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According to the most recent Australian Government announcement, from the 1st July 2011, areas of Queensland will begin the switch over from the existing analogue broadcast to a digital-only transmission.
For most households in Queensland, this switchover may mean that in order to watch free-to-air television you will need to purchase a new digital TV or set-top box.
This is where we can help you. R.T. Edwards - QLDs Switchover Specialists has all of your needs covered. With an extensive range of standard, high and full definition Plasma and LCD TVs, set-top boxes and digitally trained experts - switching to digital couldn't be made any easier! So why wait.
Visit your local R.T. Edwards store and speak to one of our Switchover Specialists today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Download the DST Fact Sheet
What is the digital switchover?
Digital switchover is the process of progressively turning off analogue TV broadcasts and replacing them with digital signals across Australia. Today, free-to-air television signals are currently broadcast in both analogue and digital formats. During the digital switchover all free-to-air analogue television signals across Australia will be progressively turned off and the broadcasters will provide only digital television signals.
When did digital TV broadcasts commence?
Digital TV started in 2001 in metropolitan areas and digital signals have been broadcast in many regional areas since then. Digital broadcasts are currently transmitted alongside analogue broadcasts, but when the analogue signals are switched off, only TVs which are capable of receiving digital signals (whether received through a set-top box or built-in tuner) will work.
How do I know if my TV is digital?
Currently, if your TV is not capable of receiving digital channels, than it's likely that your television is still on a analogue system.
Hint: An easy way to determine if your TV is digital ready is to work out whether your TV receives ABC2 or ONE HD - these are standard definition digital channels. If you are able to view these two channels (and you don't have subscription TV), then it is likely that your TV is capable of receiving digital broadcasts.
What are my options?
It is important to understand that if you receive most or all of your current TV programming via cable or satellite services, you won't be required to make equipment changes. However, since DTV offers a dramatically improved viewing experience, even cable and satellite subscribers are considering upgrading their equipment to enjoy all the benefits of this new technology.
High Definition Set Top Boxes
If you're currently using an analogue TV set with an antenna (either rooftop or "rabbit ears") to receive over-the-air programming, don't be alarmed. All you will need is a simple set-top converter box to convert digital broadcast signals into a format your TV can display.
Please note that although you will be able to view the digital broadcast, your analogue TV will not deliver the same audio and video performance improvements that are made possible by Digital TV.
For more information, talk to a Switchover Specialist at your local RT Edwards store.
Most antennas that provide quality reception with your analogue TV should work for digital TV programming. You may find that a new antenna will help improve your reception if you are having problems.
Also, if you are using an antenna, you will need to do a channel scan on your set top box or digital TV periodically between now and the final switch in 2013. This will ensure you are picking up any new stations that have switched to digital. To perform a scan, look for a button (usually on your remote) that says "set-up," "menu" or something similar. Press that button and use the directional arrows on your remote to scroll to "channel scan" or something similar. For complete instructions, refer to the manual that came with your converter box or TV.
Digital Plasma TV or Digital LCD TV
If you decide to upgrade to DTV, be aware there is a difference between DTV and high-definition TV (HDTV). Not all digital TVs are high-definition TVs. HDTV refers only to the highest-quality forms of digital broadcast. Some lower-priced digital TVs can receive all types of DTV programming, but are unable to display high-definition signals in their full glory.
Your digital switchover specialist at R.T. Edwards is here to help, visit your local store for more information.
What benefits will I get from digital television?
Digital television is a far more efficient and flexible transmission system than the current analogue systems. It allows broadcasters to offer viewers a range of new and different services.
Our army of highly skilled electricians and installers can provide competitive quotes on any electrical contracting work, from the smallest home to the biggest office, and we can complete the job from planning stages to final installation and providing back-up service.
For example, the ABC has already introduced ABC2 which is only available in digital. SBS has the SBS World News in digital. The Seven, Nine and Ten networks have introduced High Definition digital channels which brings a sharper picture to your TV screen. Network Ten have also announced a digital-only sports channel, expected to be named 'One', which will begin in 2009. Gradually, each of the free-to-air television broadcasters will introduce new digital channels and content which will bring more variety to you.
Digital TV features include:
- Ghost-free reception
- Widescreen pictures (16:9)
- Standard definition pictures (SD)
- High definition pictures (HD)
- High quality audio and surround sound
- Multi-channel programming
- Closed captioning of programs for the hearing impaired
- Electronic program guides (EPGs) with 'now & next' program information for some channels
Does it cost more to run a digital TV or set-top box?
A set-top box consumes a small amount of additional electricity. A new television may consume more electricity, depending on the type is chosen. From April 2009, Energy Efficiency labels will be mandatory on all new televisions to help consumers choose the most efficient model.
Hint: Like all electrical equipment, televisions and set-top boxes continue to use power while in stand-by mode, so it's best to turn them off completely when not in use.
All information has been sourced from www.digitalready.gov.au/