Pensioners who are struggling financially will receive a free top box in a new $300 million scheme announced by the federal government.
Eligible recipients will also have the set top box installed in their homes and be given a demonstration on how the technology works.
$308.8 million will be allocated in the federal budget to the household assistance scheme, with more than two million households expected to benefit (around 37,000 set top boxes have already been rolled out in Queensland, South Australia and rural Victoria.)
Tenders are currently still being courted by the government, with Hills TechLife and Skybridge supplying the set top boxes in the earlier rollout.
In addition to pensioners, the scheme will also cover war veterans, special needs’ carers and people with disabilities who receive the maximum rate of government benefits.
By 2013, Australia will have finalised the switch to digital TV. Subsequently, all analogue TV sets will require a set top box to receive a signal.
The household assistance scheme was established to ensure all Australians are able to make the switch.
For more information about the switchover, visit the government's digital TV information page.
[Update: Debate about the set top box scheme for pensioners is already brewing. Read more here]