Digital switch timetable
The switch to digital begins in Mildura from January 2010 and ends in our major capitals in 2013.
Senator Conroy has mapped out the switch from analog to digital television, beginning, as expected in Mildura, NW Victoria.
“The regional broadcasting licence covering the Sunraysia district in northern Victoria has the highest penetration of digital TV in Australia, at over 70 per cent of homes, so it makes sense to start there,” Senator Conroy said.
The timetable is as follows:
* January – June 2010: Mildura / Sunraysia, Victoria
* July – December 2010: Regional South Australia
* January – June 2011: Regional Victoria (excluding Mildura)
* July – December 2011: Regional Queensland (Whole, excluding Noosa)
* January – June 2012: Regional New South Wales (Southern NSW TV licence area)
* July – December 2012: Regional New South Wales (Northern NSW TV licence area, excluding Central Coast and Gold Coast)
* January – June 2013: Tasmania (Whole), Perth, Brisbane (including Gold Coast, Noosa)
* July – December 2013: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney (including Central Coast), Regional & Remote WA, Remote Central & Eastern Australia
Not surprisingly Free TV Australia, which represents the commercial free to air broadcasters, is cautiously optimistic, but has called for benchmarks to be set for minimum take-up levels before analog is turned off.
“The timetable is challenging but achievable,” Free TV’s Julie Flynn said, “and we look forward to working with the government and other stakeholders to ensure no viewers are left behind as we make the transition to digital.”
The commercial television industry today welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a Digital TV switchover timetable for Australia.
“The timetable provides greater certainty for the industry and Australian viewers,” Free TV Australia chief executive, Julie Flynn said today.
“The timetable is challenging but achievable,” Ms Flynn said, “and we look forward to working with the government and other stakeholders to ensure no viewers are left behind as we make the transition to digital.”
In a country the size of Australia, if even one per cent of people can’t convert, that amounts to 200,000 viewers no longer receiving free-to-air television.
Ms Flynn said most Australian viewers rely solely on free-to-air broadcasters for their television service, and as such, it is important that viewers are well informed about the coming changes.
“We are determined to work in the interests of viewers to ensure minimum disruption during the switch-over process.
“Free TV recommends that benchmarks be set and achieved for minimum take-up levels of Digital TV in each region, before analog switch-off occurs,” Ms Flynn said.
Sources: Sen Stephen Conroy, Free TV Australia