Digital Dividend sale to go ahead
The Australian parliament has agreed to the sale of the “Digital Dividend”, those frequencies made available by the switch to digital terrestrial TV (DTT). According to the “Australian” the sale is expected to raise A$2.5 billion (€1.87 billion).
The price paid for the hotly contested spectrum, which mobile phone and other telecommunications services want, will boost government coffers in 2012-13, when it has promised to return its budget to surplus.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority will conduct an auction of the spectrum in November 2012.
Commercial free-to-air TV networks, as well as the ABC and SBS, will be required to self fund changing the frequencies at more than 1,000 transmitters across the nation
Source: Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union Weekly
Item added: 14th November 2011
82% digital switchover rate in Australia
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has announced that 82 % of Australian households have already converted to digital TV.
The information comes from the Digital Switchover Taskforce's latest Digital Tracker Summary Report for Q2 (April-June 2011).
Darwin has the highest conversion rate with 89% converting by the end of June. Tasmania came next with 86%, then Adelaide at 85%, followed by northern New South Wales at 84% and southern New South Wales at 83%.
The report also showed that the number of converted households in regional Queensland had increased to 84% during the quarter, well ahead of the regional Queensland switchover scheduled for the 6th December 2011. This is up from just 46% in early 2009.
"With 100 days to go until analogue TV signals are turned off forever, regional Queensland is well on track for the switch to digital-only TV," Mr Conroy said. "The number of digital-ready households in the Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV licence area (which includes areas of South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania) has more than doubled since early 2009."
The Australian government's Household Assistance Scheme (HAS), which is helping eligible households to receive digital free-to-air TV signals, completed the 50,000th HAS installation at a house in Rockhampton, Queensland on the 2nd September.
Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Item added: 5th September 2011
Regional Victoria completes switch to digital-only TV
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that the region of Victoria has completed its switch to digital-only free-to-air-television broadcasting using the DVB-T standard.
"Around 455,000 households in regional Victoria now receive digital-only TV following the shutdown of analogue television signals," Senator Conroy said.
Analogue TV broadcasting commenced in regional Victoria in 1961 and ended at nine o’clock on the 5th May 2011 when analogue services from 66 transmitter sites were switched off for good.
"Regional Victoria is the largest area making the switchover to date, following on from Mildura/Sunraysia on the 30th June last year, and areas of regional South Australia and Broken Hill in December 2010," Senator Conroy said.
Around 25,000 households have been converted to digital TV through the Government’s Household Assistance Scheme, which provides eligible households with the supply, installation and demonstration of a high definition set top box.
Regional Queensland is the next region to switchover to digital only TV, on the 6th December 2011.
Source: Ministry website
Item added: 16th May 2011
Queensland ASO and DTT services in Alice Springs and Mt Isa
The Australian government has announced that 506,000 households in regional Queensland will switch to digital only free-to-air television on the 6th December this year.
Free-to-air digital TV channels are also available by satellite for viewers in regional and remote areas of Western Australia who cannot receive terrestrial digital TV.
An agreement between the government and broadcasters Win and Prime Television (under joint venture WA Satco) will provide the VAST service to Western Australia. Under the first stage of the agreement, satellite viewers will be able to receive the standard definition commercial channels from Win, GWN and Ten and from the 30th July. The VAST service will provide all nine standard definition and high definition commercial channels.
From the 2nd May, television viewers in Alice Springs and Mt Isa will be able to receive the full suite of digital commercial television services using their existing TV antenna. Terrestrial transmission of the two existing commercial digital television services, Imparja Television and Southern Cross Television, will begin in Alice Springs and Mt Isa from that date. This coincides with the start of a third, digital-only commercial television broadcasting service in remote central and eastern Australia.
Communications minister Stephen Conroy said 79% of households across Australia are now digital ready, according to the latest figures from the Digital Tracker survey for the first quarter of 2011.
Source: Telecompaper & more Telecompaper
Item added: 3rd May 2011
DTT figures for 5 major cities released
OzTAM the Television Audience Measurement (TAM) organisation covering the five major metropolian cities in Australia has released its latest figures for March 2011.
The figures for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth detail DTT households, DTT HD households and PVR households.
DTT penetration across the five metropolitan markets has risen to 89 per cent, up from 69 per cent just one year ago.
Perth has the highest DTT penetration at 92% followed by Adelaide 91%, Brisbane 90%, Melbourne 89% and lastly Sydney with 84%.
DTT HD households now average 82% across the five areas with Adelaide and Perth leading the field at 85% followed by Melbourne 84%, Brisbane 81% and Sydney 78%.
Item added: 11th April 2011
DTT in 81% of Victoria households
Eight out of ten households in regional Victoria had converted to digital television by the end of 2010, well ahead of the regional Victoria switchover on 5 May 2011, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said.
“South-West Victoria had the highest rate of conversion in regional Victoria, with 85% of households reporting they were digital ready,” he went on to say.
Across Australia, 77% of households had converted to digital TV during the quarter.
Darwin and Tasmania lead the nation in the take-up of digital TV, with a conversion rate of 88% by the end of 2010. Perth and Adelaide reported 81% of households converted; Melbourne 79%, Brisbane 78%, and Sydney 66%.
The reach of free to air digital TV channels is being extended further by the government-funded VAST satellite service which is broadcasting digital TV into households in remote areas and terrestrial reception blackspots.
Item added: 14th March 2011
ACMA takes the next step to realising the digital dividend
The Australian Communications and Media Authority today released a discussion paper called Clearing the Digital Dividend. This marks the second step in a three step process to realising the digital dividend.
The three steps are: 1) Completion of the switchover to digital TV, 2) Clearance of digital television services from the block of UHF spectrum corresponding to television channels 52-69 and 3) Reallocation of the cleared spectrum to new users.
Clearing digital TV services from the digital dividend spectrum is called restack.
The new discussion paper sets out the proposed objectives and planning principles that will govern the preparation of channel plans for the restack, and is seeking input from the broadcasting industry and other interested stakeholders.
The process of restack cannot be completed until Analogue switch of but it is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Submissions to the consultation can be made until 4 April 2011.
Source: ACMA website
Item added: 7th March 2011
Queensland's digital switch on track despite floods
The Australian government says Queensland's migration to digital TV remains on track despite the recent floods and the cyclone that devastated the state.
