Budget '09: Digital TV wins big

Summary:The 2009 Federal Budget has placed a significant focus on programs to support digital television initiatives over the next few years.

The 2009 Federal Budget has placed a significant focus on programs to support digital television initiatives over the next few years.

For starters, Conroy confirmed additional Digital TV funding of almost $140 million over three years to assist with installing upgrades to home television equipment in certain cases, driving information campaigns to help the switch-over from analog televisions, and working with industry to ensure "a smooth transition".

In addition, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy announced additional capped funding exists to improve digital television reception in outer metropolitan Adelaide, if required, as "television reception in this area has troubled some residents for a number of years".

The Victorian region surrounding the city of Mildura will be the first to have its analog signal shut off — in the first half of 2010, with other parts of Victoria, regional South Australia and Queensland to follow, with the rest of the nation tailing behind.

Both the ABC and SBS have received additional funding specifically to drive Australian content, including a new digital children's channel for the ABC, and community broadcasters will receive $2.5 million over four years to go towards training programs.

Conroy also noted that the government was planning to meet its election commitments shortly to commission new digital television facilities for Broadford in Victoria and Currie on King Island, with the latter to also transmit ABC Local Radio to the Currie area.

Topics: Government : AU, Hardware

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