Heat causing TV blackouts on South Coast
The hot weather is causing havoc for thousands of TV viewers on the South Coast as some channels "disappear" without warning.
From Gerringong through to Nowra and as far south as Bawley Point, TV reception has been sporadic over the past three or four days, with various commercial channels affected.
Gerringong's Annette Wright was watching Lleyton Hewitt's Australian Open tennis match earlier this week when the picture went blank.
"It was right at a crucial point in the match," Ms Wright said.
"Everyone's texting each other: 'My TV's gone down, what's happening?' I don't know, my TV's gone down, too."
Ms Wright said the worst-affected channel was Prime, followed by Ten and then WIN. She said the ABC and SBS appeared unaffected.
"It's not a life-or-death thing but it is a bit frustrating because I love the tennis and every night you go to watch the tennis and it's the middle of a good rally and - poof - it's gone," she said.
Ms Wright initially thought it was a problem with her TV set.
"I've got a brand new TV and I've just recently had my antenna checked so I was worried that there might have been something I did," she said.
It wasn't. Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis said her office had been fielding plenty of calls about TV reception in recent days.
She said she had contacted Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull's office to find out what was happening.
The answer? Atmospheric ducting, a byproduct of hot weather, which affects how TV signals travel.
"The heat is affecting the distance the signal goes," Ms Sudmalis said.
"What happens is they're [travelling much further] from their source and they're interfering with a signal that's coming from another tower, whether that be a repeater tower or another receiving tower."
Ms Sudmalis said the situation was causing unhappy times.
"All of our tourists are also completely disadvantaged and thinking, 'oh, this is a dreadful place to visit'."
She said all people could do was wait for cooler weather, which should come some time soon.
"Someone said Saturday night, someone said Sunday night, someone said Monday morning.
"Which is a long time for most Australians to be without their sport."