SINGAPORE: Singapore will transition from analogue to digital television (DTV) at midnight on Jan 1, 2019, paving the way for better quality pictures, superior sound, multi-language subtitles and electronic programme guides.
Singapore is among the latest countries to go digital, joining the likes of the United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea, as part of a global trend.
The Infocomm and Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that over 90 per cent of Singapore’s households were DTV ready.
It added that assistance will be rendered to the 10 per cent who have yet to make the switch.
Ms Aileen Chia, Deputy Chief Executive for Policy, Regulation and Competition Development for the IMDA said: "IMDA has set up DTV counters at all 106 community centres islandwide to better help residents. They are open from 2pm to 9pm till 6th January 2019. These counters have been welcomed by residents. So we encourage those who have yet to make the switch or who need help switching, to visit these counters for assistance."
Additionally, residents of Housing Development Board flats who have yet to make the switch, can still qualify for the free DTV Starter Kit till Mar 31, 2019.
The IMDA said that over 470,000 households had benefited from these starter kits, to date.
Media and entertainment company Mediacorp, which also runs Singapore's free-to-air television, said the digital transition comes ahead of an exciting year.
"In 2019, we have a whole range of programmes that we believe (viewers will) be interested in. For example, next year is Singapore’s Bicentennial. It also happens to be Channel NewsAsia’s 20th anniversary. And we’re very excited about the range of programmes that we will have, which we believe, viewers will be interested to watch as well," said Ms Tham Loke Kheng, Mediacorp’s Chief Executive Officer.
The digital revolution is taking place not just on television, but also on devices, with Mediacorp noting that an increasing number of individuals are watching its content online.
“Yes, actually more people are watching Mediacorp content through Toggle - our digital entertainment service. They are actually accessing Toggle via mobile devices, computers, tablets, smart TVs, Apple TV and Chromecast. So when you watch through Toggle, you can access our live TV channels. But at the same time, you can access our content via video on demand. And that’s very helpful because you can really tailor the viewing to your free time as well," added Ms Tham.