AN IMPORTANT chapter in Griffith’s history will come to a close tomorrow when the analogue signal at the Mount Bingar transmission site is officially switched off.
The switch-off, to take place at 9am, will usher in digital television, promising more channels, higher-resolution pictures and improved sound quality.
It will be a day of mixed emotions for local technicians Denny Fachin, John Lambert and Max Whitford, whose careers have paralleled the dawn and rise of television in the region.
Mr Lambert, who worked at the station when television began in Griffith in December 1965, said it was a time of reflection for himself and his former colleagues.
He said while television came to Australia in 1956, the MIA was forced to wait nearly a decade before receiving it, forcing residents to either endure a “snowy” reception from Wagga or huddle outside electronics stores like Fred Cole to watch it through the window.
“I do feel nostalgic because there are some great memories from my time there – we were the best technical team in NSW,” he said.
“When I arrived at Mount Bingar, there was just a room with nothing in it – no tower, no facilities. We had to install the MTN9 transmitter and the ABC transmitter.
“It was a good feeling to know we were bringing TV to the people.”
A staff of nine oversaw the operation, manning a control desk and a swag of monitors to ensure the audio and visual feed was beamed out to the MIA.
Much of the work is now done remotely by computer.
The three technicians made a last trek up to Mount Bingar on Friday and reminisced about their decades of working together.
Mr Fachin, who has worked at the site since 1989, said it was an emotional moment.
“It’s hard to describe ... it’s the end of an era and there are so many memories for us here,” Mr Fachin said.
“We’ve seen so much progress going from analogue to digital and it’s a very positive step for viewers.”
The site, nestled in the Cocoparra National Park, beams signals for local radio and television.