Digital signal hits a snag
By PETER CATON
IF your VCR appears to be creating problems with your television viewing, don't despair, the problem may be in the airwaves.
An increasing number of viewers have been calling on Tweed television technicians for help after noticing "snow" and other picture problems on their sets in the last two weeks.
But it is easy to fix the problem which technicians say is caused by NBN's transmission of digital services from Mt Nardi, south west of Murwillumbah, on UHF Channel 37.
The same channel is used by some newer VCRs to send the signal through to the television set.
Murwillumbah technician John Rice said the UHF signal used by some VCRs could be re-set, but in most cases the problem could be solved by using AV leads to connect with the television set rather than a normal antenna cable.
"That's the easiest way," Mr Rice said, explaining DVD players all used AV leads and were unaffected.
Ironically he said the new digital TV signals were intended to give clearer pictures.
"The whole idea of digital is to get rid of interference and the old problems where you used to get ghosting and double-imaging," he said.
"It's helping a lot of areas, especially places like Upper Burringbar and up in the back blocks."
Some Tweed Heads and Tweed coast TV viewers are also having problems, apparently caused by the new signal.
Brian Hullock from Chinderah Electronics said digital interference with VCRs could be quite common, and recently his firm had been asked by
people at Kingscliff to re-tune their sets.
He said the quickest way to tell if digital interference was creating a problem with television reception was to remove the aerial connection from the wall while watching a video tape.
"If the picture comes up clear, that's digital interference. You can tell straight away," he said.
Mr Hullock said some VCRs had a tuning screw at the rear, near the aerial input, which needed to be adjusted very slightly with the television set then retuned for the various stations.
Some sets required the operator or a technician to go through a more complicated process.
The problems began on August 15 when NBN started transmitting in digital on UHF channel 37.
Southern Cross Ten also began transmitting digital signals from Mt Nardi on August 15, while Prime started in June and the ABC and SBS in 2004.