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Trying to tune into your favorite programmes but not sure exactly how to make that connection? You’re not alone. Especially since Australia made the move to digital back in 2013, homeowners and businesses alike are struggling with outdated equipment and questions about what to turn to or upgrade to next.

Two terms that are used interchangeably, (even though they shouldn’t be), are TV antennas and satellite dishes. While they’ll both work in their own unique way to bring in a signal, they are far from similar in how they work and what you’ll have access to.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the TV antenna vs satellite dish debate and how you can choose the right one for your reception needs.

Do antennas work in Australia anymore?


The transition to digital signals didn’t immediately phase out existing receivers when it comes to free-to-air channels. By now, if you’re still getting a signal, you’re probably fine to keep your existing set up. It’s when you start having problems with reception that you’ll want to explore your options.

Upgrading an existing antenna

Different types of receivers, especially modern ones, are designed to bring in the best picture possible through a series of hardware and installation methods. Keep in mind that antennas are designed to bring in free HDTV signals that are broadcast locally. If you’re having trouble with reception, it could be that you need to replace your existing receiver which is old or damaged. It’s also possible that a quick repair or recalibration could help bring the signal back up to par.

Why choose satellite over a TV antenna, or vice versa

There’s no real reason to make the change to satellite if you’re happy with the channels and reception you’re getting with your current receiver. The primary difference between the two options is how they receive the channels and programming that you want to watch.

Satellite TV works differently than a standard receiver in that it gets its reception from, you guessed it, a satellite in the sky rather than a local radio signal. This is a great option for areas that have poor aerial signal or struggle with reception through a TV receiver even with boosters and amplifiers in place. However, many satellite TV services charge a fee for access, usually in a subscription model. So unlike free-to-air channels via a TV receiver, you’ll be paying to watch.

TV receivers tend to be good enough for channel variety and range in cities where there are multiple radio towers or transmitters, which makes the signal strong. Here in Sydney, there is typically more than enough of a signal and all it takes is the right calibration to ensure that your signal is strong without the need to pay more for satellite options.

One other advantage of upgrading to satellite is the type of picture you can get on the screen. Most options, like Foxtel, offer 4K resolution with crystal clear images. The good news is that satellite TV usually also includes more options for programming than free-to-air channels available with a standard option.

Making the switch one way or another

Whichever you decide between TV antenna vs satellite dish, you’ll want to turn to experts for your installation and calibration. While there’s no legal restriction that says you can’t attempt to do the installation yourself, you probably don’t have the same technical knowledge and equipment that the pros have.

And knowledge is a premium when it comes to making sure reception is spot on with your TV service of choice. Both options need to be situated in a particular way to receive the transmission from the radio towers and satellites, respectively. Many a set up has been deemed faulty or equipment assumed broken when, in reality, it just needs to be repositioned and tuned into the frequency the right way.

Choosing the best TV installer (or satellite dish installer for that matter) comes down to experience. They should understand the nuances of the option you’ve selected and be able to handle everything from the work on your roof to running any necessary cables to your wall points. They should also stand behind the work they do. The last thing you want is an installer that’s hard to reach or unreliable in the event that you start to have trouble with your reception.

Worried about cost? Read our Sydney TV Installation Price Guide

Upgrade your TV signal with the pros at Accent Antennas

These days, there are a variety of options for consuming entertainment, and tv antenna vs satellite dish debate is just the tip of the iceberg. The good news is that our team is well-versed in the signals, service, and requirements for home and businesses here in Sydney and the surrounds. We’re on call to help when things go out and back all our workmanship with a 20-year warranty.

To upgrade your television reception today, just call us on 0411 273 648 for a fast and free quote.