Analog TV switchoffs are;
30th July 2013
Rest of NT 10th December 2013
Terrestrial broadcast transmission needs a TV antenna designed to cover only the radio frequency channels used by the transmitters on your local transmitter site.
Satellite broadcasting need a "Ku" band antenna dish for Australian broadcasting (Pay and Free to air). All domestic systems are encrypted.
Internet provides the user requested program downloads from ISPs or program providers.
Disc replay Blu-ray and Digital Video Discs are not covered here
All digital transmission systems will either faithfully reproduce what is being sent, the pictures will breakup into blocks with sound going on and off or a frozen image and silence. The frozen image can be replaced with a "no signal" sign. This is often called the digital cliff and can occur if the signal is too weak or too strong. Other than this the antenna system does not affect picture or sound quality. High Definition and Standard Definition signals share the same transmitted signal.
Obtaining broadcast signals.
Determine the most likely source
1. Type your exact street address.
2. On the "MySwitch" website click on the "Transmitter Information" on the lower left side. Compare the previous map to the current map. If both transmitters are in the same pink or blue colour pick the transmitter closest to you.
3. Now click on the ACMA Out of licence area reception form B58
Subsidies Beware that subsidies are available for those on full pensions and those who have been using an analog translator which is not converted to digital. The subsidy is not available if you buy your satellite receiver more than 6 months before analog switchoff in your region. Subsidies are not available if you can already view digital TV. DBCDE Household Assistance Scheme and DBCDE Satellite Subsidy Scheme
Determine the type of receiver required for digital television
There are two groups of receivers
Ground based (Terrestrial) transmission or Satellite Based Transmission
This receiver should be capable of receiving the following program streams;
All areas: ABC1 ABC3, ABC24, SBSHD, SBS2, One, Eleven, 7Mate, 7Two, GEM, Go!
TEN, Southern Cross, Imparja.
This receiver TV, Personal Video Recorder or Set Top Box is usually called HD and should comply to
Australian Standard 4933.1-2010 Digital Television Requirements for receivers VHF/UHF DVB-T Television Broadcasts. (High Definition, MPEG4 capable)
Do not buy Standard Definition Set Top Boxes as you will not get a full range of programs. High Definition Set Top Boxes can provide signals to old type receivers.
Those who are currently using Aurora, will have to replace this receiver by the end of 2013. If the dish, cabling etc are ok, only the receiver needs replacing. Replacing the TV with a new widescreen TV will show the programs in the best quality.
VAST Receiver Specifications.
Reception is only possible when authorised.
The rest of the NT is in the VAST coverage area
VAST Northern Australia covers these yellow area and receivers may be authorised now.
Antenna signal distribution from the antenna
In single dwellings a splitter may be used to feed up to typically 4 outlets. (However, this depends on signal strength as splitters reduce the signal strength.)
Multiple dwelling blocks use Master Antenna TV systems (MATV) which consist of a single antenna followed by an amplifier, which in bigger systems use a separate amplifier for each terrestrial channel. Satellite MATV systems also contain a pair of amplifiers, one for vertically polarised satellite signals and a second amplifier for horizontally polarised signals.
MATV systems can also carry digital radio signals. (DAB+ and DRM+)
Please note that channelised MATV systems the amplifiers have to be replaced or retuned to the new digital channels.
Use an endorsed digital installer.
List of installers' names.
There is a new Australian Standard for TV antennas AS 1417.1(Int)-2011
All installations should be to Australian Standard 1367:2007 (ignoring the analog TV requirements) These standards is not compulsory but ensures reliable reception in single and multiple dwellings.
For MATV systems please read this handbook.
Which antenna should be installed?
From the map on "MySwitch"
Dark Pink indicates prime reception area. Antennas with only a few dB are ok if they are elevated outside
Light Pink High gain (highest number of dB)
Dark Blue Use the blocked signal path recommendation with a masthead amplifier. Antenna may be
Light Blue Use the blocked signal path recommendations with a masthead amplifier. Antenna is 10 m above the ground.
Note: These recommendations are subject digital signal measurements to the requirements of AS1367:2007 (without analog requirement).
Don't Get Ripped Off! Do not install antennas designed for analog channels 0 5A. About 30% of the metal work will or is not used any more. Furthermore these antennas can make reception less reliable. The antenna should not be more than 750 mm wide.
Antenna Types Drawings
Whilst they still exist, analog channels within the antenna channel range will be receivable.
Read the Transmitter List
The best antenna is one designed for the TV channels to be received in your area. This is because all of the metal work will get used. This gives greater sensitivity to the channels you want and less to the unwanted ones.
White text on red background
This shows which sites have analog transmissions on channels below channel 6.
Red print. on pale blue background
A change in UHF band. Only replace antenna if the signals break up which may be weather dependent.
Write down the antenna type for the transmission site you wish to use.
Now click on the antenna type from the transmitter list to see your options for your antenna.
Caravans/Marine Band 3, 4 - 5
Digital Dividend The selling of RF Channels 52 69 will require changes in the channels used. The required channel changes will occur in 2014.
The plan is for a pair of national broadcasters, three commercial broadcasters and a community broadcaster. This uses 6 channels.
The plan is to put all the transmitters on a single site into one of these groups
Using the Antenna Types in the transmitter lists these types fit the new channel groups.
H3 or V3 Channels 6 - 8, 10 12
H4 or V4 Channels 28 33
H4+ or V4+ Channels 34 -39
H5 or V5 Channels 40 45
H5 or V5 Channels 46 - 51
The ACMA is trying to restack the digital channels on each site to be within the antenna type already in use.
This will remove the requirement for Channel 27 69 (HWb and VWb type) antennas so that more sensitive narrow band antennas can be used for no change in price.
Hopefully this will remove the requirements for C## type antennas. This only applies to Canberra, Manning River, MIA, Goulburn Valley, Wide Bay, Gladstone East.
* Example 1: Darwin will not require any changes because they are already using channels 29 33.
It is the Building owner's responsibility to upgrade to digital reception. See MATV above. This also applies to rental houses.
Indoor antennas generally produce unreliable reception; however here are some guidelines if you wish to try one in a prime reception area.
It should be quad shielded RG6 with F connectors at any joins.
This is to minimise the pick up of electrical switching and TV signals other than picked up by the antenna.
Masthead amplifiers Should only be considered if the measured digital signals show there is too little signal. If that is not an option try the above techniques first.
Radio Digital radio and FM
DAB+ used in all mainland state capitals, with trials in Canberra and Darwin. Use a band 3 Yagi-Uda antenna with its elements vertical with respect to the horizon.
None of the antennas listed above are designed to receive FM radio. The best way is to have an independent system Please read FM Antennas
DRM+ if used will use what was being used for analog TV channels 0 2.
DRM30 is another type of digital radio which will replace AM radio and will not use any of the above equipment. Not on
Free to Air Satellite TV Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST)
This satellite service is paid for by the Commonwealth Government to provide TV to remote areas of Australia. There is 3 licence areas
Northern: It covers inland Qld and all of NT except Darwin
those who can prove that there is insufficient signal available at 10 m above the ground.
Viewer Access Satellite Television
For more information
How to get into Digital TV Pt 2 -What to do about the antenna "Silicon Chip" April 2008
For TV Antenna Basics +
For Radio Digital Television and Radio - Off-Topic Thread
Please post any queries in this geographic viewer's forum
Edited by alanh, 25 June 2012 - 06:10 PM.