Freeview digital TV programmes have been available in NZ for some months. All viewers were given 2 years to upgrade their analogue sets. By the middle of 2014, all analogue broadcasts will be discontinued and broadcasts will be digital only. Digital broadcasts can be received by any TV set, be it digital or analogue. All that is required for conversion to digital, is buying the proper aerial (UHF @$50) and a black-box @$120. We do not need to panic or throw away our older type TV sets.
I have been thinking of upgrading my home analogue TV sets to digital receivers for more than a year. Last year Dick Smith was selling a conversion kit for Freeview reception for only $170. It included a modem and a small UHF aerial. I was not motivated enough to climb on my roof to install this new aerial, for fear of falling. Also my analogue TV sets were still working perfectly all the time, giving me 6 channels: 1,2,3,4,5 and Prime. I also had a slimline Sony DVD player which allowed me to record programmes directly for later viewing. I was happy with what I had, until very recently.
During the last few years, I have been looking at the digital TV sets being offered in all the shops in Hamilton and was waiting for the price to come down further before buying. Kevin has a digital TV in Brisbane; so did every one else in Kuantan. Barling has a huge one in Kati-kati. It is time for Christine and I to upgrade our old TV sets. The price of a digital TV is certainly within our reach this year. Last week, Christine and I went for a car ride to Matamata. On the way home we stopped to window shop at Morrinsville. I saw a 50" Sony at Noel Leeming on special at $2999. It was very attractive because Pearl bought one 3 years ago at the same price but smaller, at 42". Fortunately I did not buy because I found another identical one at Noel Leeming, Hamilton for $2599 (manager's special). I bargained and got it down to $2200. I slept on the deal overnight. The next day, I went back to the shop and bought the set!
Put side by side with our old TV, it certainly looked huge! I had some problem connecting the aerial and went back to the shop next day for some help. Initially the man referred me to a technician who charges $160 per visit. I refused to pay this money and asked for the manager. She was very kind and showed me how to use the connectors provided inside the box. I went up the roof, removed the old VHS aerial and installed the smaller one (a universal aerial for all channels) There was still no picture. I went to the shop again. Another man told me that I have to tune the new TV set which came in a box. I did that when I came home by using the auto-tune feature in the menu. It was a very steep learning curve for me because the usual instruction booklet was not provided together with the TV! The next few days, I tried connecting the home theatre system, my stereo sound system and the Kareoke set to the new TV. Christine had an excellent idea to hide all the cables and wires under the rug.
She also had a ridiculous request, asking me to throw away the large Marantz speakers; but my cassette tape player and Kareoke set cannot work without speakers. Women!
One thing is for sure, we are watching far too much TV this week! Coronation Street has become even more interesting with the train crush, people dying and other sub plots coming to a multiple climax.
This is the new aerial on my roof. It is a universal aerial designed in Holland. I can receive all the Freeview channels and also the analogue channels. In general most Kiwis do not know about aerials because I still see most roofs are cluttered with many different types when only one small aerial is required. If you have Sky, you probably don't even need to buy this universal aerial.
I was persistent and demanded to see the manager. She was kind enough to show me how to use the connectors for the coaxial cable. I went up to the roof, removed the VHS aerial and connected the old coaxial cable to my new aerial using the connectors which came in the box. It is working fine now; receiving all channels! Noel Leeming is back in my good books again...
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