Digital TV: You may need antenna upgrades

by FM Media
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Australia’s free-to-air TV services are now being upgraded from analogue to digital only transmissions – and facility managers may need to arrange antenna upgrades in some multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and other commercial or civic properties.

Regional South Australia switched to digital only TV in mid-December last year and regional Victoria is scheduled to make the switchover on 5 May 2011. Other States will follow, with all analogue transmissions to be decommissioned by 2013. For a full timeframe of Australian digital switchover timeframes.
Facility managers, however, should be aware that there are many multiple dwelling units (MDUs) as well as commercial and public facilities that may need to take action to upgrade their shared antenna system. If you currently receive good analog TV reception, it’s likely that you will have no problem receiving digital TV. However, some buildings may require preparation to get them ready for digital TV.
Buildings such as apartments and units (known as multi-dwelling units or MDUs), groups of townhouses, retirement villages and public and commercial facilities often use a shared antenna system, also known as a Master Antenna TV (MATV). To ensure residents in these types of buildings can continue to receive free-to-air TV after the analog signals are switched off, your building’s shared system may need to be upgraded, or may have to be installed for the first time. The good news is that in most cases the modifications and upgrades required will be minimal. It may not be necessary to replace the whole antenna system.
If you are already connected to a shared antenna system that is receiving digital TV and distributing it via cable throughout your building, you don’t need to do anything else. Residents just have to make sure that they have the correct equipment, such as a set top box, a digital recorder or a TV with an in-built digital tuner.

Use the Antenna Systems eToolkit (ASeT) to assess your building, reception issues and options for becoming digital ready.
ASeT provides ready access to detailed information about antenna equipment, cabling and installation, including cost estimates for the various technical solutions to help ensure adequate digital television reception and system distribution.
Covering a range of scenarios, ASeT’s main focus is on residential buildings such as apartments, groups of townhouses and nursing homes. There is also information about commercial and public facilities such as hotels, hospitals and other buildings with shared antenna systems.

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