Handy Hints Blog

Are you on the digital Cliff?

  • 10 Nov 2010

Confused about Digital TV

With the switch to digital TV imminent, there are a lot of people feeling confused about whether they need to get a new antenna to receive the digital signal. Because of the nature of digital TV the reception does not gradually fade like analogue TV depending on distance and obstruction between you and the transmitter, but instead is consistently strong until it reaches the ‘digital cliff’. The digital cliff refers to the point where the signal goes from perfect to virtually non-existent.

This is why it is important to have your digital TV antenna installed well, as if you are at the ‘cliff edge’ on a fine day, all it will take is rain, clouds or atmospheric disturbance to push you off the ‘cliff’. The way to work out whether you are on the ‘cliff edge’ is relatively easy. If you are still on analogue and your reception is not perfect then you are probably on the outer threshold of digital reception with your current antenna. If you have moved to digital already and you have reception trouble when the weather is bad then you are on the ‘cliff edge’ The best way to remedy this is to have an antenna installer measure your signal level for bit error ratio and modulation error ratio. Generally, you can pull back from the ‘cliff’ with either a new digital TV antenna with greater gain or a masthead amplifier.

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