When you are travelling around Australia you will realise just how big this country is! When you get out west you will also realise how far it is between towns and just how few people there are. There are so many locations where there is no mobile phone coverage, even quite close of town. The same applies to TV reception. There are so many areas that just do not get TV reception using a traditional digital TV antenna.
Just like you need a satellite phone to guarantee being able to make a call in the remote Australian outback the only way to guarantee TV reception is to plan to get the signal from the Optus C1/D3 Satellite using a satellite dish and satellite set top box.
How does it work
The satellite dish is just a special type of antenna designed to focus on a specific type of broadcast signal. The Optus C1/D1 satellite is located in a geostationary orbit broadcasting Free to Air and Pay TV signals onto Australia. Think of it like a large spotlight above Papua New Guinea that is shining onto Australia. The further south you are in Australia the smaller the dish you require. The closer you are to the satellite the larger the dish required to capture the broadcast.
Once the dish captures the broadcast the Set Top Box (STB) decodes the signal and converts it to High Definition (HD) signal for you to watch on TV.
The Australian Government funds a free to air satellite service – the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST). VAST provides digital television to viewers in remote areas of Australia; as well as viewers who are unable to receive digital TV through their normal antenna because of issues relating to local interference, terrain or distance from the transmitter in their area. Access to VAST requires a certified VAST set top box and satellite dish of at least 65cm in diameter.
What Channels are available on VAST?
The ABC and SBS are broadcasting standard definition channels ABC1, ABC2/ABC4, ABC3, SBS1, SBS2 and the high definition channels ABC News 24 and SBSHD. Southern Cross Media, Imparja TV, WIN and GWN are broadcasting digital commercial television channels in standard definition with programming from the 7, 9 and 10 networks and the high definition channels OneHD, 7Mate and 9GEM.
What equipment do I need?
Anyone wishing to access VAST will need to purchase a VAST certified satellite set top box and a satellite dish of at least 65cm diameter. Experience suggests that most users find it easier to receive the VAST signal with an 85cm dish. There are 65cm, 75cm and 85cm dishes offered in Australia. Access to this new satellite service is managed by a smart card which is supplied with the satellite set top box. To access VAST you will need to register your details including your address, reception location and smart card number to enable access.
The Optus C1/D3 Satellite also transmits the pay TV signals for Foxtel and Austar. If you select a compatible satellite dish you can use your existing Foxtel or Austar subscription to access the channels you have subscribed to.
Our Satellite TV Kits provide everything you'll need!