Digital TV to use Europe's DVB-T2 standard

Digital TV to use Europe's DVB-T2 standard

Thailand will adopt the European digital video broadcasting terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2) standard for commercial digital TV service, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

The change to digital TV will affect all 20 million households in Thailand.

DVB-T2, the extension of the television standard DVB-T, is used in 38 countries worldwide. The Asean-guaranteed technology enables high-definition broadcasting and supports a variety of services.

The cabinet on May 20 approved DVB-T2 as the digital broadcasting standard in compliance with the NBTC's proposal.

"The adoption of the technology standard is a crucial step towards the digital transition," said Col Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC's broadcasting committee.

He said the technology standard was chosen because it could accommodate future technology development. It could also maximise the use of spectrum to yield a greater number of TV channels.

The NBTC expects set-top boxes for digital TV to range in price from US$30-35 per unit, said Col Natee.

The NBTC yesterday held its Go Digital Thailand event to educate the public about the digital technology standard.

The broadcasting master plan took effect on April 4. Under the 2012-16 roadmap, the local broadcasting industry is set to be fully digital.

Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan, a Prime Minister's Office minister, said the government fully supports the NBTC broadcasting policy and the use of DVB-T2, as the existing six free TV channels may not be adequate in the digital era.

The NBTC's spectrum draft plan says the digital switch-over will begin within four years and completely change 80% of households in major cities to the digital system within five years.

The switch-over of all households to digital TV is expected to take 10 years.

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