from the start of 1992 using the same power as ABHN48. Why has the ABC continued with simulcasting for another 20 years when UHF reception became widespread in the Hunter Valley for much of this time? The ABC has cried poor for funding and this waste of money extending the broadcasting from ABHN5A for many years? They even moved ABHN5 to ABHN5A to make room for FM Radio. 137 - 144 MHz (Ch 5A) is an international frequency band for satellite communications and was only used in a few places in Australia only.

2. I recall that in the 20 years above NBN bought a new transmitter for channel 3. It was not forced to use channel 51.

On 27th November 2012 NBN 3, ABHN5A, ABHN48, SBS 45, NEN54 (Prime), NRN57 (Southern Cross) will be switched off.

This will leave NBN36, ABHN37, SBS38, NRN51, NEN53 main transmitters and single frequency repeaters in Mosbri Crescent NEWCASTLE, Centenary Lookout Reservoir CHARLESTOWN on air. There are many now more translators in the Hunter Valley and a new repeater set in Belmont North.

The ACMA is yet to release the digital restack channel group to be used on the Hunter Valley sites and will hopefully remove interference from the Illawarra transmitters.

3. What effect has the sale of NBN to PBL now Nine Entertainment in 2007 had on the station particularly local programming?

Alanh

#12 dkint3

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

Hi lesftv,

No, Power FM is from Muswellbrook..

I was trying to say that NBN's insistence on remaining on VHF3 gobbles up 4 mhz of space which causes congestion in other areas of the FM band.

Power FM has been known to interfere with News Radio Gosford within it's licence area during 'normal' atmospheric conditions because there's nowhere else to put those stations (and putting them in 88-92 mhz will interfere with NBN3 TV reception in those areas and potentially in the Hunter region as well) ...

I've even experienced being 2kms south of the Radio Yesteryear site (at Fraser Park near Lake Munmorah) and receiving 97.3 ABC Illawarra instead of Yesteryear!

Hi DrP - NBN wouldn't have risked having it's licence cancelled as NBN won a court case against the ABA (now ACMA) regarding the shift to UHF.

Alanh,

I'm pretty sure that the Belmont North site is still only proposed and not yet on on air.

The only 'additional' TV transmitter site in the Hunter since the introduction of digital is the (digital only) repeater at Port Stephens.
This is fed 'off air' from Sugarloaf and thus does not use the Newcastle region SFN eg here NBN uses UHF 28 not UHF 36.
Everywhere else has had or is getting an analogue site upgraded to digital.

NBN has being slowly going backwards with local content, not so much local programming.
Though nightly news bulletins have been their only local regular local programming since well before PBL bought it.
They still air produce news bulletins 7 nights a week out of Newcastle (6 hours in total), but the proportion of that which is local news content is now down to around 20% (by my reckoning).
It used to be a bit higher than that.

#13 alanh

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:52 PM

dink3,
Belmont North translators are in the planning stage and it may have to wait until the digital restack.

Currently being planned;
Anna Bay, Belmont North, Broke, Warner's Bay

Analog transmitters which are on air.

Cassilis, Cassilis, NBN39 and ABC analog only
Collaroy, Redwell Rd, NBN60 analog only
Dungog, Coorei Hill, All on analog
Kotara, Centenary Lookout, Digital SFN
Merewether, Cook's Hill, Digital SFN
Merriwa, Banderra Downs, All on analog except SBS
Hunter Valley, Mt Sugarloaf
Port Stephens, GanGan Hill, Nelson Bay, Not part of the Newcastle SFN no analog.
Stroud, King St, All on analog
Upper Hunter, Rossgole Lookout, All on analog
Vacy, Mt Douglas, Analog ABC & SBS only

AlanH

Edited by alanh, 10 April 2012 - 12:00 AM.


#14 RF Burns

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:36 AM

Hi all,

98.1 Power FM is broadcast from Mt Arthur, South of Muswellbrook. Although it's not a Newcastle station, their licence area reaches to Branxton, within the Newcastle radio licence area which goes to Singleton, (yes there's an overlap). It's also well within the service area of NBN TV Ch.3 which reaches to Muswellbrook.
98.1 News Radio Gosford, is transmitted from Somesby (same TX site as 101.3 SEAFM Gosford, Northern Orange & White painted tower, 107.7 2GO FM is the Southern Orange & White Painted tower, & 104.5 StarFM is the tallest grey painted most Northern tower, all alongside the F3 at Somesby). The Gosford radio licence area goes to Southern Lake Macquarie, to meet the Newcastle radio licence area, but well within reach of the NBN TV Ch.3 signal.
98.1 is also i98 FM Wollongong broadcast from Knights Hill, & can be received into Newcastle under the right weather conditions. At Eleebana it's possible any one of those three stations could be received, the majority of the time though it's Power FM Muswellbrook.
ABC Local Illawarra from Knights Hill & Radio Yesteryear at Lake Macquarie (transmitted from the roof of the big prawn service station at Fraser Park) on 97.3 have also been mentioned, & under the right weather conditions ABC Illawarra can be heard over the Lake Macquarie station here in Eleebana.
Similarly Wave FM from Knights Hill & 2CHR FM Cessnock from Bimbadeen (just west of Cessnock) on 96.5 can be received here at Eleebana, it's usually 2CHR, but being just that much further away from here & only 2kW & borderline reception, it's really just the luck of the draw, WAVE FM doesn't have to be that much stronger than normal to overpower the semi-local station under any weather conditions.

