Australia Begins DTV Cutover

Doug Lung

Full-power TV analog broadcasts in the United States ended more than four years ago, but many other countries have still been operating in the analog mode. One of these is Australia, but that is ending now. The ball started rolling with Sidney making the switchover on Tuesday (Dec. 3) and now only two areas in that country still have analog TV--Melbourne and remote and central eastern Australia, including areas of the Northern Territory outside of the Darwin switchover region. These remaining analog transmitters are scheduled to be switched off on Dec. 10.

For details about Australia's analog shutdown and maps, see

As has been the case in many countries, Australian broadcasters took the opportunity to reminisce about the early days of broadcast. In a Sidney Morning Herald article, Him Hassell, CEO of Broadcast Australia, said: “It's a big day. It was just switched on in 1956 which is really only a generation.”

Bryan Eagle, a former engineer at Broadcast Australia who started with the company in 1958 was one of the first two trainees in Australia to be appointed to a TV station. He said that the Internet had made his job redundant, and described the rapid developments in technology as “frightening.”

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.