A spokesperson for the government's Digital Switchover Taskforce said the state's television transmission infrastructure had not been significantly affected by Cyclone Yasi and the recent floods, "Transmitter sites, are usually situated on higher ground and have escaped serious flood damage. Transmitter sites in the path of Cyclone Yasi did suffer power cuts but these, by and large, have been managed with the use of portable power generators. A return to normal power sources is expected relatively soon”.
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said that while a firm date for the official switchover from analogue to digital TV in Queensland had not been set, the projected window of the second half of 2011 would likely still be met.
Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Item added: 21st February 2011
Digital switchover support
The Australian government has helped 25,000 households convert to digital TV through the Household Assistance Scheme, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, announced on the 6th February.
Mr Conroy was on hand for the 25,000th installation in a home in the state of Victoria.
"Victoria will be switching to digital-only, free-to-air television on 5 May 2011 and the government's Household Assistance Scheme is helping ensure that all Victorians, including the elderly, people with disabilities, and their caregivers, are ready for the switchover," Mr Conroy said.
Mr Conroy said approximately 120,000 households across Victoria were eligible for assistance through the scheme, which provides eligible households with a high-definition set top box and completes a full installation and demonstration at no cost to the recipient.
Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Item added: 13th February 2011
Pay-TV loosing ground to Free-to-View DTT
One in four pay-TV subscribers in Australia are likely to switch off or downgrade to a cheaper package due to the increased choices now offered by free-to-air channels, according to research by Free TV Australia, AdNews reports.
The national survey, which explored consumer attitudes towards the new free-to-air digital channels, was conducted by Jigsaw Strategic Research. Free TV Australia represents the interests of the country’s free-to-air broadcasters.
The research also claimed that 70% of people say the standard of free-to-air TV is improving, with 60% of people saying that free-to-air channels are part of their regular TV viewing.
Additionally, 77% of people are now less likely to consider subscribing to pay-TV because of the new free-to-air channels.
Free TV chief executive Julie Flynn said: "The research highlights the increasing popularity of free-to-air television and shows how the new channels have quickly become a part of our everyday TV viewing."
Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Item added: 6th December 2010
Full digital TV service for regional and remote Australia
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that the Government has partnered with regional commercial broadcasters to ensure all Australians can access the same number of TV channels as is available in capital cities, no matter where they live.
The Government will provide $34 million over four years as part of its digital switchover program to enable commercial television broadcasters in terrestrial licence areas in regional South Australia, remote and regional Western Australia, and remote and central Australia to deliver all digital TV channels to their audiences via terrestrial broadcast
Previously, viewers in these areas could only access two commercial television services.
With this new funding viewers across the country, regardless of their location, will be able to access the same number of television services on the DTT platform.
Funding for this initiative will be fully offset from monies held in the Contingency Reserve to support Australia’s switch from analogue to digital television, which will be completed nation-wide by the end of 2013.
Source: Communications Ministry website
Item added: 15th November 2010
“Digital Dividend” Consultation launched
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a discussion paper which addresses the forthcoming re-allocation of digital dividend spectrum, (the ‘700 MHz band), spectrum that will be released when the switch from analogue to digital television is completed in 2013. The paper highlights key issues that the ACMA will be considering as it plans for this allocation and provides background information on the digital dividend allocation process which will give context to the issues raised.
The ACMA invites members of the public to submit comments regarding the issues and questions raised in the discussion paper. Additional feedback and views related to this allocation will also be welcomed in submissions.
The discussion paper can be downloaded in PDF (534 kb) or Word (724 kb) format.
The closing date for submissions is 5:00pm, Monday, 6 December 2010.
Before submissions are due, the ACMA will hold a Digital Dividend Spectrum Tune-up. This event will offer stakeholders the opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of the issues raised in the discussion paper and will be another avenue for giving feedback to the ACMA about the digital dividend allocation. The Spectrum Tune-Up will be held in Sydney on the 3rd November 2010 and will be open to stakeholders and the public.
Item added: 25th October 2010
Freeview Australia hosts receiver launch event
In what Freeview Australia is calling a “major milestone in the development of free digital TV in Australia”, the full range of initial reception equipment was launched in early October at an event in Sydney.
A total of seven manufacturers – Beyonwiz, Bush, Grundig, Humax, Magic TV, Strong and Uniden –showcased their EPG-enabled equipment.
The new equipment is now available in stores and compatibility is assured by independent testing. Freeview also previewed its new television advertising campaign at the event.
Source: digitaltvnews.net and Freeview.au
Item added: 18th October 2010
Digital Terrestrial TV in 74% of Australian homes
Nearly three in four Australian households have now converted to DTT (74%), according to the latest Digital Tracker Summary for Q2 2010 .This is up six percent on the previous quarters figures. Household awareness and satisfaction remained steady at high levels.
The Digital Tracker assesses Australian households’ readiness for digital television.
Every quarter, around 10,000 household; with a working a TV set used in the last six months and living in private dwellings, are interviewed via telephone about their awareness of the switchover program. They are questioned on their understanding of what needs to be done to convert to digital; attitude to switchover; intention to convert (for those who think they’re not digitally ready); conversion status; and satisfaction with digital TV (among the converted households).
Source: Digital Tracker Summary Q2 2010
Item added: 9th August 2010
First region completes Analogue TV Switch-Off
On the 30th June 2010, Mildura in Victoria became the first region in Australia to switch off analogue terrestrial television and go fully digital.
In the past Mildura had few free-to-air TV channels but this is no longer the case with the change to DTT digital services.
Officials said most of the region's 24 thousand residents were ready for the morning switch. It is believed there are only a couple of hundred households in the area which are yet to make the switch with either a digital TV or a set-top box.
The rest of Australia will be progressively changed from analogue to digital through till the end of 2013.
Parts of regional South Australia and Broken Hill are the next on the list.
Source: Asian Broadcasting Union
Item added: 5th July 2010
Australia to release 126 MHz of digital dividend
The Australian government has decided to release 126 MHz of broadcasting spectrum in a contiguous block from 694 to 820 MHz inclusive. This ‘digital dividend’ spectrum will become available as a result of the switch to digital only television broadcasting, which will be completed in Australia by the 31st December 2013.
The government aims to auction the digital dividend spectrum in the second half of 2012 but before that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) plans to release a discussion paper on the digital dividend. This is likely to be in the third quarter of this year, and it will set out planning and allocation issues and options for new spectrum licences. ACMA say that they will plan the digital dividend in full consultation with spectrum users.
