The Minister for Communications, Senator Stephen Conroy, has announced that free-to-air TV transmission will become exclusively digital in northern NSW on Tuesday, 27 November 2012.
Regions covered in the northern NSW broadcast area include Newcastle, the Hunter (Hunter Valley and Port Stephens), the Northern Rivers (Coffs Harbour, Forster, Grafton), the North West Slopes and Plains (Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell), and the Richmond/Tweed area (Byron Bay, Tenterfield, Lismore). Or, put another way, anyone who watches Nine Network programs, such as the cricket, rugby league or Big Bang Theory, on the NBN is affected by this announcement.
Previously, the analog TV switch-off date for northern NSW had been set for a time period between 1 July and 31 December 2012.
To receive free-to-air television in northern NSW from 27 November 2012 onwards, you will need a TV with a built-in digital tuner — almost all LCD and plasma TVs sold in the last few years include a digital TV tuner. Older TVs, primarily CRTs and rear projection units, will require a digital set-top box.