Probably sensing outrage from the populace, most of whom have no wish to either throw out their existing TV, or buy one of those fiddly set-top boxes (which rarely fit on top of the telly anyway), the Australian federal government committee overseeing such things has had a change of heart, and postponed turning off analogue TV until 2010, instead of the previous planned 2008.
Digital transmissions now reach 95% of households, but only 12% use them. To try and encourage people onto digital, they’re looking at letting commercial networks multicast from 2007. That’s what should get the punters enthused, after all, for most people a clear stereo PAL signal is all they want — give them the option of extra channels (more than ABC-2, that is) and they might start to shell out for STBs in bigger numbers.
(It’s not a done deal yet — it’s up to the Communications Minister to actually act on the committee’s recommendations.)