Conroy launches digital TV switchover scheme

The government has today announced some of the steps it will be taking to help the Australian public switch across to digital television.  

The initial package is focused on the Victorian city of Mildura, which is covered by the Sunraysia TV region and will be the first to switch over, in 2010.

The help being put into place includes providing a package of nine free-to-air channels via satellite to those who can’t receive terrestrial digital signals; in-home switchover help; local awareness-raising iniatiatives; a labelling scheme so that consumers know which equipment to buy; plus a national call centre and web site.

Digital minister Stephen Conroy said: “Digital switchover is important for all Australians as it not only provides access to better picture and sound quality, and additional channels, but it will also free-up spectrum which can be used for the delivery of new and improved broadcasting and communications services.”

Australia is facing two complex switchovers to digital, with digital radio getting under way in a matter of months.

The move to digital is a politically perilous one. Last night, attempts by the US government to delay the imminent switchover there, by a few months, collapsed at the last moment.


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