Time to get turned on

Get ready to switch over - it's just six months until the analogue TV signal is shut off.
Get ready to switch over - it's just six months until the analogue TV signal is shut off. Don Saunderson

NO WONDER there have been so many old televisions left on the roadside for council clean ups of late; it's just six months until the analogue TV signal is switched off in northern New South Wales.

Already more than eight out of 10 households in the northern New South Wales switchover region have converted to digital TV.

The change over is yet to spark a rush on digital set top boxes and TVs according to Garth Morrison from Morrison's Betta Electrical.

"Set top boxes were huge about two years ago, but it's slowed down a lot since then," Mr Morrison said.

"I think most people are on top of what is happening with the changeover and have bought new TVs, but a lot of people might still have a second or third TV that they haven't upgraded yet," he said.

Mr Morrison expects to see a slight spike in digital TV sales as the deadline for the analogue switch off date approaches.

For those who haven't yet upgraded to a digital television or set top box, financial assistance may help.

"The Household Assistance Scheme is now open and the Department of Human Services is writing to eligible people across the region inviting them to apply," Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said.

"If you're eligible, the time to apply is now. That way your installation can be completed before the switch to digital-only," Senator Conroy said.

The Household Assistance Scheme (HAS) supplies and installs a high definition set top box free of charge and upgrades antennas, cabling or satellite equipment where necessary.

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.

Topics:  digital television

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