Between 2010 and 2013 analog free-to-air TV signals throughout Australia will be switched off and replaced with digital-only signals.
Australia is well on track for switchover, with 82 per cent of households already converted nationwide.
Mildura/Sunraysia was the first region to switch to digital-only TV (30 June 2010) followed by regional South Australia and Broken Hill (15 December 2010) and regional Victoria (5 May 2011).
Areas of regional Queensland will be switching on 6 December, followed by Southern and Central NSW, the ACT and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area on 5 June 2012. Northern NSW will follow in the second half of 2012. Brisbane, Gold Coast and Noosa will switch on 30 June 2013. Sydney and Gosford, along with Melbourne, will switch in the second half of 2013.
While take-up rates are encouraging, it is now time for households and properties who have not yet converted or who have not converted all their televisions to get ready for analog switch-off. This includes apartment blocks, groups of townhouses and other properties that have shared antenna systems that are not yet ready for digital TV.
If you have upgraded your TV equipment to digital by buying a set-top box, a PVR or a TV with an integrated digital tuner and can view all available free-to-air digital channels (visit www.freeview.com.au for a full channel listing) your building is probably digital ready and you can sit back and enjoy it!
If some or all of the residents in your building have upgraded their TV equipment but cannot view all of the digital channels reliably, the building’s antenna system may need to be upgraded or replaced. This is something that will need to be coordinated by your building’s Owners Corporation (Body Corporate) or Strata Manager.
Endorsed antenna installers can provide advice on how to get the best out of your digital television and provide advice on antennas, cabling or upgrading a shared antenna system.
Lists of endorsed antenna installers, as well as a range of tools and resources to help you prepare for switchover, are available on the digital ready website www.digitalready.gov.au/mdu. The mySwitch tool on the website will allow you to search by address to find out what switchover region your property is in, the channels available and the closest digital TV transmitter, and the Antenna Systems eToolkit (ASeT) is a resource strata managers can use to find out about various technical options, and costs for making properties ready for digital TV.
For more information about the digital switchover visit www.digitalready.gov.au or call the Digital Ready Information Line 1800 20 10 13.