Broadcasters to upgrade TV transmitter

RESIDENTS of Mandalay, Jubilee Pocket and Flametree should not be concerned about the future of their television reception after the conversion to digital next year.

The analogue signal is expected to be turned off in the second half of next year but a new digital transmitter should be available in the area by then.

There are several transmitters servicing the Whitsunday region including two owned by Whitsunday Regional Council. The transmitter at Mandalay Hill is council-owned but will be upgraded by the broadcasters to ensure good reception to that area.

Regional Broadcasting Australia (RBA) represents Channels Seven, Nine and Ten in regional areas and has agreed to upgrade the transmitter and continue to maintain it.

General Manager of RBA Alan Butorac confirmed yesterday that the transmitter would be upgraded by May next year – several months before the analogue signal was turned off.

He also confirmed that the transmitters at Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour were owned by the broadcasters and would therefore be upgraded in time.

The only other council-owned transmitter in the local area is at Dingo Beach.

This will not be upgraded by the broadcasters but residents will have access to the digital network via satellite. Council is continuing to investigate options in relation to this transmitter.

Mr Butorac also recommended that residents planning to buy a set top box rather than a digital television should by “free view” compliant box.

He said this was the best option for the future.

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