Looks like we're not the only one with TV aerial problems. When we first moved in, my mother gave us the portable TV from her house that nobody was using. We plugged it into the cable point which was supposed to give you free-to-air feed if you didn't subscribe to cable. Only the dinky set wasn't picking up anything. Our contractor said the TV was probably too old and not sensitive enough to pick up the feed. So we left it at that. The TV is 10 to 15 years old so he's probably right. My Dad gave us a set of rabbit-ears antenna to go with the TV. It picked up the signals although it can't receive the news station. But it was enough to watch Desperate Housewives with and along with that, gave the living room a retro look.
Then we realised that there were a lot of TV antenna coat-wire contraptions sticking out of the windows of our block and the surrounding blocks. It can't be that everyone here has 15-year-old portables like ours!
This morning, I saw the makcik downstairs pottering around the grass outside her ground-floor flat with a portable aerial fixed on top of a laundry bamboo pole, while someone in the house directed her where to plant it. Instructions were first given verbally, then as she moved into the distance, the mode of communication became visual -- move to the right, up, down gestures through the window. And then a cellphone on makcik rang. It was command centre inside the house calling. Much easier directing her on the phone than to yell out the window. How modern communications have eased our life -- even when cable connections fail.