SINGAPORE: Households will have one more year to switch to Digital TV after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on Monday (Nov 6) that the deadline to pull the plug on analogue TV broadcast has been shifted from end-2017 to Dec 31, 2018.
In a media release, IMDA said Mediacorp will continue to broadcast in both analogue and digital formats until Dec 31, 2018.
About three in four households currently already receive Digital TV either over the air or through their pay TV subscription, according to IMDA.
Additionally, the authority said it is studying enhancements to the Digital TV Assistance Scheme (DTVAS), to potentially help more Singaporean households living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats with the switchover. IMDA will provide details about the enhancements early next year, it said.
These announcements were made by Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim in a written parliamentary response issued on Monday.
Since the launch of the DTVAS in September 2014, IMDA has sent out notification letters to more than 139,000 eligible households. As of Oct 17, about 64,000 DTVAS packages have been given out, and many households have not responded to their notification letters, IMDA said.
"The DTVAS provides households with a free digital set-top box, indoor antenna and installation. Households who qualify under the current DTVAS criteria can continue to apply to receive assistance," IMDA said.
Residents can pick up a DTVAS application form at their nearest Community Centre/Club, or HDB branch office. They can also access it online.
ANALOGUE CHANNEL LOGO ON TV SCREENS
From Monday, all analogue TV channels will include an "Analogue" channel logo on the top right of the TV screen, IMDA said. This is to help viewers determine whether they will be affected when the analogue TV broadcast comes to an end.
Households who see this logo will need to switch over to Digital TV to continue watching Mediacorp TV channels from Jan 1, 2019.
IMDA and Mediacorp have launched a dedicated Digital TV microsite with a guide on how to receive Digital TV signals. Members of the public who require assistance may also call Mediacorp at 6435 6288 for general and technical enquiries.
Singapore's switch to digital TV involves the adoption of the DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting - Second Generation Terrestrial) broadcasting standard. This move to the DVB-T2 standard is in line with global trends to improve the TV viewing experience, according to IMDA.
With Digital TV, viewers with Toggle Red Button-registered HbbTV (hybrid broadcast broadband TV) sets can access Mediacorp TV shows, Toggle original content, as well as Catch-up TV.
"Singapore’s switch to Digital TV also frees up scarce radio frequency spectrum, which will be used to provide better quality and higher mobile broadband speeds, ultimately improving end-user experience," IMDA said.