SBS FTA quality extremely poor! Unwatchable!


I am experiencing extremely poor quality from ALL SBS FTA channels through Fetch Tv. 

All other FTA channels are perfect. Only SBS channels are affected. The screen barely shows a recognisable image, it’s heavily pixelated, huge areas of solid colours, flickering. Audio stammers and stalls. 

I have reset the box, I have retuned the channels.

When I test the channel signal strength and quality via the settings page, the results are the same for every SBS channel.


For the following channels; 3 SBS, 30 SBS HD, 31 SBS Viceland HD, 32 SBS Viceland, 33 SBS FOOD


The results are;


184.5 MHz Strength 50% Quality Zero (no value bar whatsoever)


As I’ve stated. The system has been restarted, reset, and retuned. Nothing helps. 





Re: SBS FTA quality extremely poor! Unwatchable!


This would usually be a reception issue with your antenna.


Digital TV equipment can provide very different picture qualities with small changes in the signal strength (see Digital Cliff). Do a visuial check your antenna is not damaged (no bent rods etc.) How old is your antenna? You may need to get an antenna guy out to test the signal strength at the wall and either confirm it as strong enough or too weak and needing updating.


Note all channels from each network are broadcast in a single mixed up digital data stream called a Mux. This is why if one channel is poor then all channels will be similarly poor (for that network)


NB You could try replacing / swapping the fly lead between the wall plate and the Fetch TV. Also ensure no splitters or other pass through equipment is in the line from the antenna to the Fetch TV.


Peter Gillespie

Re: SBS FTA quality extremely poor! Unwatchable!


Hi Peter


Thanks for your reply. 


Regarding the antenna, I actually live in a fairly new apartment complex that is very well setup for technology including fibre to node NBN. The complex is only 4 years old. A visual check of the antenna is not possible. I will post in the building’s Facebook forum to check a couple of things,

1, to get information about the building’s antenna set up, and

2, to see if anyone else is in the building is having issues with SBS. 


Do you know if in this situation, where an apartment building of approx 200-250 apartments, would everyone experience the same reception issues? Including those with other set-top providers such as Foxtel? (Could this relate to any splitter? I’m unaware of any recent changes to any of the cabling etc within the complex)


I think it’s important for me to note that the reception issues started suddenly two days ago. That I have had my current setup for Fetch TV, for close to 4 years. Nothing has been moved, disconnected, replaced, no cables have been changed etc etc it has all been sitting there and working perfectly. 


Bearing that in mind this doesn’t discount issues with an external antenna. (So it will be interesting to see if any other resident has issues, assuming an antenna problem will affect all those connected to that antenna). 

If no-one reports any issues then the possibility remains that the issue is arising from my side of the equipment. (Even though nothing has been moved or touched and is all still relatively new) 


Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, I realise now that I should have mentioned I’m living in an apartment complex. I’m sure that changes things up a bit. 

Re: SBS FTA quality extremely poor! Unwatchable!

[ Edited ]

It does indeed change it up a bit. I always liked this song (and the singer).


I'm no expert there but I'd suspect you have some sort of distributed system (you can't just hang 250 TVs of the one aerial). 


Neighbours also suffering a drop on SBS would certainly confim an external issue, however if they haven't it doesn't rule it out. Same way your TV might still be showing perfect SBS (when plugged into the antenna directly and channels scanned) but the Fetch box fails. Different equipment has different "digital cliffs".


You could always try plug your fetch box into a neighbors antenna and do a scan in there apartment?

An antenna guy can confirm if the signal to your wall plate is not sufficient but its probably better to ask the Building Committee if any works were done a few days ago. Any changes etc? Something might have got bumped or moved or perhaps something is now blocking the antennas (where ever they are)


Peter Gillespie

Re: SBS FTA quality extremely poor! Unwatchable!


Thanks again, 


I really should have said I am in an apartment from the start 🤦🏼‍♂️


I’ve posted to the Facebook group so will anticipate the response. 


I’ll be sure to post back here with any update. 


Thanks again for your help so far. 

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