Item added: 28th June 2010
3D-TV DTT Trial Licences Issued
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued licences which enable the Nine Network and the SBS to conduct scientific trials of 3D TV in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Newcastle and Wollongong.
The licences issued on the 14th May allow the trial operators to test new radio communications technologies between 19 May 2010 and 19 July 2010 by broadcasting 3D high definition television to viewers with access to 3D-enabled digital television receivers. The trials will include live telecasts of the three State of Origin rugby league matches.
‘The ACMA supports the development and demonstration of new broadcasting technologies and is pleased to be able to assist with the trialling of 3D TV,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
The ACMA understands retailers will be using the trials to showcase the first generation of 3D television receivers.
’It is important people are aware that these trials have only been approved for this two month period,’ said Mr Chapman.
Source: ACMA website
Item added: 24th May 2010
DTT used in 68% of households
The latest Digital Tracker report for Q1 2010 shows a continued growth in the adoption of DTT in Australia.
At the end of Q1, 68% of Australian households had converted to DTT, up 7% from the previous quarter.
Household awareness of the switchover stands at 90% and 8 out of 10 households watching Digital TV are satisfied with the new service.
Digital switchover continues to take place on a region by region basis and many regions are already well prepared. In Mildura, where switchover will take place on the 30th June almost 9 out of 10 households are already converted for digital.
Read the full READY summary at: Digitalready
Item added: 24th May 2010
3D-TV on DTT Platform
Commercial broadcaster Nine Network has announced that it will broadcast three National Rugby League's State Of Origin series matches in 3D on the DTT platform in Sydney, starting with the first on the 26th May.
Additional spectrum has already been allocated on a trial basis for the service.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Item added: 30th April 2010
Digital dividend proposals criticised
Broadcast Australia has released its response to the Australian governments digital dividend plans, reports Rapid TV news. The response warns against “locking free to air TV and digital radio into today’s technology” by allocating the entire freed–up 126 MHz spectrum to mobile telephony.
They say that the use of spectrum following the analogue switch off should be to provide “an evolutionary pathway that will enable the deployment of emerging technologies such as 3D TV or national, rather than just a city based, deployment of digital radio.”
For additional information click on the source link.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 6th April 2010
DTT used in 61% of households
Sixty one per cent of Australian households have converted their main sets to digital TV according to the 2009 Q4 Digital Tracker report from the Digital Switchover Taskforce.
This is a 5% increase compared with the previous quarter and a 14% increase compared with the first quarter of 2009.
The first region to complete analogue switch off will be Mildura Sunraysia where the conversion to Digital TV has already taken place in 79% of households.
In Australia as a whole, 78% of TV households know how to convert to digital TV, including 66% of pensioners.
Analogue switch-off will take place on a region-by-region basis starting in the second half of 2010 and completing by the end of 2013.
Source: Digital Tracker Q4 2009
Item added: 1st March 2010
ABC launches news service on DTT platform
Public service broadcaster ABC has announced that it will launch a free-to-air continuous television news service on the DTT platform in 2010.
The channel will provide live continuous news coverage of major breaking stories from Australia and around the world and will enable the ABC to increase its in-depth coverage of local, national and international affairs through background features and analysis, combined with the ABC long-form current affairs reporting.
The news service will not require any additional funding from the government. ABC will benefit from the savings provided by the use of advanced technologies in the news and television production processes to reinvest in the news programming.
Source: ABC website
Item added: 25th January 2010
Digital dividend green paper
The Australian Government has released a green paper seeking public comment on the benefits and costs of maximising Australia’s digital dividend.
The paper establishes a Government target to release 126 MHz of contiguous UHF spectrum for use by other services when it is vacated by analogue TV services switching to Digital TV.
To release this amount of contiguous spectrum requires that some digital services move to new channels.
Interested parties are asked to access the green paper and make comments by 5.0pm on the 26th February 2010.
The digital green paper is available at
Source: Ministry press release
Item added: 11th January 2010
Government announces free-to-air satellite service
The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced the launch of a free-to-air satellite service which will target the 247,000 households unable to access DTT services from terrestrial transmitters.
By providing this service the government means to ensure that viewers living in regional areas can access the same television services as those viewers living in urban areas.
The free-to-air satellite platform will provide the same services as are currently available on the DTT platform. These services include ABC, Nine, SBC, Seven, Ten, ABC2, ABC3, SBS TWO, GO!, 7TWO and ONE HD. Local services will also be made available.
The government is committing AUS $40 million (25.6 million Euros) per year for the next four years to build and operate the satellite service. The new service is expected to start in the Sunraysia/Mildura region before the 30th by June 2010 when local analogue services are switched off.
In a separate agreement, broadcasters have agreed to increase DTT coverage by upgrading more than 100 existing regional analogue 'self-help' transmission facilities to operate in digital.
Source: Ministry press release
Item added: 11th January 2010
56% of Households have switched to Digital Free-to air TV
Nationally 56% of households have already made the switch to digital free-to-air television according to the 3rd Digital Tracker Survey, a quarterly analysis of the of national digital television take-up, awareness and attitudes.
DTV viewers highlighted, better picture quality (36%), more channels and choice (28%) and better reception (16%), as their reasons for switching and staying switched.
The Minister for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), Senator Stephen Conroy, has recently confirmed that Mildura and the Sunraysia region will switch to digital-only television on 30 June 2010.
He also said that the switchover in Brisbane and Perth will take place on 30 June 2013 and in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney on 31 December 2013.
The Rudd Government has made a commitment to complete national digital switchover by December 31, 2013.
More: Digital Tracker Survey
Source: Digital Terrestrial TV News
Item added: 23rd November 2009
Freeview at your Post Office
Freeview equipment is set to be available from Australia’s Post Offices following a recent deal by Altec UEC with the Post Office, according to a report on the Rapid TV News website.
Australian Post Offices already market a range of electronic goods but this deal, covering 400 PO outlets, is the first time that Freeview endorsed STB’s are to be made available.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 14th September 2009
Digital TV adoption passes 50%
At the end of the 2009 April to June quarter 53% of Australian households had converted to free to air digital TV broadcasts, according to recent government figures.
This represents an increase of 6% over the previous quarter.
Awareness of the switchover increased to 93% and 82% of digital viewers said that they were pleased with the additional channels and picture quality.
