The phasing out of analogue television transmissions continues with the announcement by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy that regions in Southern and Central NSW and the Australian Capital Territory are scheduled to have analogue transmissions switched off on 5 June 2012.
The switch-off will affect local transmissions of ABC, Prime (CBN), WIN, Southern Cross Ten (CTC) and SBS in the Southern NSW markets of Central Tablelands (Orange), Central Western Slopes (Dubbo), South West Slopes and Eastern Riverina (Wagga Wagga), Illawarra and the South Coast (Wollongong) and Canberra. The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (Griffith) which is separate to the Southern NSW aggregated market and is served by ABC, WIN (MTN/AMN) and SBS, will also be affected.
The total area covers a population of around 1,436,800 viewers.
With Canberra included in this stage of the switch-off, it becomes the first capital city in Australia to lose analogue television broadcasts.
According to the latest Digital Tracker survey 83 per cent of households in the affected areas have already converted at least their main television set to digital, while 97 per cent of households are aware of the pending full conversion to digital television.
Viewers in the affected areas that do not have a digital signal equivalent to their existing analogue service six months before the analogue shutdown may be eligible for access to the VAST satellite system which will provide access to the full range of digital channels.
The Government also has other measures in place to assist eligible households in making the transition – details can be obtained from the Digital Ready website.
Meanwhile, viewers in regional Queensland are now approaching their analogue switch-off date – 6 December.
Analogue transmissions have already been switched off in regional Victoria (including Mildura/Sunraysia) and regional South Australia (including Broken Hill, NSW).