Dear LH, I’ve just moved to the border of Vic and NSW, and wondered what I need to access either Sydney or Melbourne TV stations (using the cheapest solution available). The house I’ve bought has a Foxtel satellite dish if that helps? I’m finding country TV very, very limited. Can you assist? A Farm Potato
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Having grown up in regional NSW, I recognise your pain, although with the advent of digital TV and growth in channels it’s not quite the problem it used to be, at least for a lot of programming. Obviously that could vary depending on your location and the quality of the digital signal.
Unfortunately Foxtel Satellite is unlikely to remedy your situation, as Foxtel’s rebroadcast licence only covers the stations that allow content to be broadcast over satellite. Most notably, 7MATE and GEM are available if you’re a Foxtel Cable subscriber, but not on satellite.
In theory you could install a signal amplifier to the existing antenna to boost your reception, but at the levels you’re allowed to boost signals without running foul of the ACMA, you’ll only improve the signals for the digital channels already available to you, while possibly screwing up the reception for your neighbours. Tread carefully when boosting signals, because the penalties can be quite serious. You’re certainly not going to be able to boost your signal enough to get the Sydney or Melbourne stations legally. The MySwitch website should give you a picture of your expected digital station coverage.
That leaves internet streaming as an option. You could try to hunt down someone rebroadcasting a stream of whichever channel you’re missing out on, although this is obviously an illegal avenue. You could also see if the existing subscription services — Netflix, et al — cover your needs in a way that the local channels aren’t doing.
I’m guessing, however, that your issue is to do with sports coverage, where there can be some significant differences between regions as to what’s shown and what’s blacked out. For international codes there are some streaming options, but when it comes to Australian codes your legitimate choices are significantly more limited.
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