Puttin' on the fritz: Mandurah TV viewers left in the dark

Mandurah nurse Alison Hornsey isn’t shy about talking about her love of television.

She says the programs she enjoys, especially Home and Away, have helped get her through a year spent off work after operations on both knees.

Her favourite shows have been an outlet and something to talk about with family and friends during long periods when she wasn’t able to do much other than recuperate.

But over the last few months Ms Hornsey, along with hundreds of other people in Mandurah, has been furious that her free-to-air signals drop out regularly.

A post on a popular Mandurah Facebook page recently attracted hundreds of comments from angry viewers.

From Halls Head to central Mandurah to Meadow Springs and Madora Bay, the story was the same. Channels fell in and out to the frustration of many.

Ms Hornsey said she was “wild” and “cranky”, but she usually gets through Home and Away without trouble.

“It's more later in the night that it starts playing up, but the other night, it was everything,” she said.

One of many posts on Mandurah Facebook groups about television reception in the region.

One of many posts on Mandurah Facebook groups about television reception in the region.

“We got through Home and Away and it was the show after that, 10 minutes from the finish it played up, so we didn't find out who did the murder and all the rest of it.

“Other shows, you miss the whole show and it was Tuesday night that really got me wild, hardly anything was watchable.”

Ms Hornsey said she had complained to everyone she could think of, including the television networks, the City of Mandurah, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

A spokesman for ACMA didn’t have any specific answers for Ms Hornsey, but said viewers in Mandurah might be in an “overlap” area where they could tune in to the nearby broadcast sites.

“Multiple broadcast sites provide digital television coverage to this area,” he said.

“Viewers have to be careful with the tuning of their TV receivers when multiple broadcast sites provide overlapping television coverage.

“Using the auto tuning option in an overlapping coverage area does not guarantee that the television or set top box will lock onto the correct channels.

“Consequently, some viewers may have their TV receiver tuned to weaker signals and experience reception difficulties, while the stronger signals from other broadcast sites are available.”

What to do if your telly is on the blink

ACMA recommends viewers manually tune their television or set top box to one of the stronger broadcast sites: Mandurah/Singleton, Mandurah/Waroona or Bunbury.

The manual tuning channels for these sites are listed on the ACMA’s MySwitch website at myswitch.digitalready.gov.au.

The ACMA spokeman also said viewers having difficulty should consult with an experienced installer.