Most of us have migrated to the digital TV domain of the past 3-5 years, but some consumers are still dragging the chain. Happy with something that works, your parents or grand parents may well be still using an analog TV set. There’s a very important date approaching rapidly, the day where they get one new channel.. of dancing ants.
The digital TV transition is actually a progressive shut off around the country, right up until the end of 2013, so how do you know when you area will be affected ? The Australian Government have a site dedicated to the DTV transition where you can insert your address and get your ‘lights out’ date.
In my area (Albury Wodonga), the date is 5th of May 2011, the same date applies to Wangaratta, Shepparton, Bendigo, Swan Hill, Ballarat, Warnambool, Horsham, Taralgon, Bairnsdale and Malacoota. This will be the first bulk batch of wide-scale shut downs.
There are however some early switchover towns in which this has already happened. Places like Mildura, Hoptoun, Jeeralang/Yinnar South are already dark, with Boolarra going offline tomorrow. The TV campaign from the government has begun in affected areas.
Naturally most of us use the impending switchover as an opportunity to upgrade to a flat screen at the same time. However those on a tight budget, or just infatuated with the tube, can opt for a digital set-top box to continue to receive free-to-air television. If your parents are still rocking the analog, best to have a word in their hearing aid now.
The digital TV transition is needed to free up valuable wireless spectrum for future generation mobile networks. It turns out the spectrum that Analogue TV signal occupies is kind of awesome, penetrating walls and travelling large distances. Unsurprisingly 4G or LTE mobile network providers are eager to get their grubby mits wrapped all around it.
For more information on the transition to Digital TV, check out http://digitalready.gov.au