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Regional Victoria gets first digital-only TV

Mildura has become the first region in Australia with digital-only television after the Communications Minister Stephen Conroy performed the analog switch-over this morning.

Mildura has become the first region in Australia with digital-only television after the Communications Minister Stephen Conroy performed the analog switch-over this morning.

digital tv freeview australia switch
Mildura is the first region in Australia to go digital, where even old TVs like this can be upgraded with the addition of a set-top box. (TV image by H Berends, royalty free)

From 9am, analog television in Mildura/Sunraysia ceased broadcasting and is the first to make the switch as part of the government's Digital Switchover timetable.

The government's Digital Tracker survey showed that virtually all households in the region had made the switch to digital and Senator Conroy said he was proud of the work done to ensure residents were prepared.

"People in Mildura/Sunraysia have today moved from having some of the worst television reception and the most limited choice of channels, to leading Australia in the move to 16 or more channels of clear pictures and crisp sound," Conroy said in a statement.

The government said it had helped over 2500 households to convert to digital TV under its Household Assistance Scheme, which provided satellite TV for pensioners and people in "blackspots".

The Australian Government outlined the switchover date 18 months ago and the areas of regional South Australia and Broken Hill are due to have their analog signal switched off on 15 December 2010.

The switchover follows the release of the first official Freeview electronic program guide (EPG) earlier this week. Viewers with non-Freeview compatible equipment will still be able to pick up an EPG.

Have you made the switch? Did you have any problems? Let us know below.