Analogue is so yesterday…

Everything is in HD and any visual aberration can be spotted immediately


IT IS now easier to spot a face that has gone under the knife on TV, thanks to the advent of technology and the government’s political will to abolish analogue transmission.

Everything is in high definition (HD) and any visual aberration can be spotted immediately.

You’d certainly know that certain actors or actresses had their faces done or if they did it at a more respectable clinic or just one of those low-cost centres in one of the smaller towns in Southern Thailand.

In fact, it is more fun to determine if those puffy lips are natural or surgically induced.

If you look closely, you’d also realise that there are so many lopsided noses, with nostrils that seem to be not of the same size.

The over-exaggerated chins and higher cheekbones now look even more appalling than usual.

Truth be told, it is more exciting to pinpoint all the glaring detail than enduring hours of dramas and telemovies with nonsensical story lines that are presented to Malaysians who have only terrestrial Analogue is so yesterday…

Everything is in HD and any visual aberration can be spotted immediately TV to rely on a daily basis.

Talks about broadcast going digital had been going on for quite a while. I remember one minister talking about it when I was still a journalist at another newspaper some 20 years ago.

At that point, the more discerning viewers would tell you if a certain channel is in mono, German stereo or Nicam stereo.

NTV7 could be among the first to have its programme presented in Nicam stereo. Those who hooked up their set to the home theatre system might remember how Jalaluddin Hassan’s voice reverberated as he uttered “…who wants to be a millionaire…”.

Discussions and announcements on digital free-to-air TV continued each time a new minister took over the portfolio.

All this while, as we figured out the implementation of the system, neighbouring countries like Singapore and Indonesia gingerly moved into the digital domain.

A couple of months ago, Communications and Multimedia Commission Minister Gobind Singh Deo made a bold decision when he announced a full shut down of analogue TV broadcasting by the third quarter of this year.

The transition process from analogue to digital started as early as April, and by this month, if your TV set can only receive analogue transmission, you should get one of those MyFreeview decoders to enjoy your favourite programmes on free-to-air TV.

Several broadcasters, namely Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), TV Al Hijrah, Bernama News Channel and Media Prima offer 15 free-to-air channels, as well as six radio stations that are now part of MyFreeview service.

Apart from TV1 and TV2, RTM also offers a dedicated HD sports channel, a news channel and a variety channel on the MyFreeview digital platform.

Malaysia’s transition to digital is in tandem with the Master Plan of National Digitisation to elevate the quality of life of Malaysians to be on par with other developing nations.

Best of all, viewers can now enjoy better audio and clearer picture quality in standard definition (SD) and HD without any subscription fee. The service doesn’t require any Internet connection either.

If you still want to keep your old TV set, all you need is a DVB-T2 decoder and UHF aerial.

For those who plan to buy new TV sets, the switch to digital system is even made simpler as most big brands have already incorporated the decoder into the newer models.

Still, one can’t help but wonder if the bold move into the digital world would also translate into high quality programmes and better content.

All I can say is that the coming months would be tougher for make-up artists and wardrobe personnel who got away with a lot of things when everything was in analogue. Oh, well…

Zainal Alam Kadir is the executive editor of The Malaysian Reserve.