The analogue TV switch of date for Australia, given by the government, is the 31st December 2013.
Source: Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union
Item added: 31st August 2009
Nine to launch new DTT service
Nine Network are launching a new DTT service on the 9th August. The new service, called GO! will offer youth focused content from Warner Brothers, as well as repeats from Nine’s main service and hit shows previously broadcast on Pay TV platforms.
The DTT platform provides 13 free to air services at present, some of which, ABC, Nine, SBC, Seven and Ten are simulcasts of SD analogue terrestrial broadcasts.
Another four, ABC, SBS, Nine and Ten are broadcast in HD format as well ABC2, Go! One HD and SBS two which are currently transmitted as SD.
Two additional DTT services are also expected to be launched in the near future, a children’s service from the public service broadcaster and one from Seven who have already been allocated a DTT slot.
Main source: The Australian
Item added: 20th July 2009
New DTT service from SBS
SBS launched a new DTT service, SBS Two, on the 1st June.
SBS Two is broadcast as a free-to-view service and offers films, sport, news and documentaries as well as time shifted versions of SBS One programmes.
SBS was established to give voice and exposure to multicultural Australia; to define, foster and celebrate Australia's cultural diversity in accordance with its Charter obligation to "provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural society".
Source: SBS website
Item added: 8th June 2009
Media Authority strengthens digital focus
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has formed a new Digital Television Branch within the regulator’s Inputs to Industry Division.
The new branch will act as a single point of contact for all television digitisation work and will work closely with the government’s Digital Switchover Taskforce.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 2nd June 2009
DTT in 47% of homes
In the latest Digital Tracker report for Q1 2009, commissioned by the Australian government, the percentage figure for conversion to digital television is given as 47% of households, nearly half the population. The report goes on to say that 82% of households are aware of the digital switchover, but less than 1% when the switchover will be completed in their own region.
One of the highest conversion rates is in Mildura/Sunraysia at 70% compared with 25% in Central and Eastern Australia.
The figures reported were compiled from answers given during 9900 telephone interviews conducted by Newpoll.
Source: digitalready.gov.au Tracker Report Q1,2009 pdf
Item added: 25th May 2009
Government allocates funding for DSO
The government has allocated 140 million Australian dollars in the federal budget to fund digital switchover activities during the next three years, reports Rapid TV News.
The money will be used to fund information campaigns and to assist low-income families in the regions of South Australia, Victoria and Queensland with the switchover.
Analogue switch off will start during the second half of 2010 in the region surrounding Mildura, extending to other parts of Victoria, regions of South Australia and Queensland, with the process completed by the end of 2011.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 18th May 2009
TV suppliers and retailers sign-up for digital switchover
Major television suppliers and retailers have thrown their weight behind Australia's 'Get Ready for Digital TV' campaign says , the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy
"The support of major television brands and retailers to carry the Government's 'Get Ready for Digital TV' labels will help people to understand how simple the switch to digital TV can be”,he said.
"This is a large-scale national format change and I welcome the support of leading television suppliers and retailers to label their products as digital-ready.”
"Australians should look out for products carrying 'Get Ready for Digital TV' labels when considering digital switchover choices."
Major labels now carrying the 'Get Ready for Digital TV' labels include Sony, LG, Toshiba, Sharp, Palsonic, Bush, Grundig, DGTEC, Strong, TiVo, Draco, Soniq, Sanyo, Beyonwiz, Digitel +, Homecast, Healing, Wintal, TEAC and Digital View. Some of Australia's major retailers including Radio Rentals, Clive Peeters and Warehouse Sales and many members of the National Associated Retail Traders of Australia are also supporting the labelling scheme.
"The Government is motivated to ensure that people can make informed decisions when purchasing digital television equipment. People need to know what equipment is digital-ready and that making the switch can be as simple as adding a set-top-box to an existing television.", he went on to say.
'Get Ready for Digital TV' labels were developed in consultation with industry and will be distributed to retail outlets across Australia over the coming weeks.
Source: dbcde.gov.au website
Item added: 12th May 2009
Children’s service for DTT platform
The government has given its backing to the launch of a digital service specifically aimed at children. The new service initially designated ABC3 will be available on the DTT platform for 15 hours a day. It will offer drama, animation and factual programming in an educational type service for family viewing further enhanced by interactive and online content.
Existing children’s programmes on ABC1 and ABC2 are set to continue with ABC3 being an additional service.
The government is expected to make AUS $20 million available for the new service.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 27th April 2009
Analogue switch-off campaign launched
The planned analogue switch off government communications campaign has been launched.
The campaign is designed to help viewers understand the benefits of digital television as well as how to make the conversion from analogue TV. It will include television, radio and online advertisements, equipment labelling, point-of-sale information, and training and accreditation for retail staff.
Switch off is planned to take place on a region-by-region basis starting in January 2010 and ending in December 2013.
As part of the information campaign a website called: Get Ready for Digital. Has been launched and this can be accessed by click on the name title.
Item added: 7th April 2009
Nine to offer new free to view channel
Australia’s Nine network has announced its plan to launch a second free to view channel. The channel in Standard Definition will offer general entertainment programmes and is likely to launch in the second half of 2009.
Since the start of 2009 Australian commercial networks have been allowed to offer new separate SDTV channels as the requirement to simulcast the transmitted HDTV content in SDTV at the same time has been withdrawn. Now the HDTV channel content can be entirely separate from that transmitted on the SDTV channels made available by the broadcaster in its multiplex.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 30th March 2009
Government offers help package for DTT transition
The Government has announced a pilot package of measures to drive the availability of improved television services as Australia makes the transition to digital services.
This package focuses on Australia's leading digital television region of Sunraysia, centred on the city of Mildura in north-west Victoria, which is set to complete analogue switch off in 2010 and will ensure that free-to-air digital television is made available to all viewing households.
The suite of measures includes:
a package of in-home assistance to help targeted households; a new satellite service to extend access to digital TV; working with the local community to improve awareness and understanding of switchover; a labelling scheme to help consumers to easily identify digital ready products, and a national call centre and a web site providing switchover information.
The lessons learned during this pilot will help shape the activities of the national digital switchover programme.
