A Senate Budget Estimates hearing has been told than as many as 30% of the digital set-top boxes sold in Australia are unable to receive all of the digital free-to-air channels.

Senator Simon Bermingham, representating shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Upper House made the claims in a news.com.au story.

“More than one million households will miss out on getting the full benefits of the digital switchover as a result of the significant proportion of standard-definition equipment being sold,” said Senator Birmingham.

A government spokesperson has responded that a national advertising campaign is informing consumers of what they need to do.

We can only assume that it must be a slow part of the news/opinion cycle for this to have become major news. Digital TV really isn’t that hard to figure out. There are two types of set-top boxes – standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD). SD boxes can only pick up SD channels. HD boxes can pick up all channels.

And with HD set-top boxes down to around $60, the cost isn’t astronomical, about one-tenth of an Apple iPad 2.

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