Antenna specialists are such versatile beings, but what do they actually do for you? Let it be known that it's not just a lot of climbing on the roof, as digital takes over analogue your antenna and home entertainment system becomes better but also a little bit more complicated.
Put in a new antenna
Often this service is started with a signal test to see what your reception needs are. Logically, you'll need a different strength aerial if you're in a country town vs a city, but the test will make the best recommendations. Then, there are different options to match to the style of your house.
Sort out reception issues
If you're having antenna problems (seeing ghosting, interference, lines or pixilation) you might need a new antenna. All new antennas will come completely digital ready and your antenna specialist can also perform a signal test. Often issues are caused not by the aerial but the cabling, and it's worth getting a technician to fix your signal rather than using percussive maintenance* or pretending to be the aerial to get the TV picture working!
Transition your analogue signal to a digital signal before 2013
No surprise that analogue TV is being phased out (given the massive amount of coverage the government has given this topic). There are more benefits to Digital TV than just ensuring you can watch TV after 2013, so get to it now! Your antenna specialist can install a digital ready antenna or satellite dish, as well as often advise you on the TV you may need.
Add extra TV points in different rooms
Remember that TV function that allowed you to watch two channels at once on the same TV? Not really an idea that took off. The solution to those family fights is to install another TV point in a different room - sometimes in the kid's rooms, sometimes in garage for a proper down and dirty sports watching session where you don't need to use the coasters.
Install digital set top boxes
Digital set top boxes improve the picture even on analogue TV's, but if you don't install them correctly you might not notice a difference. A set-top box depends on both specifications and the method used to connect it.
Satellite and Pay TV installation
Antenna specialists can supply and install Free To Air Satellite systems for remote and regional areas, as well as paid satellite channels.
What else can antenna specialists offer?
Often, antenna specialists also are able to install data points and telephones, plasma TVs and home theatres, set up internet access, repair or install data cabling and set up or troubleshoot your home network. The reverse is also true - often electricians, data cabling experts and telephone installation businesses can also install or repair your antenna or transition your analogue signal.
What kind of qualifications do you need to be an antenna specialist?
You don't need a licence to install or repair antenna's, but most specialists will have a formal qualification from a TAFE. In addition, data cabling and telephone cabling usually doesn't need a licence but do need an affiliation with the service provider (eg Foxtel for satellite installations or Telstra for telephone cable installations). All licenced electricians will know how to perform this work.
* Percussive Maintenance is a DIY function that involves beating the appliance into submission. Often, if percussive maintenance works, your cabling or connections are loose, probably inside the unit you're hitting…