Source: Minister of Communications press release
Item added: 2nd February 2009
New DVB-H trial underway
A new DVB-H mobile trial is now underway in Sydney. The trial coordinated by the Australian Industry (Ai) Group’s Australian Digital Suppliers industry Forum (ADSIF) will explore the interoperability of current mobile DVB-H enabled phones by obtaining feedback from selected subscribers. The trial will also obtain data on the coverage provided by the trial transmission, which comprises of nine video streams in a 7 MHz UHF channel. The channel could host up to twenty streams in total.
Companies involved in the new six-week trial, which is licensed until the 28th February, include Optus, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, LG Electronics, Broadcast Australia and Australian Digital Testing.
The Government is expected to allocate one of the two planned 7 MHz ‘datacasting’ channels for mobile broadcast TV services in the future.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 26th January 2009
Freeview Australia Launched
The new marketing strategy for Australia’s digital terrestrial platform, “Freeview Australia” was launched on the 24th November 2008 ahead of the official service start date of January 2009.
Broadcasters have agreed to provide airtime worth AUS$50 million to support the Freeview campaign.
Each broadcaster has been allocated three television service slots of which one is used to provide an HD simulcast of their existing service and one new service in SD
In total there will be 15 channels together with a Freeview EPG.Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, gave a speech at the opening which can be accessed by clicking on the following source link
Source: Australia.TO News
Item added: 1st December 2008
Pay TV operators left out of DSO plans
Austar chief executive John Porter has said that Pay TV had all but been excluded from the planning and marketing of the switch to digital technology after pressure on the government from the free-to-air networks.
“We have millions and millions of capital invested in regional Australia and we have a lot to offer if we were only invited to the table” he went on to say.
Austar is in talks with the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, seeking to get more involved, fearing the marketing could otherwise lead consumers to buy digital set-top boxes and other devices to watch the new commercial multi-channels, without making clear they could also receive digital services through pay-TV platforms.
The issue is particularly pressing for the regional pay-TV provider, as the analogue switch-off will start in regional Australia in 2010 before moving to the cities.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Item added: 11th November 2008
Analogue Switch Off plans released
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has unveiled the timetable for digital TV switchover, according to a report in Telecompaper.
The Victoria region will lead the switch-over in the first half 2010, with analogue broadcasting ending in the Mildura/Sunraysia district between the 1st January and the 30th June 2010.
Broken Hill in NSW and Mt Gambier, Riverland and Spencer Gulf in South Australia will turn off analogue broadcasts in the second half of 2010, and the rest of regional Victoria in the first half of 2011.
Regional Queensland, excluding remote western and northern areas, will switch-off analogue in the second half of 2011.
The major regional centres of NSW will switch-off analogue in 2012.
Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, Perth and Tasmania will switch-off analogue in the first half of 2013 and Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, remote western, central and eastern Australia will be digital-only by the end of 2013.
Item added: 27th October 2008
Pay TV gets new lobbyist
The former premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Steve Bracks, has been appointed chief lobbyist for the country's pay-TV industry according to local reports.
Bracks replaces Nick Greiner as chairman of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA).
One of his main objectives, to enhance the need for Pay TV, will be to convince the government to reduce or remove the “anti siphoning list" of sporting events, which must be shown on Free To Air TV to the detriment of the Pay TV platform.
Source: ABU Weekly News Digest
Item added: 20th October 2008
SBS improves digital distribution
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia’s speciality pub-caster, has bought Tandberg IP-based head end architecture for its DTT network.
The equipment being supplied includes SD and HDTV encoders, as well as dense multiplexing and embedded SFN kit.
SBS which began operations in January 2001 now estimates that it reaches 96% of the Australian population.
The new centralised head-end will generate DVB-T transport streams for 12 separate regions.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 13th October 2008
Analogue Switch Off Bill introduced
The Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy has announced the introduction to Parliament of a Bill to enable the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting in Australia.
The Bill named, ‘The Broadcasting Legislation (Digital television Switchover) Bill 2008’ is designed to ensure that a phased approach to analogue switch off is completed by the end of 2013.
The Minister also announced a contract for Newspoll to produce a quarterly report on regional switchover trends, digital conversion rates, intent to convert and public feedback to better help retailers and antenna installers.
A technical survey to help assist with the special digital TV reception issues for some flats, apartments and townhouses is also underway. In all 600 sites across the nation will be surveyed to provide estimates of the cost and the man hours needed to rectify any potential reception problems.
Item added: 30th September 2008
Commercial DTT operators to co-operate
Australia’s free-to-air commercial networks are in talks about a possible joint venture on the countries DTT platform.
The Australian Freeview brand is soon to launch and will be competing against Pay-TV platforms from Foxtel and Austar. Broadcasters Seven, Ten and Nine are now looking at ways to pool their resources so that they can better compete with the competition now that the restrictions previously blocking multi-channel DTT broadcasting are to be dropped in January.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 23rd September 2008
Freeview launch in January 2009
A consortium of broadcasters has just been formed to drive forward the new Australian Freeview service planned for launch in January 2009. The consortium consists of both public service and commercial broadcasters and has been created to help drive the take up of the free-to-air digital terrestrial television platform.
Members of the consortium include ABC, SBS, the Seven Network, the Nine Network, Network Ten, Prime, WIN and Southern Cross.
From early 2009 next year the free-to-air network will broadcast one new SD channel from each broadcaster as well as its existing SD channel. In all 15 channels are expected to be available on the new platform. The Freeview platform will continue to use the MPEG-2 compression standard.
Source: DTG website
Item added: 21st July 2008
Consultation on DSO legal framework opened
The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has opened a consultation on the existing digital switchover legislation, saying that it restricts the Australian Government's ability to implement a flexible switchover process that addresses the various technical and other issues affecting digital switchover in different parts of Australia.
The Department is examining possible legislative change that may be required to implement an appropriately flexible switchover process.
Among its proposals, is that smaller switchover areas are created, final decision-making authority is given at the Federal level and that the there is flexibility with the switch-off dates in each switchover area.
Responses to the consultation can be submitted up until 4 July.
The Digital Switchover Taskforce is expected to present a switchover timetable to the Government by the end of 2008.
Analogue switch-off is planned to be completed by the end of 2013.
Source: Department of Communications website
Item added: 10th June 2008
Conroy confirms ASO as 2013
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has confirmed Australia’s plans to complete its switch to digital TV by the end of 2013.
He said that at present 40% of Australians access digital television services.
To increase and promote the consumer switch to digital television the government has created a new task force, made up of television networks, broadcasters, content makers and manufacturers.
