The five remotes the Hogarth family needs in order to be able to watch various TV programs.
The five remotes the Hogarth family needs in order to be able to watch various TV programs. Cindy Hogarth

'We don't see anything': Gladstone region's reception battle

RESIDENTS in the Gladstone region are not unfamiliar with poor television reception.

While it's not a new problem, frustration levels are rising for residents throughout the region whose homes have issues connecting and maintaining consistent television channels.

David Bromilow, a Clinton resident, contacted The Observer after the free-to-air TV channels on his television continuously failed.

"They've been dropping in and out for at least the last four weeks now," he said.

Mr Bromilow said he contacted the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) but has yet to receive a response in regards to the problem.

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"It is very annoying ... we have no channels at all that are working ... and other people are having the [problem] as well."

After contacting the ACMA directly, The Observer was told they were "not aware of any recent widespread issues with television reception in Clinton."

"However, we are in receipt of one specific complaint which has been replied to with a written submission," an ACMA media officer said.

The officer said Clinton is in a coverage overlap area between the Gladstone West, Gladstone East and Rockhampton transmission sites, meaning signals from the three transmission sites vary considerably across Clinton from very strong to poor depending on the viewer's address.

To get around this issue, ACMA recommended ensuring the correct antenna is used and that the television in question is correctly tuned.

"This (installing your own antenna) can be challenging and as a result the ACMA does recommend engaging the services of an experienced antenna installer," the officer said.

Dealing with an even bigger problem is Cindy Hogarth and her family, who live at Riverstone Rise between Gladstone and Boyne Island.

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"We're in a complete black spot ... due to the particular location of our house we don't pick up any free-to-air channel signals at all," she said.

Blocked due to its geographical location, Mrs Hogarth and her family moved to the area but were unaware of the issue when they started building on the property.

"It was and still is so frustrating because we put TV points in all the bedrooms and now we can't use them, so we've had to cover them with pictures," she said.

"First we were simply told an aerial hadn't been put up yet ... but when we found out what the problem was they gave us this box that picks up another satellite, so now we get satellite TV."

The Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) box the Hogarth family were supplied with allows them to receive the same programming but not local ads or news unless they tune into a certain channel at a certain time.

"What is so frustrating is when there's events on in Gladstone, we don't have a clue unless we hear about it on the radio ... we just don't see anything," Mrs Hogarth said.

 

The Hogarth household needs a Foxtel dish to operate their VAST TV box.
The Hogarth household needs a Foxtel dish to operate their VAST TV box. Cindy Hogarth

According to Mrs Hogarth, her household needs a Foxtel dish to operate VAST TV.

"So we have six different remotes, three of which we have to use just to watch TV," she said.

"It's always been such a thorn in our side ... if we wanted to get proper TV reception we'd need to install a 30 metre long antenna on top of our house.

"It's a federal issue ... it means to solve it they'd have to put another tower up.

"But so few of us are affected in terms of the overall population that it just gets blown over."

To see your digital TV coverage, eligibility for satellite access and the strongest available channels in your area, visit MySwitch.



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