You probably know that analogue TV services will switch off on 28 May. Unless you have a set-top box, pay TV, video recorder with digital tuner or a digital television, you won’t be able to watch television after that date. But what you might not realise is that you don’t have to throw out your analogue TV next time there’s a kerbside collection. Here are three ways to avoid your beloved old TV contributing to landfill.
First of all, just keep it.
On its own, an analogue television won’t pick up
TV signals after 28 May but you can still use it as
long as you have one of the devices I mentioned
above, such as a set-top box (STB). High-definition
STBs – which will give you all free-to-air channels
– now cost as little as $30. At our place, we’ve
saved a perfectly fine 32-inch flat-screen analogue
TV by adding a DVD player and putting it in the
But if you’ve decided you definitely don’t want
or need your old TV, you can still avoid throwing
it out on the footpath. The Mission to Seafarers at
the Port of Brisbane is collecting analogue TVs and
shipping them to Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Centre manager Adrian Willes explains: “We
have a lot of Papua New Guineans and Fijians that
come into the Port of Brisbane. A lot of people
have been throwing their TVs out. We have been
supplying those to the Fijian and Papua New
Guineans free of charge. They simply put their
name down. When we can get hold of something
that they are after, we give it to them. They just take
it on the ship. So one community has had one TV
for the entire village – now, slowly but surely, the
TVs are rolling out more in those villages.”
Willes assures me there are no technical issues
using Australian TVs in PNG and Fiji. “It’s a simple
pick-up and install it in the islands and it will work.
If you want to give a TV away, visit the centre and
we can let you know if we can collect it or if we can
take it then and there.” If it’s easier, you can call
them (10am to 10pm, seven days) on 3895 1181.
Another bloke who’s keen to get his hands on
your old TV is artist Forbes McKail.
If you’ve been to the Collectorama exhibition at
the Queensland Museum, you’ll know Forbes’ wall of
old televisions, each filled with a back-lit photograph
of one of Forbes’ friends.
He is already sitting on another 50-odd TVs for
future art projects and his father is looking after
another 100 for him – what a dad! – but Forbes
realises he must seize the moment. “There’s beauty
in these things and when they’re thrown away then
they’re gone. Such a waste.”
Specifically, Forbes is looking for older TVs with
retro or kitsch appeal. “The small ones, the old ones
from the ’50s when they were black and white. Once
we got into the ’80s they had that standard black
plastic look and that’s not really that attractive. Think
Jetsons. Plasticy, domey, Rice Bubbly ones.”
The best way to offer your old TV to Forbes is to
email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully no-one is caught out by the analogue
switch-off. Perhaps make a note to telephone elderly
or less tech-savvy members of the family on 28 May
to make sure their TV still works.
In response to my last column about buying my
wife Nikki a little black dress that she took straight
back to the shop,
think of her still as the girl you first met, so the
dress was entirely appropriate for that person.”
Exactly! Nikki hasn’t aged a day in all the 20
years we’ve been together. No, really. She hasn’t!
reassured me: “Shows you
are a good husband, Spencer”. Aww, thank you
Sean. And thank you to
me a photograph of another very short, very
sexy little number. Only this one isn’t black.
It’s blue. A little blue dress that resembles
the TARDIS (police box) from
Needless to say, it is sensational but I’m not