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Some Common Questions

Mr. Antenna is Australia's largest and only true national Television Antenna Installation Company.

Mr Antenna provides more reception solutions to Australians than any other company, having supplied over 600,000 new antennas since 1991. Mr. Antenna offers a wide range of solutions, including simple system servicing, installation of new UHF/VHF and Digital antennas including installation of the latest Digital Set Top Boxes (STBs), and structured cabling systems.

Mr Antenna has branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide. It covers the major regions of NSW Central Coast, QLD Gold Coast, and the Mornington Peninsula (VIC).

Customers can contact Mr Antenna via its Client Care Team 7 days a week, from 8 am to 6pm Monday to Friday, from 8am to 4pm Saturdays. 13 11 49.

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The three most common reception problems are: -

  1. Pixelation
  2. Snowy pictures
  3. Picture patterning
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Poor TV reception no matter how hard you try?

There are a number of factors that effect your reception. In simple terms they are: -

  1. Distance and “line of sight” from main transmitting towers.

The quality of reception received is directly related to the physical distance between your location and the transmission towers of your local TV station. Good reception should be expected up to say 50km (??) from your nearest transmission tower, though this is not the sole criteria.

Also important is whether there is a relatively clear line of sight (i.e. no major physical obstacles such as mountains or tall buildings) between your location and the transmission towers.
Generally speaking, the closer you are to a transmission tower and the clearer your “line of sight”, the better your chances in receiving good TV reception.

  1. Physical environment

Should your line of sight be impeded by physical obstructions, then this may effect the quality of TV reception you receive. Do you live in a valley surrounded by high mountain ranges? Are you surrounded by a number of tall buildings? Tall Trees? You could be living in what is known as a reception “black spot”. Indeed, any number of factors could be preventing you from receiving the best possible TV reception.

If you are experiencing reception problems we suggest a site inspection and antenna system check from a trained Mr. Antenna technician. They are best equipped to advise what problems you may be having – and how to fix them!

  1. Condition, Age or Type of existing antenna.

There are approximately 7 million households in Australia, yet only 600,000 antennas are estimated to be sold in Australia every year. Looked at another way, a householder may only ever consider servicing or upgrading their antenna system once every 10 to 12 years, with the average age of antennas probably somewhere around 5 years.

A lot can happen in that time, from a gradual deterioration of the antenna and cabling itself, changes to the local environment, or even changes in network transmissions (such as the migration to Digital Television from 2010).

Antennas older than around 4 or 5 years may not digital compatible therefore they will need to be upgraded in order to pick up full digital

  1. Changes to your TV /Home entertainment set up.

Changes to your TV /Home entertainment set up.

This is quite common (especially if there is a DIY/Handyman in the house!). Not many people realise that this has a direct effect on the quality of TV reception they receive.

Consider this. Have you recently;

  • Added additional TV points (and even more Televisions off the single antenna!),
  • Extended the distance between your TV reception point(s) and your antenna
  • Changed the physical location of your external TV antenna
  • Manually (or inadvertently) adjusted the direction of your external antenna
  • Upgraded your Home Entertainment System (particularly to Digital TV!) All of these factors may have a bearing on the quality of reception received.
  • Condition of your TV!
    This sounds obvious, but often isn't. Despite advances in television manufacturing technology, the age of your television may be a contributing factor to TV quality.
  • Network transmissions (esp. Digital)
    Generally speaking the transmission quality from the major networks is unquestioned. Much has been written recently regarding the increase in general interference (in certain areas) to existing TV reception caused by test Digital transmissions by the major networks. Much of this testing has now been completed. The Federation of Commercial Television Stations (FACTS) is able to update customers on the current status of such transmissions. Their contact details are facts@facts.org.au , Mail: 44 Avenue Road Mosman NSW 2088, Telephone: 02 9960 2622 or Facsimile: 02 9969 3520.
  • Local interference
    Finally, poor TV reception could also be caused by local (and sporadic) interference such as the usage of electric devices, machinery and so on.
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Mr. Antenna has branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and covers the major regions of Wollongong, NSW Central Coast, QLD Gold Coast and the Mornington Peninsula (VIC). These areas are constantly expanding.

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As each location and set up varies, then so does the cost to provide better TV reception. To obtain an estimate please call the Mr. Antenna National Call Centre on 13 11 49. Mr. Antenna offers reception solutions from only $99, subject to service requested, measured signal strength and location site inspection.

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All Mr. Antenna's technicians labour and equipment is covered by a one year warranty.

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If you are having reception problems, contact us to arrange a visit from one of our technicians. He will be happy to provide a free quote to fix your problem.

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Digital television is a replacement technology for existing free-to-air (FTA) analogue services. It will provide better picture quality and reception, plus a variety of new features that will greatly enhance the viewing experience.

Australia has chosen the European DVB standard as the Digital Terrestrial TV or DTTV standard. DVB is proving to be a very high quality system and is being used in many countries around the world. In Australia it will replace the analogue PAL system.
Digital television commenced on 1 January 2001 and most Australians will be migrated to digital by 2010. All the major Australian networks are transmitting in Digital.

