Digital TV alert to bach owners

Marlborough bach owners have been reminded this Christmas to check that their televisions are set up to receive a digital signal in preparation for the nationwide digital rollout next year.

Marlborough, and the rest of the South Island, are going digital in April, and holiday-home owners should take the opportunity this summer break to make arrangements to replace their analogue receivers, Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said.

"You don't need a new TV to go digital, as any set can be converted with the right set-top box and a UHF aerial or satellite dish, depending on where your holiday home is located."

Blenheim Electric House owner Scotty Cowlishaw said the cost to switch over varied depending on what sort of television setup was already in place.

If people already owned a dish and a decoder, then the installation cost $60 in the Blenheim area. Digital decoders ranged from $99 to $499, he said.

If homeowners already had Sky TV, then the changeover would be automatic and not cost anything. However, if homeowners had only bunny ears, they would require a digital decoder and a dish.

"We have a package deal of $450 for a manual tuner, or $499 for an auto-tuner dish, the box, the installation, the whole lot."

Installations out of the Blenheim area cost a bit more, but people could share the workman's travel costs.

"We try and make it it as easy and painless as possible," Mr Cowlishaw said. "For example, a trip to the Portage would be $150 plus GST, for one house, so if you share that between three people it is not too much at all."

Typically, they can get out to peoples' homes within a working week. The installation usually took about two hours including a demonstration, he said.

For more details on how to go digital visit

The Marlborough Express