Talking set-top boxes go on sale, could be used in digital TV switchover

Vision impaired users now able to purchase talking set-top boxes in Australia

The Bush 'talking' set-top box, now commercially available for $199.

The Bush 'talking' set-top box, now commercially available for $199.

Long-awaited talking digital TV set-top boxes have finally been made available for sale in Australia, after a lengthy testing and trial period. The boxes are not yet confirmed as part of the Australian Government's Household Assistance Scheme for the digital TV switchover, but their newfound commercial availability brings them closer to inclusion in a subsidised roll-out.

Talking set-top boxes from Bush Australia and Hills Industries were trialed by vision impaired and disabled users as part of the Digital Switchover Taskforce's testing period, and the Bush talking set top box is now available for purchase in the Vision Australia online store for $199. Vision Australia and Media Access Australia were involved in the testing of talking set-top box products in Australia, which have been available in the UK since mid-2010.

Senator Stephen Conroy, the government's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, announced the availability of the set-top boxes in an online press release today: “For the first time in Australia, vision impaired people will be able to enjoy significantly enhanced benefits of digital television. This kind of technology has been developed in other countries, however, no talking set-top box was available in the Australian market until now.”

If the talking set-top boxes are approved for use in the digital TV switchover, they will likely be included in the regional Queensland switchover taking place before the end of 2011, as well as subsequent roll-outs. Regional Victorians have already been involed in the talking set top boxes' trials: “The talking set-top box trial was designed to test this innovative technology with vision impaired Victorians,” said Conroy. “I am delighted to see this initiative result in the commercial release of a talking set-top box to the broader Australian community.”

Australia's hearing impaired citizens are also being assisted during the digital TV transition, with a series of AUSLAN videos explaining the procedure. Over 50,000 digital set top boxes have been installed as part of the government-subsidised digital TV switchover process. According to the DBCDE release, 82 per cent of Australian households have already converted from analog to digital TV.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags digital tv switchover

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?