ABOUT 13,000 tourists travelling around regional Australia are already watching digital television via satellite with services equal to those available in capital cities.
While the Viewer Access Satellite Television service has been available in most areas of eastern Australia, it was only recently switched on in northern New South Wales.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy visited the service headquarters in Townsville on Wednesday.
Mr Conroy said there were already 80,000 households in regional and remote Australia using the satellite services, but a new smart phone application would make it easier for travellers to tune in.
"Travellers will no longer have to waste time in stormy weather or in the dark pointing their antennas or satellite dishes in any number of directions," he said.
"The app will show exactly where they need to be to pick up the best television signal."
He said that when the old analogue service was switched off, those travellers not tuned in to VAST, or without a satellite dish, should apply for the app.
The VAST service is available now to all households throughout the Remote Central and Eastern Australia TV licence area.
To apply for the VAST, people should visit the Digital Ready Website www.digitalready.gov.au or call the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 2010 13.
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