Digital TV easy way to better quality

Going Digital national manager Greg Harford. Photo supplied.
Going Digital national manager Greg Harford. Photo supplied.
The clock is ticking on the countdown to digital television. Just 95 days remain until the old analogue system is switched off. Nigel Benson talks to Going Digital national manager Greg Harford.


Q: The Going Digital change sounds technological. Should people be intimidated by it?

A: Not at all. Going digital is a just new way of receiving your TV signal.


Q: What do the changes mean?

A: For the viewer, digital TV means more channels, better pictures and sound quality and new services like on-screen TV guides.


Q: Do people have to buy new TV sets?

A: No. Almost any television can be made digital ready with a set-top box. The important thing to remember is that after your region goes digital, you'll only be able to watch television on sets that have gone digital.


Q: What sort of cost is involved?

A: You don't need a new television to watch digital, but you may need some new equipment. The cost of going digital will depend on your location and what equipment you need, but it's best to talk to your retailer or an installer about your options. If you need a new aerial as well as a set-top box, you may wish to have them professionally installed. Installation costs vary depending on the size of the house and the location of the aerial.


Q: Are there any other options?

A: Instead of buying equipment, you may choose to subscribe to a pay-TV service like Sky. These companies will install the equipment you need to watch digital TV in return for a monthly fee. Your local retailer can provide further information and advice.


Q: Why is New Zealand ending the analogue TV signal?

A: It will free up radio spectrum for other purposes such as wireless broadband, data and telecommunications services.


Q: When does the South Island change completely to digital?

A: Sunday, April 28.


Q: What happens if I already have Freeview, Sky or Igloo?

A: If you have Freeview or Igloo or subscribe to Sky, then you're already watching digital TV, so you don't need to do anything. If you're using a Freeview-compatible device, such as TiVo or PlayStation 3's Play TV, you've gone digital too. If you have a second analogue set or a recorder, though, that will also need to go digital if you want to keep using it.


Q: What should people do with unwanted TV sets?

A: The best way to minimise environmental harm from the disposal of old TVs is to take your equipment to a reputable, specialist e-waste recycler. The Ministry for the Environment's TV TakeBack Campaign has been created to boost TV recycling services in New Zealand. You can find out more at or contact your local council or specialist e-waste recycler to find out what recycling services are available in your region.


Q: Will my video, DVD, or digital recorder still work?

A: Yes. Once your television is receiving digital TV from a set-top box, your existing video, DVD or digital recorder will be able to record it. However, if you want to watch one channel while recording another, you'll need a separate set-top box for your recorder. There are digital set-top boxes that are also recorders, such as TiVo, MyFreeview, MySky. These devices offer easy recording options using on-screen TV guides. You may want to consider one of these if recording programmes is important to you.


Q: What should people do if they are still unsure about the changes?

A: For more details on how to go digital, visit or call us on 0800 838 800.


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