Soon we will enjoy the free-to-air digital TV. With free to air digital channel transmission we can have more channels and greater interactive with digital TV. Last year three companies have been shortlisted on their proposed business plans to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for the DTTB infrastructure.
Out of the three, Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd has been awarded to build and manage the digital infrastructure for digital terrestrial broadcast (DTTB) services in the country. With the award, the remaining bastions of Free-to-Air (FTA) broadcasters in Malaysia will have to move to a fully digital platform, which allows broadcasters to provide more television and radio channels versus the current analogue platforms. Digital technology allows for compression of channels on the same frequency and Puncak Semangat will become the common integrated infrastructure provider (CIIP).
Puncak Semangat will have to set up a digital multimedia hub and a network of high, medium and low powered digital TV transmitters nationwide that will have the technical capability to carry up to 45 standard definition (SD) or 15 high definition (HD) digital television channels initially.
The migration to digital will be for the current government-owned and private stations namely TV1, TV2, TV3, ntv7, 8TV, TV9, TV Alhijrah and Bernama TV.
The first roll-out of DTTB services is expected by the third quarter of this year in a few test areas, and full nationwide coverage to an estimated 98% populated areas is expected by the end of the analogue-digital simulcast period, which the MCMC did not specify.
The FTA broadcasting covers about 98% of populated areas in the country and is enjoyed by 47% of households while the rest of the population watches TV via satellite and internet platforms.
Sources : The Star Online dated 9/1/2014