The Government's $308.8m digital TV package explained

A break-down of the costs and eligibility for the $308m digital TV assistance package in the 2011 Federal Budget

Installation and services

Any individual eligible for the Household Assistance Scheme can receive a high definition digital TV set top box (although the manufacturer of the devices is not confirmed and has been put to a tender in rollouts that have already occurred), as well as a range of installation and support services. According to a spokesman for the Digital Switchover Taskforce, the set top box has features designed for eligible households, namely the elderly and disabled users – it is "simpler to use" than other boxes on the market and has "large buttons" for ease of access.

The HD digital TV set top boxes will be installed and tuned in eligible individuals' homes, and the device's functions explained by the installer. A Quick Reference Guide and manual will be provided, and electronic formats of the documents are available on USB memory stick or the Digital Ready Web site if required — for a disabled or elderly Scheme recipient using text-to-speech software on a computer, for example.

If digital TV reception is not adequate using the individual's existing antenna, the installer will use an indoor antenna to check whether acceptable reception is possible using this method. If a supplementary indoor antenna is also inadequate, extra antenna cabling and an outdoor antenna can be installed by the contractor. All antenna work comes at no additional cost to the eligible individual and is covered by the $308.8million provided by the Household Assistance Scheme.

External antenna and cabling installation is only available to citizens who own the home in which the Scheme is installing a set top box. Renters must contact their body corporate for private work to be undertaken, and public housing recipients must contact their relevant housing authority — neither are covered for antenna installation by the Scheme.

Accessing the Scheme

Centrelink and Veteran's Affairs records will be used to identify and contact anyone eligible for the Household Assistance Scheme via letter. Recipients can then contact Centrelink — a dedicated call centre will be set up to manage calls — to ensure their eligibility and have their details passed on to a contractor who will undertake the necessary work.

Once the work has been arranged the contractor will notify the eligible recipient two days prior to the visit by phone call or SMS. A password, chosen by the individual, will be used to ensure that no visits or scam calls from unauthorised contractors are made.

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