We get asked about digital television and Freeview all the time. So, we've compiled for you a list of the most commonly asked questions to help with everything you need to know.
Freeview is the free digital television service in Australia. It comprises of the channels from Australia’s free-to-view broadcasters, including the ABC, SBS, Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten.
No, Free TV is a completely separate entity. Free TV is an industry body which represents all of Australia’s commercial free-to-view television licensees. The organisation provides a forum for discussion of industry matters and is the public voice of the industry on a wide range of issues. Free TV is responsible for the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice and provides a service to classify and advise on television commercials and infomercials. For more information about Free TV, please visit http://www.freetv.com.au
No, Freeview does not control the content, programming or number of channels offered by the free-to-view networks.
The channels that you will receive depend on your region. You can view which channels are available in your region by clicking HERE
To receive Freeview, you need to connect your digital receiver (TV, STB or PVR) to an antenna.
If your equipment isn’t working, you need to try one of the following:
• Re-tune your digital receiver (i.e. TV, STB, PVR).
• Check that your cables are in good condition and connected properly.
• An indoor antenna may need to be replaced with an external antenna to get a reliable digital signal.
• Check the external antenna (may require the help of a local antenna installer).
• In most cases a new antenna isn’t needed, but if the problem still persists the older antenna may need replacing. Check with a local antenna installer.
The MySwitch website details the channel frequencies for each region in Australia. The MySwitch website will also tell you transmitter information relevant to your area and what channels you should be receiving. Please visit http://myswitch.digitalready.gov.au/ then enter your address. The channel frequencies will appear under ‘Technical Information’ for your specific region.
For a list of the channel numbers to tune into, go to /channels/.
Each individual broadcaster makes its own decision about retransmitting its services via Pay TV. Check with your Pay TV provider about the availability of these channels.
New channels are launched on Freeview from time to time. The TV broadcasters also implement system upgrades to their frequencies. So it pays to retune your digital box every couple of months to make sure you are up to date. Some digital boxes automatically retune but most have to be retuned manually. The process is straightforward but varies slightly between boxes from different manufacturers. For more information on how to retune please visit http://retune.digitalready.gov.au/how-to-retune
The easiest way to test if your current equipment is high definition digital is by checking to see if the TV receives ABC News 24. You can do this by going to Channel 24 on your television set. TVs are Freeview-ready if they are able to receive ABC News 24 without the aid of a Pay TV box. You may need to retune the television before ABC News 24 appears, so don’t forget to give this a go if you are experiencing any problems.
On the 1st of March NBN introduced 2 new services to Northern New South Wales. They are 9HD and 9Life. These are in addition to the current NBN, 9GEM, 9GO and eXtra services. Please click here for more information.
The name of the new channel is 7flix, it is on Channel 76 using MPEG4 and will be a dedicated free-to-air channel. Click here for further information.
Channel 78 is the new RACING.COM channel. It is a dedicated free-to-air channel covering Victorian thoroughbred racing 363 days-a-year and will be integrated with digital streaming and other services at Racing.com.
Freeview is not a vehicle for resolving reception issues. You can call an antenna installer to check current equipment, tuning and orientation, and to investigate signal strength in the area and any other possible factors which might contribute to poor television reception. The installer may be able to advise on modifications to the current antenna system to improve reception, if required. Local digital reception quality can also be affected by trees, geography, buildings and other obstructions near a residence. You can find the best antenna and accessories for your area by going to http://www.matchmaster.tv
Furthermore, you can visit the Government’s MySwitch website which is designed to provide information about digital TV in your area. This includes your digital TV coverage and channels, links to your nearest Australian Government endorsed antenna installers and more. Please visit http://www.digitalready.gov.au/MySwitch.aspx
Individual broadcasters are responsible for the rollout of channels to regional areas. Content and programming vary according to geographical area based on the ownership of commercial TV licences in particular markets. So, for example, most of Sydney does not receive PRIME7, WIN and Southern Cross Television, while regional markets do not receive SEVEN, NINE and TEN.
