How to improve your television
In Australia Television stations operate in either the
Very High Frequency (VHF) or Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands.
VHF channels are numbered 0 to 11 and UHF channels 28
UHF is widely used throughout regional Australia by
the ABC, SBS and many commercial stations. Most new TV services transmit
on UHF because the VHF band, which shared with FM radio, has become
How to tune your television
Push button tuning
How to install your antenna
Choosing the right antenna
Mounts or Masts
Positioning your antenna
Master antenna system
How to tune
Each television set is a little different and you
should follow your set’s instruction manual when retuning; however, you
might find this a useful guide.
If your TV set has ‘automatic’ or ‘digital push button’ tuning,
then just push the appropriate button and your pre-set channel UHF and VHF
will appear. When activated, the automatic tuning device will search for
and memorize TV channels as they are located and display the number
automatically selected for that channel.
If your TV set has a ‘rotary tuner’, then retuning is simply a matter
of carrying out the following steps:
- Switch off the AFT (automatic fine tuning).
- For VHF - select the desired channel on the ‘main
dial’ and adjust the fine tuning ring until the picture appears at
- For UHF - select ‘U’ on the ‘main dial’,
then turn the ‘UHF channel selector’ knob to the desired channel.
- Switch on the AFT again.
If your TV set has ‘push button’ tuning:
- Switch off the AFT. Sometimes this is done
automatically when the tuning drawer (or door) is opened.
- Push the button on which you want the new channel
- Open the tuning drawer (or door) on the set. This
will reveal a series of selectors and tuning wheels. Each selector and
its adjacent tuning wheel is associated with a tuning button on the
front of the set. For example the third tuning button is connected to
the third selector switch and the third tuning wheel.
- Set the selector switch to the range of channels
required. Labeling of these channel ranges varies from brand to brand,
but is usually one of the following:
- Now, turn the corresponding tuning wheel slowly
clockwise until the channel you are seeking appears on the TV screen
or until the little pointer indicates you have reached the end of the
tuning range. If the selected channel you are seeking does not appear,
then begin turning the tuning wheel anti-clockwise until the station
is found. It generally takes about twenty turns of the tuning wheel to
cover the range of channels selected.
- When your selected channel appears on the TV
screen, adjust the tuning wheel for the best picture and sound.
- Turn on the AFT and close the tuning drawer (or
back to top
install your antenna
The following information about antennas is a guide to
their installation. We suggests that a professional installers be called.
the right antenna
Outdoor antennas are preferred to the indoor variety
whose performance can be affected by wall insulation, plumbing, electrical
wiring, roofing materials and even people moving around a room.
Choice of an outdoor antenna depends on the channels
in your area:
Very High Frequency (VHF)
- Band I antennas for channels 0 to 2
- Band II antennas for channels 3 to 5
- Band III antennas for channel 5A to 11
- Multi-channel VHF antennas for channels 0 to 11
Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
- Band IV antennas for channels 28 to 35
- Band V antennas for channels 39 to 69
- Band IV/V antennas for channels 28 to 69 (in
The UHF antenna size depends on how close you are to
the transmitter. In most areas, where you can see the transmitting
station, a yagi antenna with 8 to 10 elements or cross-pieces should be
At distances greater than 20km from the transmitter,
or in difficult terrain, a 10 to 18 element antenna will be needed. This
type of antenna, because of its length, may have to be mounted on a
In most locations, particularly where channels from
both band 4 and band 5 are used, a phased array antenna is usually
Check with a reputable antenna installer for the
correct antenna for your area.
Numerous forms of mounting brackets are available for antennas. These can
range from chimney brackets to fascia board mounts to free-standing masts
for brackets to be bolted to the wall of your house.
Separate antennas for VHF and UHF signals are
recommended. These can be mounted on the same post or mast, but always
ensure that the UHF antenna is positioned about 1 meter above the VHF
Mount the antenna on the mast in such a way that it
and the transmitter are in clear line of sight. It is usually best to
mount an antenna on the side of the house closest to the transmitter.
