Digital Switchover FAQs - Bush Australia
Digital Switchover FAQs The Digital Switch-over is the biggest national format change in many years and is a very important step forward for Australia. With such a big change there is bound to be a little confusion. To help you ease into the switch over please see below some FAQs to answer any queries you may have. 1. What is the digital switchover? Australia is switching from analogue to digital TV broadcasting. This process is being managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. This department has set up a taskforce called the Digital Switchover Taskforce. Over the next few years, the Government will be turning off the current signal that carries the television signal (analogue) and replacing it with a digital signal. It is a phased roll out and will begin in Mildura in June 2010 and each region in Australia will be switched by the 31st of December 2013. Go to http://www.digitalready.gov.au for more information. 2. Why the switch to digital? It's important that Australia keeps pace with worldwide changes in technology. Overseas programs are increasingly being recorded in the digital format only and Australian TV shows need to be recorded in the digital format to be easily exported overseas. The Government also wants to free up broadcast space in Australia. TV is currently broadcast in both digital and analogue signals. This is costly and inefficient. Turning off the analogue signal will free up space that could be used for other services for the community. In addition to this, moving to digital will improve your viewing experience. Picture and sound quality on digital TV is better, pictures on digital TV can be seen in widescreen and with Freeview, you will continue to have the same free-to-air channels, plus lots of new channels which means more content and more choice. 3. When will my analogue signal be turned off? The switchover process will commence in 2010 and will continue until the end of 2013. It will be rolled-out progressively around the country, region by region. The first region to be switched off will be Mildura on 30th June 2010 and the last region is Sydney on 31st December 2013. Go to http://www.digitalready.gov.au to find out when the analogue transmission will be switched off in your area. There is no need to wait until your region is being switched off before you convert to digital, you can switch now and enjoy the benefits of digital TV right away. Digital TV is currently available in most areas. 4. I have multiple televisions in my house. Do I need to upgrade each television? Yes, you will need to purchase a Standard Definition, High Definition or Freeview Digital Set Top Box or TV to upgrade to digital. 5. Will rural and regional areas receive the same coverage as metropolitan areas? Individual broadcasters are responsible for the rollout of channels to regional areas. Content and programming vary according to geographical area based on the ownership of commercial TV licences in particular markets. So, for example, most of Sydney does not receive the regional channels broadcast by the Prime, WIN and Southern Cross regional networks, while regional markets do not receive channels broadcast by the metropolitan commercial networks. 6. I have subscription TV or I am planning to subscribe – what do I need to do? If your subscription TV package provides access to some or all of the free-to-air channels, you'll still be able to watch these through your subscription TV box provided the broadcasters continue to allow their signals to be carried by the subscription TV provider. However, you may not be able to access all the free-to-air channels through subscription TV, so if you want to see the standard definition or high definition channels available in your area, you may need to connect a set top box or a digital TV recorder (if your TV is analogue). Alternatively, you may get a TV with a built-in digital tuner. If you are already subscribing or planning to subscribe to a subscription TV service, you should check with your provider and enquire about their options.