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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Both analog and digital TV to be broadcasted by 2014 in 5 big cities

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam plans to stop analog TV in the 5 biggest cities by 2015. Therefore, digital TV would be broadcasted in the cities together with analog TV from 2014.

Vietnam, pay-TV, terrestrial digital TV, national program, MIC

The irreversible trend

A series of events have been organized by the Ministry of Information and Communication recently which shows the strong determination of the ministry to speed up the program on digitalize the television technology.

Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Bac Son said at a recent national conference that digitalizing the TV broadcasting is the growing and irreversible trend all over the world in the context of the rapidly developing information technology.

As such, the topics for discussions now are not whether to kick off the TV digitalization project, but when and how.

According to Doan Quang Hoan, Director of the Radio Frequency Agency, the project on digitalizing the TV broadcasting and transmission by 2020 has been drawn up which aims to replace the analog technology with digital technology to upgrade the service quality.

Under the digital-television transition project, all households will have access to digital TV under different forms by 2020. Terrestrial digital television will account for 45 percent by that time. Prior to that, by 2015, up to 80 percent of households nationwide can access digital TV under different modes.

Hoan has emphasized that the technology transition will not be the story of TV enterprises only, but of the whole society. The State will help about two million poor families and those under the preferential treatment policy buy set top boxes to decode digital TV signals.

It would cost a huge sum in equipping citizens with TV set top boxes, which would be the major difficulty in implementation of the plan.

When asked about the budget for the program for the poor, an official of the Ministry of Information and Communication said the budget would be extracted from the public interest telecommunication fund and from the money to be collected from the frequency auctions.

The noteworthy thing of the project is that TV enterprises would concentrate on developing content, while other companies would be in charge of broadcasting. This means that television enterprises would have to rearrange their apparatuses right now to get adapted for the new model.

When and how?

Regarding the “when” question, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said from June 2013, local TV stations would have to report to the provincial leaders about how they would implement the digitalization program. After that, local authorities, information and communication departments and provincial television channels would meet at the meetings to discuss the solutions to the existing problems.

In the months from June to September 2013, the steering committee of the digitalization project would check the registered plans by local authorities to submit an overall plan to the information and communication ministry.

The TV digitalization plan would be carried out in four phases with four groups of provinces and cities.

In the first phase, the plan would be carried out in 5 central cities and provinces, including Hanoi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho. The switching to the terrestrial digital TV would be ready prior to December 31, 2015.

In the second phase, with the deadline by December 31, 2016, would be carried out in 26 provinces.

The third phase, by December 31, 2018, would be implemented in 18 provinces. And in the fourth one, the digitalization would be implemented in remote provinces in the north and central region.

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