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OZ TV Gets VAST

OZ TV Gets VAST

No, its not the NBN satelite but rural Aussies can watch new digital TV service via Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service, meaning where ever you are in the bush you can watch free-to-air telly.

So, if you’re miles from anywhere you can watch Channel Ten, Seven or Nine – 16 stations in all – regional news and specialised public service channels.

New smartphone apps (iPhones and Android) are also being developed to to help travellers tune their satellite dishes into the VAST signal.

The app uses the phone’s GPS to locate available terrestrial television signals and show users how to receive them.

Minister for Broadband, Communications Senator Stephen Conroy, today encouraged people who travel around regional and remote Australia to start enjoying the VAST service.

Minister Conroy said the VAST service is driving a quiet television revolution for travellers across regional and remote Australia.

“In 2011, domestic and international tourists spent 41 million nights in caravan parks around Australia. There are also more than 50,000 Australian campervan and motor home owners. Until recently, the only TV someone could watch after a long day’s driving or sightseeing was the limited choice available on analog television – sometimes fewer than four channels,” Senator Conroy said.

The old Aurora Satellite service is being switched off on 31 December 2013, and the Minister is calling on TV fans to “to get themselves a satellite dish and apply for VAST now.”

Over 80,000 households in regional and remote areas are already enjoying VAST, with over 100,000 VAST decoders activated across Australia, including for around 13,000 travellers.

VAST satellite service is available now to all households throughout the Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV licence area.

To apply for the VAST, people should visit the Digital Ready Website www.digitalready.gov.au or call the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 2010 13.