Why you should ditch your Satellite dish!

Written on 24/10/2016
Toby Mills

A number of people in the Wairarapa are still using a satellite dish to receive TV, probably because it was on their house or was left behind when they disconnected Sky.

If you are one of these people then you might be surprised to learn that you are really missing out when it comes to TV quality.

In New Zealand there are two ways you can receive Freeview.

  • Terrestrial - Using a UHF antenna (with prongs), this is the best way of getting Freeview as it provides the highest quality picture and most channels are transmitted in high definition. As there are transmitters on the ground in each area, it allows regional channels to cost effectively broadcast only to a specific region.
  • Satellite - Satellite covers the entire country and is meant to be a fill in service for anyone who does not live near a Terrestrial transmitter. Satellite's are extremely expensive to broadcast on, so broadcasters degrade the picture quality over Satellite so they can fit more channels in to save money. Satellite also uses older technology because it is much harder to go up to a Satellite and do upgrades. Therefore you should only use Satellite if you live too remotely to pick up a Terrestrial broadcast.

Here in the Wairarapa we are extremely lucky to have a Terrestrial transmitter providing gorgeous high definition Television for all the main channels that is far superior to the picture from Satellite and of course now you can pick up Wairarapa TV using it as well.

There is a reasonably accurate test you can use to see if you can get UHF TV, if you can pickup MoreFM on the radio, then you should be able to get UHF TV easily.

There is also some confusion about what sort of Antenna you need and where it should point.
Many people in Masterton have their Antennas pointing to the close Tower on the hill to the east of Masterton, but this is just a Cell tower not TV. The map below shows where your antenna should point.

The direction your Antenna should point.

You also need to make sure you have the right Antenna.

Your antenna should look like the one below, the further you are from the Tower the more prongs on your antenna you may need so don't be alarmed if your's is a lot more stubby than the one in this picture.

A typical UHF Antenna

Note, if your Aerial looks like the one below you should take it down and replace it with a UHF one above. The aerial below is a VHF antenna which is very old and nothing is broadcast on VHF anymore, it is likely degrading your signal quality.

If you have one of these on your roof TAKE IT DOWN TODAY!!!!

If you get stuck or can't get a signal, its worth talking to the professionals and we highly recommend you talk to Teletronics in Masterton or call them on 06 377 0149.

They can come out and sort out your mess and will do it in no time. Getting in a professional can be cheaper than trying to do it yourself as they know what they are doing and will get it sorted quickly and efficiently.