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AdamJ

Newcastle Tv Reception

85 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Can somebody please update me on the best transmitter to use in Newcastle. I live within 5km to the Cooks Hill site, should I use this one or the higher power Mt Sugarloaf site (or any other site)?

I currently have regular 'issues' with Ch7 and Ch2 - sometimes it is great, other times completely unwatchable - just recently this has included Ch9 (not as often though).

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

cheers

Adam

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These maps (whilst they are for ABC transmitters) should give you a general idea of where you are best aiming for with your antenna.

Cooks Hill/Merewether (from Mosbri Cres, Cooks Hill)

http://www2b.abc.net.au/reception/frequenc...48&presdir=

Newcastle / Lower Hunter (from Mt Sugarloaf)

http://www2b.abc.net.au/reception/frequenc...67&presdir=

And here is the Kotara map (from the Water Tower at the top of Madison Drive, Adamstown Heights)

http://www2b.abc.net.au/reception/frequenc...86&presdir=

Though a bit has to do with your immediate area ie. if there is a 2 storey building or hills further out - anything likely to obstruct signals from a particular direction nearby, you might be better off re-pointing your aerial to a different site...

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Adam,

As a general rule-of-thumb, the Merewether transmission site should only be used for digital in Merewether bounded by Scenic Dve., Woodward St., Selwyn St. and Llewellyn St. Or if you are protected from Mt. Sugarloaf and right on top of the Cooks Hill site. The ABC coverage maps are totally unrealistic for digital. They may be OK for analog but NOT digital. If your antenna is facing the Merewether service at Cooks Hill, this may be why you are having trouble. Both Mt. Sugarloaf and Merewether are horizontal hence minimal isolation. Try, wherever possible, to go for Mt. Sugarloaf.

lesf

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Hi, I've just moved to Jewells, and getting shocking reception on pretty much all channels. They are watchable just, except prime, which is complete fuzz, but most that can be watched are intermittent and erupt into fuzz.

Anyway, I got a TV Antenna guy out, and he said that even if we spent $1500 on a new Antenna and went up another 30 feet he still thinks we won't get good reception. He said we're too close to the top of the ridge and there are too many trees close by. Plus he said there's another ridge behind the first. He said stuff like "that's 4 errors out of 100 when it should be 4 out of 100,000".

There is a satellite dish on the roof, but I suspect it's for foxtel and I think is 65cm. I have read a little on the net about digital satellite free to air being available to black spot areas even in capital cities. Has anyone had any experience with satellite in Newcastle, or more specifically Jewells?

Cheers,

Mike.

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The ABC coverage maps posted above ARE for the digital transmitters, not analogue...

...and I'm saying that these coverage maps are wildly optimistic. You will never get digital to work in Waratah with the antenna facing Merewether translator.

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Hi, I've just moved to Jewells, and getting shocking reception on pretty much all channels. They are watchable just, except prime, which is complete fuzz, but most that can be watched are intermittent and erupt into fuzz.

Anyway, I got a TV Antenna guy out, and he said that even if we spent $1500 on a new Antenna and went up another 30 feet he still thinks we won't get good reception. He said we're too close to the top of the ridge and there are too many trees close by. Plus he said there's another ridge behind the first. He said stuff like "that's 4 errors out of 100 when it should be 4 out of 100,000".

There is a satellite dish on the roof, but I suspect it's for foxtel and I think is 65cm. I have read a little on the net about digital satellite free to air being available to black spot areas even in capital cities. Has anyone had any experience with satellite in Newcastle, or more specifically Jewells?

Cheers,

Mike.

what's your line of sight like in a southerly direction...

I've seen a number of houses along Wommara Ave that have their antennas pointed south towards the Central Coast.

From there you have the Central Coast versions of NBN, Prime and Southern Cross TEN, plus ABC, SBS as well as 7, 9 and 10 (Sydney).

Maybe also see what your neighbours have... that might help you work out what your options are...

As for satellite free to air, there are only two commercial stations:

1. Nine Imparja (Alice Springs based) - mostly Nine network programming.

2. Southern Cross (Mt Isa based) - mostly Seven network programming.

These stations service not only 'blackspots' in urban areas, but the whole of remote Australia (from Ceduna in South Australia to Katherine in the NT and down across to Walgett in NSW and up to Cooktown in QLD).

Both stations have Brisbane-based news bulletins. Nine Imparja also airs a Darwin bulletin.

And no, I don't have this.. but I've heard that's what you receive on it...

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Regarding what Les was saying before about picking up the Merewether translator from Waratah is very true. Considering the digital power coming from Mt Sugarloaf is far greater than the local translators, there will be so many signal errors, dropouts etc as the distance is too far from the lower powered translators. This was even the case with deep fringe when I was living in Sydney and was receiving South Coast content from Knights Hill in the Illawarra region. I had no problems receiving a perfect high power signal from Knights Hill but when I tried for the Kings Cross translator, Brokers Nose in Wollongong or any of the others closer, I could at one stage only receive the low power version of seven digital from Kings Cross but very poor and not watchable with all the dropouts etc. Mind you, I was being very optimistic, and the ABC website displays that I should have been able to receive it. So it does emphasise the point of using the main high powered transmitters if all else fails.

