Author Topic: Switch analogue to digital TV starts with 24 new channels next month  (Read 3145 times)

Offline thaiga

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Switch from analogue to digital TV starts with 24 new channels from next month

From this year (2014), not only will the broadcasting industry be reshaped after the birth of digital terrestrial TV channels but 22 million households will also change the way they view content from free-TV channels, as there will be more choice and better viewing experiences.

From about February 24 new digital, terrestrial, commercial channels will take to airwaves. Some of these will be operated by leading content providers, namely GMM Grammy, RS, Workpoint Entertainment, the Nation Group, Post Publishing, Amarin Group, True Visions and the publisher of Thai Rath, Daily News and Siam Sport newspapers.

Meanwhile, existing analogue broadcasters such as Bangkok Entertainment, the operator of Channel 3; Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, the operator of Channel 7; and MCOT, operator of Modernine TV, also transform themselves into digital operators by offer channels more segmented for particular audiences. MCOT, for example, aims to have its own children's channels.

The 24 digital TV channels are divided into four segments.

First group is variety TV with high definition (HD) service. There are seven channels in this category.

Second group is called variety TV channels in standard definition (SD) service. There are also seven channels with such service.

The third segment also has seven channels in SD for news programmes and the remaining three in the last category are set for producing TV programmes for children and families. These will also be telecast in SD.

After the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial TV begins, Thais will learn more about functions of public broadcasting services on top of their experience with Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS).

Under the NBTC's broadcasting master plan, 12 channels are reserved for public services. These include Thai PBS and two state-run TV broadcasters - the Army's TV5 and NBT, the channel run by the Public Relations Department (PRD). In the near future, TV5 will transform to be a public TV station for national security, while NBT will change to public relations.

The transition will also provide communication channels for each community in the country to own and participate in broadcasting services by community-based digital terrestrial TV channels. The NBTC has reserved about 20 per cent of total available radio frequency for this purpose.

Besides having more choice and more participation, audiences will also enjoy high quality pictures and sound from digital TV, even programmes telecast in SD service. Broadcasts via a digital system will support 16:9 widescreen display, and for viewers it will be like enjoying a movie at the cinema.

Another important benefit is that digital TV signals penetrate into areas that analogue signals can't reach, such as inside a tall building.

And with digital technology, TV broadcasters can not only provide better quality service, they will also be able to offer new "cutting edge" services such as TV on mobiles, interactive TV, three-dimension TV (3D), plus multimedia and data broadcasts.

Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's Broadcasting Committee, said: "The benefit of digital terrestrial TV is that the digital content can interface with different platforms such as online, on mobile and on air."

People will get access to digital TV programmes anywhere and anytime. Also in the near future, viewers will also be able to listen to digital radio via TV sets and watch archived TV programmes via digital on-demand services.

Importantly, NBTC commissioner Supinya Klangnarong said digital terrestrial TV was equipped with an assertive technology for disabled and elderly people. This includes audio descriptions, with spoken subtitling, closed captions and sign language, as well as emergency warnings.

However, before getting access to these new services, people must purchase an integrated digital TV (iDTV) set or digital TV set-top box. An iDTV is a television set with built-in digital TV tuner.

Viewers will be able to use the digital TV set-top box to convert digital signals to analogue for old TV sets, if needed.

To make this TV transition smooth and fast like many other countries, the NBTC plans to give subsidy coupons for all households - approximately 22 million across the country. Discount coupons valued about Bt690 per household will help people buy an iDTV set or a set-top box.

In 2013, there were about half a million iDTV sets and digital TV set-top boxes available here, but the NBTC expects the distribution to discount coupons to begin in about April while the country's first digital TV channels will go on-air in February.

Why should people follow this change? The answer is that in the near future all equipment and TV sets used for analogue broadcasts will no longer be sold.

In 2009, at the 10th Conference of Asean Ministers in Vientiane, ministers responsible for information agreed that Asean should adopt a phased "switch off" of analogue from 2015 to 2020.

So, the analogue era is coming to an end.

the nation
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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Switch analogue to digital TV
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 07:35:41 AM »
NBTC approves expansion of Digital TV network to cover another 28 provinces

BANGKOK, 3 March 2014 (NNT) – Colonel Natee Sukolrat, Vice President of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) said today that there has been approval of a plan to expand the digital TV network to cover another 28 provinces.

There are two phases of digital TV network expansion that will soon cover 80 percent of the population. The first phase of digital TV network expansion will start broadcasting on April 1 in four provinces: Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Songkhla. Then, in May, the system will start in another three provinces, including: Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani and Rayong, and soon after that, it will cover Singburi, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.

The second phase of network expansion will happen in six phases. From August 1, the system will start in Roi Et, Chiang Rai, Sa Kaeo and Nakhon Sawan. On October 1, the system will start in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Trang and Lampang. On December 1, the system will start in another five provinces including Sakon Nakhon, Surin, Nan, Phetchabun and Prachuap Kirikhan; on February 1 of next year, the system will start in Kanchanaburi, Chumphon, Trat, Mukdahan and Tak; on April 1, 2015 the system will start in Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Loei, Chaiyaphum and Phrae; and on June 1, 2015 the network will cover Satun, Uttaradit, Beung Kan, Sri Saket and Yala.

