MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World

Digital Television in Australia

Posted on 2009-06-23 22:00:00
Tags: TV, Happiness, Mass Media

When I moved from thet Netherlands to Australia I lost access to television.

Not because there isn't television here, but more because there is either much television (horizontal programming with reruns of old series) or not enough diversion on television (three commercial channels fighting for your eyeballs with reruns of old series, plus two non-for-profit and one community station).

The worst part is the delivery of the signal: Everybody here still has their own antenna on the roof or, even worse, inside their house. Were you used to receiving a crystal clear scala of stations via a municipal coaxial cable in your house, here you get (if you are lucky) six channels with varying quality. And nobody to complain at when it looks crappy (signal delivery wise). Oh boy, this was going back to the middle ages.

For a couple of years I haven't really worried about it. The only channels I am interested in are ABC (Doctor Who, The Chaser etc) and SBS (Top Gear, Mythbusters, any foreign spoken movie) and most of the time I managed to get a (relative) clear picture for them. The other channels had weeks in which one or more were undecodable for the human eye.

So what has changed? First, extra channels for the ABC and SBS, but only on the digital channels. And to tease us, they are showing Torchwood and the Tour de France on it. Now I'm not really easily blackmailed into something, but a combination of the Tour de France for me and Captain Jack for Naomi, that is something very hard to refuse.

So... We got a set-top-box and had a !@#*)!*#@) hell of a time to get it synced. For a long time we had nothing until I once by chance had a signal good enough to receive some ABC channels. And I was happy, because it also showed that there was an button on the remote control (but only once it had found a channel) which says how good the signal strength and signal quality are. Oh boy, finally something to work with. But it didn't find anything besides the three ABC channels. And now and then when I did a rescan it also lost the ABC channels... Even spending 70 dollars on a new antenna, with an amplifier, didn't work. Very frustrating!

It wasn't until this week that I understood that what I was doing was wrong: While the ABC showed up on channel 21, 22 and 23, that actually were logical channels on carrier channel 12. Once that principle was clear, I suddenly knew where to find other channels and one by one they popped up: SBS, Digital 44 and Channel 9. So far I haven't found Channel 7 or 10, but it will be just a matter of time. Maybe. So that Naomi can watch Jeff Goldblaum on L&O:CI and Dirkie can watch Funniest Home Videos.

So which channels do we have now? ABC (1, 2 and 3), SBS (1, 2, 3 and 4), NITV, D44 (including random news and the Federal parliament), Nine (crappy signal). Good enough for now :-)

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