Satellites give TV to those hard to reach places

With just two and a half months to go before the first part of our country (Mildura/Sunraysia) is left without access to a free-to-air analogue television, Senator Conroy announced this morning a joint venture between the Government, Southern Cross Media and Imparja.

The Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service will be available to all areas except for Western Australia where a deal is in the works with Optus.

From the media release:

Executive Director of the Digital Switchover Taskforce, Andy Townend said the satellite service will be available for the Mildura/Sunraysia region as the first region to switch over to digital-only TV on 30 June 2010.

To access the VAST service, viewers will need to purchase a new satellite set top box with an access ‘smart card’, a satellite dish and cabling.

“Households wanting to get ready for the new satellite service should contact a qualified antenna installer to express their interest so they can start making arrangements immediately, including the installation of a satellite dish,” Mr Townend said.

Altec UEC will be the initial supplier and distributor of satellite set top boxes. The supplier will be informing antenna installers and satellite equipment suppliers in Mildura/Sunraysia about the availability of the new satellite service from today.

Households in the Mildura/Sunraysia region already using the existing Aurora satellite service will be able to convert to the new service using their existing dish as soon as the new set top boxes are available.

Do you live in the middle of nowhere and want access to television like everybody else? Tell us in the comments.


  1. So what's happening to all the regional stations now? Are they going digital?

  2. Wait, so the first place they're phasing out analogue television is a place that doesn't get a digital signal?

    That press release gives the fairly strong impression that, after the analogue signal is switched off in Mildura/Sunraysia, the *only* option will be to purchase a (presumably expensive) satellite dish and set-top box. That's a really shitty deal.

  3. There are only some pockets around the Sunraysia area that have a problem in picking up the digital signal from the existing broadcasters. It's not the whole region. So for those few spots that are unable to pick up digital TV via terrestrial, then they have the satellite option

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