DVB-T Gaining Momentum in Southeast Asia

13 April 2006

Plans have been further outlined for an extensive DVB-T trial in Malaysia. Against a background of DVB-T services on air in Singapore and Vietnam, the formal adoption of DVB-T by Brunei and Myanmar, and on-going discussions at an ASEAN level towards harmonising a set-top box specification, all indications are that DVB-T is set to become the common standard for digital terrestrial television in Southeast Asia, a region with a population of more than half a billion people.

The DVB-T trial in Malaysia will be carried out for six months from September, with broadcasts running for five hours daily from 7pm till midnight. Three channels will be made available on the digital transmissions, namely RTM1, RTM2 and a new channel to be introduced. A total of 2,000 trial users in the Klang Valley will receive set-top boxes.

The Malaysian Information Minister said that throughout the trial run period, various tests and studies would be carried out on the broadcast and programme contents of the digital TV broadcast. “Besides the normal broadcast programmes, tests will also be carried out on the inclusion of several interactive contents, data and other services to gauge the effectiveness of the programme,” he said.

For SE Asia DVB-H may not be far behind – trials are planned or on-going in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia.