Author Topic: Australian Analog TV Switch Off  (Read 22098 times)

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Offline ivan747

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Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« on: December 02, 2013, 11:24:14 pm »
It was much more sentimental that I thought it would be watching how all stations were switched off. I wonder how synchronized it all was. Maybe some ham has a capture of the TV spectrum before the shutdown.



Looking at the blank picture seems scary for me. I don't even think they are broadcasting digital with actual antennas. Even if we have modern TVs, it's either 1990's analog or renting a digital set-top box from a cable company. Connecting the coax they provide you to the TV does nothing as the signal is encrypted. I would really prefer if they provided me with a coax I can hook up to my TV directly and use the TV's menu system instead of having a set top box with a 100% analog output.

Set top boxes confuse the heck out of everyone.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2013, 11:30:16 pm by ivan747 »
 

Offline woox2k

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 01:10:33 am »
It looked like a good beginning for end-of-the world movie. Communications shutting down and everything, just add couple of zombies onto the streets and you're all set! ;D

Thanks for recording that historical moment, it was interesting.
 

Offline nathanpc

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 01:15:49 am »
That was an interesting thing to watch. I thought they would just switch to a screen with text for a minute then shut the signal off.

PS: Analog TV will be switched off in 2018 here in Brazil.
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 01:18:11 am »
Great historical video!

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« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 01:34:42 am by xrunner »
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Online dr.diesel

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 01:21:57 am »
Brazil.

Off topic, but I was in Manaus in 2005, such a great experience!     :-+

Offline flolic

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 01:29:05 am »
Great video!

Here in Croatia we ended analog TV broadcasting 3 years ago. Not that I missing snowy picture and interferences... :D
 

Offline steve30

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 02:20:33 am »
I liked the animation at the end.

I didn't see our analogue-switch-off, but there were some videos of it on YouTube. Looks like they just flipped the switch in the middle of regular programming. There are also some YouTube videos of some people actually flipping the big power switches.

Just wondering, does anyone know how old the actual transmission equipment is? For example, if the station had been broadcasting for many years, would they replace/upgrade the equipment every so often?
 

Offline AlfBaz

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 02:38:10 am »
It looked like a good beginning for end-of-the world movie. Communications shutting down and everything, just add couple of zombies onto the streets...
Already done!

 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 02:59:21 am »
There are also some YouTube videos of some people actually flipping the big power switches.
I found an interesting one here.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2013, 04:35:22 am »
The transmitters will probably stay in service for the digital services, as they still need a few kW at the transmitter antenna. Now that they no longer transmit analog they will have to put the power up on the digital side to get the same coverage areas as the old signal had. Funny how this will not save power at all, the digital boxes run pretty hot so now instead of having a transmitter using 100kW you now have a half million receivers running all the time using 10W or so each. Just now the cost is for the consumers bill.

Can't say I will miss TV a lot though. Might even plug it in for the switch off.
 

Offline Pentium100

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2013, 05:01:26 am »
Also, digital TV quality depends a lot. For example, in the summerhouse I used to get a snowy analog picture. Now I get pretty much no digital picture (stopped frames, blocks etc) in addition to having to bring a receiver, not just the TV. It also does not help that my country chose MPEG4 instead of MPEG2 format for the terrestrial TV as MPEG4 is more sensitive to data loss.

As for the receiver power - a DVB-C (cable) digital receiver I have is just as hot when in standby mode as it is in "on" mode.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2013, 05:11:47 am »
I'm with you on that, a digital signal with data loss is absolutely horrible. Unwatchable. Analog signals can still be watched when snowy.

Analog broadcast television, IMHO, really did get a lot of things right. I do miss it.
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Offline staxquad

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2013, 05:28:46 am »
It looked like a good beginning for end-of-the world movie. Communications shutting down and everything, just add couple of zombies onto the streets and you're all set! ;D

Thanks for recording that historical moment, it was interesting.

The end of the World did happen in Australia, see:  "On the Beach (1959)".  Australia died last.
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Offline johnwa

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2013, 05:49:35 am »
At least you got a nice message and animation Dave. Ours was switched off a couple of years ago, and there was no on-air announcement at all - just there one minute and gone the next. I was still using the faithful old 34cm portable that I had grown up with then, and I think it took me about six months to get around to finding a converter. (As you may have guessed, TV is not much of a priority for me these days!)

To be honest, I don't really see a huge need for going digital - while the analogue signal is somewhat wasteful of bandwidth, all of the extra spectrum space will just be sold off to commercial interests anyway.


Analog broadcast television, IMHO, really did get a lot of things right. I do miss it.

Yes, and there is quite a lot more to it than most people think. I have had a reasonably good understanding of TV for a while, but tended to think of things like sync signals as more digital/pulse waveforms. However I recently read a book from back in the sixties, explaining television for non-technical people. (Judging by the book, non-technical people must have been a lot smarter then than they are now!). It explained all the analogue pulse-shaping circuitry for processing the sync, and how the transmission standard was specially designed to overcome the limitations of the receiver circuitry.  There are quite a few subtleties to the system that are not immediately evident. (Hands up, how many people really understand equalising pulses?)
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2013, 06:32:27 am »
The transmitters will probably stay in service for the digital services, as they still need a few kW at the transmitter antenna.

