– Digital TV Switchover

Digital TV Switchover Australia website ( provides information on switchover from analogue to digital TV and what consumers need to know in order to be ready.

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Digital TV in Australia

Between 2010 and 2013 analog free-to-air TV signals are being switched off. Australia will only have digital-only signals.

There has been a lot of confusion on what this actually means, and the introduction of Freeview didn’t quite help. The way Freeview was advertised, made people believe that it was either a TV channel on its own, or even a new “free to air cable TV” company (if that makes sense)! From our discussion of Freeview, it is obvious that there is a lot of confusion.

Digital TV Labels

Now, there are ads on TV pointing people to – a website that is setup as a guide to help consumers understand what they need to do to be able to still watch TV after the analogue TV signal is switched off. It appears that the website is aimed at people who don’t understand what is going on. The government even came up with this bright labeling scheme, which kind of says, if you’re not sure what is going on, just look for the bright labels – get anything with one of these, and you’ll be right.

So, what is this all about?

It is likely that confused people will go to for some clarification, but with the very busy layout of, they may get even more confused! So, here is a quick summary on what this is all about:

1. TV Channels

There is no difference between analogue and digital TV channels. Whatever you can watch on your old TV, you’ll still be able to watch on a new, digital TV.

2. How to get digital TV

There are two options: a new TV set or a “set top” box. Instead of connecting your TV aerial/antenna directly to your TV, you’ll need to connect it to this little “set top” bot and then connect this box to your old TV. When buying a “set top” box, make sure you get a high definition one (HD). Why? Because some of the new channels are only transmitted in HD format and you won’t be able to watch them if you don’t have an HD TV or a “set top” box.

3. What is Freeview?

Freeview is not a TV channel and it is not a TV company. Freeview is what we described in points 1 and 2 above. It’s just a collective name to what is happening with TV in Australia. There are some new “Freeview channels”, but they are not actually Freeview channels, they belong to existing TV channels (e.g., channel 72 belongs to channel 7, and there are two new ABC channels, known as ABC2 and ABC3). Because these channels only transmitted in digital format – which makes them unavailable to old analogue TV sets – therefore they are called “Freeview” channels.

4. How to find out if you already have a digital TV

The easiest way to find out if you already have a digital TV is to see if you can watch one of the new standard definition channels, for example, ABC2 on channel 22. If you can, it means that you do have digital TV (or a set top box). If you can also see one of the high definition channels, such as One HD on channel 1, it obviously means that you already have a HD TV or a set top box, and there is nothing you need to do to “switch over”, as you are already “switched over” to the new system. There is a handy digital fact sheet published by

5. When should I switch?

The earliest – now. The latest – when your old analogue TV stops working.

You may also like to see our article on Tivo.

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The review " – Digital TV Switchover" was last updated on 18/04/2015.

  • John D

    In Perth, analogue TV signal will be switched off on the 16th of April 2013. If you don’t have a new TV or a set-top box, these are your last days when you can watch your old TV!

  • Bridgett

    Thanks for your time for posting.
    I actuallymay surely wind up being coming back for alot more reading
    and commenting here soon. Thanks a lot, Laurie

  • Tom

    since we have changed to digital tv , we have had constance dropout of sound plus picture picsalate or no signal at all, Is there any thing that can be done to fix this problem. They say to be digital ready ? But it looks looks like the transmission is not.

  • This is very nice post! I will bookmark this blog. It is a great post on digital ready gov.

  • apartamento

    this process of switching to digital tv is kind of a mess.. the same thing is happening in brazil now. seems like we live not only on the same hemisphere, but also on the same timing!


  • Chris

    With all those labels and the way the marketing campaign going on, someone is on a mission to make some money. People will buy TVs and set top boxes just because they have one of those “ready” stickers. Whose responsibility is to attach those stickers? People in the shop or manufacturers?

  • my aunt lives in Aussie, last year I visited her apartment..
    no digital tv of course.. 😛

  • It seems that Australia is a bit late in adopting Digital TV. USA has already done it. BY reading your article, it seemed to me that people in Australia are having the same kind of confusion like the people in USA.

  • Ronald

    Does anybody know if there is a reason why the new digital channels are not all HD? It’s it HD is the best technology – why not use it right away?