92-year-old Elva's homemade TV NZ's oldest

Elva Reynolds' late husband Winston assembling the television in 1958.
Elva Reynolds' late husband Winston assembling the television in 1958.

New Zealand's oldest working television set has been found in Hokitika.

The 53-year-old kitset TV beat almost 300 entries to win the Going Digital Oldest Telly competition today.

The competition was launched to prove that New Zealanders did not need a new TV set for next year's digital switchover.

Owner Elva Reynolds, 92, was announced as the winner on TV1's Breakfast show this morning, where the TV set was converted to digital using a set-top box.

Reynolds said she could recall her late husband, Winston, assembling the set in 1958.

"I'm sure Winston would have been delighted the set has been named New Zealand's oldest television," she said.

Assembled using parts from Australia, the Reynolds' TV set was one of the first on the West Coast and received the signal from across the Tasman before television transmission arrived on the West Coast in 1972.

It was donated to the Hokitika Museum in the 1970s.

Going Digital national manager Greg Harford said the competition was about reminding viewers that a Tv set's age was no barrier for the digital switchover between next year and 2013.

"With the first switchover in Hawke's Bay and the West Coast occurring next year, we're encouraging New Zealanders to plan ahead and help their friends and family to go digital sooner rather than later, because doing so will bring a better TV picture, more choice and new services such as onscreen TV guides," he said.

Those with Sky, TelstraClear or Freeview are already on digital, while others will need a set-top box and the appropriate aerial or satellite dish.

Older sets can go digital with a set-top box, along with a RF modulator, available from most electronics shops.

The Press