Television & Radio Re-Transmission Public Notice

Published: Monday, 4 February 2019 at 4:01:32 PM



The Shire of Wongan-Ballidu thanks all residents who completed and returned the recent TV Reception survey. 550 surveys were issued through the Australia Post unaddressed mail service to residents of Wongan Hills. The survey closed on the 29th January 2019. 100 surveys were returned.

The Shire recognises comments made by members of the public regarding the timing of the survey, however due to a sharp increase in the volume of complaints in a short period of time, the Shire determined that it would be best to issue the survey as rapidly as possible to assist in us reaching a better understanding of the full extent of the problem. The Shire was also unaware of the number of times that others were resetting the system manually.

While the survey was being conducted, the Shire worked with our service contractors to troubleshoot the issue.

During this period, it was also discovered that the existing alarm system was not identifying any issues. This system sends an alarm to the contracted service technicians if no signal is being received, and a remote system reboot is performed, re-establishing reception. No alarms were being received, which then led us to believe there was another issue.

In this period, the service contractors also assessed the dishes, cabling and other equipment on the mast. No issues were found, which then led us to conduct a software upgrade. This also involved rebooting the service on numerous occasions. These were only short-term solutions. 

The primary issue that has been identified is the functioning of the ‘Transcoder’. When the original transmissions licence was granted, we were required to install a transcoder to compress the incoming signal from an Mpeg4 to a lesser signal of Mpeg2. In the early days any minor issues with this were overcome. Due to more channels being since introduced, and broadcasters incorporating more data in the Mpeg4 signal, the transcoders have struggled to do their job, and as a result some channels stopped working. 

Where to from here

On Monday 11th February 2019 our maintenance provider will be in Wongan Hills conducting some upgrades to the hardware.

The video format for the commercial TV channels will be upgraded to Mpeg4 (current video format Mpeg2). 

In most cases, no action will be required. Your TV or set-top-box will automatically detect the new channels and Mpeg4 format. Viewers will be able to continue to watch digital television with improved quality and reliability.

However, some older or cheaper units might not be able to receive the Mpeg4 format.

What to do if your television doesn’t work

Firstly, consult your television’s user manual. This may provide information as to whether your television is Mpeg4 compatible. In some cases, it may be necessary to conduct a factory reset. You should consult your manual prior to doing this. 

Modern televisions are akin to computers and require software or firmware for upgrades to be carried out from time to time in order to operate properly. It is possible that some televisions may be compatible with Mpeg4 but may not operate correctly without the most up-to-date software or firmware being installed. For some models, it may be necessary to modify the televisions settings, which is contained under codec or format setting. Again, it is best to consult with the user manual or contact the manufacturer to confirm its compatibility. If you do not have a manual for your TV set, it is possible to download many manuals for various makes and models online.

Once you have established whether your television is not compatible with the Mpeg4 format, in order to receive the commercial free to air channels you will need to either upgrade your TV set or set top box to an Mpeg4 compatible unit. 

The Shire of Wongan-Ballidu has a limited number of set-top boxes available for those unable to receive a signal once the changes have been made to the equipment and the above steps have been followed. 

These will be available on application from the Shire Administration Office. 


Stuart Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

4 February 2019 



PO Box 84, Wongan Hills

(08) 9671 1011

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