Digital TV reception and VAST

In 2013 Australia switched over from analog television to digital-only free-to-air TV transmissions. Once the switchover was completed a restack occurred that involved digital television services being retuned to new frequencies to free up spectrum for new services, such as mobile broadband. About 1,500 digital television services at about 440 transmission sites had their frequencies changed.

See the video on The Retune story.

Television Reception

To find out information on the reception and the antenna set-up likely to be appropriate for a particular address enter the address into the mySwitch tool. If you live within the coverage of more than one broadcast transmission site, you can use this information to manually tune your television to the best reception.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has information and advice about improving digital television reception issues.

For transmission issues and outages contact the television broadcaster directly to raise concerns about a television reception problem. Contact details can usually be found on the broadcaster’s website or the FreeTV website.

Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST)

VAST is a government-subsidised service primarily for the following categories of viewers:

  1. Rural and remote communities that are unable to receive television reception from a land based transmitter (i.e. a terrestrial tower), and
  2. Travellers, such as caravanners and people who would like to receive free to air TV in their vehicles or camp sites while on the road.

The VAST service has channels for the ABC, SBS and the Australian commercial television networks. Access to the commercial television services on VAST is governed by conditional access schemes (CAS) that set out the criteria for access. Each application is assessed against those criteria by the CAS Administrator (RBA Holdings Pty Ltd). Eligibility criteria and the application process is available on the Mysat TV website. The application process involves checking your address to assess whether you should have adequate reception of terrestrial television. If your terrestrial television reception is inadequate you may be eligible for VAST. If your VAST application is assessed as ineligible, you can apply to the ACMA for a review of this decision. Details about the appeals process are on ACMA’s Satellite TV webpage.

The ABC and SBS services are available to all viewers with a VAST decoder. To register for ABC and SBS only services visit the myVast website

Customer equipment

Once a customer has been assessed as eligible for VAST, there are no ongoing costs associated with the service.
Households will be required to purchase the satellite reception equipment and engage a professional installer to ensure the equipment works correctly.

Travellers will need to purchase satellite reception dishes for their vehicles and this may also involve engaging a professional installer.


For any problems with the VAST satellite services, registration or activation, please refer to the VAST website in the first instance. It provides information on troubleshooting. You may also need to contact your set top box supplier for technical assistance if problems persist.