In addition the government has re-packaged and confirmed the allocation of $38 million (Australian) to assist with the digital switchover.
Item added: 15th April 2008
ACMA publish latest report on free-to-air TV
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has just published a new report on the adoption of Digital Television in Australia which puts the proportion of those watching terrestrial digital television at 42%.
When the number of viewers subscribing to digital television services are combined with those watching terrestrial digital television the proportion watching free-to-view services increases to 52%.
The highest adoption rates for DTV where in Mildura (70.3%) and Tasmania (64%) and the lowest in South Australia (37.1%) and Queensland (37.2%)
The full media bulletin can be accessed by clicking on the following link: ACMA website
Item added: 15th April 2008
Nine launches HD service
Nine Network launched its high-definition service, Nine-HD, on the 17th March 2008.
The new service will provide a simulcast of the existing Nine service with 12 hours per week of different programme content.Seven-HD and Ten-HD both launched their HD services last year and each provide over 40 hours per week of different programming per week compared with their standard-definition services.
Nine executives say that the audience for stand-alone HD are still too small and that they are waiting to launch more SDTV channels, when the current regulations allow after January 2009.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 23rd March 2008
Broadcasters to offer Freeview
Rapid TV News reports that local Australian sources suggest that broadcast network operators are examining the formation of a “Freeview” consortium to promote the take-up of DTT.
Previous government regulations had prevented the broadcasters Seven, Nine and Ten from providing new services on the DTT platform. With the relaxation of legislative restrictions broadcasters are now able to launch new services in high-definition.
With this news comes reports that broadcasters are working together to launch an "awareness" campaign, which may lead to a new brand - Freeview - being adopted for marketing purposes.
Main source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 10th March 2008
New Analogue Switch off date confirmed
As suggested in earlier reports, the election of a new government in Australia has brought about some changes in the countries Digital Switchover Strategy (DSO).
The body responsible for leading the switchover, Digital Australia, has been disbanded and its tasks transferred to the department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy. A new analogue switchover date has also been confirmed as occurring by the end of 2013, with the largest cities set to begin digital-only transmission during December 2009.
Digital TV penetration is now estimated as 30% of the population
Source: The Australian
Item added: 27th December 2007
Election may bring changes
The election of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) this November is expected to bring a few changes in the media sector. One of these is reported to be a firm date for the Australian analogue switch off, which is now expected to be set at 31st December 2013.
Another expected change is that the activities of ‘Digital Australia’, which was set up to help push the digital transition, will be taken over by the Department of Communications.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 27th November 2007
Single EPG for Australia
Up to now the programme guides on each DTT channel have been different in Australia but Broadcasters have now agreed to provide viewers with a single free-to-air Electronic Programme Guide (EPG).
The new EPG should be available by 1st January 2008.
Free-to-view is now available in more than 30% of Australian households.
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 20th November 2007
Australian HDTV Set Top Box price reduces
Australia has been restricted to simulcasting the same programmes on SDTV and HDTV at the same time, until recently. Now broadcasters are permitted to have separate programming on each service. This is expected to give the HDTV market a significant boost which Aldi a supermarket chain in Australia has marked by offering what seems to be the lowest cost HDTV box so far. Each week Aldi offers specials and recently a DVB-T, HDTV STB from Tevion was on offer for 119 Australian Dollars. This price included goods and sales tax at 10% which equates to a retail price of 108 Australian or approximately 95 US dollars.
Source: Australian correspondent and Aldi
Item added: 23rd October 2007
Australia's Seven and Ten to launch HD channels
Australia's Seven Network and Network Ten are to launch free-to-view high-definition television (HDTV) channels in December.
Australia recently changed the media law to allow broadcasters to operate both SD and HD services in 2009, with separate programming rather than than the simulcast only rule which applied before.
Seven Network CEO David Leckie said its new channel would help drive take-up of digital television. "Our plan is to build on our leadership position in Australian drama, sport, news and entertainment and establish a broad multiple channel presence to further develop the strength of the free-to-air digital platform over the coming three years."
Network Ten said its Ten-HD channel would offer "more choice, in the highest possible broadcast quality, for free". Network Ten CEO Grant Blackley, said: "Ten-HD will excite and entertain audiences across Australia like never before. We are no longer bound by a single linear channel, and Ten-HD is a natural next step in our goal to make our content as widely available as possible to consumers."
Source: DTG website
Item added: 18th September 2007
Tick in the Box for High Definition
AEEMA’s Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum (ADSIF) recently announced the launch of AEEM’s new High Definition certification “tick” logo.
The HD certification “tick” logo identifies which televisions have a built-in HD digital tuners and provides consumers with the assurance that their TV purchases meet all Australian and industry standards for a true HD television experience.
ADSIF chair Ross Henderson said: “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to understand what constitutes HD TV. What we are trying to do is help consumers to clearly identify products that are developed to relevant standards, while providing greater certainty when connecting with other digital entertainment products”
Item added: 28th August 2007
New Mobile TV trials underway
Broadcast Australia is hosting a new trial of DVB-H to handheld and mobiles at its Gore Hill site in Sydney. The three-month trial, which started on May 7th, is being broadcast on UHF channel 29 and is collaboration between Broadcast Australia, Thomson Grass Valley and Irdeto, the trial licence holder.
The trial will test a new head end integrated with an OSF-compliant digital access content protection system as well as statistical multiplexing to allow more services in the available bandwidth. The trial will also explore the reception performance and functionality of the latest generation mobile handsets. Currently trial participants have access to five mobile TV channels
Source: Cellular News Australia
Item added: 31st May 2007
Freeview continues to pick up more viewers
The estimated number of free-to-view digital television receivers sold to retailers and installers in the Australian market during the 1st quarter of 2007 reached 247,000 units; raising the cumulative total sales figures since DTT began to over 2,547,000.
The estimates are based on sales reports made to Digital Broadcasting Australia (DBA) and data collection agency GfK Informark. Monthly sales volumes were 82,600/month during the first quarter of 2007 compared with 71,420/month during the same period in 2006. HDTV receivers are estimated to account for 39% of receivers in Australian homes.
After careful analysis the penetration of Freeview is estimated at 2.2 million households, 28% of the 7.8 million existing Australian TV households.