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And I do miss watching those early morning Crawford's Classics on WIN these days now that i'm back in Newcastle. Good old Division 4, Matlock Police etc. lol :D

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I finally got around to buying some things from Jaycar. I got the 43 element antenna, and the Kingray UHF/VHF amplifier.

Put them up on the pole and aimed the antenna towards Sugarloaf as suggested. Got a digital signal sitting firmly on 100% for both strength and quality, but the analogue signal was quite poor.

Re-aimed towards Mereweather and had the opposite result.

In the end, we aimed the antenna mid-way between Mereweather and Kotara transmitters and now have a good analogue signal with good digital, although it gets more error-prone during bad weather.

Not quite ready to ditch the old VCR's just yet, but don't think it will be long before that happens, then I'll re-aim the antenna towards Sugarloaf.

I suppose I could have put the old antenna/amp back up and run this just for the analogue signal, but thought having 2 antennas and 2 amps on the one pole might not be such a good idea.

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I finally got around to buying some things from Jaycar. I got the 43 element antenna, and the Kingray UHF/VHF amplifier.

Put them up on the pole and aimed the antenna towards Sugarloaf as suggested. Got a digital signal sitting firmly on 100% for both strength and quality, but the analogue signal was quite poor.

Re-aimed towards Mereweather and had the opposite result.

In the end, we aimed the antenna mid-way between Mereweather and Kotara transmitters and now have a good analogue signal with good digital, although it gets more error-prone during bad weather.

Not quite ready to ditch the old VCR's just yet, but don't think it will be long before that happens, then I'll re-aim the antenna towards Sugarloaf.

I suppose I could have put the old antenna/amp back up and run this just for the analogue signal, but thought having 2 antennas and 2 amps on the one pole might not be such a good idea.

Kotara signals are transmitted vertically, so that means you would need to tilt the antenna 90 degrees so that the elements point up/down rather than sideways.

If you're keeping the VCR for analogue recording/viewing, you can record from a set top box into a VCR.

New set top boxes can be had for as little as $30, and you'll also get extra channels like ABC2 (on air now) and TEN's ONE Sport channel (available from July/August).

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There is a satellite dish on the roof, but I suspect it's for foxtel and I think is 65cm. I have read a little on the net about digital satellite free to air being available to black spot areas even in capital cities. Has anyone had any experience with satellite in Newcastle, or more specifically Jewells?

You mean the Aurora system, some changes to be announced late 2009 re this service.

Full ABC/SBS reception incl EPG etc on the satellite Optus D1 (80cm required).

As an aside, you could use the existing dish for pay tv in the form SelecTV, OR simply use it for free-to-air viewing, simply plugging in a satellite decoder will give the fulltime english language channel AlJazeera International.

Adding a 3=way LNB holder will allow reception of other sats for reception of Russia Today, NHK World Japan, Irans Press TV - each in english on the satellite Optus D2.

See the Sat TV section of forum, or

www.vetrun.com

www.austech.info

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...and I'm saying that these coverage maps are wildly optimistic. You will never get digital to work in Waratah with the antenna facing Merewether translator.

hi les, just wondering if you could give me fault solving methods for the only channel im having trouble with, 51 10 digital.

ee06 facing merewether from ocean st merewether, all other channels great, getting big variations in cber & vber using promax digital meter.

PLEASE HELP!

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hi les, just wondering if you could give me fault solving methods for the only channel im having trouble with, 51 10 digital.

ee06 facing merewether from ocean st merewether, all other channels great, getting big variations in cber & vber using promax digital meter.

PLEASE HELP!

Hi blade,

Sorry for the delay in reply. I have been as busy as a Baghdad bricky recently. You live in Ocean St. Merewether, yeah? There is a significant hill between you and the Merewether translator at Cooks Hill. You should aim for an MER of 26db or above. Your <BER should be above a few errors in 10-3 minimum but *in10-4 I would be more comfortable with. Keep in mind, these readings are BEFORE the viterbi error correction. At your address, I would be inclined to re-direct your antenna to Mt. Sugarloaf. But (since you live in the corrosion Capital of the world in Ocean St. Merewether) you will probably have to fit a new antenna. Ocean St. and John Pde. are areas where 4 years are the fall-down time - not the failure time but the fall-down time of an antenna. People who choose to live here have to accept that the maintenance of everything in their home will be high. Mt. Sugarloaf would be my bet for Ocean St. Merewether.

lesf

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Hi blade,

Sorry for the delay in reply. I have been as busy as a Baghdad bricky recently. You live in Ocean St. Merewether, yeah? There is a significant hill between you and the Merewether translator at Cooks Hill. You should aim for an MER of 26db or above. Your <BER should be above a few errors in 10-3 minimum but *in10-4 I would be more comfortable with. Keep in mind, these readings are BEFORE the viterbi error correction. At your address, I would be inclined to re-direct your antenna to Mt. Sugarloaf. But (since you live in the corrosion Capital of the world in Ocean St. Merewether) you will probably have to fit a new antenna. Ocean St. and John Pde. are areas where 4 years are the fall-down time - not the failure time but the fall-down time of an antenna. People who choose to live here have to accept that the maintenance of everything in their home will be high. Mt. Sugarloaf would be my bet for Ocean St. Merewether.

lesf

lesf,

thanks for your reply, will give it a go!

