The second stage of the national phase-out of analogue television takes place today (Wednesday) at 9.00am (CDT) when analogue transmissions are switched off in regional South Australia – affecting local broadcasts for ABC, SBS, WIN and WIN Ten (Mount Gambier and Riverland) and Southern Cross GTS/BKN and Southern Cross Ten (Spencer Gulf and Broken Hill).
The analogue switch-off for regional South Australia comes almost six months after the analogue signals in Mildura/Sunraysia were turned off.
The most recent Digital Tracker survey, covering the months July to September this year, found that 81 per cent of households in the affected areas have made the switch to digital television. If the Mildura experience is anything to go by then that number could be as high as 99 per cent by the time the analogue signals are turned off.
Both Southern Cross and WIN will gain additional broadcast spectrum after the analogue switch-off to allow them to broadcast the commercial network multi-channels. Currently both broadcasters have capacity only for broadcasting the primary channels affiliated to the Seven, Nine and Ten networks.
Viewers that had access to the analogue signals but are unable to receive the replacement digital signals will have access to the VAST (Viewer Access Satellite Television) satellite platform, providing access to the full suite of digital channels plus a local news channel. Households wishing to access VAST may be eligible for government subsidies to assist with the changeover.