Summer screen time becomes scream time

POOR television reception continues to plague the Shoalhaven, with a West Nowra couple slamming authorities who blamed the troubled reception on a combination of weather conditions and a restack of digital television services across the country.

For Stella and Americo Santos of Mundamia, watching any of their favourite television shows has been almost impossible since November.

“It’s beyond a joke,” Mrs Santos said.

“The free-to-air channels are almost non-existent.

“We contacted the complaint lines and were told it was the weather conditions and it would get better once we were through the recent heatwave.

“The last week hasn’t been hot and yet our reception hasn’t improved at all.

“We are right near the university – you would think they would need reception – it’s just not good enough.”

She said they had missed almost all the Ashes cricket action and the Australian Open tennis.

“It is one of the most important times of the year with the cricket and tennis and now the football is coming up,” she said.

“We can’t even watch our normal favourite shows.

“We can get ABC and SBS sometimes but there are also disruptions there like the commercial channels.

“We would like to watch what we want, when we want.”

Last month when the area baked in hot conditions, authorities said a phenomenon known as ducting occurred, where unusual atmospherics disturb the television signals and that this can happen in both hot and cold conditions.

Mrs Santos said they were also told the digital channels were being restacked.

“I reckon someone should have their heads banged together,” she said.

“They can stick their new technology up their jumpers and they should get analogue back – we never had these troubles with analogue.

“We had to buy digital televisions but can’t receive anything on them.”

The restack of digital television services is likely to be completed by the end of 2014. 

Residents will also have to retune their televisions.

The official public retune for parts of the Shoalhaven varies from March, April, May and June.

For more information see retune.digitalready.gov.au.

If you are still experiencing problems with reception, complaints can be registered with

Digital Ready on 1800 201 013, www.digitalready.gov.au, or the Australian Communications and Media Authority on 1800 226 667 or www.acma.gov.au.

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