By Patrick Avenell

MILDURA, VIC: Senator Conroy, the Minister responsible for the digital TV switchover, has this morning announced a scheme to train electronics retailers to provide the right advice for consumers. Part of this scheme involves the Government assessing the skills and knowledge of retail salespeople every 12 months.

The scheme was launched in Mildura by the Digital Switchover Taskforce executive director, Andy Townend.

"For the vast majority of people, switching to digital television will be a relatively straightforward exercise," Townend said.

"We know people will have a range of questions about how to get ready and in a lot of cases, electronics retailers are in the best and most reliable position to answer.

"It is therefore important that retail staff employed by retailers who participate in the Government’s Quality Assurance Scheme become ‘digital advisers’.

"Advisers will be assessed every 12 months so that the Taskforce can be assured that the information is up-to-date. The Taskforce will contact these advisers and their stores directly to pass on the latest information about their switchover area.”

Townsend reported that these ‘digital advisors will receive an identification badge sporting their name, the digital switchover logo and an expiration date. A list of participating stores will be published on the Digital Ready website

In other digital switchover news, Townend launched the Antenna Installer Endorsement Scheme, which the Government said is intended to provide further confidence for households in the Mildura/Sunraysia region switching to digital TV.

Professional antenna installers can register to be assessed by the Government, with their ability then judged against “agreed minimum standards”.

"Consumers in Mildura can be confident that an endorsed installer has the necessary knowledge to provide them with a digital TV antenna solution," Townend said.

"The switch to digital TV in the Mildura/Sunraysia region is a historic moment in Australian television history and will ensure more people enjoy better picture quality and sound, new content and new channels."

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