90pc ready for analogue switchoff

With only two months until the old analogue TV service is switched off 90 per cent of homes in the Nelson region have made the change to Freeview.

Meanwhile, the contractor providing the signal from Mt Campbell has said it is upgrading its aerial to help improve problems some viewers were experiencing with reception caused by hot weather.

Freeview NZ general manager Sam Irvine said the changeover to digital was going well. The old analogue system would turn off at 2am on April 28.

He reminded people that every TV in the house had to go digital.

"The old one in the bedroom won't go, you'll need to get a Freeview receiver to that. If the other one is on Freeview satellite, hook it up to the dish, or if it is Freeview HD to the UHF aerial."

Many people were still using analogue recording even though they might be hooked up to digital for their TV.

This would not work after April 28. They needed to get a Freeview decoder they could record from.

Mr Irvine said 80 per cent of people nationally were hooking up the new system themselves.

Those who were getting an installer to help set up their new TV reception should shop around and get quotes from a number of different people.

"You can buy all this equipment at an appliance store and give it a crack yourself or get a friend or family member to give you a hand."

There had been complaints from Nelson viewers of an intermittent signal from Mt Campbell and this had been caused by the heat affecting the transmission in the same way the sun could affect satellite reception in some areas.

It had become more of an issue this year because the weather had been better.

Warren Harding, the property manager for Freeview infrastructure provider Johnston Dick and Associates, said it was upgrading the microwave link signal from Mt Campbell.

This would "make the problems quite a bit less frequent".

The interference was caused by atmospheric ducting, a phenomenon where alternating layers of warm and cool air created a conduit that refracted the microwave signal carrying the Freeview channels.

The Nelson Mail