The Government is today outlining a $308 million scheme to ensure Australian pensioners still have full access to TV broadcast services following the digital switchover.
As analogue signals turn off and Australia becomes fully digital, the Government doesn't want too many people left in the dark. At Kogan, we want everyone to have fair access to digital broadcasts going forward.
It isn't our place to comment on whether the digital set top box scheme will be the next Pink Batts disaster. We hope that not a single cent of tax payer money is ever wasted.
As technology experts, we know that the Government is proposing to spend far too much by allocating $350+ to each installation of a set top box.
As a rough guideline, without any specific Government tender (where due to the size of the order, better prices might even be possible!), Kogan sells a Digital Set Top Box for only $49. This is a device that goes far above and beyond what the Government needs to meet the minimum requirements of pensioners gaining access to digital broadcasts. In additional to receiving SD and HD digital content, it even allows you to record, pause, and rewind live TV.
These devices are extremely easy to install - it usually takes just one cable from the Set Top Box to your TV. Each Kogan Set Top Box comes with unlimited phone, email, and web support. Our trained staff help customers install their products each and every day. We have thousands of mature-age customers who manage to install these products year round, sometimes without phone support, and sometimes with a helping hand from friends and family.
We think the $350+ being proposed by the Government is far too much. We can do much better!
For example, an Australian pensioner could buy a HD LED TV from Kogan with a built-in Digital Tuner for only $129. This would require no additional installation: you simply plug an antenna in and you're ready to go, even once the digital switchover begins.
Even in the small percentage of cases where a technician may be required to fix an old antenna, the total cost should not be anywhere near the $350+ the Government is proposing to spend.
To the Australian Government, we say look for a better deal. Most people don't need official government help to install Set Top Boxes - they can do it themselves, get unlimited assistance from a company like Kogan, or get help from tech-savvy family and friends.
If the Government is serious about this program, we honestly believe we could deliver a Set Top Box to each and every one of the proposed recipients for under 1/6th of what the Government has provisioned. The Government can spend as little as $50 million instead of the proposed $308 million on helping pensioners get access to digital TV.