Getting “Digital” is as easy as having Mr. Antenna supply and install a new Digital Set Top Box to your existing television set.

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Metropolitan areas: Digital transmissions became available in Australia's five major capital cities ¬ Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth - from Jan 1, 2001 (and from main transmitters only). Non-Metropolitan/Regional: Outside of the major metropolitan areas, regional broadcasters must begin digital transmissions by no later than 1 January 2004. Digital broadcasting in some regional centres will start in mid-2001, and others later. A timetable for the commencement of digital broadcasting in remote parts of Australia has not yet been settled. Most Australians will be migrated to Digital by 2010.

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What is a "Digital Ready" antenna system?

To receive crisp, clear digital reception. the viewer's reception
equipment and antenna and supporting antenna system should be in reasonable condition, preferably “Digital Ready”.

A Digital Ready antenna system is :-

  1. Where the antenna is designed to receive VHF Ch 2 to 12 & UHF 28-48;
  2. Is supported by a cable system with high immunity to electrical interference i.e. Tri or Quad shield RG6 cabling, and has F-Type connector interface from the antenna throughout the system to the wall plate
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Audio (as well as video signals in DTTV are digital and thus can be used to attain the same quality as that of CD's and is clearly superior to analogue.

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Yes. Australian television has traditionally been broadcast with FM stereo sound. Digital television will be transmitted with MPEG digital stereo sound and/or Dolby™ Digital Sound (6 channels), thereby providing markedly superior audio services.

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The definition (detail and quality) of pictures received by your TV is directly related to the type of TV being viewed, and the quality of the TV antenna and cabling system that is connected to it. Most existing television equipment (including common analogue TV sets) already receive what is known as Standard Definition pictures i.e. 525 lines of picture resolution over your (near square) 4:3 ratio TV screen. SD Digital transmissions (which are now being broadcast in all areas transmitting in digital) help overcome most traditional reception problems (such as ghosting) when decoded to your TV via the Digital Set Top Box.

The other key benefits of SD Digital (such as DVD/Cinema quality pictures & CD sound) are now a reality for the most basic of TV hardware set ups, together with widescreen viewing on television sets with a 16:9 TV screen format (i.e. Widescreen TVs). Compared to Standard Definition Television, a HD TV image (a feature only available via a significantly more expensive HD Television receiver) has twice the luminance definition - vertically and horizontally. HD pictures are composed of between 1080 to 1125 lines of resolution whereas standard television pictures are only 525 lines as noted above i.e. even more detail and clarity - but at a price!

Within two years of the commencement of digital broadcasting in an area, and in addition to their analogue and Standard Definition transmissions, commercial television broadcasters and the ABC and SBS will be required to provide at least 20 hours per week of programs shot in HD.
Other than for real home entertainment buffs however, there is no real need to wait for HDTV, with the Federal Government requiring broadcasters to provide a digital SD signal at all times, even when HD (High Definition) programs are being broadcast. This is to ensure that viewers will always be able to receive a digital transmission whether on a SDTV or HDTV TV receiver.

Again, the HD integrated television receiver (HDTV) or the HD set top box (HD-STB) is expected to cost significantly more than SD integrated television receivers (SDTV) or the SD set top box (SD-STB).
In effect, the Government is setting a very high performance benchmark for the TV broadcasters via their HDTV transmission guidelines. It's the best of both worlds. Those with more expensive tastes (and deeper pockets) will be able to enjoy full home entertainment viewing, whilst the average TV viewer will also enjoy the best that Digital TV has to offer on their existing TV systems.

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Not too long ago, viewers watching sports were at the mercy of the director and cameramen. The extra bandwidth or space in each TV channel created by DTTV has meant that directors can now fix camera angles and invite the viewer to choose the particular preferred angle. This is, of course is dependent on the TV station. Programs like these have been telecast by the commercial networks. ABC and SBS, on the other hand, have utilised the extra bandwidth to telecast additional programs simultaneously (i.e. multi-channelling).

Multi-view lets you take the director's chair and select from a variety of camera angles. Multi-view is particularly suited to sporting events like cricket, tennis and motor racing. On channels adjacent to the main program the viewer can select, via remote control, several different full screen views of the same event or related information.

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Viewers of digital television will have a wide choice of ‘enhancements' to regular programming. Enhancements are separate channels of video, data or audio, which are related to the program on the primary channel.

Sporting events will offer the choice of different camera angles, action replays, player profiles or other information. Across a range of programming, digital viewers will have a choice to select more information related to the regular program – product information, recipes, news background and much more.

In addition, if a sports event overlaps with the news, digital viewers may be offered the opportunity to watch the regularly scheduled news bulletin or the completion of the event on a separate channel.

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Closed captioning provides deaf and hearing-impaired viewers with the text of what is being spoken on television. The text is usually shown in a black box at the bottom of the picture.

Hearing-impaired viewers will be familiar with current analogue captioning which can be received on analogue receivers with teletext capability. Captioning is normally ‘closed' to viewers but can be accessed by those who need it.

