A common offer and request during an antenna installation is an Australian made TV Antenna, coupled with a 10 year warranty and a confident guarantee and expectation of perfect reception. Like the tooth fairy, this does not exist.
During the infancy of the TV Antenna industry in Perth during the 1960’s and 70’s, there were only a few leading brands producing Australian made TV antennas, from home grown companies operating, engineering and manufacturing wholely within Australia. It is not uncommon to see some Aussie TV antennas that are still giving perfect reception after 40 years in service. Hills was one of the most prominent companies, with most of the market share, anything else was not desired.
During the 2013 digital TV switchover and consequential boom in demand for digital TV antenna installs, a wide array of new antennas came onto the market all from different origins, however many which were advertised as Australian made. The question that has to be asked is what constitutes the right to call a product Australian made. By the book, any product that is significantly modified in Australia may be called Australian made. Often the case is cheap Chinese made TV antennas, with finishing touches added in Australia that have infiltrated the market without any suspicion to the customer.
This first example is of a TV Antenna claimed to be manufactured in Australia. The manufacturer often had little or no contact details or web presence, the only leed was a photo of TV antennas being stockpiled or put together in a backyard shed. While this is a very commonly used antenna and has proven to be reliable and acceptable value for money for most customers, we often see defects as soon as 18 months with these. We had been advised they were silicon sprayed, however close inspection revealed no traces of silicon being used. This antenna has been often revised throughout the years with positive improvements.
The second example is a similar looking antenna with thin arms in a smaller form factor again being claimed to be Australian made. No information has been provided to verify the authenticity of the product. While this TV antenna has various anti corrosion protective layers, a robust weather cap fastened with a screw, we had found that they caused random picture break up during windy weather, which were often hard to diagnose for the customer due to the intermittent nature of the fault condition. This caused costly callout fees and further costs to the customer for diagnosis of what was once a cheap antenna installation job to begin with.
While globalisation and free trade can be a great thing, it allows a space for dodgy operators to grow within a specialised trade and industry that most professional antenna technicians simply do not want to be a part of.
TV antennas manufactured with a low cost as a requirement, with little local enterprise or engineering input and R&D leads to a product that while may be true to its specifications, is inferior in the quality an Australian would expect. This sort of product can never be coupled with long warranty periods that bear no relationship to it’s reliability, therefore a $150 Australian made, Australian quality antenna job, like the tooth fairy, is a myth.
We ask all clients and non clients to research the reputation behind the people offering the product and service and make an educated decision that can save them money in the long run.