Tips to save money with dig­i­tal TV hook-up

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

If you’re in Mata­mata and you still need to go dig­i­tal, you may be won­der­ing how much it’s all go­ing to cost. While you’ll prob­a­bly need to buy at least some new equip­ment to keep watch­ing TV af­ter De­cem­ber 1, the good news is you needn’t spend a mint.

For most peo­ple, all they need to go dig­i­tal is the right set-top box. You can buy the most ba­sic model in elec­tri­cal stores from about $79. Or, you can of­ten pick up a sec­ond-hand, or even a new, set-top box on Trade Me for a bit less.

If you choose to buy from Trade Me, re­mem­ber to pay at­ten­tion to the seller’s his­tory.

The Con­sumer Af­fairs web­site ad­vises that when bid­ding for some­thing in an auc­tion or com­pet­i­tive ten­der, you’re not cov­ered by con­sumer law if your pur­chase turns out to be faulty, even if the per­son sell­ing the item is in busi­ness. When you buy from a re­tailer it does.

You don’t need a new TV, but if you have your eye on a new tele­vi­sion any­way, even the cheaper ones in the $300 to $400 bracket come with built-in dig­i­tal re­ceivers.

Th­ese TVs re­quire a UHF aerial. If you use a satel­lite dish, you’ll also need a satel­lite set-top box to go dig­i­tal this way.

Ev­ery TV that you want to keep watch­ing af­ter De­cem­ber 1 will need its own set-top box.

So, if you’re used to watch­ing the news while some­one else watches re­al­ity TV in the bed­room, you may want to bud­get for an ex­tra set-top box.

In­stalling your set-top box can be no harder than set­ting up a DVD player.

You can save money by in­stalling it your­self. If you don’t know your RF cable from your HDMI, it may seem a lit­tle daunt­ing, but once you get past the jar­gon it can be re­ally quite straight­for­ward. In­struc­tions vary for dif­fer­ent mod­els but you usu­ally plug the box into the back of the TV, se­lect your tele­vi­sion’s AV chan­nel and away you go.

Free­view’s web­site has some use­ful ad­vice if you get stuck ( www. free­view nz.tv).

If you have a trick­ier set up, or you don’t feel con­fi­dent do­ing it your­self, it’s al­ways worth ask­ing a fam­ily mem­ber or a neigh­bour if they can help be­fore pay­ing for the ser­vices of an in­staller – tech-savvy teenagers are of­ten a good bet!

A few peo­ple will need to buy a new UHF aerial or satel­lite dish to keep tun­ing in af­ter De­cem­ber 1. You can buy UHF ae­ri­als and they can be in­stalled by a lo­cal in­staller.

Go­ing Dig­i­tal ad­vises peo­ple to try out their ex­ist­ing equip­ment be­fore buy­ing any­thing new and says that it pays to shop around.

Many peo­ple put up their aerial or satel­lite dish them­selves.

Look­ing at where other ae­ri­als or dishes in your street are point­ing can be a clue to where the tele­vi­sion trans­mit­ter is lo­cated.

Point yours the same way and it’s more than likely that this is the best po­si­tion to get a good pic­ture.

If you do want to en­list the help of a pro­fes­sional in­staller, Go­ing Dig­i­tal ad­vises get­ting in early be­fore they get booked up.

Once your tele­vi­sion is re­ceiv­ing dig­i­tal TV from a set-top box, your ex­ist­ing video, DVD or dig­i­tal recorder will be able to record it. How­ever, if you want to watch one chan­nel while record­ing another, you’ll need a sep­a­rate set­top box for your recorder.

There are dig­i­tal set-top boxes that are also recorders, such as MyFree­view, MySky. Th­ese de­vices of­fer easy record­ing op­tions us­ing on-screen TV guides.

You may want to con­sider one of th­ese if record­ing pro­grammes is im­por­tant to you. Th­ese nor­mally re­tail at around $300 to $500.

You’ll still be able to watch videos and DVDs that you have al­ready recorded, what­ever set-up you choose.

For more ad­vice on Go­ing Dig­i­tal, call 0800 838 800 or visit www.go­ingdig­i­tal.co.nz

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