Technical Items of Interest & Definitions:


Consumers who wish to verify the predicted digital TV coverage at your location should visit mySwitch. Whilst the resulting predictions are purely estimations of signal coverage the results provided are not the result of actual field site tests conducted by antenna installers or Broadcaster Engineers. The predictions of terrestrial digital TV coverage are currently classified as being Good, Variable, No Coverage or Fortuitous Reception.

Whilst some reception issues can be rectified by Do It Yourself (DIY) methods - an experienced TV antenna installer is your best option. Constant Digital TV viewing is very reliant upon ensuring that signals are not affected by internal or external R.F.I. that corrupts the transmitted digital data. Therefore it is essential that an experienced TV antenna installer be equipped with a modern digital field strength analyzer that is able to provide vital measurements

Pixelation (picture & sound breakup) can be caused by damaged fly leads (the cable between the wall-outlet and the antenna input socket), faulty wall outlets, poor TV antenna installation technique, inferior or incorrect selection of a TV antenna, incorrect antenna positioning (commonly too high), over amplification, the erratic existence of impulsive noise (also known as emission noise from power line transmission assets), light switches, direct current (DC) powered LED ceiling lights, Solar power String or Micro Inverters that may be faulty or un-filtered, plus other R.F.I. issues.


Digital TV reception is highly reliant upon a quality installation, and can be affected by complex R.F.I. issues that necessitate the detection, rectification and or management by an experienced TV antenna installer.

Antenna and Coaxial Cable Installation:

Installation of a TV antenna inside a roof cavity that has foil insulation below the cement tiles or metal roofing material; will result in a total failure. A TV antenna installed inside the roof cavity covered by cement tiles only - may produce reasonable reception if you are close to a TV transmitter.

However TV antennas located in ceiling cavities may cause problems for installers when aligning the antenna for best performance. Antennas installed in ceiling cavities create hazards for electricians, plumbers, communication, and heating-cooling trade-persons.

Installing a TV antenna upon a chimney structure may be very convenient – but it is a practice I do not support due to -: • Chimneys tend to compel the installer to use an unsuitable reception site for the antenna, • If the chimney is utilized for a wood-fired system the TV antenna components are damaged by heat and oxidization, • A TV antenna’s wind-loading factor must be considered as smaller sized chimneys may become structurally unstable.

For optimum reception I recommend the use of RG6Quad coaxial cable, and that all cables are terminated with "F" connectors. The distribution point for all cables in a ceiling cavity should be located near the manhole site. This will provide a safe and speedy access to the distribution point without the need to completely enter the ceiling cavity; should there be future reception problems.

Aust. Telco (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, NBN) Tower Sites:

Oz Towers has an excellent site that is frequently maintained, and is a must have tool for all installers. TV antenna installers should be aware of the existence of Telco towers prior to arriving at a client’s property. Being able to estimate the likely interference levels of 4 or 5G transmissions that may overload masthead amplifiers is important.

Digital TV Antennas:

There are basically two types of digital compliant TV antennas (VHF & UHF) utilized in Australia. The VHF antenna is engineered for Block A - channels 6 to Ch 12 (centre frequencies 177.50 to 226.50MHz).

UHF antennas provide for channels 28 to Ch 51 (with centre frequencies 529.50 to 694.50MHz). The UHF band is divided into four Blocks, titled as B, C, D, and E providing six channels (five active channels & one spare).

Satellite Transmissions:

The Federal Government provides V.A.S.T. (Viewer Access Satellite Transmission) for householders who are unable to receive adequate terrestrial digital services from existing terrestrial transmitters. Viewers who believe they qualify for V.A.S.T. and wish to self-install the V.A.S.T. system should submit an application prior to purchasing equipment. There are no monthly fees for V.A.S.T.


To apply click MySwitch then follow the prompts until you gain the application document. Be sure to correctly enter the required information and be aware that your application may be referred to the Commercial Broadcasters in your area for a Reception Certificate. Approval may take a minimum of 15 business days to be processed.

Terrestrial TV Transmissions:

Australia’s Analogue switch-off was accomplished on the 10th Dec. 2013. If you wish to inquire about digital TV transmitters that serve your locality click MySwitch then enter your full street/road address (not a Post Box number) in the address line. The MySwitch site provides a prediction of terrestrial Digital TV coverage, is produced by the local Commercial Broadcasters, and is approximately 80 to 90% accurate.

Selection of a TV Antenna:

If you are intending to purchase and install a TV antenna yourself, and the antenna is to be installed in a variable coverage area please be aware that the antenna supplied may not be suitable or even digital compliant. If you decide to engage an experience TV antenna installer - they may refuse to utilize or trade-in your purchase. The key reason for my advice is that some staff members of retail outlets are not aware of the suitable TV antenna choice for your area.

The below examples of TV antennas best describe the old style analogue type, plus two current digital compliant styles. The older combination antenna is not digital compliant, but (if located in a metropolitan area) it may provide adequate digital TV reception until corrosion begins to degrade its performance, plus ultraviolet rays weaken the plastic element mounts to become brittle and break off or the elements are damaged by various birds using the antenna as a roost.

Experienced TV antenna installers may need to utilize various forms of digital TV antennas due to the particular terrain conditions. As such - an appropriate antenna may be vital to gain excellent MER levels for all channels. By now it should be obvious to consumers that Digital TV reception is highly reliant upon a quality installation.

Analogue Combination Antenna

Analogue Combination Antenna
VHF-UHF (Now Obsolete)

 vhf antenna

Digital VHF Band 3 Antenna

 uhf antenna

UHF Antenna - Yogi Style
(CH.28 - 35 or Ch.35 - 50)

Types of Digital Television Receivers:

There are basically four technical versions of Digital television receivers -: 1. Plasma - Picture is viewed by an electrical current passing through plasma (charged gas) that is between two glass panels. 2. LCD - Liquid Crystal-Display, 3. LED - Light Emitting Diode, 4. OLED - Organic Light Emitting Diode.

Plasma: • Initially manufactured in 1964, released to the public in 1997 replacing the bulky and sometimes extremely heavy Cathode Ray Tube TV. Manufacturing of the Plasma TV ceased production in 2014.

LCD & LED: The first LCD TV was manufactured in 1968 and the LED in 1977. Both the LCD & LED receivers are basically identical except for the technicalities involved with the illumination of the picture screen.

OLED: • The OLED TV was initially manufactured in 1987. Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current.


As a result of major developments involving surface-mount-technology many electrical products have evolved whereby the miniature components of a television set e.g. the OLED version has resulted in a very thin television screen that provides a picture quality that is incredibly life-like.

I believe that the OLED version is extremely cost-effective when considering power consumption factors. When purchasing your next TV the OLED version requires careful consideration due to the host of available features. Consideration for pre-cabling of telecommunications (Cat 6 cable) may also be necessary.

Unfortunately one of the major draw-backs of frequent technical advancement involving television products is the difficulties of locating of a TV appliance repair person/business when the product’s warranty period has expired. It is then a case of gaining a quotation for repair (if possible) or purchasing a new product.