Digital Set Top Boxes in Australia Explained


During the period 2010 to 2013 a huge transformation will take place in Australia’s broadcasting capability. Analogue television signals will be phased out and replaced by digital. This has prompted a lot of questions for consumers with many concerned they will have to pay large amounts of money to have equipment that is digital compatible. But the truth is that from a consumer point of view the transition will be affordable and the benefits immense.

So what is the difference between digital and analogue?

There are some very basic differences between digital and analogue. They include:

Analogue uses variations in amplitude and frequency in signals to encode picture and sound information, which is then broadcast
Analogue can not carry as much broadcast information as digital
Digital uses discrete digital signals to send picture and sound information
More information can be sent using digital which means there will be more viewing options
Digital allows a higher quality of both sound and visuals
Digital is the new global standard so Australia must convert in order to remain competitive

With all the talk of digital and its benefits some consumers are now worried that enjoying the new format will require an extensive outlay for hardware. Luckily that is not the case.

How can you enjoy Digital TV?

The technical issues won’t hold much interest for many consumers. What they want to know is how to enjoy the benefits of Digital TV. In a nutshell there are two basic options.

You can buy a Digital ready television, or you can buy what is called a ‘set top box’. This is a box that allows digital signals to be converted into a form that can be played by your existing television. The set top box is simply connected to your existing television and converts the digital signal into something which your television can play. There are a range of technical issues to do with what level of picture quality you can enjoy, and a lot of this relates to things such as how many pixels your television has, but this is really outside of the scope of this piece. To enjoy digital television all you have to do is invest in a box that converts the signal, so your actual outlay can be quite minimal.

Why choose a set top box?

The decision to buy a set top box will most likely be made by those who are perfectly happy with their existing television, and/or have a restricted budget. Some people will also want to minimise waste and simply not want to discard a perfectly good television. Whatever your reasons you can learn more about the digital revolution at the Australian Government site and realise that there is no reason you can not benefit from digital television as soon as you like.