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Switching to Digital

Monday, 17th January 2011

Between 2010 and 2013, analog free-to-air TV signals are being switched off and replaced with digital-only signals. The Australian Government's Switchover Taskforce can help you through the process and with their help we will try and get you as much information as possible. We have had a few enquiries from landlords and what they need to do. Here is some advice from The Switchover Taskforce.

Between 2010 and 2013, analog free-to-air TV signals are being switched off and replaced with digital-only signals.  The Australian Government's Switchover Taskforce can help you through the process and with their help we will try and get you as much information as possible.  We have had a few enquiries from landlords and what they need to do.  Here is some advice from The Switchover Taskforce.

If you own or manage a property, you need to check now that it is digital ready to ensure your tenants will be able to receive free-to-air digital TV once the analog signals are switched off in the area.  Your tenants will expect you to ensure the property is digital ready.  The sooner you're prepared the better it will be for your property investment.

To watch digital TV after the switch off, your tenants will need equipment that's capable of receiving digital TV - equipment like a set top box (for connecting to analog TV) or a TV with a built-in digital tuner.

If they have this equipment and can't receive the free-to-air digital TV Channels available in your area, your property's antenna system may need to be upgraded, or a new external antenna installed.

Upgrading your property's antenna system

Larger buildings like apartment blocks or groups of townhouses may have shared antenna systems, also know as Master Antenna TV (MATV) systems.  While many shared antenna systems are adequate for both analog and digital TV reception, some may need to be upgraded or replaced. In some cases, a shared antenna system may need to be installed for the first time. In a residential building, the owners corporation (or body corporate) is responsible for maintaining and repairing common property, including a shared antenna system.

  1. When your rental property is a unit or apartment
    Contact your strata or building manager to ensure that, in the first instance, any existing antenna system is inspected by an experienced antenna installer.  Upgrades to shared antenna systems can be complex, and getting approval from unit owners may take time.  Start the process early to get your building digital ready well before the analog switch off.
  2. Contacting an antenna installer
    There are antenna installers who are prart of the Australian Government Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme.  You can find a list of endorsed antenna installers on the digital ready website below.
  3. Claiming a tax deduction if you buy an antenna
    As a property owner, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for part or all of the cost of the purchase or upgrade of antenna equipment for your rental property.  To find our whether you are eligible, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), or download the ATO "Rental Properties" guide at www.ato.gov.au/rental.
To find out more about the switch to digital TV and the resources that can help you prepare your property, visit www.digitalready.gov.au.

Digital TV Antenna Systems Handbooks

These handbooks proice advice for owners and residents of units, apartment blocks and other buildings with a shared antenna system. Handbooks can be downloaded at www.digitalready.gov.au/publications.

Antenna Systems eToolkit (ASeT)

ASeT provides detailed information about antenna equipment, cabling and installation, as well as cost estimates for a range or technical solutions to ensure your building can adequately receive and distribute TV signals.

The facility is available from www.digitalready.gov.au/mdu.

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