What is the switch?

Digital TV

What are the benefits of digital TV?

There are a number of benefits to having digital TV:
  • it provides higher quality sound and picture than analog
  • issues with reception like static and ghosting don’t occur with digital TV
  • it has an electronic program guide, or EPG, which is an interactive schedule of current and upcoming programs that you can display on-screen
  • the digital signal takes up less broadcasting room, meaning there is room for more channels, including local channels
  • with digital TV and certain equipment you can pre-record single shows or entire series.

How did the government manage the switchover?

In December 2007, the Australian Government announced its plans for a nationwide switchover to digital TV by the end of 2013. The switchover has included broadcasters, retailers, manufacturers, antenna technicians, government and the public. The government invested $37.9 million in the digital switchover strategy. The strategy included:
  • $8.5 million for the Australian Communications and Media Authority to perform technical projects, such as an evaluation of digital TV transmission and reception throughout Australia
  • $4.8 million for a ‘Digital Tracker' to assess issues such as public awareness of digital switchover, intention of households to convert and actual conversion rates
  • $1 million for researching digital reception problems in dwellings with a shared TV antenna system
  • $6.7 million for a labeling scheme to clearly indicate which products are digitally ready, ensuring Australian consumers can be informed and confident about what products will suit their needs
  • $16.9 million for the Digital Switchover Taskforce, who coordinated the switchover program within the Department of Communications.

Digital Switchover Taskforce

The Digital Switchover Taskforce within the Department of Communications was responsible for coordinating and overseeing Australia's transition to digital from analog television. Their objectives were to:

  • advise government on policy settings, implementation and issues connected with digital switchover
  • develop and implement a program framework, including a switchover timetable
  • manage information and education programs explaining the switchover process to all Australians
  • convene meetings and coordinate activities of an Industry Advisory Group.

What’s happening around the world?

As more countries switch to digital, TV programs are increasingly being produced only in digital. Switching to digital ensures Australians can view all video formats.
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