Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Free To Air Television in Australia
A digital TV antenna will allow you to access a wide range of channels offered through the Freeview Australia services. With over 30 channels now on offer, you can access a premium choice of viewing content without paying any subscription charges, like with IPTV or Pay-TV options. The number of Freeview channels continues to grow and now includes: ABC1, ABC2 Kids, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS ONE, SBS TWO, SBS HD, SBS News 24, SBS Food Network, SBS NITV, Seven, 7 TWO, 7mate, 7flix, Nine, Nine HD, Nine Life, Extra GO!, GEM, TEN, TEN HD, ONE, ELEVEN, TVSN, 15 Spree TV, 4ME & Racing.com.
The experienced team at Install My Antenna has been installing and repairing digital TV antennas since the technology was introduced in Australia. We are highly trained and have significant knowledge of digital TV antennas for use across the country. If you are looking for a professional technician, who is an expert in their field of specialty, and you want a service performed at a fair and affordable price, call us now on 1300 800 123 or use our online quote request form.
What is involved in a new digital TV antenna installation?
One of our trained technicians will come to your premises to determine any current faults with your TV antenna system and provide you with a free quote. We will conduct a survey of reception strength and quality in your local area to establish the best solution for your specific needs. If you are happy to proceed with our quote, our fully licensed and experienced engineers will install one of the highest quality, Australian made TV antennas on offer in Australia. There are many types of antennas that are on offer in today’s market, however, by choosing Install My Antenna, you will be guaranteed only the best quality parts in all areas of our installation. The antenna will be installed at a location to provide you the very best reception, whether that is using a chimney mount, gutter mount, wall mount, on your roof or on a mast up to 50 metres in length.
In addition to the installation of a new antenna, depending on the strength and quality of the signal in your area, we may also be required to install a reception amplifier or ‘booster’. There are two types of amplifiers: masthead and distribution amplifiers. A masthead amplifier can improve weak signal in order for you to achieve adequate reception if you: (i) are located in an area with variable and/or poor reception coverage, or (ii) are located close to signal obstructions, such as the immediate local terrain, foliage, buildings and trees that are currently blocking or weakening the TV signal strength. Distribution amplifiers, on the other hand, can assist you if you are looking to distribute TV signals from one antenna to multiple TV outlets.
What components are there in a typical antenna installation?
Having operated in for over 35 years, using our local area knowledge and signal test meters we are able to install a digital compatible antenna and any other parts, if required, to give you the best quality TV reception for your street or suburb. Our technician is also able to test your TV outlets as well as set-up and tune your TV to ensure you are getting all the latest Freeview Australia television channels.
Our antenna installations can include any of the following components:
• Digital compatible, Australian made TV antenna
• Heavy duty support mast, or other antenna mount
• Fully galvanized steel brackets
• Masthead and/or distribution amplifiers, and their respective power supplies
• High quality RG6 or RG11 quad shield coaxial cables
• 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, 6-way or 8-way splitters with or without power pass
• 4G/LTE filters
• TV outlet and connection lead
• And other specialised components, including single channel headends and integrated PayTV / Foxtel system equipment
All equipment used is the highest quality available in the market. In addition, all antennas we install come with a 25 year warranty (terms and conditions apply).
In addition to digital TV antenna services, we can also provide you with any assistance you require for Foxtel systems, satellite TV installation and repair, TV reception issues, TV wall mounts, IPTV, smart TV, commercial antenna / MATV / SMATV installations, and all other adjacent services. Contact us today on 1300 800 123 to find out what else we have on offer!
What is causing my TV Antenna reception problems?
There are a range of factors that can result in poor reception for your digital television, including:
1. Weather conditions, which can cause signal to temporarily reduce and result in digital reception to break up or ‘pixelate’.
2. Signal obstructions, such as tall trees and surrounding buildings. There are a number of areas around Australia that are known to be reception “black spot” regions.
3. The signal received directly from the antenna may be either too weak or even too strong for your high definition TV to generate a stable and reliable picture.
4. ‘Impulse’ or ‘noise’ interference which may be the result of using everyday electrical items including kitchen appliances, light switches, ovens & fridges, air conditioning units, desktop or laptop computers, Wi-Fi internet network equipment and cordless phones.
5. Distance between your premises and the nearest transmitting tower for your local TV stations. The further away your nearest transmission tower, the worse quality reception you will have.
6. Age and condition of your TV antenna. On average, antennas in Australia are approximately 5 years old and each antenna is only serviced or upgraded once every 12 years! Low quality antennas can rust, bend, snap or even break. Also, reception can be blocked by changes to structures around your premises, including new apartments or large buildings, growing trees or other foliage or other changes to the networks and their operators. This may mean you now require a high gain antenna to replace your previous low gain antenna, or other methods to boost your weakened signal.
7. Additional TV wall outlets, changing the physical location of your external antenna, or adjusting the direction of your external antenna can all contribute to getting poor TV reception.
8. Age and condition of your TV. Older TVs may also contribute to poor picture quality.
Install My Antenna will ensure you receive the best quality advice and options to improve all of your TV reception issues.
9. Proximity to mobile telecommunications towers. If you are too close to a mobile phone tower that transmits signal on certain 4G frequencies, there may be a risk that there is interference impacting your TV reception.
How much does it cost to get an antenna installed?
The Short Answer
There are literally hundreds of types of antennae available in the market, each offering different functions or levels of performance. To determine the installed cost for a TV antenna you need to know which antenna is going to best suit the location, what mount is required to affix the antenna and what other items may be required e.g. masthead amplifier, cable runs required, splitters, etc.
