Full migration to digital broadcasting by 3Q19

Gobind is con dent of full analogue shutdown by June

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN & DASHVEENJIT KAUR

THE government is con dent that analogue television (TV) broadcast will be fully migrated to digital broadcast by the third quarter of this year (3Q19).

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the migration process from analogue to digital will commence this month and is expected to be completed by June.

“We are in the process of an analogue shutdown as we want to start the digital system throughout Malaysia.

“I can say our effort to shut down analogue broadcast and launch digital TV will start this month and we hope it will be completed by June.

“In any circumstances, we are confident there will be a full (analogue) shutdown by the 3Q19,” he said, in response to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin (Barisan Nasional-Rompin).

Gobind said the National Broadcast Digitalisation being implemented by MYTV is progressing well with the Digital Television Terrestrial (DTT) coverage reaching up to 98% of the populated areas.

MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd is a local TV broadcasting company providing free digital terrestrial TV in the country, considered a first of its kind in Malaysia.

It was appointed by the government in 2014 to spearhead the migration of the country’s free-to-air TV from analogue to full digital transmission.

In line with the national agenda to digitise Malaysia’s broadcast network, the government’s plan to switch off analogue terrestrial TV signals this month will free up 700MHz worth of telecommunications spectrum that will be repurposed for the telecommunications industry.

He said MYTV is also providing direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast via satellite broadcast to cover blind spots in the country.

“The nation can now enjoy digital TV coverage if they instal the TV decoder and the ultra-high frequency aerial on their TV set, or buy one which is equipped with an iDTV decoder or a DTH decoder set,” he said.

He added that as at March 30, MYTV distributed two million decoders comprising 1.65 million DTT decoders and 24,482 DTH decoders to eligible B40 (bottom 40% income earners) households.

In response to Hasan’s initial questions on whether MYTV would be continued and the status of discussion between MYTV and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), Gobind said the negotiation between MYTV and TM on Nov 30, 2018, have resolved several commercial issues.