Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Le Nam Thang believes that it’s now the right time to begin the transition from analog television to digital terrestrial television, as the decoder and LCD TV prices have been on the decrease, while the products have been flooding the market.
Analog TV’s death to be declared by 2020
Under the Decision No. 245 of the Prime Minister on the project on transmission, terrestrial TV broadcasting digitization, 80 percent of households nationwide would be able to use digital TV services by 2015, while the figure would be raised to 100 percent by 2020.
Digital terrestrial TV is expected to account for 55 percent of the TV modes (45 percent by 2020). Vietnam would strive for the digital terrestrial TV coverage to transmit the program channels serving political tasks to 60 percent of population (80 percent by 2020).
The representative of Department of Radio Frequency Power under the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) said the television stations in five central cities, including Hanoi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Can Tho would have to terminate analog TV to shift to digital terrestrial TV prior to December 31, 2015.
Meanwhile, other provinces and cities would have to follow another schedule which comprises of three stages. In the second phase, the transition would be carried out in 26 provinces and cities by December 2016. The third phase would last until December 2018, during which the transition would be undertaken in 18 provinces and cities. By the end of the fourth phase, which lasts until December 2020, 100 percent of households would be able to watch digital TV.
Deputy Minister of MIC Le Nam Thang has affirmed that it’s now the right time to shift from analog to digital terrestrial TV, as the technology has got “ripe,” and the prices of necessary devices have decreased significantly. If the transition had been implemented earlier, this would have caused a big waste, since people would have to purchase devices at high prices.
Under the plan, the transition would finish by 2020. However, Thang thinks that with the current rapid development of technologies, the plan may be finished sooner than expected.
Sony Vietnam, LG Vietnam, Panasonic Vietnam, Samsung Vina all have said they are providing the products integrated with the feature of receiving digital terrestrial TV signals with DVB-T standard.
When asked about the gaps in the prices between normal TVs and the TVs with integrated digital terrestrial TV, representatives of the electronics manufacturers provided different figures. While Bien Hoa Electronics said the price gap could be 20-30 dollars, Panasonic Vietnam said it could be 50-100 dollars.
Manufacturers have said that integrating digital terrestrial television would not be a big problem, because all the products have motherboards already, and it’s just necessary to add a part for receiving digital terrestrial TV signals.
However, LG Vietnam and Hanel have said that it would be a problem for them to “upgrade” low cost TV products for rural and difficult areas, because the products would become less competitive with high prices. It would be not a problem to raise the prices of high grade TVs by 20 dollars, but it would be a big problem to charge 20 dollars more on the cheap TVs which are valued at 200 dollars only.
Meanwhile, Thang has promised that the watchdog agency would take actions to ensure that there would be no heavy price fluctuations in the prices of TV sets.
Electronics manufacturers have complained that they were not informed in advance about the transition plan, while they have set up their business plans already.
Source: Buu Dien/VNN
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