Questions about Freeview

We get asked about digital television and Freeview all the time. So, we've compiled for you a list of the most commonly asked questions to help with everything you need to know.

What is the digital switchover?
Australia is switching from analogue to digital TV broadcasting. This process is being managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. This department has set up a taskforce called the Digital Switchover Taskforce. Over the next few years, the Government will be turning off the current signal that carries the television signal (analogue) and replacing it with a digital signal. This phased roll out began with Mildura in June 2010 and will be completed by the 31st of December 2013. For information about the switchover in your area, visit the Digital Ready website, http://www.digitalready.gov.au/.
Why the switch to digital?
It's important that Australia keeps pace with worldwide changes in technology. Overseas programs are increasingly being recorded in the digital format only and Australian TV shows need to be recorded in the digital format to be easily exported overseas.

The Government also wants to free up broadcast space in Australia. TV is currently broadcast in both digital and analogue signals. This is costly and inefficient. Turning off the analogue signals will free up space that could be used for other services for the community.

In addition to this, moving to digital will improve the viewing experience. Picture and sound quality on digital TV is better, pictures on digital TV can be seen in widescreen and with Freeview, you will continue to have the same free-to-air channels, plus lots of new channels which means more content and more choice.
When will my analogue signal be turned off?
The switchover process commenced in 2010 and will continue until the end of 2013. It is being rolled-out progressively around the country, region by region. The first region switched off was Mildura, which occurred on 30th June 2010 - the last region will be Sydney on 31st December 2013. Visit the mySwitch http://www.digitalready.gov.au website to find out when the analogue transmission will be switched off in your area, and further helpful information about the switchover.

There is no need to wait until your region is being switched off before you convert to digital, you can switch now and enjoy the benefits of digital TV right away. Digital TV is currently available in most areas.

What is parental lock?
Parental lock is a feature on digital TV receivers that gives parents and/or guardians greater control of what their children watch on television via classification of programs or full channels.

The Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) mandated that all new digital TV receivers sold in Australia after 4 February 2011 must include Parental Lock functionality. For more information visit http://www.freetv.com.au/parentallock
What is the retune?
Some TV channels are changing their frequency as the final step in the move to digital-only TV. The retune begins in May 2013 and is due to be completed by 31 December 2014. You'll need to retune your TV, set-top box or digital recorder when these changes happen in your area. If you don't, you won't be able to receive all free-to-air digital TV channels. To find your area's retune date and more information on what you’ll need to do, please visit http://retune.digitalready.gov.au/
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