Closed captioning of programming for hearing impaired viewers will be done for all English language news and current affairs programs as well as for all prime time programs (6.00pm to 10.30pm).

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An EPG is the electronic version of a printed program guide. Using your remote control you will be able to see on-screen “what's on now” and “what's on next” for all free-to-air services. Some networks are also working towards Extended EPG that would allow program searches 7 days in advance, or more. The quality and accuracy of EPG is driven directly by the individual networks.

You can also search for a particular program by theme or category, eg sporting programs, movies etc. Extra text and picture information (eg story line, episode description etc) can be called up as well.
The EPG is updated directly by the networks and available at the click of a remote control button. EPG services are being implemented across all free-to-air television channels.

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iTV allows the viewer to receive more information from a television broadcast than analogue can provide. iTV can be one-way or two-way.

One-way iTV delivers information to your receiver that is additional to the main program and allows you the option to view it or not. The viewer is able to view travel deals, concert dates etc. Full, two-way iTV enables the viewer to send information back to the broadcaster via a back-channel. The viewer will be able to vote in a poll, reserve concert tickets, etc. Both one-way and two way iTV can be added to television commercials as well as programs. A special icon will appear on the screen to notify the viewer iTV is available.

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No. Digital television is not inherently prone to causing interference. But the planning of channel allocations for digital television has entailed the occupation by digital television broadcasts of some channels formerly used for other purposes, eg, as output channels for VCRs.
Advice is available from Mr Antenna of the alternative arrangements that can be made by those users.

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Where broadcast, it is believed up to 95% of people should be able to receive Digital. In extreme problem reception areas satellite reception of Free To Air transmissions via what is know as “Remote Area Broadcasting” may take this percentage even higher. There are potentially some reception “black-spots” in each market, and Mr Antenna can advise if your location is effected.

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A set-top box for digital television receives and decodes digital transmissions into a form suitable for display on analogue television sets or other display devices, e.g. computer monitors or projection screens.

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The capability of a set-top box will depend upon its specifications. A set-top box, when connected to an analogue television set, will usually give viewers an improved signal, SDTV-equivalent picture quality and select on screen enhancements. Set-top boxes can provide a picture output to either analogue or digital screen displays.

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No. You will require a second STB for each TV outlet, unless you opt for the installation of a video-playback system, which effectively sends the signal from the STB to all other TV's connected within the house. The limitation here is that each TV is “locked into” the channel selected on the main STB at any one point in time.

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The installation of the STB would take approximately 45 minutes to one hour. It includes a complete antenna systems check (required because the set up and quality of individual TV systems is different), the installation of the STB, a full network scan and TV/Video retune.

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At the time of installation the Mr Antenna technician will provide you with a necessary antenna system assessment to verify the integrity of your current antenna, cabling and connections. Unless your antenna system is of a reasonable standard and capable of fully receiving digital signals then you may not be getting the best out of your STB investment. This is why there is a need for an on-site inspection.

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The channels being allocated to digital television in the capital cities are mainly adjacent to existing analogue channels. If your existing antenna is in reasonable condition, is presently providing good all-channel reception, is capable of receiving VHF channels 6 to 12, then it would most likely provide an acceptable signal reception point for the new digital television services in most capital city areas.

Outside capital cities, digital channel allocations are expected to be within the same UHF band, so reception should generally be possible using existing UHF antennas. Viewers in areas of poor analogue reception may need specialist advice about antenna requirements for digital reception in their area.

Having said this however, the average age of antenna systems is estimated at over five years old. It is therefore quite possible that you may need to upgrade. Cabling with poor shielding for example may “pixilate” the Digital picture should there be significant local electrical interference (e.g. power lines, when using electric drill, hairdryers, etc).

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In many cases Yes. And if no additional external cabling or antenna system re-working is required then you will not even require Body Corporate approval.

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Yes. The opportunity to vastly improve analogue pictures in a commercial environment does not vary significantly from what is experienced in a domestic setting.

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Yes, Mr Antenna technicians can certainly assist in the installation of your new TV and Home Entertainment system. Customers are advised to call 13 11 49 to arrange for a free quotation.

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Yes. During and after the simulcast period, you will be able to record the digital channel on view, provided that your set-top box or digital television has an analogue output – and VCRs will also continue to play back pre-recorded tapes. Many will find the picture quality of recorded digital programs is better than that of analogue programs.

However, VCRs will not be able to record a separate digital broadcast from that being viewed, although during the simulcast period they will be able to record any analogue program while a different digital program is being viewed. Current VHS video recorders will still only record and playback VHS-quality pictures. In some cases, the RF channel output to the VCR may be the same as that used by a digital channel in the area, the RF output on your VCR may need adjustment to avoid clashing with the locally broadcast service.

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The DTTV STB and the PAY TV STB is not the same thing. The Mr Antenna technician will be able to interconnect your DTTV and Pay STBs when on site.

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Maximise Reception Quality.
Call Mr Antenna On 13 11 49