Did you know that with the right receiving equipment, you can enjoy free-to-air television in Australia? In fact, the Australian government supports TV broadcasters offering this service.
If you have been suffering from poor TV reception and you’ve given up hope of ever watching an episode of Channel Seven’s “Wanted” stress-free, take a long, hard look at your situation, and see where things may have gone wrong. It’s probably your antenna.
A broken, poorly maintained and improperly installed antenna is most likely to be the reason behind your TV reception headaches. So, make sure to check your antenna system if it is still in the right condition. After all, what’s the use of having that huge digital TV in your living room when you can’t even use it without wanting to tear your hair out?
Here are four important elements that can affect your TV reception:
1. Place of residence
There are different geographical locations in Australia which range from isolated areas to coastal cities. Depending on where you live, your TV signal coverage will be stronger or weaker. If your place of residence is in an area with weak coverage, it is crucial that you get your antenna system checked to be fully optimised.
Where you live can also affect the frequencies you receive. By opting for an antenna that is suitable for receiving local frequencies, you can get a good reception of all available services.
Apart from ensuring that the antenna is pointing towards the broadcasting site, the TV receiver must also be properly tuned to receive the best reception. And unless you have the right knowledge and skills to perform this job, you must consider hiring professional digital TV antenna installers.
2. The equipment you have
A simple antenna system is everything you need to get good TV reception. And this involves an outdoor antenna, a fly-lead between your TV and the wall plate, and a coaxial cable. If you do not know anything about these pieces of equipment, you had better speak with experienced digital TV installers for advice.
Here is an overview of what comprises a simple antenna system
You have the right antenna if it receives all the possible TV signals in your area. Its performance can be affected by its size, type, design, and how it was installed. And since TV frequencies are location-specific, it should be professionally designed to receive the frequencies available in your area.
Furthermore, your antenna must meet certain criteria. First, it must be strong enough to withstand extreme weather conditions. Second, it must provide sufficient signal gain to make sure that your TV will receive strong signal levels. This way, you do not need to invest in a signal booster.
Lastly, it must show excellent front-to-back ratio and directivity as this helps minimise the reception of unwanted signals. Take note that most antennas designed or manufactured in Australia meet these criteria so avoid buying those antennas meant for global distribution. If you are unsure, check with reputable digital TV antenna experts.
Cables and Fly Leads
Quad-shield coaxial cables are highly recommended by experts. Unlike single or dual cable ones, these cables offer better protection against external interference and noise.
Due to the fact that fly leads are the weakest link in an antenna system, you should also use quad-shield fly leads. These fly lead types offer superior performance, but make sure not to bend or use long fly leads because this may also cause poor TV reception.
Custom-made fly leads are your best option instead of connecting a number of leads together.
3. Installation Process
You may think that installing your own antenna is a cheaper option than hiring professionals, but it isn’t. Aside from the dangers associated with climbing on the roof, you may also end up installing the antenna incorrectly, so you will have already wasted your effort and time, and then you will have to wait again for the installers to come and help you out anyway.
Remember that digital TV installers have the right tools, knowledge, and skills to set up your antenna system to make sure that you receive excellent TV reception. They know that outdoor antennas must be installed up to 10 metres high for rural areas and up to five metres in urban areas. Also, it should be pointed toward the broadcasting tower.
And since signal levels vary from place to another, antenna installers perform a site survey first. They will locate the best spot to position your digital TV antenna. And if there are signal obstacles like small trees and hedges, you may need to invest in hedge trimming and pruning services to get rid of them.
Expect that your antenna will perform well if it is well-maintained. But oftentimes, your antenna system doesn’t need much attention once it is professionally installed.
Here are some ways to ensure that your antenna is always in excellent working condition:
- Occasionally inspect the antenna from the ground. Make sure that it is still intact and firmly attached to the mount, especially after heavy rains or storms.
- Regularly inspect the cables and fly leads. Make sure that none of them are squashed or destroyed by your furniture.
- Ensure that everything is properly connected to the antenna system and that your equipment is tuned to the right channels.
Digital TV antennas receive optimum levels of broadcasted signals so you can view high-definition, uninterrupted videos on your television. However, this can only happen when it is properly installed and maintained.
So if you don’t have enough knowledge, skills, and tools to install or replace your antenna system, you must hire experts to do it. This may cost you a few dollars initially, but it will be well worth it in the long run — and you can finally go back to watching “Wanted” (or any of your favourite TV programmes) as you should.