The countdown to the official switch to digital television is on, with the first regions scheduled to make the move this weekend.

On September 30 from Norsewood to Tutira in Hawkes Bay, and the South Island's West Coast from Haast to Karamea will transition from analogue to digital TV.

The rest of the country will officially go digital in stages from April next year, with the upper North Island the last to make the switch on December 1 2013.

Digital TV promises better picture and sound quality, more channels and other features such as on-screen TV guides.

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Eighty-six per cent of New Zealanders have already converted to digital television - an increase of two per cent compared with the previous quarter.

Awareness of the switchover remained at 90 per cent and was consistent among converted and unconverted households, according to goingdigital.co.nz.

Households that have Freeview or Sky are already watching digital TV so do not need to do anything, unless they have other TV sets which have not gone digital.

Those watching analogue TVs don't need to get a new television to go digital, but may need to buy a set-top box and possibly a new aerial or satellite dish, depending on their existing equipment and where they live.

For more information go to www.goingdigital.co.nz or call 0800 838 800.