Friday, June 22, 2012

Preparing properties for digital TV

Between 2010 and 2013, analog free-to-air TV signals are being switched off and
replaced with digital-only signals. If you own or manage a property, you need to check now that it is digital ready to ensure your tenants will be able to receive free-to-air digital TV once the analog signals are switched off in the area. Your tenants will expect you to ensure the property is digital
ready. The sooner you’re prepared the better it will be for your property investment.
To watch digital TV after the switch off, your tenants will need equipment that’s capable
of receiving digital TV—equipment like a set top box (for connecting to an analog TV) or a
TV with a built-in digital tuner. If they have this equipment and can’t receive the free-to-air digital TV channels available in your area, your property’s antenna system may need to be upgraded, or a new external antenna installed.

Upgrading your property’s antenna system
1. Find out who is responsible for the maintenance of the antenna system
If your property is a free-standing house, you may wish to check the tenancy agreement and relevant tenancy legislation in your state or territory to see what it says about adding or altering fixtures. Even if it is not clearly stated in the legislation, it is good practice to arrange any necessary antenna works yourself, using an experienced antenna installer. This will ensure your property is digital ready for current and future tenants, and avoid possible damage caused by a tenant adding or removing their own fixtures.
2. Is your rental property a unit or apartment?
Larger buildings like apartment blocks or groups of townhouses may have shared antenna systems, also known as Master Antenna TV (MATV) systems. While many shared antenna systems are adequate for both analog and digital TV reception, some may need to be upgraded or replaced. In some cases, a shared antenna system may need to be installed for the first time. In a residential building, the owners corporation (or body corporate) is responsible for maintaining and repairing common property, including a shared antenna system. Digital Ready Information Line 1800 20 10 13 Updated: 13 September 2010 Contact your strata or building manager to ensure that, in the first instance, any existing antenna system is inspected by an experienced antenna installer. Upgrades to shared antenna systems can be complex, and getting approval from unit owners may take time.
Start the process early to get your building digital ready well before the analog switch off.
3. Contacting an antenna installer
There are antenna installers who are part of the Australian Government Antenna Installer
Endorsement Scheme. You can find a list of endorsed antenna installers on the digital
ready website. An endorsed antenna installer will be able to advise you on the best way to upgrade your property to ensure good reception of digital TV.
4. Claiming a tax deduction if you buy an antenna
As a property owner, you may be able to claim a tax deduction for part or all of the cost of the purchase or upgrade of antenna equipment for your rental property. To find out whether you are eligible, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), or download the ATO “Rental Properties” guide at For more information
To find out more about the switch to digital TV and the resources that can help you prepare
your property, visit

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