It is recommended that a specialist TV antenna installer visit the premises to determine the correct antenna type required, and discuss options for where and how the antenna should be installed to provide you with the most accurate quotation. As a result, we happily offer a free, onsite, no obligation quotation.
The Longer Version
To determine an accurate cost for an antenna, a technician must first decide what services are required to be received and which transmission tower is best for the particular area. For Free To Air TV services in Australia, this will then narrow the options down to either a Ultra High Frequency (UHF) or Very High Frequency (VHF) antenna. The next step is to evaluate the signal strength and quality to determine the type of antenna that is best suited for the particular location (yagi – high gain, yagi – low gain, phased array, etc). The final choice for the customer is the brand of antenna. At Install My Antenna, we use only Australian made antennas, manufactured specifically for Australian transmissions and conditions.
Once the antennas make and model has been determined, the options for affixing the antenna to the property need to be considered. One should consider where the antenna can be located so that performance is not compromised. The roof material (tile, tin or kliplok), will also limit the options. All of these will dictate the type of mound that may be used to affix the antenna. Also the height requirement of the antenna will influence the type of mount used (higher is not always better).
Once these factors have been determined, consideration must be given to the number of TV outlets in the property, longest cable length from the antenna to the outlet and type of cabling already installed (if any). This will then dictate whether an amplifier is required. Note: Amplifiers should only be installed as and where required. It is preferable for the antenna system to not have an amplifier wherever possible as signal quality has precedence over signal strength for Digital Television distribution.
From this information an accurate cost can be determined. Unless a detailed set of plans and specifications has previously been prepared by a consultant it would be unlikely that an accurate set of costings could be prepared without a visit to the property. For this reason, most established TV antenna installation companies will visit the property first and discuss the installation options prior to preparing an accurate quotation.
My Reception Gets Bad At Night, What Could This Be?
The Short Answer
For intermittent reception problems like regular loss of signal in the evenings there are a number of methods for identifying the cause. The most effective method is to monitor what devices in the home are being switched on when the interference occurs (for example, if reception goes bad each time one of the house lights is turned on). Once you have identified the item that seems to be affecting the reception contact us to seek guidance on rectifying the problem.
The Longer Version
As consumers tend to view television more at night than during the day it is more likely that we will notice reception problems during the evenings. It is always worth checking with neighbouring properties to see if they are experiencing any reception problems (Note: Pay TV services are not exposed to the same interference issues as free to view antenna channels). If neighbours are having problems as well, we ask customers to note the time of day, frequency and duration of the interference.
Where interference is limited to evenings only, possible causes can include:
• LED Lighting in the home or in an adjoining property (problem only occurs when lights are on)
• Home appliances which are only switched on during the evenings i.e. pool pumps and filters, heating units, dish washers, etc.
• Street Lighting
• Overhead power lines in the street (particularly if there is an audible “buzzing” sound from the lines)
• Garage or automatic gate openers
• Light switches (usually causes a brief interference just as lights are turn on or off)
In many of these circumstances, identifying the cause of the inference is possible by observing changes in environmental factors at the time that the interference occurs. For example if the problem occurs each time an item is switched on, then the item itself is causing the issue and is probably in need of repair or replacement. On other occasions a problem may only occur following a period of good weather, and then disappear for some time after a bit of rain fall. This is a typical symptom of a problem with the overhead power lines in the street.
A competent TV antenna specialist can assist with identifying if external interference is the cause of reception problems and they can assist you with preparing a detailed report for submission to the appropriate Government Body, if necessary, who can then investigate further.
Do Mobile Phone Towers Affect TV Reception?
The Short Answer
In 2011, mobile phone operators in Australia commenced a roll out of a new 4G spectrum, called Long Term Evolution (LTE). Properties located close to a mobile phone antenna may experience issues with their television reception when their local mobile phone tower upgrades its antennas for the new LTE services. Install My Antenna have a number of solutions available to rectify this problem, however, a test of your system should be performed prior to determining the best value for money solution for your property.
The Longer Version
When analogue television services ceased transmission a large section of the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum became available. The Government has since sold the 700MHz spectrum to mobile phone operators, who now use the spectrum to allow their customers to make phone calls and download data on their mobile devices.
As these new transmissions occur within the operational range of most pre-2015 television amplifiers, antennae and receivers, there is a risk that consumers will experience a loss of television service. Consumers are more likely to experience reception difficulties if one or more of the following factors apply:
• The property has a UHF antenna, as opposed to a VHF type, for television reception
• The television signal power and quality levels received are at the lower limits of the operational standards
• The antenna is directed towards a mobile phone antenna
• The existing TV antenna is an older type or in poor condition
• The TV system has a masthead or distribution amplifier
• The property is located in close proximity (with a few kilometres) of a mobile phone antenna
A number of options are available to remedy any interference caused by mobile phone antennas. These include:
• Installing a suitable filter, at the appropriate location in the antenna system
• Replacing the antenna and/or amplifier with a model which has an integrated LTE Filter
• Remove any amplifiers which are not essential and may be amplifying the interference
• Relocate the antenna to a position where it is less prone to picking up the interference
A qualified TV Antenna specialist will have the necessary test equipment to identify mobile signal interference and will therefore be able to determine the most appropriate measures required to rectify the problem.
Most new antennae and amplifiers have integrated Mobile (LTE) filtering to reduce the risk of exposure to LTE interference. In some extreme cases it may be necessary to incorporate additional filtering in to a system, or more granular filtering, particularly where a property is located very close to a mobile phone antenna.
As the mobile phone operators are still in the process of rolling out this new technology, it is possible that properties may experience a sudden loss of TV reception on all channels. Should this occur contact us to test the TV system fully to ensure the cause of the signal loss is accurately identified and the appropriate remedial works are performed.
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