Alston, NCD, Aug 22 - The Alston Aerial, the capital’s tallest and most famous landmark, could soon vanish from the city’s skyline as plans are considered to shut off the city’s analogue television reception.
Officials from the Alston City Council have proposed ending the reception of analogue television in the National Capital District and fully equipping the province’s television sets with Freeview set-top boxes.
Alston could be fully digital by as early as October.
Alston began digital television reception in June 1999 through the Sky Satellite Television service. Earlier in this year it was complemented by the Freeview service, which aims to replace New Zealand’s analogue television services by December 2013.
All the city’s televisions currently receive both analogue and digital television services, the former restricted to TVNZ channels and the latter provided by Sky Television, which began serving Alston in June 1999. Freeview has not yet taken off to great extent in Alston.
SBC Television will not be affected as it broadcasts solely via the internet.
The Aerial was constructed in 1987, and apart from a four-day period in 2001 following its collapse, it has stood high above Alston ever since, yet despite this it is not known how tall it actually is.
It has been suggested that the Aerial stays as a monument to analogue television, however the the age of the aerial and its guy wires has made it unlikely the Aerial will remain in the city.
If the plans go ahead it will mean the National Capital District will be the second province to go fully digital, after Wellesley went digital in October 2009 following the collapse of its aerial. Weymouth is the only other province to announce its analogue switchoff date – on or before January 1, 2016.
Plans have not been confirmed for any other provinces, although it is thought Jellicoe is next in line to go fully digital. Halvorson, being in a television black spot, has not received television broadcasts in any form since 2000.
Elsewhere in the community, Dranoria has officially announced the termination of its analogue television coverage. Its territories will begin ending their reception from August 31 this year, and all services will end on December 31, 2013.
Wyvern has already completed their transition to full digital television.