Analogue televisions in Hawkes Bay and the West Coast will only show static this morning after the regions switched to digital overnight.

About 96 per cent of homes from Norsewood to Tutira in Hawkes Bay, and the South Island's West Coast from Haast to Karamea were prepared for the change overnight.

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.


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

In Hawkes Bay and the West Coast there was a last-minute rush as households switched to digital, Going Digital National manager Greg Harford said.

Televisions which had not switched to digital would today only show static.

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.