The trouble is, the Illawarra (Southern Highlands & parts of South Coast), Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, & the Upper Hunter all share the same block of FM Radio (& TV) frequencies & there just isn't enough to go around, & with not enough physical distances between them, so many have to be doubled or tripled up, & interfere with each other usually just out of, but sometimes within their respective licence areas.

ABC can't get news radio Illawarra on air, because it's planed for 90.9 & WIN TV Brokers Nose (also on VHF Ch.3) stops it, but it's planed to be 150kW, so has the potential to interfere with, or be interfered from NBN TV Ch.3 Mt Sugarloaf.

Brisbane & the Gold Coast share the same frequencies as us, but don't have the problems with crowding we do, as there is no TV in the FM radio band up there. Brisbane has 12 high powered FM stations with 9.5kW min through to 96kW max power, plus lower power smaller area stations, & the Gold Coast has 9 high power stations at either 25 or 26kW which includes 6 stations within the VHF Ch.3 footprint of 85-92.5MHz, they also have more stations on alternate frequencies mixed in, we don't (with the exception of the low power Port Stephens FM translators & community radio stations).

Thankfully as of the end of the year, the band will be clear of TV, main problem being NBN TV Ch.3, however, with the digital TV re-stack planing & inception, & the introduction of Digital radio (albeit DAB+, DRM/DRM+) in regional areas, I don't see the sorting & "re-stack" of FM radio in this area any time soon.

#15 RF Burns

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:17 AM

I was looking back in the photo files the other day and found pics I took of the new NBN 3 array being delivered to Mt. Sugarloaf. The new array was installed on the tower in October 2005. It will be interesting to learn what will become of this array after November this year. Perhaps, eventually, the top of the tower will be demolished and rebuilt to accomodate a band III array for DAB+. I can't see this happening until after the end of 2013 however. This is just me thinking aloud though.


I missed the VHF array changeover, can't remember why, might've been too busy at work? Was up there one day & it was the old array, went back a couple of months later & it was the new array all finished. It's really been that long, time's slipping away. So they'll get just over 7 years use out of it, & the new Ch.3 transmitter's about the same. Just think how long & well the old transmitter & array served them.

SteveB may tell us otherwise (off forum?), but I'm pretty sure the new array is an RFS VHF Band 2 wide-band panel antenna array. Being this, it's possible it could be re-configured (some antenna panels removed & others turned to be vertical polarisation), & made into a master FM antenna array for KO, NEW & 2NURFM, & possibly NX if they want to move over from the BA site. Then the side mount FM arrays can be taken off the tower. That Northern leg of the tower that they're all mounted on, had to be strengthened before the KOFM antenna array could be installed. Removing them will give back the tower some weight capacity (along with the removal of some of the VHF array), & create more space for microwave & other links dishes & antennas to be easily mounted.

As for a DAB+ Band 3 array, assuming Newcastle gets DAB+ digital radio, it's most likely to be from the BA site considering the ABC & SBS will have more stations than any of the local stations (in digital) & will own 1 of the 2 DAB+ transmitters & BA run & look after their transmitters.
The VHF Band 3 Ch. 5A array will obviously be removed from the BA tower, but depending on the block of channels Newcastle gets for digital TV after the re-stack, the top of the BA tower may need re-building & a new UHF array installed. You may find the ABC & SBS return to the BA site from the NBN site & maybe Prime & SCTen will go to the NBN site or NBN maybe left alone there?
All TV may go to the BA site & the NBN tower becomes radio & communications only or vice versa, with the UHF TV array being remove permanently from the top of one tower or the other?

In Sydney the UHF arrays will be removed from both the Gore Hill & Artarmon Towers, & there's rumours going around, that Channel Nine will move their transmitters to Artarmon, demolish the Willoughby tower & sell the channel Nine studios site, backup transmitters for all the TV stations will be moved to Gore Hill.
Given all the other communications antennas on both Mt Sugarloaf towers, it's unlikely one or the other will become redundant & able to be removed, neither tower will have the weight strength & space capacity to hold all antennas.

#16 muiredachau

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 08:35 PM

I don't remember getting anything other than ABUN 7 Upper Namoi and NEN 9 Tamworth in the 1980's

#17 dkint3

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 03:12 AM

NBN and NRTV (now Southern Cross Ten) didn't start broadcasting in Tamworth and adjacent regions until 1992.

Some people in the North West were able to get CWN 6 Central West NSW.... More likely if you were in Gunnedah or Narrabri than in Tamworth I guess....

#18 muiredachau

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:40 PM

Some people here reckon that NBN 3 was available in Tamworth

#19 dkint3

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:32 PM

Possibly on the east side on the way up to the Oxley Lookout maybe, even then maybe only on a good day?

Same is probably true of CWN 6 Dubbo, but would have been easier to get than NBN since their transmitter is near Coonabarabran...

Muswellbrook, Scone, Mururrundi etc all needed NBN repeaters....

#20 Soap

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 07:17 PM

Possibly on the east side on the way up to the Oxley Lookout maybe, even then maybe only on a good day?


Antennas for NBN3 in Tamworth were pretty rare - For several years in the early 60s (1962-1965) the only possibility for any TV reception in the area was from Newcastle. We're talking 20m+ high towers and double stacked antennas....

#21 dkint3

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:33 PM

I read somewhere that quite a few houses in Gunnedah had large UHF antennas installed to get WIN and CAPITAL from the Central West slopes in 1990-91 (as they got aggregation 2 years before Northern NSW did).
(given both regions already had PRIME).

Doubt many houses in Tamworth would have done the same.. again, only possibility might be the east side up towards Oxley Lookout.