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Darwin makes the switch to digital-only TV



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Darwin makes the switch to digital-only TV

Joint media release

ANTHONY ALBANESE Deputy Prime Minister Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy

SHARON BIRD Minister for Regional Development Minister for Regional Communications Minister for Road Safety

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Anthony Albanese, and Minister for Regional Communications, Sharon Bird, today congratulated Darwin on becoming Australia's twelfth region to switch to digital-only free-to-air TV, when analog TV signals were permanently switched off at 0900am.

We are pleased to say that Darwin has experienced a successful switchover, with the majority of Darwin's 47,500 households converting to digital TV well ahead of today's deadline.

We would like to thank the people and organisations across Darwin that worked with local communities to help spread the word about the digital switchover.

It is not too late to get digital ready. If you have not yet converted, you can still get information and advice by calling the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13 or visiting the Digital Ready website at www.digitalready.gov.au

The Government's Household Assistance Scheme is still available to provide practical help to eligible pensioners. The Household Assistance Scheme will remain open across Darwin until 30 August 2013. To find out if you are eligible for this assistance please contact the Department of Human Services on 1800 556 443.

The switch to digital-only TV is helping Australians, wherever they live, access all 17 digital channels, delivering greater program choice, better sound and picture quality.

So far almost 8.5 million households across Australia have embraced the switch to digital free-to-air TV including millions across regional areas of the country.

There are now only three regions to go before the switchover is complete and households across the country are watching digital-only TV.

Sydney is next in line switching on 3 December 2013, Melbourne and Remote and Central Eastern Australia, which includes areas of the Northern Territory outside of the Darwin switchover region, will follow on 10 December 2013, to complete the roll out. For more information visit www.digitalready.gov.au or call 1800 20 10 13.

Contact: Digital Switchover Taskforce - switchover.media@dbcde.gov.au Date: 30 July 2013

Darwin Switchover (MP3, 225.3 KB)

Notes to editors:

A media pack, audio files, images and footage are available from the Digital Switchover Taskforce. Visit the Taskforce's Media Centre at http://media.digitalready.gov.au or contact us at: switchover.media@dbcde.gov.au

Household Assistance Scheme (HAS)

 There are about 7,200 households eligible for the HAS in the Darwin switchover region.  The Household Assistance Scheme provides practical help to eligible households to make the switch to digital TV. A high definition set-top box is supplied and installed,

and there is a demonstration on how to use the equipment. The Scheme provides in-home support for 12 months and where necessary, antennas, cabling or satellite equipment will be included, free of charge.  If you receive the maximum rate of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension or Carer Payment, or the Department of Veterans' Affairs Service Pension or Income Support Supplement you may be eligible.  People who may be eligible have been sent a letter from the Department of Human Services inviting them to apply for assistance.  Although the Scheme is open in the Darwin switchover region until 30 August 2013 - one month after switchover, people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  To apply, or to find out if you are eligible, call the Department of Human Services 1800 55 64 43.

Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service

 The VAST service is available to anyone who cannot receive terrestrial services from a local transmitter.  Viewers watching TV via the Aurora satellite service should be aware that this service is scheduled to be switched off on 10 December 2013.  Aurora viewers should check if they are able to receive terrestrial digital TV services

or move to the VAST service before 10 December 2013 to ensure that they do not lose their access to TV.  VAST offers the full range of 17 digital channels and is a reliable, high quality and future proof answer to problems experienced across regional and remote areas for

years.

 You need to meet eligibility requirements to access VAST. You can obtain further information from www.digitalready.gov.au or by calling 1800 20 10 13.

Disposing of old TV equipment

 To find out about what you can do with unwanted televisions and computers visit: www.environment.gov.au/ewaste