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Hey lads, i live in Medowie, not far from raymond terrace and the recpetion out here is terrible! i have a 32" V series bravia with the built in tuner and i can never get all the channels at once, at the moment i cant get any... I bought one of those UV aerials from jb hifi(bought the more expensive one) and i still get sweet f all. What makes this worse is my poor ol nan that lives beside us is slightly deaf so my uncle bought her a set top box for her bday so she could view tv with sub titles... She has a roof mount aerial bout 3 metres high and she gets worse reception than i do!! So she has chosen to go back to running standard def thru her dvd player, which really shits me off as they expect to faze out sd tv within a few years...

Is there anything i can do for both my nan and i?

[edit]

Prob incorrect section but when playing my ps3 via hdmi cable, the brightness seems to go up n down as i watch it! its not the light balance thing either, i turned it off... happens to my mates bravia with his xbox. i paid bout 60 bux for my hdmi cable n he paid 5 bux off ebay.

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klazla,

All digital TV is on UHF band 5. The VHF section of your antenna will increase the possibility of poor reception.

I wll leave it to others to recommend the best Band 5 antenna for your area and the best installers.

AlanH

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yea i realised that hence buying a uhf indoors arial for my tv. But what your saying is that my nans roof top aerial wont get any uhf? as if we dont plug the aerial into the set top box nothing comes up during search whereas you get a few channels when it is plugged.

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klazla,

Newcastle installers. I have left this post for you to answer. Klazla is still waiting.

Without knowing what antenna your Nan has I cannot comment. Can she receive SBS, Prime and Southern Cross analog? Is the antenna very old?

Read Get the Best Reception, Hunter Valley and read the links.

Click on the H5 antenna link

Are you sure that your Bravia cannot show HD channels? Try ABC or SBS HD.

AlanH

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klazla,

Newcastle installers. I have left this post for you to answer. Klazla is still waiting.

Without knowing what antenna your Nan has I cannot comment. Can she receive SBS, Prime and Southern Cross analog? Is the antenna very old?

Read Get the Best Reception, Hunter Valley and read the links.

Click on the H5 antenna link

Are you sure that your Bravia cannot show HD channels? Try ABC or SBS HD.

AlanH

Hi klazla, can you switch on your PM (personal message) option please?

Thanks, Duane.

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klazla,

Medowie is a very very difficult area, I know from trying to get good reception for my brother when he was living there.

Because of that I can't give you any solid advice here, other than using a high gain Band 5 UHF antenna for Mt Sugarloaf or a high gain Band 4 UHF antenna for the Port Stephens translators, probably using a phased array for both may be your best bet.

The Port Stephens translators weren't operating when my brother was there, but Medowie is one of the areas they were designed to cover, so this may be your best options to use. See Alanh's pages (he linked to in a previous post) to see the antennas I'm talking about.

Being such a difficult area I think you're going to need a good professional (with digital meters) to come out & do a site survey & change/install for you, you may be lucky & jag it if you want to try yourself?

Having an amplifier in the system won't really help you, because the signals aren't good at the antenna.

I can't help you any more than that sorry, I don't know if Les from Les Field TV (member here) would go up there?

I think the guy from Hunter Valley antenna service at Corlette is alright though, he services Medowie.

Cheers

Glenn.

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Glenn,

Just to note, the Port Stephens Translators were not designed to cover Medowie. There's no way the would come that far south.

SteveB

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Glenn,

Just to note, the Port Stephens Translators were not designed to cover Medowie. There's no way the would come that far south.

SteveB

Thanks for that Steve,

I thought they were designed to cover Lemon Tree, Oyster Cove, through to Medowie.

I don't know what the signal quality would be like at Medowie then, but fair chance they may be good enough, guess we'll find out if klazla posts back how they go.

I have, when just playing around, got the Port Stephens signals & locked on solid from Charlestown in Ocean View pde just down from the Kotara translator, & have also received them in Merewether, so they do travel quite away. If I'd have lived in one of these spots I would've left them like this, to see what the signals are like long term.

Cheers

Glenn.

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Glenn,

Is it the planes which are the problem and Williamtown air base?

Perhaps what is required is no amplifier, a UHF phased array to minimise the signals reflected from planes and a band 5 bandpass filter to minimise interference from communications transmitters and radar?

AlanH

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Glenn,

Is it the planes which are the problem and Williamtown air base?

Perhaps what is required is no amplifier, a UHF phased array to minimise the signals reflected from planes and a band 5 bandpass filter to minimise interference from communications transmitters and radar?

AlanH

To be honest Alan, I really don't know. The signals just don't seem to propagate there well, (low signal strengths at the antenna), it's a really sandy area, & for AM radio I can understand/know why the signals don't propagate there, but for UHF TV I don't know. I've only ever done the one install there (for my brother), but have heard others speak of the difficulty's of reception around the area.

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