Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST)

Discussion about VAST, the free-to-view satellite service for remote Central, Eastern and Western Australia.

VAST includes the Regional News service. Below is a screenshot of channel 4, a placeholder showing each channel and bulletin:


I think this method would be unfair for both the networks and the viewer. The bulletins all air on this service exactly half an hour after they air on their respective home stations. No one network has the advantage of starting earlier than their competitor(s). In your hypothetical, WIN News is pushed back to starting at 8.30pm, 9pm in some cases, 9.30pm if Prime7 News goes hybrid, and so on.

There will, however, always be a problem with bulletins starting too late with this service. I think the best way to minimise this is to give the least popular/smaller market ones a late start

Imparja has added and removed the bulletin once before, so maybe keeping it would be a good idea.

I like the idea of adding channels for metro bulletins. They could be sorted quite uniquely due to the timezone differences. For example:

421: Nine News Sydney live, Nine News Perth live
422: Nine News Melbourne live, Nine News Darwin live during DST only
423: Nine News Brisbane live, Nine News Adelaide live during DST only


Here’s my proposal to include the new Nine News bulletins. They would only need to launch 2 additional channels:

4: VAST Regional News Guide
401: WIN News Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba
402: WIN News Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast
403: WIN News Orange, Wagga, Albury
404: WIN News Wollongong, Canberra, Gippsland
405: WIN News Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton
406: WIN News Tasmania, Nine News Darwin

407: Nine News Canberra, Illawarra
408: Nine News Wagga, Central West
409: Nine News Bendigo, Albury
410: Nine News Ballarat, Gippsland
411: Nine News Qld 1, Qld 2
412: Nine News Qld 3, Qld 4
413: Nine News ??, ??

414: SC News Tasmania, SA

415: 7 News Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton
416: 7 News Mackay, Wide Bay
417: 7 News Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba

418: NBN News Gold Coast, Lismore
419: NBN News Coffs Harbour, Tamworth
420: NBN News Newcastle, Central Coast

421: Prime7 News NSW North, Tamworth, Statewide Updates
422: Prime7 News Orange, Wagga, Albury


Interesting that Nine News Darwin is still on a WIN channel…

a pity these cannot be streamed online, it would give people like my friend Robb for example a way to watch his local area - he comes from Townsville but lives in Gippsland in Victoria.

I’m sure he’d love to watch 7 Local or WIN to see what’s happening up home.

Thanks for that screen cap!

Two questions.

  1. Can any VAST viewer watch ANY of those bulletins? (or only ones related to their postcode).

  2. What do they air on Chs. 410 and 419, given that full bulletins for this either don’t exist or are already listed on other channels (410, 418 and 420)… I presume then that the “noodle” updates are aired on 410 and 419?

Assuming that there’s no more satellite space to create more channels, MAJOR changes are going to be needed here to acccommodate the Nine News regional bulletins eg. WIN News channels may need to be halved so that 4 regions are on the same channel instead of just 2.

The whole structure of this just wastes bandwidth - I get that it allows you to watch the broadcast as soon as possible after broadcast, but it’s really inefficient use of a finite resource

A lot of the people relying on these don’t / can’t get internet fast or stable enough to stream the service

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yes I understand that but I was more referring to the rest of us - so we can watch news from wherever - it’s a great tool for people from out of a region to catch something that happened back home.

All news channels are available for VAST viewers registered in any state or territory except WA. Post code/region restrictions only apply to the full-time commercial channels.

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Here’s a tough question that i’m gonna ask.

Why is VAST encrypted. It would be good if it was FTA as then everyone can see the regional bulletins.

Is it because of the 2008 issue between the NZ Government?

There are a number of reasons why VAST uses encryption:

  • The commercial networks are only licensed to broadcast in the markets they are allocated. Making VAST truly free-to-air would allow those rules to be broken.
  • The commercial networks don’t want their viewers to watch the same programs from another channel, for obvious reasons (advertising revenue, earlier start times, etc)
  • AFL only broadcasts certain games in certain states like home games, so whatever deal they have made with Seven would be in breach of that if VAST was available free-to-air
  • To stop overseas reception/piracy
  • Probably more…

If you really want VAST and you live in an area that’s not meant to have it, simply buy a set-top box and register it as a traveller. Those “weekend getaways to country Tasmania” that you always wanted to do would be so much better with a VAST box. The box stays registered for 6 months and you can renew it as many times as you like with a couple of button clicks on a website.


Its an interesting one and @WAtvVideos points out the major reasons why - I think realistically the first one is the major reason

Realistically the licence area should be the whole of Australia (even if it is zoned) so it wouldnt matter

3ABN International is now on VAST. It sits on Ch 603 alongside ICTV and Westlink.

We have exciting news to tell you! After months of negotiations, John Malkiewycz, General Manager of 3ABN Australia, has signed a contract with Optus to put the 3ABN International TV channel on the VAST system within Australia. As a result, 3ABN International is now available on VAST channel 603 for Australian viewers in rural and remote areas, as well as those in digital terrestrial TV black spots. In fact, anyone with a VAST certified satellite set-top box, even travellers, can view 3ABN International!

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Lol, if that was one of VAST’s aims, then it’s failed terribly. PNG still gettin that thicc Seven Central/GWN7 signal.

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I remember back in around 2010, Today was getting letters from people watching in Russia via Satellite.

Anyways, why cant they model VAST off Freesat where you put your post code in and it gives you the channels.

The amount of effort they go to in order to protect this service is amazing and you’d have to think a little bit wasteful

Is it really that big an issue?

Pubs, sports clubs and hotels all across Bali use VAST as well, mostly for Aussie sport. What’s the point of encrypting when the process to get access to the service is so easy to get around?



Looking at Victoria and it looks like it overlaps with Melbourne TV1.

Why would there be a bit near Ballan?

Ballan seems to be right near the border of the Ballarat and Melbourne coverage areas and looks to be a bit of hilly terrain around it, so it might be difficult for terrestrial signals to get through. shows Ballan getting “variable to none” coverage from the Ballarat transmitter (which is its defined market) nothing from Bendigo and just a speck of “green” coverage from Melbourne. So it seems to be in a rather awkward pocket which would make it ideal for VAST.