Singapore launches Digital TV Assistance Scheme

Monday, September 29th, 2014 
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Launch of MDA Digital TV Assistance Scheme

SINGAPORE — The Media Development Authority (MDA) has launched the Digital TV Assistance Scheme to help eligible low-income households(1) switch to digital TV. The Assistance Scheme package includes a free digital TV set-top box, an indoor antenna and installation. Each eligible household is entitled to one Assistance Scheme package.

“The Digital TV Assistance Scheme helps low-income households switch to digital TV so that they can continue to enjoy MediaCorp free-to-air TV programmes when we eventually switch from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcast, with added benefits of better picture quality, a choice of subtitles in different languages, and an electronic programme guide for broadcast schedules. Over 160,000 households that meet the qualifying criteria are expected to benefit from the scheme,” said MDA Chief Executive Officer, Ms Koh Lin-Net.

The Digital TV Assistance Scheme will be implemented alongside the progressive roll-out of MediaCorp’s Digital TV network. Seven estates in Singapore are now lighted up and can receive digital broadcast signals using indoor antennae. The estates are Bukit Batok, Jurong East, Ang Mo Kio, Clementi, Bukit Timah, Bukit Panjang and Chua Chu Kang South. The public may refer to MediaCorp’s rollout map to check when their estates will be lighted up.

MDA has worked with various agencies, such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB), Ministry of Social and Family Development, Ministry of Health, People’s Association and self-help groups to identify eligible households. One or two-room HDB rental flat dwellers and recipients of Comcare, SINDA, Mendaki and CDAC assistance who meet the eligibility criteria have been automatically included in the Assistance Scheme. They do not need to apply and will receive information on their Assistance Scheme package when their estates are lighted up. 24,000 auto-included households in the seven lighted-up estates will be receiving letters from MDA over the next few days.

“Our grassroots volunteers help to communicate government policies and schemes simply to residents, often going house to house as well as at many of our grassroots activities, so that more can benefit from them. They are in close touch with the community and aware of residents who may need assistance. With the support of the People’s Association, our grassroots volunteers will spread the word on the Digital TV assistance scheme and help eligible low income families who qualify. We hope that these efforts can help low-income households benefit from the Digital TV package and view free-to-air digital television programmes,” said Mr Arthur Fong, Grassroots Adviser to Clementi Grassroots Organisations.

For other low-income households that meet the eligibility criteria, they can send in their application form to MDA. Application forms for the Assistance Scheme are available at Community Centres or Clubs, Senior Activity Centres, HDB Branch Offices of lighted up estates, and at CDAC, Yayasan MENDAKI, SINDA, and the Sikh Welfare Council offices and branches. They can also be downloaded from MDA’s website.

Once they receive a notification or approval letter from MDA, eligible households can contact the appointed DTV Assistance Scheme vendor M1 at 6655 5571 to fix an appointment for installation. Alternatively, they can collect the equipment from any M1 shop and install the equipment themselves.

1. DTV Assistance Scheme eligibility criteria:

  1. A working TV set;
  2. No pay-TV subscription or integrated digital television;
  3. At least one Singaporean household member; and
    1. Monthly household income of $1,900 or below or monthly household income per person of $600 or below;
    2. Residence with Annual Value of $13,000 or below (for households with no income).