There are several areas across our region that are digital black spots, as many residents wanting to upgrade to a digital TV will have discovered already.
To check if you’re in a black spot go to www.digitalready.gov.au/when-do-i-switch/mySwitch.aspx and type in your address.
As Senator Conroy notes, if you’re in a black spot you should be able to access the government’s VAST service: www.digitalready.gov.au/what-is-the-switch/VAST-service.aspx. The details of eligibility can be found here: www.digitalready.gov.au/what-is-the-switch/VAST-service/Eligibility-and-technical-advice.aspx.
If you already have a subscription service like Austar, you may already get the channels you want. However to get VAST, you’ll need to buy a digital TV (if you haven’t already), satellite dish and set-top box with smart card and have the lot installed, which could set you back $2,000 or so if you’re not eligible for the Household Assistance Scheme. The dish and box alone are expected to cost $280.
If you can’t get the answers you want from the info line 1800 201 013 the approved digital adviser in our area is The Good Guys www.thegoodguys.com.au/ballina or www.thegoodguys.com.au/tweed_heads_south.
Other prospects for the digitally challenged include downloading stuff from the internet and watching it on a computer or waiting till the NBN comes and investing in a smart TV with an internet connection.
– Michael McDonald