Thaicom gets ready for digital TV trial run

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 
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Accommodating the Must Carry rule starting 1 April

NONTHABURI — Thaicom Public Company Limited, in cooperation with broadcasters and providers of set-top-boxes, will start broadcasting the Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) system signals on a trial basis in accordance with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s Must Carry rule from the 1st of April.

Mr. Paiboon Panuwattanawong, Chief Technical Officer of Thaicom PLC stated that “Thaicom, as a satellite transponder service provider, is ready to broadcast the digital-TV channels trials via Thaicom’s satellite network. The trials are an important step in the transformation of Thailand’s television industry from analogue to digital broadcasts.”

With the implementation of the Must Carry rule issued by the NBTC, all terrestrial-based digital TV programs must be able to reach every Thai household equipped with compatible devices from the 1st of April, 2014. To ensure that this target is attained as quickly as possible, Thaicom has worked closely with TV platform and set-top-box providers to rearrange channel numbers to support improved viewing pleasure for the public and to support the satellite network signal transmissions for digital TV channels. As part of these improvements, the Company has also informed all set-top-box platform operators to update the latest channel numbers to existing set-top-boxes through over-the-air (OTA) upgrade signals.

The OTA process will be conducted in 2 phases, with the 1st phase aimed at viewers receiving broadcasts via the C-band frequency from Thaicom’s satellites, and the 2nd phase for those receiving signals from the Ku-band. More than 90% of viewers already use set-top-boxes with an OTA feature, and they are encouraged to unplug the set-top-box for a few moments before re-connecting in order to reset the new channel numbers properly. Viewers who do not have an OTA-enabled set-top-box are advised to contact their service provider or installer to refine the satellite tuning. Further arrangement on implementation of the 2nd phase for Ku-band will be made later on.

“Thaicom recognizes that this is an important step for Thailand’s broadcasting industry, and we are well-prepared for this new change. We are supporting growth of the broadcasting industry to ensure smooth transition from analogue to digital. Thaicom is committed to enhancing the audience’s viewing pleasure, and the technical trials commencing soon are aimed at ensuring viewers’ convenience and satisfaction,” Mr.Paiboon added.