Dealing with poor Free-To-Air TV reception

Dealing with poor Free-To-Air TV reception

Living in regional Australia, do you have poor free-to-air TV reception?  Poor television and radio reception can be partially resolved by use of the Australian Government’s Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.

The Australian Government provides, at no cost apart from the individual household set-up cost, access to free-to-air television stations (and digital radio stations broadcast to TV receivers – which includes most, if not all, ABC and SBS radio stations) for people with inadequate reception. It is the Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service.

Details are at -

To check eligibility for VAST, go to - - and enter your address. Local transmitters, and their signal strength, will be identified and eligibility to access VAST decided on that basis.

If eligible, permission to access is granted almost immediately via the web and the task is to then get a decoder and an antenna supplier to supply a dish. An unused Austar dish, in adequate condition, can be used: they target the same (geostationary) satellite as VAST.

The set-up cost will vary. The decoder is around $300, a satellite dish (if you don't already have one) about twice that, plus 1-2 hours’ labour. The cost seems likely to fall somewhere in the $500-$1100 range.

The same service is also available to travellers, such as ‘grey nomads’, seeking reliable TV.