2000 not ready for digital switch

HAMISH CARDWELL
Last updated 15:10 31/01/2013

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Many Marlburians could be left staring at static in April, with 2000 households yet to install digital decoders in preparation for the switch to digital.

There are fewer than 100 days to make the change, which would require Freeview, Sky or Igloo to continue to receive a television signal.

Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said he recommended people take action now.

"When Hawke's Bay went digital last year there were people who waited until the last minute and then had to go without TV for a time because installers were fully booked," he said.

You don't need a new television set to go digital but everyone will need a satellite dish and a satellite set-top box," he said.

Blenheim Electric House owner Scotty Cowlishaw said people had started to take notice of the switch, with business picking up after Christmas. The cost to change 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 ordinary aerials, 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.

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

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- The Marlborough Express

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