Rain puts TV viewers out of the picture

THE return of widespread rain across the valley has prompted a resurgence of the TV signal blues with some residents experiencing signal blackouts and intermittent reception.

Grafton-based antenna installer Lyle Gilmore said blackouts aren't uncommon in some parts of the Clarence Valley with weather and topography both playing a role in the strength of the signal received.

"When rain degrades the signal quality then it falls below threshold to decode it which is why the image gets pixelated or blacks out," he said.

Mr Gilmore said if you are not picking up a good quality digital signal, the first thing to check for is loose wall sockets and the quality of the cable.

"If you have white cables then you want to get rid of them and change them for thick, heavy duty black cables," he said.

"The white cables are no good."

Mr Gilmore advised against people getting on their roof in wet weather and said if the poor signal continued a consultation with an endorsed antenna installer may be beneficial.

He said in some cases cables can be damaged by water while the type of antenna and location can also be factors.

"There are two types of antennas; one picks up a more scattered signal and the other is directional," he said.

"The phased array antenna (which picks up the scattered signal) is the only one I use."

Mr Gilmore said the second type required a digital meter to detect the optimal direction.

Mr Gilmore said some of the worst areas for digital TV reception were Ashby, some parts of Maclean behind the hill, Dovedale, Ilarwill and Moorehead Drv in South Grafton.

When we inquired on Facebook yesterday, several residents reported a poor digital signal, including Kerri Ann Davis from Grafton who said her signal dropped out if Tasmania had a cloud.

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