More Australians going digital

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy said new figures show 95 per cent of Australian households are now aware of the approaching switch off of analog television signals, and more than two-thirds have already converted to digital TV.

The Minister today released the latest summary figures from the Digital Tracker survey for the first quarter of 2010.

The summary report is being released ahead of the main survey report to provide more immediate information on the switch to digital free-to-air TV around Australia.

Switchover to digital-only television is occurring region-by-region around Australia until 31 December 2013 and commences in the Mildura/Sunraysia region on 30 June 2010.

“The Digital Tracker showed positive growth in the first quarter of 2010 across all of the indicators, including awareness, understanding, attitude, intention, conversion and satisfaction with digital TV,” Senator Conroy said.

The figures show 68 per cent of Australians have already converted to digital TV, an increase of seven per cent in the national conversion rate since the last quarter of 2009.

There was 99 per cent awareness of the switchover in Mildura/Sunraysia which is the first region of the country to go digital-only from 30 June 2010. Eighty-seven per cent of households in the region were digital ready during the first quarter of 2010, up from 79 per cent in the previous quarter.

“Taking into account additional households helped through the Government’s Household Assistance Scheme and not recorded in the survey period, and those who watch digital TV channels through subscription TV, more than nine out of ten households in Mildura/Sunraysia are now digital ready,” Senator Conroy said.

“Public meetings and workshops to be held in Mildura, Ouyen and Robinvale in the next few weeks are targeted at the last remaining households yet to switchover to digital TV,” Senator Conroy said.

The introduction of new digital TV services for Ouyen and Underbool during May 2010, further installations through the Household Assistance Program, and the introduction of the new digital TV satellite service are expected to further drive up the number of digital-ready households in the Mildura/Sunraysia region.

Conversion to digital TV in regional South Australia, the next region to go digital-only on 15 December 2010, showed strong growth as it reached 74 per cent, up from 64 per cent in the previous quarter.

Andy Townend, Executive Director, said the Digital Switchover Taskforce would be on the ground in Mildura/Sunraysia region working to achieve a smooth and successful transition to digital-only TV on 30 June 2010.

“We will be significantly stepping up our activities with the local community to ensure those households who haven’t switched over yet to know what they need to do before 30 June 2010,” Mr Townend said.

“This will include providing practical advice on how to switch to digital TV, dealing with local reception issues, and helping people who can’t get terrestrial digital TV reception to get access to the new satellite TV service.

“Our commitment is to help every household in the region get ready for digital TV, and people in the region will be seeing a lot of us over the next couple of months as we countdown to switching off the analog TV signals in Mildura/Sunraysia for good,” Mr Townend said.

More: Digital Tracker survey