TV reception issues in Mortlake | ACMA

Interference

01 August, 2016 10:59 AM

Interference

TV reception issues in Mortlake

By Editor

mortlake

If you live in Mortlake and surrounding areas, and you have been having problems with your TV reception, this Fact Sheet is for you.

Read on as we explain the issues that can affect TV reception in Mortlake and the options you have to improve your reception.

What’s the story with TV reception in Mortlake?

Most of Mortlake is within the coverage area of the Ballarat television services, which come from Lookout Hill, approximately 98 km to the northeast. Some parts of the town are also able to receive Warrnambool television services from Tower Hill, approximately 43 km to the southwest.

TV coverage in Mortlake from Ballarat is mostly good, but is still prone to some issues. Because of the long distance to the Ballarat TV tower, it’s important that households getting their signal from there have the right fringe-area antenna installation.

There are a few areas in town that can receive some weak signals from the Warrnambool TV tower—this may be able to be used as alternative to Ballarat signals if they can’t be received reliably. But don’t try to receive both Ballarat and Warrnambool as this will only make things worse!

What we found

Following feedback from viewers, we conducted an investigation into TV reception in Mortlake. We visited the township in February 2016, and found that:

  • many viewers had antennas that were not up to scratch—they were either not suitable for fringe-area TV coverage or were in poor condition
  • even though most of the town is expected to receive good TV coverage from Ballarat, the long distance to the TV tower means that households can improve their reception by using fringe-area antenna installations
  • some parts of Mortlake receive weak signals from Ballarat—households in these areas need to use fringe-area antenna installations and may still experience occasional disruptions
  • small pockets of Mortlake receive poor coverage—households in these areas should consider getting the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service
  • some parts of Mortlake that receive unreliable Ballarat signals may be able to receive Warrnambool signals.

The map at the bottom of the page shows the different TV coverage areas of Mortlake.

So, what can I do to improve my TV reception?

  • Have the right equipment 
    Households may want to consult with an antenna installer to ensure their antenna installation is suitable for fringe-area reception. A fringe-area antenna installation comprises of a single high gain UHF antenna mounted up to 10 metres above ground level. The antenna must be orientated for horizontal polarisation if pointing to Ballarat TV tower, and vertical polarisation for the Warrnambool TV tower. Any unused TV antennas, such as old VHF antennas, should be removed.
  • Get an expert opinion
    If your antenna system is not up to scratch, it’s likely to be contributing to your reception problems. Have your antenna installation inspected by an experienced technician to ensure it’s in good working order and has the best configuration for your location. Households can improve their antenna installation by placing their high gain antenna up to 10 m above ground level to improve the reliability of their TV reception. 

  • Apply for VAST
    Some households will still have trouble, even if using a fringe area installation. Usually this is because television signals are obstructed by the hilly countryside, trees or buildings, or it may be that you are just a long distance from the TV tower. If this is the case, you may want to take advantage of the VAST service.
    Launched in 2010, VAST was funded by the Australian Government to provide households without reliable terrestrial television reception with access to a range of standard and high definition digital services.
    Channels on VAST include ABC1 (Vic.), ABC 2/ABC4kids, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBSONE, SBSHD, SBS2 and NITV. Commercial digital channels are provided by Imparja Television and Southern Cross Austereo, covering programs from the Seven, Nine and Ten networks. VAST also provides dedicated news channels carrying bulletins from regional commercial television broadcasters, including Ballarat and regional Victorian bulletins. A range of ABC and SBS radio services are also available.
    While there are no subscription costs, reception of the VAST service requires the installation of satellite reception equipment and a VAST set-top box.

Where can I get more information?

The ACMA’s TV reception information hub—www.acma.gov.au/tvreception—provides information on how to resolve TV reception issues, with a focus on the importance of an optimised antenna installation for reliable TV reception. 

TV coverage areas of Mortlake

 Mortlake TV coverage areas

Key to map

Expected TV coverage 

Good coverage area from Ballarat transmitter
(green area)  

 Households in the good coverage area (green area) can experience occasional disruptions due to the long distance to the Ballarat TV tower. Reliability of TV reception can be improved by utilising a fringe-area antenna installed up to 10 metres above ground.

Marginal coverage area (weak signals) from Ballarat transmitter
(brown area)  

Households in the marginal coverage area (orange area) can experience regular disruptions due to the long distance to the Ballarat TV tower. Reliability of TV reception is expected to be significantly improved by utilising a fringe-area antenna installed up to 10 metres above ground. 

Poor coverage area from Ballarat transmitter
(red area)  

Households in the poor coverage area (red area) are unlikely to have reliable TV reception and should consider using Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST).

Areas with marginal coverage (weak signals) from Warrnambool transmitter
(blue area)  

Households in the marginal coverage area (blue area) can experience regular disruptions due to the long distance to the Warrnambool TV tower. Reliability of TV reception is expected to be significantly improved by utilising a fringe-area antenna installed up to 10 metres above ground.

More information about TV reception

General TV reception information

Accessing VAST services

  • Call the VAST administration centre on 1300 993 376 or go to www.mystattv.com.au 

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