I have just spent the day smart wiring my best mate's new home which is located in a Telstra Velocity Estate - saving him the $3,000 it would have cost if he followed the advice given to him by the Velocity help line.

John [not his real name] is a typical home owner, quite intelligent, but not really a technology kind of guy. He understands the TV and can actually set the timer on his VCR and schedule a recording, but I just thought I would ask him to tune in the TVs and watch what happens. Ghee I can be a b@*S@** sometimes. I did this because I wanted to understand what the average user would do when they find out that Telstra only reticulates the digital television signals.

With his Velocity welcome pack - which was quite impressive I might add - John had received a little booklet titled "Free to Air TV trouble shooting Guide for Telstra Velocity customers". While it contains some helpful tips, it lacked a little detail particularly in regards to the analogue TV signal; that Telstra does not reticulate them over the Velocity network. It talks about Set Top Boxes and retuning, but John could not understand why his VCR would no longer work.

John is not a complete technophobe, as he did have a High Definition Set Top Box working in his previous home. But he had to ask (when he plugged it in) "why are all the channels were missing?" His first thought was I had stuff up on the smart wiring. I informed him "you have to retune the STB" because the channels have been shifted to another band. He could not understand this, and was annoyed by having to go through the retuning and setting his favourites list again - an arduous task on some STBs.

What became very frustrating for John was getting his old TV for his 5 year old daughter working. She watches ABC like most kids in the morning, but also has a great catelogue of DVDs and VHS cassettes. The only way we could get this to work was to have the STB plugged into the VCR, which in turn was plugged into the TV. To watch TV, his 5 year old has to turn on the TV and select AV; turn on the VCR and select AV; and then turn on the STB. This is not a simple task for a 5 year old - and not something Dad wants to be doing at 6am on a Saturday morning.

John also became very annoyed that he had to purchase a STB for every TV in the house. While Velocity customers are provided with a $100 vochure to purchase a new STB, the average houshold in Australia has three television sets. Without the analogue signal you need an STB on each set.

Now some will argue that Analogue is dead and gone and I should move on, but the reality is that analogue will be here for another five years; why should people have to upgrade their TV or purchase an STB before that time. Sure have at least one Digital STB or TV in the house, but why toss out that old TV when it works perfectly ok for the kids. In the networks we design for our clients we always include the reticulation of the analogue TV signal (sourced from the digital channel). It costs less than $3000 to support the 5 analogue channels.

The one thing I cannot understand is why Telstra has shifted the Digital signals away from their ACMA specified channels.

For those who need help on the tuning of their STB or Digital TV to the VelocityTV network, the information below may be of assistance - because you wont find it anywhere on the Telstra web site or in a Velocity welcome pack.

Channel Name

Tuning Position

Frequency

Seven

C28

529.5Mhz

Nine

C29

536.5Mhz

Ten

C33

564.5Mhz

ABC

C34

571.5Mhz

SBS

C35

578.5Mhz

4 comments:

At 18 August, 2008 09:47 Limeleader said...

"In the networks we design for our clients we always include the reticulation of the analogue TV signal (sourced from the digital channel)."

How's that going in Perth with all the problems (low audio levels, no HD, no surround sound and much more) of STW-9 since WIN shifted playout to the other side of the country?

"The one thing I cannot understand is why Telstra has shifted the Digital signals away from their ACMA specified channels."

Perhaps they're worried about ingress on their oh-so-perfect system?

And why the 28 MHz gap between Nine & Ten?

Great blog!

Limeleader from WP

 
At 14 September, 2008 18:13 Anonymous said...

I am currently getting quotes for smart wiring my house. I am certainly capable of doing it myself but the law states I can't do it. I can only assume you are a licenced cabler. If so would you be able to do a quote for my house?

Cheers,

Andy

 
At 20 September, 2008 09:21 Stephen Davies said...

Hi Andy,

Yes I am from way back. But I dont do it anymore. I only did it on this occation for a friend. Where are you located and I can suggest some people you can see to get it done.

They will do it for you at half the typical price the builders will charge.

 
At 06 October, 2010 10:23 Grant said...

"The one thing I cannot understand is why Telstra has shifted the Digital signals away from their ACMA specified channels."

I suspect - although I haven't checked the relevant frequencies - that this has been done to allow terrestrial FoxTel and digital FTA signals to be distributed around the home on a single RG6. In practice we've found that's not possible with the ACMA alloctions. I stress that I haven't actually looked into the frequencies. My response was simply 'oh well' and I used the other RG6 we'd pulled in :)

 

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