Digital TV switchover starts tonight
Sat, 29 Sep 2012 6:21p.m.
By Emma Jolliff
Hawke's Bay and the West Coast of the South Island will be the first regions of the country to go digital, overnight tonight.
At 2am, analogue broadcasting will be switched off, meaning those who haven't upgraded their technology will see only static.
Old TVs and some not so old have been brought to a Hawke’s Bay barn to be stacked, wrapped and shipped off to recycling plants in Wellington and Auckland.
“We might take in 30 or 40 televisions on a Saturday morning and over a week maybe a100, 120 television sets,” says Erin Simpson of Hawke’s Bay Trust.
Many residents left it to the final days to upgrade equipment.
“I have a digital TV, which works, but evidently my recorder won't work now so I have to get a set top box for that,” says Hawke’s Bay resident Murray Ravenscroft.
“I think it's a bit of a pain really, but of course I haven't experienced it yet and it will probably be better,” says Yo Ewing.
Solo mother Michelle Garnham says Government assistance for invalids and pensioners doesn't extend to her.
“I've got a built-in in my TV and I need an aerial and I can't afford it,” she says.
To that, WINZ says “televisions are commonly used for entertainment purposes and for the most part will not be considered an essential and immediate need”.
“For the country as a whole, going digital means that we'll free up some radio spectrum that can then be used for next generation mobile phone and data services,” says Going Digital manager Greg Harford.
After a council subsidy, residents pay $15 to recycle their old TVs. But many of them didn't need to be replaced.
“The Going Digital campaign has probably helped people or given people an excuse to be able to go out and buy a lovely flash new TV set,” says Mr Simpson.
Analogue will be switched off in Hawke’s Bay and on the West Coast tomorrow, and around the rest of the country next year.
This week students from Havelock North Intermediate won a competition for creating the best Going Digital campaign.
The Going Digital education campaign has been running in the region for 18 months. Mr Harford says it's been a challenge to get information into all 21,000 homes, and he estimates 2000 homes still won't be ready by switchover time tomorrow.
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30/09/2012 5:31:59 p.m.
@BUZZFROMDABUSH With digital you are either going to have perfect picture or no picture at all, this is one of the advantages of digital. The threshold is quite low but if your analogue reception was absolutely crap, I doubt you will have any picture.
30/09/2012 4:52:30 p.m.
Just go on satellite Buzz. Just need a dish and a sat decoder. No need for a new TV, and it won't cost you anywhere near 2k, and you shouldn't have any reception problems.
29/09/2012 9:47:46 p.m.
My analogue reception is crap, always has been, I hope they've got the coverage sorted because if I spend 2k on a new TV and aerial for digital I'm not gonna be happy if it's the same!
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