Source: Digital Broadcasting Australia
Item added: 21st May 2007
DVB-H mobile TV trial for Sydney
PAY media platform provider Irdeto Access will run a mobile TV trial in Sydney using one or both of the two spare TV channels planned for sale later this year.
The three-month trial has been approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and involves the demonstration of Irdeto’s security systems for content owners, designed to defeat piracy. It will also assess how well DVB-H operates with a variety of mobile handsets and network operators.
Source: Australian IT
Item added: 10th April 2007
Digital receiver sales reach new high
The average monthly sale of digital receivers reached a new high in the fourth quarter of 2006 with sales of over 100,600 units. This compares to monthly average of 72,600 units for the fourth quarter of 2005.Latest estimates published by Digital Broadcasting Australia show that 25% of Australian households can access free-to-view digital television as of the end of 2006. Cumulative sales of digital receivers has now reached 2.3 million units and the number of digital receivers sold between 1 October and 31 December reached 302,000 units of which 53% were iDTVs.
Source: DBA website
Item added: 20th February 2007
Digital Action Plan released
Minister for Communications, Senator Helen Coonan announced the release of the “Digital Action Plan” on the 23rd November with the aim of helping to guide Australia’s transition to digital television. Called “Ready, Get Set, Go Digital” the action plan outlines the key steps the government will take on the road to a digital switchover. This includes the creation of a dedicated switchover body dubbed “Digital Australia“ tasked with coordinating the efforts of the Government, industry, manufacturers, the regulators and consumers in the lead-up to switchover. Analogue switch-off is expected to take place between 2010 and 2012. Copies of the full plan can be obtained at www.dcita.gov.au
Source: Action plan press release
Item added: 28th November 2006
Australia to auction DTT spectrum
The Australian government plans to auction of two sets of DTT spectrum “as soon as possible” according to a recent item on the advanced-television website.
Ten-year licences will be auctioned separately with channel A reserved for in-home standard definition services and channel B for “a wider range of uses” which could include new digital services such as mobile TV. The in home services cannot be subscription based but this does not apply to channel B, which could charge a fee for a mobile service. Services on both allocations must start within 18 months of assignment.
Item added: 26th September 2006
Free to view digital TV sales exceed 1.74 Million
At the end of June 2006 the estimated number of free to view digital television receivers sold to retailers and installers in the Australian market was in excess of 1,740,000 units according to the latest figures from DBA.
Average monthly sales figures for units sold during the April to June 2006 quarter were 76,600. This exceeds reported sales figures during the December 2005 quarter of 72,600 units.
Of the 229,000 units sold to retailers and installers during the June 2006 quarter, 40% were High Definition receivers.
Putting all the figures together and working on the cumulative results reported to June 2006, the estimated home take-up penetration of free to view digital TV has reached the 1.57 million mark which is approximately 20% of Australia’s 7.6 million homes.
Source: Digital Broadcasting Australia
Item added: 4th September 2006
Simulcasting dropped and a compromise on multi-channelling
Australia’s free-to-air television networks will no longer have to simulcast their services in high-definition and in its place will be able to offer a stand-alone HD channel, under plans announced by communications minister Senator Helen Coonan.
In a Media release entitled “New Media Framework for Australia” Helen Coonan goes on to explain further changes to the digital Broadcasting requirements in Australia, which are planned to become law at the start of 2007.
Broadcasters however cannot choose to drop HDTV altogether once the simulcasting requirement has gone, since the current required quota of 1040 HDTV hours to be broadcast each year still remains. But the change is seen as an end to the previous Australian plan that HDTV would be the driver for the change to DTT.
Free-to-air broadcasters will also be allowed to launch one new standard definition channel as part of the proposals from 2009 as part of the changes.
In addition two new channels will also be opened up and the Government says that these will be for “new and innovative services” such as mobile and interactive TV.
Under the changes commercial broadcasters will still have to wait until analogue-switch-off before full multi-channelling is allowed. The new target for analogue switch-off is 2010-2012 and not 2008 as previously planned.
Source: Media release from Senator Helen Coonan
Item added: 17th July 2006
Sydney movemedia Trial reveals strong consumer interest in Mobile TV
Final results from the Sydney Mobile TV trial delivering 16 television services to mobile handsets have revealed a high level of consumer interest in commercial Mobile TV. A significant majority of trial participants expressed interest in subscribing to a commercial service.
80% of trialists liked the ability to watch TV anytime, anywhere- particularly when waiting, travelling, at home or commuting. Total TV viewing increased during weekdays as a result of the movemedia service, particularly in the mornings and at lunchtime.
The trial was conducted with 375 trialists by partners Broadcast Australia Group and Telestra. It offered 10 Foxtel channels (Channel V, E!, Fox, Football, Fox Sports News, Nickelodeon, Sky news, Sky News Business, The History Channel, The Lifestyle Channel and The Weather Channel), along with ABC2, SBS, Channel Nine, CNN, Sky Racing and Boomerang.
The trial commenced on July 2005 and was transmitted on UHF channel 29 from BA’s Gore Hill facility using DVB-H technology with an ERP of 80kW. Nokia 7710 handsets were used to receive the 16 channels.
Source: Broadcast Australia press release
Item added: 11th July 2006
Multicasting and a 2012 Switchover
In a recent document, “Meeting the Digital Challenge: Reforming Australia’s media in the digital age”, it is proposed that the digital switch-off date is delayed from 2008 to 2012. Commencement of progressive switch-off is recommended to start in 2010.
These are just some of the proposals in this discussion document, from Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. Comments are to be submitted by the 18th April 2006.
In recent reports Conan is quoted as saying that “ By relying mainly on market forces to drive take-up of FTA digital television we have clearly not progressed at a level and pace to allow switch-over to commence at the end of 2008 as originally planned. Australia must now implement a strategy to energetically drive take-up to achieve switchover.”
A Digital Action Plan will be drawn up with the aim of determining and ensuring that the switchover process meets its planned goals. The discussion document is a key part of this process.
In the media release it is also mentioned that the previous analogue models do not suit the digital age and it even suggests that there may be some relaxation of the Australian simulcast rules for joint HDTV and SDTV which prevents multicasting.
The ability to provide multiple SDTV programs has been stated by several commentators as one of the main reason for the great success of DTT in the UK, which also never mandated HDTV services.