However, the Government’s Viewer Access Satellite Service (VAST) provides Freeview digital television to eligible viewers in regional ‘blackspot’ areas. That is, all free-to-air digital television services, including the original three commercial (SEVEN, NINE and TEN) and two national channels (ABC and SBS), as well as digital services.
For more information on this service please visit, https://www.myvast.com.au/
There are a number of factors that might lead to poor reception of digital television services. These may include the following:
1. Weather conditions, which can cause digital reception to break up or ‘pixelate’.
2. Signal obstructions, such as the immediate local terrain, foliage, buildings and trees. You may be living in what is known as a reception “black spot”.
3. The signal received may be too weak or too strong to allow the HDTV to generate a stable picture.
4. ‘Impulse noise’ interference which may be generated by the use of household items such as domestic appliances, light switches, fridges, hair dryers, air conditioners, computers, wireless network equipment (Wi-Fi) and cordless phones. Moving the devices away from the antenna source can decrease the level of interference.
5. How far you are from the transmitting tower of your local TV station. The further away your nearest transmission tower, the worse quality reception you will have.
6. Condition and age of your antenna. The average age for antennae in Australia is around 5 years old, and the average householder only services or upgrades their antenna every 12 years. Lots can happen in those 12 years, the antenna can deteriorate as can the cabling, the local environment can change, new structures can be built in the line of sight and there are ongoing changes happening to the networks – such as the current move towards digital TV.
7. Changes to your TV or home entertainment set up, e.g., additional TV points or outlets, changing the physical location of your external antenna, adjusting the direction of your external antenna.
8. Condition of your Television. The age of your television may be a contributing factor to poor picture quality and signaling.
If you are experiencing poor reception of digital TV, try one of the following:
1. Re-tune your TV.
2. Check that your cables and connection points running between your television or set top box and the wall socket are in good condition and connected properly. RG-6 coaxial-shielded cables will block out interference and screw-in F connectors will ensure connectivity.
3. Review your splitter setup. Splitters let you spread your signal to multiple devices but doing so weakens the signal strength.
4. Move any digital devices away from your Antenna source.
5. Check with your neighbours to see if they too are having problems – compare setups, direction of antenna, cabling etc.
6. If you use an indoor antenna, you may need to replace it with an external antenna to get a reliable digital signal.
7. Check your external antenna. You may need the help of your local antenna installer. In most cases, a new antenna isn’t needed, but if the problem still persists, your older aerial may need replacing. Check with you local antenna installer or you can find the best antenna and accessories for your area by going to http://www.matchmaster.tv
A list of Government and Freeview-Endorsed Antenna Installers is available athttp://www.digitalready.gov.au
Please visit the Government’s MySwitch website to find out if you live in a blackspot area. If so, you may need to access free-to-air television via the Government’s satellite service which provides Freeview to viewers in regional blackspot areas. Click here for more information.
If you are having problems with the reception and transmission of ABC services, please contact the ABC Reception Advice Line on 1300 13 9994 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm EDT). Alternatively, you can send an enquiry through their website at http://abc.net.au/reception/contact
SBS transmission information is available on the SBS website athttp://www20.sbs.com.au/transmissions
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published information about digital television reception that can be downloaded from the ACMA website.
The Australian Government has implemented a satellite service that gives viewers living in regional and remote ‘blackspot’ areas of Australia access to the same number of free-to-air digital television channels that are available to those living in the cities. This includes ABC1, ABC2, ABC3, ABC News 24, SBS ONE, SBS TWO, SBS HD, SEVEN, 7TWO, 7mate, NINE, GO!, GEM, TEN, ONE HD and ELEVEN. This service is called Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST).
In addition, the VAST service provides regional viewers with access to the local news currently broadcast in their TV licence area via a dedicated local news channel.
For more information on the satellite service, https://www.myvast.com.au/
Turn your digital TV, set top box or personal video recorder (PVR) off at the main switch for 5 minutes, then switch it back on and perform a channel rescan. If you continue to experience a loss of sound, you should contact the manufacturer of your digital receiver.