South East Queensland — including Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast — will be switching off analogue TV today affecting local transmissions of ABC1, Seven (BTQ), Nine (QTQ), Ten (TVQ) and SBS1.
Also affected will be Sunshine Coast transmissions of Seven Queensland (STQ), WIN (RTQ) and Southern Cross Ten (TNQ) and Gold Coast transmissions of Prime7 (NEN), NBN and Southern Cross Ten (NRN) from Northern NSW.
According to the latest Digital Ready survey approximately 92% of households in the affected area have already converted their main TV receiver to digital.
The analogue shutdown brings to an end almost 54 years of analogue television transmission in south east Queensland — although Brisbane was the site of one of Australia’s first demonstrations of television back in the 1930s.
The first official television station to operate in Brisbane was QTQ9, launched in August 1959.
The early 1980s saw the advent of local UHF translator stations along the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas, widening the reach of the Brisbane channels even though those areas were also covered by neighbouring regional stations — creating a rare situation where these areas had the choice of both metropolitan and regional broadcasters.
SBS expanded into Brisbane and the Gold Coast in June 1985, and TVQ0 switched its signal to TVQ10 in September 1988.
Aggregation of regional markets in the early ’90s saw the expansion of NSW regional networks Prime (NEN) and NBN into the Gold Coast, and Queensland regional networks WIN (RTQ) and QTV (now Southern Cross Ten) into the Sunshine Coast.
Community TV arrived in July 1994 with Briz 31, later re-named QCTV and now 31 Digital. The station ceased analogue transmission in 2011, one year after launching its digital signal.
The next stage in the region’s transition to digital-only transmission will be the re-tune, affecting Brisbane transmissions of SBS and 31 Digital, with the final changeover scheduled for 27 June 2013. Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast re-tunes will occur at a later date.
The next scheduled analogue shutdown will be remote and regional Western Australia on 25 June.