LITHGOW Council believes the federal government has ‘short changed’ residents of the rural areas around Lithgow in the recent move to digital television transmission.
But councillors are at a loss to know just what to do about it.
The old analogue system of transmission was switched off at the beginning of June, leaving old TV sets useless unless connected to a set top box for conversion of the signal.
However up to that time signals into the Hartley Valley were relayed from a tower at Hassans Walls but the government decided against investing in new translator equipment for that site.
Instead the authorities opted to provide a satellite service for the rural areas.
And while that may have seemed to be a good idea in theory it did not work in practice.
The new service was not picking up the local channels but instead was delivering programs from distant sources around Australia — including Melbourne and even Alice Springs.
Understandably no one was too happy.
Cr Col Hunter told council the greater incidence of black spots for TV reception had arisen since the June 5 changeover to digital transmission.
Part of the problem appeared to be with ‘self help’ repeaters.
“Residents in the remote areas are only getting some channels and are not receiving the local news broadcasts,” he said.
Cr Hunter believed part of the problem was the fact that some people were unaware of the new procedures for finding programs.
He said he had hoped that WIN and prime would have advertised these procedures but this had not occurred.