When installing your antenna:
- Disconnect the power supply to your television set
before starting any installation work.
- Ground your antenna mast electrically, using heavy
gauge earthing wire"6mm" and a grounded rod. This will
protect anyone who touches the antenna. It also offers your property
some protection against lightening.
- Mount the antenna clear of power lines.
- The minimum height is the width of the antenna
(above the roof line).
- Check local government regulations for mast heights
if you are installing an antenna above your roof line.
Generally you should point the antenna towards the transmitting station.
And it is important that you have the antenna pointed at the correct
signal source. For example, in some areas there is a main transmitter and
a number of translators.
Shrubs and trees, building and hills in the direct
path of your antenna may weaken the incoming signal and cause reception
problems. If you cannot see the transmitting station, experiment by
pointing the antenna in different directions-you may receive a stronger
signal reflected off one of the obstacles mentioned above.
The antenna cross-pieces will need to be either
vertical or horizontal, depending on the ‘polarisation’ of the
Use low loss coaxial feeder cable to connect the antenna to the TV set.
This type of cable is suitable for both VHF and UHF signals.
Use the shortest possible length of cable as this will
mean reduced signal loss. Prevent wind damage by attaching the cable
firmly to the outside wall. From the cable into a half-loop where it
enters the house so that rainwater will drip off. Seal the entry point.
It is very important that proper coaxial connections are used at each end
of the coaxial cable.
When connecting coaxial cable:
- Cut back the outer cover
- Cut back the center insulation
- Connect the center conductor cable to the antenna
- Ensure that the shielding braid is firmly
contacting the saddle clamp, being careful not to crush the cable by
over tightening the saddle clamp.
- Coaxial plugs and joints should be soldered or
securely fastened with screw connections.
Most antenna have a connector box where the coaxial cable is connected to
the antenna. If yours does not have such a box, then a balun is required.
This piece of equipment has a coaxial connection at one end and a ribbon
at the other.
If your antenna needs a balun, connect the ribbon end
to the antenna terminals, and the coaxial cable down lead to the coaxial
connection. Position the antenna balun so that it won’t collect
A balun will also be needed at the TV end of the cable
if the TV has only ribbon-type connections. Connect the ribbon to the
terminals on your set, and plug the coaxial into the balun.
A diplexer combines signals from VHF and UHF antennas into one output
cable which can then be connected to your TV set. Diplexers can be mounted
either near the antennas or near the TV.
You only need a diplexer when a TV set has just the
one input socket for both VHF and UHF cables. Separate input sockets mean
that a diplexer is unnecessary.
More than one TV set can be connected to your outdoor antenna. A splitter
takes an input signal from one cable and divides it between two or more
If you use a splitter you will find that signal strength is reduced and
that you may need a masthead or distribution amplifier. This equipment
boosts the signal before it is fed into the splitter and ensures that
signals of adequate strength are supplied to each connected set.
A professional antenna installer can measure the
signal strength at your home and recommend the type of equipment needed
Combined Splitter/Amplifiers are also available.
FM broadcast signals can sometimes interfere with television signals and
cause annoying patterns in the picture. The problem occurs where high
level FM signals are present at the input of a television receiver.
This can often be solved by fitting an FM rejection
filter to the receiver’s antenna input at the back of the television
set. This filter is sometimes described as an FM trap.
The filter enables receivers to reject FM sound
signals, thus preventing them from interfering with most television
signals. However, they are unable to protect Band II channels (channels
3,4 and 5) because these television signals would be filtered out along
with the unwanted FM radio signals.
Older VHF-only TV sets will need a down converter to alter the UHF signal
so that it can be used by the VHF set. Most video cassette recorders can
used as a down converter. Check the manufacturer’s specifications of
Antenna Systems "MATV"
Many hotels, apartment buildings, hospitals and office blocks provide
wall-mounted antenna sockets which are connected by cable to a master
antenna. A professional installer should do this work. Please ensure that
the cable used for such connections is high quality coaxial cable.
If it is necessary to install an FM filter to such a
system, it should be fitted between the receiving antenna and the first
amplifier in the distribution system.