Main Source: gov.au
Item added: 21st March 2006
Mobile TV Showcase at Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games uses DVB-H
Telestra, Microsoft and Broadcast Australia announced on Monday, 13th March their plans for Melbourne's first live demonstration showcase of mobile TV, as part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The Melbourne service will broadcast up to seven channels of live Commonwealth Games using DVB-H technology to deliver the programmes to mobile handsets.
Transmissions begin on March 15th and end with the games Closing Ceremony on March 26th.
Broadcast Australia is providing the transmission infrastructure for the showcase service. "We are very pleased to be part of this wonderful event," said Graeme Barclay, Broadcast Australia Managing Director. " We believe strongly that mobile TV is a product of the future that allows consumers the opportunity to access their favourite television shows via a handheld device-anywhere, at any time. DVB-H is an exciting new mobile television platform that represents a convergence of traditional broadcast and mobile communications technologies.
Source: Pc world
Item added: 13th March 2006
Analogue TV switch-off delay recommended
A Federal Parliamentary committee has recommended delaying the shutdown of analogue television broadcasts until 2010, to encourage a smooth transition to digital television.
The delay has been suggested because Australians have been slow to take up the new technology.
"The committee believes the lack of certainty regarding analogue switch-off is a key failure in the drive to take-up digital television and recommends a nationwide analogue switch-off on the first of January, 2010," she said.
Item added: 13th February 2006
Digital TV sales in excess of 1.3 million units
As of December 31st 2005 the estimated number of digital television set top box receivers and integrated digital TV sets sold to retailers and installers was 1,304,000 units, with 49% (642,000 units) of the total being sold during 2005.
The estimate is based on sales reported to DBA and to the industry data collection agency, GfK Infomark, by companies supplying to retailers and installers.
Source: DBA newsletter
Item added: 2nd February 2005
Sales of digital tv receivers expected to boom for Christmas
Sales of digital television receivers by the major suppliers in October 2005 are more than double the sales recorded in October 2004 - pointing to a very healthy increase in sales by retailers leading up to Christmas.
DBA reported that at the end of September 2005, 1,085,000 digital television receivers had been sold by suppliers to retailers, with average monthly sales in the September 2005 quarter of 54,500 units.
Source: DBA Newsletter Dec/Jan
Item added: 13th December 2005
DBA welcomes release of ACMA digital media survey
Digital Broadcasting Australia welcomes the release earlier today (9 Nov 2005) of the Australian Communications and Media Authority digital media survey. The survey confirms the level of free-to-view digital television receiver sales already reported by the DBA and the importance of consumer information.
The ACMA survey, conducted in June and July 2005, indicates that 988,000 homes (13% of Australia's TV homes) have taken up free-to-view digital technology. According to the ACMA report, about 20% of those homes have more that one free-to-view digital television receiver, thus translating into total sales of receivers to consumers of nearly 1.2 million.
Source: DBA press release
Item added: 9th November 2005
Pay TV Operators agree to 2007 switch-off
Australia recently abandoned its 2008 analogue switch-off target because of poor reported take-up of DTT, however Pay television operators have now announced that they will be switching of there analogue broadcasts before March 2007, sooner than expected.
The two largest pay television operators, Foxtel and Austar have a reported customer base of 1.8 million, with 75% already receiving digital signals.
Foxtel chief executive Kim Williams is reported as saying that "they (the subscribers) are taking (digital) out in droves. We think the issue may be that we arrive there sooner (March 2007) "
The recent Australian draft action plan pushed the switchover target for the whole of Australia to at least 2011 and methods to achieve this date are currently being studied.
Main source: DTG website
Item added: 26th October 2005
Australia might not make 2008 switchover
In a recent Sunday Age newspaper article Helen Conan, the Australian communications minister, is reported as saying that Australia is set to abandon its 2008 analogue TV switch-off target.
She went on to say that the reason for delay was the 9% current digital penetration which she thought was too low and that the government would have to do more to prompt take-up.
Item added: 19th August 2005
920,000 free to view digital tv receivers sold to June 2005
As at 30 June 2005 the estimated number of digital television set top box receivers and integrated digital TV sets sold to retailers and installers was 920,000 - an increase of 143,000 units for the quarter.
The estimate is based on sales reported by DBA member companies supplying product to retailers and installers.
Item added: 9th August 2005
TV to Mobilephone trial using DVB-H begins
Bridge Networks, a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank's TV towers business Broadcast Australia is set to start its year long trial in Sydney before the end of July.
The trial uses DVB-H technology to deliver video pictures to mobile handsets. Up to 1000 people will be given Nokia 7110 video mobile phones with special DVB-H receiver attachments.
Content partners have not yet been announced but Telco Telestra will be handling customer relations and providing some of the content.
Source: Australian IT
Item added: 14th July 2005
SBS broadcast MHP interactive TV application
The SBS current affairs program "Insight" commenced broadcasting an MHP interactive application in late May. Digital capable receivers are expected to be available in the shops by the end of the year. However all free to view digital TV viewers will be able to see the extra material, presented in a non-interactive way, on SBS Essential (Channel 31) during the broadcast of the program.
Item added: 7th June 2005
Extension of Simulcast period
The Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, has announced to a federal Senate Committee that it was unlikely that the analogue terrestrial television signal could be switched off in metropolitan areas by 2008, as originally planned in legislation.
The government's review of analogue switch-off is due for completion at the end of the year. Thus far, about 700,000 homes have have converted to digital terrestrial television. Source: Digitag
Item added: 2nd June 2005
DVB-H trial in Sydney to go ahead
The DVB-H trial by Bridge Networks continues to gain momentum. Planned for a 12 month period, the trial is expected to start in the middle of the year.
"During the trial period, we would expect the DVB-H transmissions to cover 80 percent of Sydney, or around 3.2 million people," said Darren Kirsop- Frearson, managing director, The Bridge Networks. "Telstra will be the sole telecommunications carrier involved in the trial and will manage the customer relationship and provide some content; Harris Corporation will supply transmission equipment and technical support; and Australian-manufacturer, RFS, will provide Radio Frequency combining products and services for the transmission of the DVB-H signal.
"Up to 1000 Telstra customers will use the DVB-H-capable handsets to measure coverage, particularly within buildings, as well as provide valuable consumer feedback about the level and quality of services being tested. It's a very exciting broadcasting development and evidence of a true convergence of the broadcast and telecommunications industries," continued Mr. Kirsop- Frearson.
Source: broadcastbuyer.tv 4th March 2005