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Singapore sets migration date for digital TV

The Ministry of Communications and Information in Singapore has announced that analogue television broadcasts will stop by the end of 2017.

Mediacorp, the public broadcaster converted all seven of its free-to-air (FTA) TV channels to the digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) format in December 2013, but has also continued to broadcast in analogue. This will end next year.

Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said that “the freed-up spectrum will provide more capacity for mobile broadband and better support our Smart Nation development.

Analogue broadcasting in Singapore could be turned off before 2020. Viewers who want to continue watching FTA television channels after digital migration, will need to buy either a new TV set with a built-in digital tuner or connect a digital set-top box (STB) and an indoor antenna to their existing TV sets.

A label issued by the Media Development Authority (MDA) indicates whether the TV set or STB is compliant with Singapore’s digital format.

MDA also offers free digital STBs to low-income households, and claims to have installed digital TV receivers to almost half of the 77,000 homes that automatically qualified for assistance.