How to switch

FAQs

I have a question about:

  • The switch

    • What is the switch?
      Between 2001 and 2013, TV in Australia was broadcasting both analog and digital signals. The 'switch' refers to how the analog signals were phased out (or switched off) across the country. As of 10 December 2013 Australian TV is broadcast using digital-only signals. 
    More info about the switch
  • Reception

    • How can I fix poor digital reception?
      If you have poor digital reception there are a number of ways of finding the problem, including:
      • retune your set-top box or digital TV
      • wait for poor weather conditions to pass
      • check for immediate obstructions or impulse noise
      • review your antenna and cabling.
      For more information on troubleshooting your digital reception, see Reception.
    • How can I tell if I am within digital range?
      You can check the reception coverage of your home through mySwitch.
    • I have checked my equipment and according to mySwitch I am within digital range, why aren’t I receiving digital free-to-air TV?
      If troubleshooting was unsuccessful, you may need to modify or replace your TV antenna. We recommend that you contact an antenna installer in your area. 
    • What if my satellite TV has poor reception?
      Most likely, it has not been installed or set up correctly. You should contact the company that installed your satellite system. See Reception for more information.
    • I have poor reception in my apartment or shared housing, what should I do?
      If you have checked your equipment, there may be an issue with your shared antenna.

      If you are renting your shared housing, see Tenants. If you own your shared housing, see Property managers.

    More info about coverage and reception
  • Retuning

    • How do I retune my TV?
      Many receivers will automatically scan for channels and store them in memory. While all set-top boxes or digital TVs will differ slightly, most will require you to follow the same basic steps to retune.

      1. Access ‘settings’ or ‘menu’ on your digital TV or set-top box remote control.
      2. Once you’ve accessed the menu, find the ‘retune’ option. This may be found in ‘set up’, ‘channel’ or ‘store channels’. The name of the retune option may vary, it could be called ‘re-scan’, ‘replace’ or ‘store channels’.
      3. Select the relevant option and allow your digital receiver to automatically identify digital TV channels.

      For more information on retuning, see Helpdesk.
    • I retuned my TV and still don’t receive clear channels or all digital channels?
      Some digital receivers will need to be tuned more than once to pick up all digital channels. If you have tried retuning your TV and still have problems with reception or receiving all digital channels, see Reception.
    More info about retuning
  • Household Assistance Scheme (HAS)

    This scheme is now closed.

    • What was the Household Assistance Scheme (HAS)?
      The HAS is now closed in all areas. The HAS was a program to help older Australians, veterans and people with disabilities (or their carers), to get digital ready.  See Household Assistance Scheme for more information.
    • What did the HAS provide?
      The HAS provided a range of assistance that may have included a high definition set-top box, installation of new equipment and a 12-month warranty, service and technical support. For those that could not receive an adequate digital TV signal, they may have received equipment to access the VAST service.  For more information on the HAS, see Household Assistance Scheme.
    • I have already opted into HAS, is there anything I need to do before the Government-contracted installer visits my home?
      No, there is not, provided your home is clear of any debris and is a safe environment for the Government-contracted installer to enter and work in. Service contractor(s) are required to comply with work health and safety laws, and are not required to provide services to customers where the installer and/or the service contractor(s) determines the customer’s premises are dangerous to enter or work in.
    • What about people living in nursing homes or disability housing?
      If people living in nursing homes or shared disability housing owned the television they watched, they were entitled to receive assistance. However, the upgrading of external antennas or cabling in care facilities, such as nursing homes or shared disability accommodation, was the responsibility of the property owner and was not included in the assistance package.
    • Why was assistance only available to eligible maximum rate pensioners?
      The scheme was directed to people who had both practical need and limited financial capacity to pay for assistance. Maximum rate recipients of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Service Pension or the DVA Income Support Supplement payment were identified (with help from experience overseas) as the groups in need of this special assistance.
    More info about the HAS
  • Satellite Subsidy Scheme (SSS)

    This scheme is now closed.

    • What was the Satellite Subsidy Scheme (SSS)?
      The SSS is now closed in all areas. The SSS provided support for households in regional and remote areas which relied on an analog self-help retransmission tower which is not being converted to digital. See Satellite Subsidy Scheme for more information.
    • I have opted into SSS, what happens after I have applied?
      If you have applied and are eligible and registered for the SSS, you will be sent a letter from the Digital Switchover Taskforce advising how your installation will be arranged. A representative from the government-contracted service provider will then contact you by letter and phone to arrange an installation time.

      SSS installations will be carried out by installers experienced in domestic satellite dish installation subject to a contract between the Commonwealth and the service contractor. The installer will supply, install and demonstrate the Viewer Access Satellite Television Service (VAST) service. If a household co-contribution is required, the installer will require payment at the time of installation.
    • What did the SSS provide?
      The SSS provided a subsidised installation of equipment to enable eligible households to access the free-to-air Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service. The installation included a satellite dish, a VAST set-top box, associated cabling and a warranty on the installation and equipment. For more information on the SSS, see Satellite Subsidy Scheme.
    • What if the SSS is closed but I still need to access satellite TV?
      Households may still apply for access to the Viewer Access Satellite television (VAST) service and are responsible for all costs associated with accessing the VAST service. This includes the cost of equipment to receive the VAST service. More detail on how to apply for VAST can be found at www.mysattv.com.au
    More info about the SSS
  • Equipment

