Television Entertainment in Airlie Beach

Television entertainment in Airlie Beach is limited. This also assumes you believe current Australian television is entertaining in the first place.

Television reception can be a problem in this hilly area, unless you live on the coastal plain. If you are in a valley or around a corner from one of the three low power television translators, you may have problems with analogue television reception. Analogue TV will be cut off by the end of 2011. If your only choice is digital reception, I figure you will not get any television reception. There are already complaints about lack of reception in local newspapers.

Queensland Liberal Senator Ian MacDonald said in January 2009 he would take up the issue of TV blackspots in the Whitsundays. he urged residents to report blackspots to AMA, with copies to him and Federal member James Bidgood.

Digital Television

Where I live, digital television is simply not an option, for a variety of reasons. I tested this again in October 2008, and was not able to pick up any digital signals with a small indoor antenna (under Body Corporate bylaws I am not permitted an outdoor antenna). I blogged about Airlie Beach television frequencies and locations a few years ago, and note finding this information seems to be even harder now.

Nearby Dingo Beach residents met with member for Dawson George Christensen and Shadow Minister for Regional Communications in March 2011. Residents were concerned digital television was not likely to be available in their area.

Jubilee Pocket and FlameTree analog television is being switched off, with digital TV expected to be the only TV available by May 2011.

Satellite Television

Pay television service in the Whitsundays is via Austar satellite. As far as I know, Austar is not currently capable of supplying high definition content via satellite, due to bandwidth limits. There is some chance of a limited range of high definition channels becoming available sometime in 2009 (I think that is when they get a different satellite). Wikipedia has a list of Austar channels, which include some Foxtel offerings.

As less that 25% of Airlie Beach dwellings are private residential home sites, access to PayTV may depend upon Body Corporate By-Laws for your apartment complex. In particular, you may not be able to install a satellite dish for your apartment.

While many apartment complexes have satellite reception, older buildings will have cable distribution systems that were designed only for old style analogue television. This is unlikely to work well with digital transmissions, so digital is often converted to analogue by a set top box. In some cases, only a limited number of channels can be carried. For example, where I live, twelve channels is the limit (and transmission quality is often poor).

Cable Television

As usual outside major cities, neither Foxtel nor Optus cable is available. As far as I know, there is no cable TV service available in Airlie Beach.

Internet TV

Pity that Australian Internet download speeds and capacity generally suck, especially in country areas. Also there is no room on the internet in Airlie Beach, as Telstra have run out of rack space and phone exchange space.

Cinemas in Airlie Beach

There are no cinemas in or near Airlie Beach. The entertainment centre at Proserpine (about 20 kilometres) shows films, however I understand the Proserpine hospital needs to reclaim the film room space in 2009.

The nearest real cinemas are at Bowen. I find 70 km too far to drive to see a movie. Against that, the Summergarden Bowen cinema is owned by Ben De Luca, a very pleasant film enthusiast, and often gets good movies. It is a generally delightful example of a traditional country town cinema.

There have been plans to build cinemas in Airlie Beach since 2006, according to the Whitsunday Times. Approval still seems to be delayed, possibly due to poor parking facilities in Airlie Beach.