Digital TV upgrade FAQ
Can I keep my analog TV?
Most analogue TVs will be able to receive digital TV by connecting a digital set top box or digital TV recorder. So, unless your analogue TV is too old to be connected to a set top box or digital TV recorder, it won’t need replacing.
However, different TVs use different connections, so it’s important to check the connection points on your TV before you purchase a set top box or digital TV recorder. Your local TV supplier should be able to supply you with the correct cabling.
What about the Retune ? or Restack happening on 28th June 2013?
On 27/06/2013 Brisbane has to retune, as SBS and Briz 31 are moving positions. Click here for more info.
Can I convert my TV myself or will I need someone to help me?
If you’re able to connect a DVD player or VCR to your television, you should have no trouble connecting a digital set top box. However, if you’re worried about doing it, ask your family, friends or neighbours first. Many TV retailers should also be able to help you.
How much will the digital switchover cost me?
Set top boxes, digital TV recorders and new TVs with built-in tuners are all available with either standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) tuners.
Standard definition set top boxes typically cost between $30 and $80, while high definition set top boxes are approximately $100 +. Digital TV recorders generally cost more than set top boxes because of their additional features. Replacing your television set with one that contains a built-in digital tuner will cost more, depending on the brand, size and features that you choose. If you’ve already got digital TV, you won’t need to do anything more.
What equipment will I need?
You can connect a set top box or digital TV recorder to your existing analogue television. Or, you can upgrade to a TV with an integrated digital tuner. If you already have a set top box, digital TV recorder or a digital TV, you should be receiving digital signals, and should not need any other electronic equipment. You can find out more below.
If I have more than one TV, how many set top boxes will I need?
A set top box will be needed for every television you want to convert unless it already has a built-in digital TV tuner.
Will it cost more to run a digital TV or set top box?
A set top box uses a small amount of electricity. A new TV may consume more electricity than your old one, depending on what type you choose. From April 2009, energy efficiency labels became mandatory on all new televisions. This will help you choose the most efficient model. 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 you’re not using them.
What benefits will I get from digital television?
Simply put, digital TV will give you DVD-quality pictures, CD-quality sound as well as widescreen format. It will also bring new digital TV channels and interactive features like a digital TV guide and weather updates. The ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten have all introduced high definition digital channels. Gradually, all free-to-air channels will be introducing new digital channels and content. One of the biggest benefits of digital TV is that you will have more channels available. Analogue currently provides only 5 channels whilst Digital already has 27 channels available now.
Why is the Government turning off analogue signals?
Most overseas programs are recorded in the digital format, so it’s important Australia keeps up with these changes in technology. The switchover will also free up broadcast space for other community services.
What are standard definition (SD) pictures?
Standard definition (SD) broadcast quality is superior to analog television broadcasts. It’s generally viewed on 4:3 television sets, is ghost-free and in widescreen format. The SD picture resolution is 576 lines x 720 active pixels @ 50Hz interlaced (576i).
Before switchover in a licence area, the Government requires broadcasters to provide a simultaneous standard definition broadcast of their core analog channel at all times. This is in addition to any other standard definition or high definition channels that they may broadcast. This is to ensure that viewers who have purchased standard definition receivers will be able to receive a digital television service. Except in some smaller regional licence areas, commercial broadcasters are generally restricted from providing more than two standard definition channels and one high definition channel before switchover in a licence area.
What are high definition (HD) pictures?
High definition broadcasts have image resolution superior to SD pictures and the current analog television broadcast. Australian broadcasters currently use four different levels of HD:
1920 active pixels x 1080 lines @ 50Hz interlaced
1440 active pixels x 1080 lines @ 50Hz interlaced
1280 active pixels x 720 lines @ 50Hz progressive
720 active pixels x 576 lines @ 50Hz progressive
HD pictures are most noticeable on larger screens and when using projection equipment. They’re also ghost-free and in widescreen format. When viewed on an HD capable television screen, the viewer can enjoy cinema-quality viewing with Dolby Digital sound (where available with some HD programming.
What is an integrated digital television (iDTV)?
An integrated digital television (iDTV) is a television with a built-in digital tuner for receiving and displaying digital TV transmissions. A set with iDTV generally incorporates a high quality widescreen display and a high-level audio capability with appropriate audio/video connectors. It does not require a digital television set top box, although connection of an additional set top box could provide recording or other functionality.
Who is managing the digital switchover?
The Australian Government has established the Digital Switchover Taskforce to manage the digital switchover process. The Taskforce is part of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and has offices in Sydney and Canberra.
More information can be found at http://www.digitalready.gov.au or by calling the digital information hotline on 1800 20 10 13 8am-10pm 7 days a week.