Understanding your VAST smartcard

I've just purchased my VAST satellite decoder, now what?

Every VAST Certified decoder comes complete with its own paired smartcard.  The card is 'married' to that particular decoder and can't be used in another decoder. Lose the card and you may as well throw away the decoder too.

Connect the VAST decoder to your satellite dish and align the dish.  The decoder will scan in the VAST channels automatically.  It's designed to do this.  After scanning, you'll find that almost all of the channels come up with some type of activation message.  Examples of these messages are:

  • Smartcard is not fully authorised
  • Service is scrambled
  • No permission to view this channel

If you've never activated the card before then you'll need to do it now.  Visit the MySatTV website and you'll see three main buttons on the front page...Satellite Decoder Online Registration, Travellers Registration and Travellers Registration Renewal. If you're in a TV blackspot area, click on the first button. If you're a traveller in a mobile home or caravan, click on the second button.

For permanent access in a home, providing you've checked that you're eligible (recommended to do BEFORE you purchase the decoder), switch on will either be instant (once you complete the registration process online) or may take a couple of days.  If you applied for a reception certificate and were approved after waiting then it is best to call VAST on 1300 993 376 and quote your name, address and new smartcard number.  Access will be instant over the phone this way.

For travellers, fill out the form via the second button on their site, click on the confirmation email link and you'll be switched on with 24 hours or so during business hours.  Be sure to keep your decoder switched on until the activation comes through.

Your smartcard has an embedded chip underneath and this chip needs to have the code written to it in order to access the entitled programs.  That's why your decoder has to be on while the activation comes through.  Even after activation, the card will receive regular "code updates" .  If you use your decoder on a daily basis then the card will receive these updates. If you switch your decoder off at night or don't use it everyday (such as travellers), the card can miss these updates and go "dormant".   If it has missed a "low level" update then give it a minute or two and it'll come back on. If it has missed a "critical" update then leave it on for up to 40 minutes and it'll update itself.  This is providing that the messages you see on the screen are as per above.  If you don't want to wait for the card to come on by itself then this is easily remedied. Visit this LINK and rehit the card yourself !  It'll come on within a few seconds.  Always a good idea to do this if you're heading off on a big trip and haven't used the system for a while.

An important point for travellers - The smartcard is only activated for a period of 6 months from the initial activation date.  Be sure to renew your card PRIOR to the expiry of this period.  Renewal is fast and easy via this LINK.  If you allow the card to expire PAST the 6 months then you'll need to call VAST on 1300 993 376 and ask one of the helpful girls to renew your card.