Nop, if I see it right, Australia moved from PAL to DVB-T. There nothing fits. Power transmitters, control transmitters, test systems, monitors, signal even antennas, etc. all has to go. If Australia is similar to other parts of the world they should have plenty of hight-power transmitter equipment on the surplus market, and a lot of obscure analog signal monitoring and test equipment, too.
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Offline flolic

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2013, 08:22:07 am »
I'm with you on that, a digital signal with data loss is absolutely horrible. Unwatchable. Analog signals can still be watched when snowy.

Yes, that's big problem. We have problem with the TV reception in the coastal regions of my country. TV multiplexes from Italy, which is across the Adriatic sea (~200km) does not follow frequency plan and transmit on "our" frequencies. Problem rises exponentially during summer, because of very good signal propagation across the sea in that conditions, and because they increase transmitted power to better serve Italian tourists on our coast... :P
That often results in no reception at all, or blocky and crashing picture  |O
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2013, 09:04:03 am »
They switched of analogue here last year but I had to switch to digital (satellite) 4 years ago. They introduced digital transmissions and turned down the power on analogue, We had a new aerial fitted for digital including a mast top amp but the signal was still too weak for digital or analogue (either blocks, freeze frames or snow) after the big switch off they supposedly increased transmission power on digital but it is still far too weak here to be able to watch, its worse than you tube on dial up. The only solution was to get a satellite dish.
 

Offline Gath

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2013, 09:20:57 am »
To be honest, I don't really see a huge need for going digital - while the analogue signal is somewhat wasteful of bandwidth, all of the extra spectrum space will just be sold off to commercial interests anyway.

Agree, telecommunication companies are gonna be on this newly freed band like flies on honey probably... It would be interesting to see if there are already plans for re-using these frequencies. Anyone ?

It looked like a good beginning for end-of-the world movie. Communications shutting down and everything, just add couple of zombies onto the streets and you're all set! ;D

Thanks for recording that historical moment, it was interesting.

Precisely. From 4:00 and on for about 10-15 seconds, I was expecting to see the well from the ring to suddenly appear on screen ... Spooky statics ....
 

Offline dave_k

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 10:24:28 am »
The transmitters will probably stay in service for the digital services, as they still need a few kW at the transmitter antenna.

Nop, if I see it right, Australia moved from PAL to DVB-T. There nothing fits. Power transmitters, control transmitters, test systems, monitors, signal even antennas, etc. all has to go. If Australia is similar to other parts of the world they should have plenty of hight-power transmitter equipment on the surplus market, and a lot of obscure analog signal monitoring and test equipment, too.

Actually, there is more in common with DVB-T transmitters and old analogue transmitters than you might think. The first generation of DVB-T transmitters used in Australian capital cities was based on a modified analogue solid-state transmitter. The power amplifiers are operated as class AB instead of C, and the exciter/modulator is different, but then everything after that is pretty much the same.

I have a before and after screenshot of the spectrum, and a screenshot of SBS-7 turning on... will post tomorrow.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 10:44:33 am by dave_k »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 11:36:23 am »
You can get reception problems from a too strong signal that appears indistinguishable  from a too weak signal.

Digital is way better than Analogue. No ghosts, interference from aircraft and a wider choice of crap to watch. Or not watch.

In theory. In practice signal quality might be good at the right distance, but what it does when you finally do get interference is much worse. An analog signal is tolerable even with ghosting.A digital signal might have the potential to do as well, but no digital receivers handle signal corruption with grace.

Of course, the ability to transmit more channels is an advantage, but really, that's what cable (and the Internet!) are for.
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Offline kaindub

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2013, 12:43:28 pm »
Tragically (for me) here is some trivia about that final transmission.
The black and white footage was from the archives of Channel 7 Sydney.
It's probably from the late 60s. In that period, TV did not run 24hours. In Sydney most channels stopped about 11pm.
The footage was the closing sequence for Channel 7.
It is a singer named Tommy Leonetti, fairly we'll known around the time ( I think he was American, but had settled in Australia). The song was called "My City of Sydney"

I guess this was preferable to the government channel (Channel 2). For the nightly closing sequence they played the national anthem, which at the time was "God Save The Queen". Australia had not yet untied the apron strings from the UK.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2013, 02:24:23 pm »
We already had two analog switch offs, the first one was the terrestrial TV (replaced by DVB-T) several years ago. And the last one last year was the analog satellite TV (replaced by DVB-S and S2). There were also plans to replace FM radio with DAB+ but that's seems to be postponed for the moment.
 

Offline tehmeme

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2013, 02:36:14 pm »
It looked like a good beginning for end-of-the world movie. Communications shutting down and everything, just add couple of zombies onto the streets and you're all set! ;D

Thanks for recording that historical moment, it was interesting.

The end of the World did happen in Australia, see:  "On the Beach (1959)".  Australia died last.
also offtopic but : The Quiet Earth (1985) [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089869/]http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089869/[/url]
 

Online dr.diesel

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2013, 03:06:38 pm »
It would be nice if their was actually anything on TV (analogue or otherwise) worth watching to be turned off in the first place.

 :-+

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Offline Stonent

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Re: Australian Analog TV Switch Off
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 08:21:54 pm »
I'm with you on that, a digital signal with data loss is absolutely horrible. Unwatchable. Analog signals can still be watched when snowy.

Analog broadcast television, IMHO, really did get a lot of things right. I do miss it.

I never could get a good digital signal and neither could my mom so I switched to Nextflix and Hulu.   My mom could only get a few channels at her apartment.
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