SINGAPORE: To usher in the shift to digital TV, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will offer a starter kit to all HDB households that do not have a pay-TV subscription with either Singtel or StarHub.
Some 400,000 households are expected to benefit.
Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim announced this during an appreciation event organised by the IMDA for its partners on Friday (Apr 6).
One-quarter of households in Singapore are still watching television on analogue. This means they will be cut off from local free-to-air programming come Dec 31, when analogue transmission is switched off for good.
The TV channels include Channel NewsAsia, Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham, Okto and Channel U.
Eligible households will be able to redeem a free set-top box and antenna package, and can opt for free delivery and installation as well.
Alternatively, they can choose to redeem S$100 for selected digital TV equipment purchases – such as an antenna, a set-top box, or an integrated digital TV – from participating electronics retailers including Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, and Harvey Norman.
A digital antenna and set-top box bundle retails at S$98 at Best Denki.
The antenna is the most important element of the package as it receives the digital transmission signal. It should be placed in an upright position near a window so it can best receive the signal.
Digital broadcasting uses fewer frequencies than analogue broadcasting and the scarce radio spectrum will be freed up after the digital switchover for high-speed mobile broadband services, said IMDA.
Viewers will know they are watching TV on analogue if they see the word “analogue” under the channel’s logo on the top right corner of their TV screen.
Beginning with Clementi and Tampines, letters will be sent out to eligible households between April and June. All redemptions must be made before Dec 31.
The programme is an enhancement of an earlier assistance scheme targeted at lower-income households, which benefited some 70,000 households.