Satellite Will Fill Digital TV Blackspots

One of the perennial challenges with digital TV is synchronising rollouts across Australia -- new channels often appear in regional areas much later than capitals, and reception blackspots didn't disappear with digital transmission either. The Federal government has outlined plans to fix the latter problem using satellite transmission.

The full details won't be hammered out until the networks have been persuaded to cough up some funds (ahem), but the federal government has committed $40 million a year over four years to help establish the new service, which will combine digital conversion for booster 'self-help' sites with satellite transmission for areas which remain out of reach of all existing signals.

One problem with that approach is that the satellite versions of channels might not necessarily match the nearest local provider (or in simpler terms, viewers in remote regional WA might end up with Channel 7 Sydney). That issue will be partially overcome via a dedicated satellite channel for regional news broadcasts (deemed the most critical element of local channels). Could make interesting viewing for news junkies and media critics.

Digital television Australia-wide [DBCDE]


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