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Singapore: One more year before the end of analogue TV broadcast

Households will have one more year to switch to Digital TV after the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announce that the deadline to pull the plug on analogue TV broadcast has been shifted from end-2017 to Dec 31, 2018. 

In a media release, IMDA said Mediacorp will continue to broadcast in both analogue and digital formats until Dec 31, 2018. About three in four households currently already receive Digital TV either over the air or through their pay TV subscription, according to IMDA. 

Additionally, the authority said it is studying enhancements to the Digital TV Assistance Scheme (DTVAS), to potentially help more Singaporean households living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats with the switchover. IMDA will provide details about the enhancements soon, it said. 

These announcements were made by Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim in a written parliamentary response last year. Since the launch of the DTVAS in September 2014, IMDA has sent out notification letters to more than 139,000 eligible households. As of Oct 17, about 64,000 DTVAS packages have been given out, and many households have not responded to their notification letters, IMDA said.

All analogue TV channels will include an “Analogue” channel logo on the top right of the TV screen, IMDA said. This is to help viewers determine whether they will be affected when the analogue TV broadcast comes to an end. Households who see this logo will need to switch over to Digital TV to continue watching Mediacorp TV channels from Jan 1, 2019.