DVB-T adopted in Malaysia

28 March 2007

The Malaysian government has approved the adoption of the DVB-T standard for digital terrestrial television in an announcement timed to coincide with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Digital TV Symposium in Kuala Lumpur.  A DVB-T trial has been on air since November in KL, with one multiplex operating on UHF channel 44 using the 8k mode providing 5 TV channels and 7 radio programmes.

Malaysia’s announcement comes at a time when the governments of Southeast Asian countries are considering the possibility of introducing a uniform digital broadcast standard across the region. DVB-T has already been adopted in Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar, with strong recommendations for the standard from broadcast industry groups in the Philippines and Indonesia. With the population of Southeast Asia estimated at 560 million people, the common adoption of DVB-T would allow consumers in the region to benefit from huge economies of scale.

The DVB-T trial in Kuala Lumpur is due to run for one more month. Deputy Information Minister Chia Kwang Chye said the country decided to adopt the DVB standard since the initial response from the 1,000 households participating in the trial had been very positive.

“We received very positive feedback about the DVB-T trial. Of the 1,000 households, more than 60 percent said the quality of the signal ranged from good to very good. Over 88 percent said the picture quality improved, while 70 percent said the sound quality was better. These were all expected results, but we didn’t imagine the response to be overwhelmingly positive for the overall transmission”, he said.

Speaking after addressing the ABU Digital TV Symposium, Mr Chia also said the country was expected to roll out digital transmissions in and around the capital in 2009 and eventually take it nationwide.

He also said Malaysia was keen to trial the DVB-H standard for mobile TV as it was felt that the take up would be promising with most Malaysians owning at least one mobile phone.

On High Definition TV, Mr Chia said the Malaysian governments Digital Task Force was also considering the implementing the HD format in programming.