Digital TV Info

What is digital TV and how does it differ from analog TV ?
What equipment is required to view digital TV?
What is a “Digital TV Antenna”, do I need one?
What is a “HD” or “HDTV” antenna?
Which digital TV antenna is the best for my area?
Can my antenna be relocated or hidden?
What are options for improving reception in country areas of Perth?
What are options for Foxtel reception in extra rooms?
Can you give me a 10 year warranty?

Digital TV has been around since 2001. Bringing benefits such as perfect picture quality even with average signal levels, high definition streaming, 5.1 surround sound support and program guide, it’s a step up from the TV reception of days gone by – these benefits were simply not achievable with analog TV streams.

The Year 2013 introduced the end of an era for analog TV for Perth; as of April 16 all analog transmissions in the Perth area were switched off. Analog TVs without the aid of a set top box were not able to display TV Channels anymore, leaving viewers with the choice of using their existing analog TV with a set top box, or using a newer Digital TV.

At Antenna Direct, we’ve found that a lot of people have questions regarding this change. Here, we seek to offer a little clarity. From information on digital TV antenna installation costs, through to advice regarding equipment needed to receive a digital signal, we’re here to help the people of Perth.

How is Digital TV Different to Analog?

In an analog transmission stream, the video is transmitted directly in the stream and is subject to degradation due to interference and noise, which even small amounts are visible in the picture quality. As the signal quality lowers due to noise and interference, the picture quality reflects this with reduced clarity, lines and “snow”. The picture however does not pause and is constantly visible and audio is still heard even with low signal levels.

In a digital transmission stream, packets of data are transmitted which contain information that is decoded by the TV and produced into a picture. The digital stream contains bits of data that compose the picture we see, as well as error correction bits, which help maintain the integrity of the stream when the signal quality is reduced due to noise and interference.

Digital TV decoders contain advanced error correction algorithms, which are able to reconstruct degraded streams in order to maintain perfect picture quality even at low signal levels, a feat that is impossible with analog TV. As a result, a digital TV picture remains crystal clear as the signal quality decreases, however when the signal quality drops beyond the point of the error corrector’s ability to reconstruct the stream, the picture quality will begin to glitch, pause or drop out totally to a black screen.

Digital TV picture quality often remains perfect with lower signals until the point of failure is reached.

Example :

Digital TV Info

The above image shows how digital TV picture will react to varying signal quality, while your picture may be perfect most of the time even with borderline acceptable signal level, any slight decrease in signal can cause freeze ups or glitching while watching your favourite programs. For this reason, it’s best practice to ensure the antenna, cabling and all related equipment is in good condition and up to date to maximise signal quality, giving a decent margin to the failure point, for reliable TV reception.

We can now see that with today’s large flat panel displays, digital TV is favourable as it gives perfect picture quality even in lower signal areas so that the majority of suburbs can experience a perfect picture given the signal is at an acceptable level.

Combined with HD Support, Program Guide and Surround Sound, Digital TV makes the most of Todays technology and Home theatre equipment.

What sort of TV or Equipment do I require to view digital TV?

Where an old analog TV is used, a digital set top box is required in order to receive digital signals and display them on an analog TV. This is a relatively cheap solution and allows you to keep your old TV.

New TVs that have digital tuners do not require a set top box, and can receive digital signals directly. Upgrading an analog TV to a new digital TV removes the requirement for a digital set top box.

Depending on signal level and quality achieved, a Digital Antenna may be required.

What is a “Digital TV Antenna” Do I need One?

Digital channels occupy a different bandwidth than the analog channels did. Digital TV antennas have elements that are tuned specifically to the frequency band currently occupied by digital channels and as a result, can produce better signal quality than previous designs. Many older antennas may not even cover the entire frequency range required for digital channels, resulting in poor signal quality.

Older antennas may also be heavily corroded and damaged. This will affect signal quality, increasing the chance of picture freeze ups and glitching.

Poor TV Reception is not always a fault of the antenna alone, as there may be underlying problems such as faulty cabling,

location of the antenna, Alignment, TV tuner, amps and connections which require being properly diagnosed.

Digital TV antenna prices vary depending on the quality required. Problem areas may need a higher gain antenna, and this usually means that the TV antenna installation cost will be a little higher.

What is a “HD” or “HDTV” Antenna

There is no such thing, it’s a marketing term. All digital TV antennas can receive HD channels.

Which Antenna is the Best for my Area

For most suburbs around the Perth metro area, the best-suited antenna is the Log Periodic Type, which features a compact design for a nice appearance and good performer. Certain suburbs, however, may be problematic and will benefit from a higher gain antenna.


Log Type Antenna

We carry many different brands and designs to suit different areas from Metro to Country. In problematic areas, there is no one size fits all solution as every area is different, the best performing antenna is chosen for the specific site.

Can my Antenna be relocated or Hidden?

For various reasons, mainly visual, you may want your antenna relocated. This is possible however depending on your area a relocation to a lower point on the roof may yield lower signal level compared to a higher point, this all depends on the individual location. For tile roofs, modern compact antennas are available that can be installed discretely inside the roof space for a low visual impact and to minimise any weather damage. In-roof mounted models will not work under tin roofs.

Again, the digital antenna installation cost will vary depending on the model you choose.

We carry a wide range of high gain antennas and amplifiers suited for country areas to maximise the signal strength. With a proper site analysis and combination of equipment acceptable signal can be achieved in problematic areas.

In areas where an antenna system is not able to provide acceptable reception, satellite TV can be installed to receive all the regular channels (7 / 9 / 10 / ABC / SBS) from the recently established VAST network. Utilising a small satellite dish and set top box, quality TV reception is guaranteed in every remote country suburb and town.

What are Options for Foxtel Reception in Extra Rooms?

There are various options for viewing Foxtel in extra rooms:

– 1. Extra Foxtel Outlet – An Extra Foxtel wallpoint is installed, allowing an extra Foxtel box to be plugged in providing all features of Foxtel and IQ Functions.

– 2. HDMI Outlet – An HDMI Outlet is installed in the room of choice, allowing the currently viewed Foxtel channel on the box to be available in another room with most modern TV’s that have HDMI connections.

– 3. Modulation – Digital or Analog modulator is installed, injecting a signal into the TV Antenna System. Every room in the house that has a TV outlet automatically receives an extra channel that has the current Foxtel program being viewed.

Can you give me 10 Year Warranty on my Antenna?

There is currently a popular trend of years or even longer warranties with antenna installations, often coupled with an overt and captivating sales pitch in order to give an “edge” over competing business.

– No antenna manufacturer or wholesaler in Australia offers a warranty policy of 10 years on their products, therefore this sort of warranty cannot be passed down to the customer.  As a premium provider, we do not support or engage in deceptive and unethical ways of obtaining business.

We look after our customers by offering a decent, yet sensible warranty period. All parts and labour are covered by a 3 year warranty. We carry a high-quality range of antennas which are designed to last a long period of time and only use the best work practices to ensure a reliable installation over the years.  The reliability of our products have been proven with many installations from as early as 1994 still in service.

Would you like to know more about digital TV antennas and installation prices in Perth? Please contact us today – we can provide you with an obligation free quote.