Optus Aurora was a free-to-view satellite television platform in Australia, which aimed at providing television and radio services to remote and black spot areas using the Optus C1 and B3 satellites. The service was available in all areas, using a standard satellite dish and set top box, however commercial stations carried on the platform were restricted to their respective coverage areas.
Aurora replaced the analogue Homestead and Community Broadcast Satellite Service (HACBSS) in late 1998. HACBSS, carried on the Optus B1 satellite, was originally launched in the 1980s, and was in many areas the first means of receiving television signals.
The Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) was launched in 2010, as a replacement for Optus Aurora, and now provides a full range of digital channels. Aurora ceased transmission in December 2013, with the last Aurora uplink taking place during February 2014.
The remote area broadcast services carried on the platform comprised the major terrestrial networks available in the service's two main coverage areas - Remote and Regional Western Australia, and Remote Central and Eastern Australia.
ABC TV and SBS was available in all areas with the use of a smartcard, however commercial stations were only available to viewers in their respective coverage areas - GWN and WIN WA to regional Western Australia, and Imparja Television and Southern Cross Central to remote viewers in central and eastern Australia.
The multichannels of the broadcasters were not available on the service.
A number of remote commercial and indigenous stations broadcast on Aurora, as did a few in-store radio services.
Most of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio networks were carried on the platform. SBS Radio's national network was carried for five timezones. SBS Radio 1, SBS Radio 2 and ABC DiG was not carried by Aurora, but they were available on FTA Ku-Band on Optus D1.
The Australian government's Community Broadcasting Foundation broadcast a number of services on the platform including the BBC World Service, National Indigenous Radio Service, Vision Australia Radio and the Community Radio Network.
- Viewer Access Satellite Television
- Regional television in Australia
- Television in Australia
- Television broadcasting in Australia
- "Optus Aurora". Optus. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- "Digital TV by satellite" (Press release). Digital Ready, Government of Australia. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- "Viewer Access Satellite Television". Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- "FAQs: Satellite TV - Aurora News". Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- "Optus Aurora on Optus C1 at 156.0°E". Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- "Optus D1". Lyngsat. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
- "Cable & Wireless Optus brings specialist radio to the bush" (Press release). Optus. 1999-05-24. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
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