Tuesday, June 19, 2012

FTA TV goes Digital


Below is press release

 from MDA

"Singapore’s free-to-air TV channels
to go fully digital by 2013

Adoption of DVB-T2 standard will pave the way for better viewing
experiences over all seven free-to-air channels
Singapore, 19 June 2012 - The Media Development Authority today
announced that Singapore’s free-to-air (FTA) TV channels will go fully
digital by the end of 2013 using the DVB-T2 (Digital Video
Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) broadcasting standard.
With Singapore’s migration to digital TV, free-to-air broadcaster
MediaCorp will transmit all its seven free-to-air channels digitally
by end 2013. Channels 5, 8, Suria and Vasantham will be available
in High Definition by end 2013. The remaining three channels - okto,
Channel U and Channel NewsAsia will first be broadcast in
Standard Definition from end 2013, before being broadcast
in High Definition in 2016.
“The world is switching from analogue to digital TV broadcasting
as digital TV not only offers better image and sound quality,
but also frees up scarce spectrum for other services,
such as wireless broadband,” said Minister for Information,
and the Arts Dr Yaacob Ibrahim at the opening ceremony
of Infocomm Media Business Exchange (imbX) on 19 June 2012
at the Marina Bay Sands.
The adoption of DVB-T2 standard comes after a successful trial
conducted last year with MediaCorp and pay-TV operator StarHub.
The trial, which involved some 500 households in
Ang Mo Kio and Bedok housing estates, showed
that DVB-T2 was suitable for deployment in
Singapore’s urbanised environment.
To ensure a smooth switchover, there will be a simulcast period,
where both digital and analogue free-to-air
television signals will be broadcast to ensure
all households have time to get accustomed
to receiving their free-to-air TV signals digitally.
Singapore will complete the switchover from analogue
to digital broadcasting by 2020, in line with
ASEAN’s agreed timeframe for making the switch1.
Benefits for consumers
Once DVB-T2 broadcasting begins, consumers
can enjoy an enhanced viewing experience
when watching MediaCorp’s free-to-air
digital television channels. This includes sharper
and clearer images, cinematic surround-sound effects,
and new content and services such as an electronic
programme guide.
Consumers will have different options to tune into
digital free-to-air broadcasts. Those who are currently
watching MediaCorp channels via a StarHub or
SingTel pay TV service are already receiving digital channels.
Thus, no action is needed on their part2.
Consumers who are non-pay TV subscribers will need a
DVB-T2 digital receiver and an indoor or outdoor antenna
to receive digital TV signals on their current TV sets.
MDA is working with manufacturers to develop
the technical specifications suitable for
Singapore’s digital TV receivers.
These digital TV receivers are expected to be available
in Singapore from early next year before MediaCorp
starts transmitting the free-to-air channels digitally at the end
of 2013.
MDA will work closely with MediaCorp,
as well as major manufacturers and electronics
stores on an educational campaign to help
consumers prepare for the digital switchover.
More information on Singapore’s digital broadcasting
plans can be found at the websites of MDA (www.mda.gov.sg)
and MediaCorp (www.mediacorp.sg)."

Comments: TV started by the then Radio and TV Singapore
under the Ministry of Culture in the early sixties. Since then
it has progressed from black and white to colour and 
now digital HD .
It is expected that the new technologies will bring a more
effective and efficient broadcasting system for Singapore.
The signal will be more rugged and reliable than some
cable tv systems. Viewers from low-income families
will benefit from this. Those who don't subscribe to pay TV
for one reason or another will welcome this piece of news.
The industry will benefit from more than $200m of infrastructure
projects in building this new digital TV network. And retailers
and manufacturers of set-top boxes and TV sets will also gain.
The amount investment will depend will depend very much
on whether home viewers instal their own indoor
antennas or the central antenna system
of HDB flats and condos are used.