Switched on: is your TV ready?

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 12:39 16/11/2012

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Television in Marlborough doesn't go digital until April, but the national manager of the project overseeing the switch is warning people to get in early or risk being without their favourite programmes.

Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said experience from the switch to digital television on the West Coast and in Hawke's Bay showed people tended to wait until the last minute for a technician to install the equipment.

"They went without TV for a while," he said.

"You don't want to miss your favourite programmes. I encourage people to get in early and get it sorted now."

Marlborough is a special case and people can't rely on in-built systems in modern televisions to receive digital television.

Mr Harford said people could either get Freeview or Sky to go digital, but either way needed to have a set-up box and a satellite dish.

"But you don't need a new TV to go digital."

Surveys showed nine out of 10 homes in the top of the South Island were already digital, Mr Harford said.

So the challenge was to get that remaining one in 10 to think about it, but also for people to think about the second or other televisions in their homes.

"If you have a television in your bedroom, that needs to go digital as well."

Going Digital was working with Marlborough community groups to help spread the message.

"I think we are fairly well-placed here with nine out of 10 homes already across the line. The challenge is just getting to the remainder of that population."

People aged over 75 years with a community services card, invalid beneficiaries and people on veterans' pensions could have the set-up box and satellite dishes installed free-of-charge, Mr Harford said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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