Singapore moves analogue switch-off to January 1, 2019

Monday, November 6th, 2017 
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Analogue TV broadcast to cease from 1 January 2019

  • 3 in 4 households ready for Digital TV. DTV Assistance Scheme may be enhanced to include more HDB households

SINGAPORE — Households will now have one more year to switch to Digital TV (DTV). The cessation of analogue TV broadcast has been shifted from end-2017 to 31 December 2018 to allow more time for households to switch over to DTV. In addition, the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is studying enhancements to the DTV Assistance Scheme (DTVAS) with a view to assist more HDB Singaporean households with the switchover. These announcements were made by Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, in a written parliamentary response issued earlier today. Mediacorp will continue to broadcast in both analogue and digital formats until 31 December 2018. From 1 January 2019, broadcast free-to-air TV programmes will only be shown in digital format.

About 3 in 4 Singapore households are already receiving DTV either over the air, or through their Pay TV subscription. To facilitate the switch over to DTV and ensure that more Singaporeans receive adequate assistance to switch over to DTV, IMDA is studying enhancements to the DTVAS and will announce the enhancements early next year. The DTVAS provides households with a free digital set-top box, indoor antenna and installation. Households who qualify under the current DTVAS criteria can continue to apply to receive assistance.

Analogue channel logo on TV screens to inform affected viewers

To help viewers determine whether they will be affected by the analogue TV switch-off, all analogue TV channels will now automatically include an “Analogue” channel logo on the top right hand corner of the TV screen. Households who see this channel logo will need to switch over to DTV to continue watching Mediacorp TV channels from 1 January 2019.

IMDA and Mediacorp have also launched a dedicated DTV microsite – www.digitaltv.sg, with a simple 2-step guide (“Check and Connect”) on how to receive DTV signals. Members of the public may also call Mediacorp at 6435 6288 for general and technical enquiries.

Digital TV – Better quality pictures and sound, multi-language subtitles and electronic programme guides

Singapore’s switch to DTV involves the adoption of the DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) broadcasting standard. This move towards the DVB-T2 standard is in tandem with the global trend to enhance TV viewing experience.

DTV also allows viewers with Toggle Red Button-registered HbbTV sets (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) to access Mediacorp TV shows, Toggle Original content and Catch-Up TV. Broadly, Singapore’s switch to DTV also frees up scarce radio frequency spectrum, which will be used to provide better quality and higher mobile broadband speeds, ultimately improving end-user experience.

Links: IMDA