    • What equipment do I need to get digital ready?
      You'll need a set-top box, personal video recorder (PVR), digital TV, or subscription TV. To figure out which option is best for you, see Equipment.
    • Can I keep my old analog TV?
      You can, but you’ll need to buy and install a new set-top box to continue to watch TV on it. For more information, see Set-top boxes.
    • Where can I recycle my old equipment?
      You can find information about recycling services in or near your local area, by calling the National Recycling Hotline on 1300 733 712 or visiting www.RecyclingNearYou.com.au

      For more information, see Old equipment.
    • How do I install my equipment?
      Installation will vary depending upon your equipment choices and model of equipment. For more information and detailed instructions on installing equipment, see Helpdesk.
    • Will I need a new antenna to get digital ready?
      If you have correctly installed digital ready equipment and you're not receiving digital signal you may need to replace your antenna or wiring. You should contact an antenna installer in your area to look at your equipment. You can find a local antenna installer through Antenna Installers or for more information, see Antennas.
    • What type of antenna do I need to receive digital signal?
      Technical information concerning antennas is in mySwitch. Enter your address in mySwitch and access the Antenna setup guide. For more technical information on shared antenna systems in apartment buildings, see the Antenna System eToolkit.
    • How do I know if a salesperson is from the government?

      The Australian Government does not authorise anyone to go door-to-door selling conversion equipment. Anyone who does so is falsely claiming to represent the government. If you’re unsure whether the person assisting you is part of an Australian Government program, please contact the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13. This is a free call from landlines.

       

    More info about Equipment
  • Satellite TV

    • What is Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST)?
      VAST is the government's new satellite service that supplies free-to-air TV around Australia. The service provides everyone around Australia with the same range of channels. For more information on the VAST service, see Viewer Access Satellite Television.
    • Do I need VAST?
      If you were using the Aurora service, live in a regional or remote area, watch TV from a self-help transmission tower or have poor TV reception, you may be eligible for VAST. See Satellites for more information.
    • Do I need a satellite dish?
      Yes. To receive VAST services you need a satellite dish. If you already have a satellite dish it will probably be digital ready. You can also contact an endorsed Satellite Installer to discuss your needs, which you can find through mySwitch.
    • How do I register my Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) set-top box or smartcard?
      To register your VAST set-top box you’ll be asked for the decoder or model number, the serial number, and the smartcard number inside the box.

      To register your VAST set-top box, use mySwitch.
    • What is a self-help TV tower?
      A self-help TV tower receives and retransmits free-to-air signals from the main television broadcaster towers or satellites. Self-help TV towers are owned and maintained by self-help licensees such as local councils and local community organisations in areas where broadcasters have not established towers, or where the signal from the broadcasters tower serving the area is not adequate.

      If you are in an area relying on TV reception from a local analog self-help TV tower not converting to digital, you may be eligible for the SSS. See Satellite Subsidy Scheme for more information.
    • Why isn't my local self-help TV tower being upgraded?
      Television broadcasters collectively reached an agreement to upgrade a number of analog self-help TV towers across Australia to operate in digital. It is a commercial decision for broadcasters as to which sites they choose to convert to digital, subject to planning approval from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The government is not contributing to the upgrade of analog self-help TV towers.
    • What happens if I was receiving analog Aurora services?
      The Aurora satellite service ceased transmitting on 10 December 2013 in remote central and eastern Australia. 

      If you were receiving analog commercial television services via the Aurora satellite, you may be automatically eligible to receive VAST.

      However, you must have been receiving Aurora commercial services via 'special permission' from the ACMA or live in an area that has been opened for VAST by the broadcasters. You must also be located at the same address for which Aurora services were requested for the special permission to remain valid. To check your eligibility for VAST, use mySwitch.
    More info about Satellite TV
  • Rental properties

    • Who is responsible for upgrading a rental property's antenna system?
      The owner of a rental property is often obliged to keep the antenna system in working order. This would include upgrading it to receive digital TV or digital satellite TV. If you own a rental property and need more information, see Property managers.
    • I’m a tenant. Can I upgrade the antenna system?
      You should not attempt to upgrade the antenna or make any changes without first consulting your property manager or landlord. For more information, see Tenants.
    • What if I live in an apartment building, shared housing or another type of multiple dwelling unit?
      If this is your set up, you may have a shared antenna system (often referred to as a master antenna TV system or MATV). You should contact the body corporate or owners corporation and ask them about the housing’s digital ready status.

      For more about antenna systems in multiple dwellings, see Antenna Systems eToolkit (ASeT)
    • Are the costs of digital switchover tax deductible?
      If you own a rental property, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for your antenna installation, purchase or upgrade. See Property managers for more information.
    More info about Rental properties
  • Digital switchover industry

    • What industry schemes are available through the government?
      The government developed the Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme (AIES) to help consumers to find experienced antenna installers for the digital switchover. The AIES will close on 31 December 2013. After this date, if viewers require assistance with their antennas or reception, they should check thier local business directory. 
    • How do I become an endorsed Antenna Installer?
      The Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme (AIES) will be closing on 31 December 2013. Registrations are no longer being accepted for the Scheme. 

    More info about Digital switchover industry
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