Comment by Toby Barbour

SYDNEY, NSW: The rise of free-to-air digital channels has been one of the defining trends for the TV industry this year. Similarly, one of the key takeouts from research released by the Digital Switchover Taskforce recently is that the television has clearly established itself as the main source of information and entertainment for three quarters of Australia’s first digital-only region of Mildura. This is being fuelled by the popularity and range of new content available via digital free-to-air channels.

There’s no doubt that 2010 is a game-changing year for television. We’ve seen the adoption of new TV technologies, such as IPTV and 3D, shifting the goalposts for how Australians can enjoy TV at home.

The fact that three in four Australian homes have now made the switch-over to digital TV complements this, and shows Australians are embracing new TV technologies. TV is again the heart of Australian households.

Television is far from dead in Australia: a statement that would have shocked the industry only a few years ago. Despite increased fragmentation of content consumption between PCs, tablets, mobile phones and televisions, there are more TVs being sold now than ever before.

Instead of the handful of channels that were once available to Australians, viewers can now access content from an increasing number of free-to-air digital channels. When you combine this with subscription TV and the fact that more accessible broadband has opened doors for IPTV adoption, it’s plain to see this breadth of choice is injecting new life into TV viewing across Australian living rooms.

This is great news for the whole industry. Australians are responding positively to choice, offering marketers even stronger options on how to reach both mass and niche markets – and showing that the TV is again the information and entertainment heart of the home.

Toby Barbour is the general manager of consumer marketing at Sony Australia. encourages informed opinion and comment from all suppliers and retailers. For more information, please contact editor Patrick Avenell at