digitaldarwinAustralia’s top end capital city Darwin today switches off analogue television. The switch off affects local transmissions of ABC1, Southern Cross Television (TND), Nine (NTD) and SBS One.

Analogue television has been in operation in Darwin since 1971 — making it the last capital city in Australia to receive television. The first local station was ABD6 (ABC) launched in August 1971.

Commercial station NTD8 (now Nine Darwin) was opened in November 1971. Both ABD6 and NTD8 were taken off air by Cyclone Tracy which destroyed much of the city on Christmas Day, 1974.  ABD6, being the national broadcaster, was back on air after a matter of days — but NTD8 was off-air until October 1975.

In May 1994 Darwin became the last capital city to receive SBS.  In March 1998 the city received its second commercial channel, Seven Darwin (now Southern Cross Television).

According to the most recent Digital Tracker survey — covering the period January to March 2013 — it is estimated that approximately 93 per cent of Darwin households have converted at least their main TV set to digital. Darwin has had one of the fastest conversions to digital TV in Australia largely due to the third commercial channel, Darwin Digital Television, being launched exclusively in digital in 2008.

Unlike other capital cities Darwin’s main transmitter site will not be subject to a retune as all existing digital transmissions are already on their post-retune frequencies.

Australia’s conversion from analogue television is almost complete — with Sydney, NSW Central Coast, Melbourne and Remote Central and Eastern Australia the only remaining markets with analogue television. These areas will switch to digital-only television in December.

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