Long distance television


It depends on the direction of winds etc… The whole phenomenon is called tropospheric ducting and there are forecast maps for chances of it here:


This is how Tassie can receive mainland TV channels when the conditions are right in summer although things are a lot harder now since digital than it used to be in the analogue days.

Different signals will also work better than others too, lower band signals like VHF will go further than the higher UHF signals and AM radio will always work better than FM radio at travelling distance. AM radio you can also get all sorts of different locations, here in Tassie I’ve had times where I’ve received NSW, Queensland, SA and even WA once or twice depending on how the signals bounce around. Victoria is usually available, I can often listen to 774 quite easily around NW Tassie with no issues.


Having had a look at the old TV schedule from 30th December 2005 that has just been posted in the “Classic TV Listings” thread, given the recent events of receiving Prime7 & Nine from Newcastle at my home near Campbelltown, I’ve been reminded of the time of when I got DTV from Newcastle for the first time, as well as getting watchable analogue TV reception of NBN (UHF-62) & SC10 (UHF-65) (as they were known back then) from Middle Brother over SC10 & Prime from Knights Hill respectively at my home, thanks to a deep fringe UHF antenna that was aimed towards Sydney to pick up SBS & TVS (which just came on-air at the time). Tropo conditions were excellent to be able to receive TV reception from Newcastle & the Mid North Coast.

This is how well I got NBN from Middle Brother that evening.

SC10, also from Middle Brother.

Prime Newcastle on analogue, which was almost local strength.

NBN Newcastle on digital, complete with signal strength reading at time of receiving.

Of course, since the shut down of analogue TV transmissions & the subsequent restack, it’s impossible to pick up the Mid North Coast TV channels in Sydney during tropo, especially given that the DTV frequencies that are being used from Middle Brother are the same as those being used by the Sydney channels from Gore Hill/Artarmon/Willoughby.


I wonder if this thread would be better named ‘out of market’ television. These days, receiving the adjacent market with digital is a good feat.


And to get anything more than that now is quite extraordinary!


Illawarra TV in Sydney is easy – I can even get them indoors with rabbit ears on the upper level at my two-storey house.


In some parts of Sydney’s eastern suburbs the Illawarra (Knights Hill) transmissions are stronger than those from Artarmon. Around Maroubra Beach is a case in point, with a large hill to the NW contrasting with a perfect maritime path to the south. The same might be true for parts of the outer west as well, particularly around Camden and south of Penrith.

Of course, when the tropo gods decide to flex their muscles, it’s all a mess due to an overdose of Sugarloaf.


This would explain why C91.3 in the Macarthur region advertised Nine programs (not sure if it currently applies for Ten programs) with a “on WIN” instead of “on Nine”, back before the Razorback & Picton translators commenced retransmission of the Sydney channels in 2013. Also, at a new housing estate in Appin, most of the houses there only have UHF antennas pointed towards Knights Hill.

Re Maroubra, it’s interesting that people in parts of the beachside suburb, with a median house price of $2 million & located only about 10km SE of the CBD, are more likely to watch Nine News Illawarra instead of Nine News Sydney at 6pm weeknights, probably to the point that they’ll watch Seven News Sydney by default, which is the only Sydney bulletin to air every night at 6pm on among the Illawarra channels.


Probably more likely explained by the fact that WIN owns C91.3


That’s true, but its licence area is entirely within the Sydney TV1 licence area, which is served by TCN (Nine) & TEN (Ten).

In any case, C91.3 still has a strong advertising/sponsorship relationship with Nine News Sydney, even after WIN had long lost the Nine affiliation.


Yep, I have one of those deep fringe UHF aerials pointed at Knights Hill and even though they are quite directional and Mount Sugarloaf is almost 180 degrees in the other direction, my signal quality can go down from 10 to 0 when there’s tropo.


I mentioned in another thread that I see commercial for Western Sydney businesses on Illawarra TV, like Car City in Minchinbury.


My memories of TV DXing go back to a time when the first sign of tropo into Brisbane was slight horizontal bars caused by co-channel intereference on the ABQ 2 picture from ABDN 2 Coffs Harbour. Tropo would also cause changes in signal strength from Nambour, Lismore and Darling Downs and sometimes Wide Bay. A couple of occasions MVQ6 also came in.

SpE of course was more interesting. TV persisted on FM frequencies for many years and ABNT 3 and GTS 4 were regular pick ups while various stations from NZ, Victoria and NSW were received on Channel 1.

Now Wide Bay at about 250km is the most common tropo signal received with Rockhampton UHF a very rare catch.


From the radio DX subject:

Again we see the problem of ACMA letting the industry take the lead with restack planning instead of being decisive to ensure it didn’t happen.


The problems are more because the ACMA decided to sell off some of the UHF spectrum to telcos.


If Sydney SW / NW / Picton / Kings Cross and Manly were included in a SFN, they could then restack Illawarra and Newcastle and eliminate cochannel interference. Having to include a spare frequency for each Channel block takes up spectrum that will probably be never used.
If they got rid of the spare on VHF they could open up more spectrum for Dab+
and restack the UHF band to eliminate cochannel.


Yes, I agree a SFN for ALL Sydney repeaters is a good idea and could solve the Newcastle-Wollongong issue. Though I’m thinking there must be a reason why there isn’t one.

If not, it would need to be Newcastle that moves to Block D, as Milton/Ulladulla repeaters are also on Block D.

I think the spare VHF channel will be used for a permanent T2 broadcast, running in parallel with the current DVB-T format which will eventually be switched off.


ACMA and it’s predecors have been aware of the cochannel issues between Newcastle and Wollongong TV since Analouge VHF. So I don’t understand why they continually cochannel each of them.

ABCN and ABCW where both assigned Channel 5a. When tropo occurred when I was living in southern Sydney, horizontal lines would appear across 5a with both channels sometimes received at the same strength. Newcastle 5a would have caused some interference in parts of the Illawarra during strong ducting.

When the Illawarra stations moved to UHF and cochanneled with Taree interference occurred but not severe.

It all came to a head when Newcastle and Wollongong tv went digital and when strong ducting occurred people in Newcastle and the Illawarra lost their local signals. With the Port Stephens and Nowra translators severely affected.
It is a pity something could not have been done as the broadcasters choose to protect the Central Coast rather then cochanneling Wollongong tv with them.


If/when the transition to DVB-T2 broadcasting happens, somehow I could imagine ACMA trying to get broadcasters to share multiplexes (I guess similar to what’s happening with DAB+ Digital Radio right now) so even more spectrum can be sold off to the telecommunications companies!

Wasn’t it Seven/Nine/Ten (moreso than regional broadcasters) who wanted the Central Coast retransmissions of the Sydney commercial channels protected from co-channeling?


Yes, that’s right re Central Coast protection, as @RFBurns has posted here before.

And yes, I think VHF 10 will become a multiplex for T2 for all 5 networks (like DAB Radio) as you said.


Plus stacks of interference on the WIN3 translator in Wollongong from NBN3.