NNT

sicho

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What does that mean for the man in the soi?

Offline Johnnie F.

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What does that mean for the man in the soi?

That he has to run to the next Singer shop to get his TV equipment upgraded, if he believes in "the analogue era is coming to an end" before the digital services are actually up and running, which probably they're not in the very near future.

Offline Al

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Back in my neck of the woods in the US we went through this.  The cable company offered these small cheap boxes and remotes for older televisions that easily and quickly fixed the problem.  I suspect that we would see the same here.

sicho

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Same in the UK, Al, but only for a while.

Offline Al

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Saf, perhaps the limited timeline of those boxes has something to do with planned obsolescence of the televisions.

sicho

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That seemed to be the case. Owners had, I think, 10 years to buy new tvs. Some of our neighbours might struggle to find the cash for a digital tv.

Offline thaiga

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                                    Digital UK London Countdown

News report on London Tonight concerning the Digital UK launch of the year countdown until the London region's analogue service is switched off.

TV presenter Christine Bleakley was in the pink as she marked the countdown to the digital TV switchover at the birthplace of television - Alexandra Palace.

The historic landmark was turned bright pink from 4-6th April to celebrate a year until the analogue television signal is officially turned off, leaving digital as the only option from April 4, 2012 onwards.

The Palace's bright pink TV tower, the venue from which the world's first regular, public, high-definition television broadcast began in 1936, could be seen for miles around.

Digital UK London Countdown - News Report
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Rough first day for digital TV + How to go digital
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 01:01:29 PM »
A few lucky Thais started watching some of the 24 new digital TV channels on Tuesday, but a few technical problems were reported.

Most of them involved incomplete channel number sequencing.

Supinya Klangnarong, a National Broadcasting and Telecommunications (NBTC) commissioner, said channel sequencing was not yet in line with what the NBTC had set.

"I tried watching using a digital TV set and a small 'high-tech' antennae and found the resolution and sound are sharp. All existing free TV channels can still be viewed," she said.

"ThaiPBS and MCOT, which come in high definition, are exceptionally sharp.

"I also tuned in to new channels such as Spring News, VoiceTV, True4U, Grammy, MCOT Kids & Family, Work Point and PPTV (HD)," she said.

Some cable viewers can start watching now, although the channel numbers are not standardised yet.

TrueVisions satellite-dish viewers can start watching on April 17, while PSI users can do so now.

"Technical problems need to be sorted out. Few people can watch now because most lack the equipment," Ms Supinya said.

She expected a full launch after the licences were issued on April 25.

Subsidy coupons valued at 690 baht which can be used to buy necessary reception equipment will be sent by mail to each household, starting with Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai, Songkhla, Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani, Rayong, Singburi, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani. 

All TV network operators must comply with the NBTC's  "must-carry" rule, which requires them to relay the signals of 36 free TV channels starting Tuesday.

Under the analogue platform, Thailand has only six free-TV channels.

In any case, the existing six analogue TV channels will be broadcast simultaneously until 2020.

However, not all are happy with the NBTC's digital-TV plans.

They feel people are confused due to inadequate publicity.

"The NBTC should give more information before the launch. Many people tried to tune their TVs today, only to discover their networks or areas are not ready," said Suwit Mingmol, chairman of MCOT Plc's union.

"Some vendors take this opportunity to push their digital-TV products because they know people have little knowledge about them," he said.

"For example, people in Korat and Songkhla could not tune in because the networks are not ready and they need imported equipment which just arrived in Thailand today," he said.

"As well, the NBTC should be more open to opinions about content. With so many channels, it's hard to see how these channels will survive in the long run or how they can break even if at all," Mr Suwit said.   

How to go digital...

1. Satellite-dish and cable-TV users can watch digital TV starting Tuesday. All they need to do is pull the plugs and reconnect after a few seconds to let the systems reboot and resync. The new channels will be Channel 11-46.

Not all operators are ready. C-Band satellite users can start watching right away while KU-band viewers will be able to

watch from April 17. TrueVisions in both KU-band and cable systems would be ready this month or until further notice.

However, this method is for standard definition only. As of today, it is still unclear whether operators will agree to broadcast in HD for all 11 HD channels through satellite.

For HD reception now, viewers need to buy a DVB-T2 box with the NBTC or Doodee logos or use method 2 below.

2. Antennae users can buy a DVB-T2 set-top box and start watching right away using the antennae. The output can be TV, as well as PC monitors. The resolution is 1080i on LCD, LED and plasma screens and 576i on CRT screens.

They can also choose to wait for NBTC coupons for digital TV sets or DVB-T2 boxes at a discount or buy the boxes now with no discount.

Using this method, people in Bangkok, Nakon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Songkhla can start viewing on Tuesday. The network will gradually expand to other provinces.

3. Those considering buying new TV sets should choose those equipped with a digital tuner (iDTV) so they can plug in an antennae and start watching right away without the need to buy the DVB-T2 set-top box.

A DVB-T2 set-top box costs 900-3,000 baht, considerably more than the value of the NBTC coupon.

Check TV models with iDTV  bangkokpost
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