New Sabah digital TV experience
Published on: Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Selangor: The Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) project which is set to enhance the experience of enjoying TV viewing for all Malaysians will be making inroads into East Malaysia next month.In the coming weeks, test transmitters will be installed on Bukit Karatong in Sabah and Gunung Serapi in Sarawak.

MYTV Broadcasting (MYTV) which has been appointed by the Government to build and operate the infrastructure and network facilities for DTT services in Malaysia, has so far installed its trial transmitters in Bukit Pelindong in Pahang, Bukit Besar in Terengganu and Bukit Bakar in Kelantan.

MYTV has kicked off the installation of test set top boxes for selected residents in the East Coast which kicked off on May 17 as part of its DTT trial transmission phase.

The installation drive will soon be extended to Sabah and Sarawak followed by the Northern and Southern parts of the Peninsula before reaching the Klang Valley by the end of the year.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek visited Beserah in Kuantan on Saturday to witness the installation of MYTV's test set top boxes in the district.

"When the national broadcasting system is fully digitised Malaysia will join the league of developed countries such as the United States, European countries, Australia and New Zealand, which have fully migrated to the DTT system," Shabery said.

"Through DTT, Malaysians irrespective of their household locality, will be able to enjoy and embrace various lifestyle enhancements through information and education services provided by a wide variety of broadcast channels.

"I am very happy to note the healthy progress of MYTV's DTT test transmission so far. Judging from the response and feedback provided by the respondents, I believe the DTT project will proceed smoothly and I am confident Malaysia will be ready to fully migrate from analogue to digital broadcast transmission by 2017."

For the test phase, a total of 20,000 temporary set top boxes are being distributed for free to selected households. They have to meet some set criteria including not currently subscribing to any paid TV service and the residence is within the perimeter of trial transmission coverage.

They make up the first group from two million Malaysian households that will receive the actual MYTV set top boxes when the DTT is officially rolled out early next year. The test set top boxes will be replaced with the actual ones when the trial period is over.

The trial DTT transmission enables respondents to enjoy all existing terrestrial free-to-air TV channels, namely TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, TV8, TV9 and TV AlHijrah in digital quality.

The DTT project is under the purview of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia and monitored by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as the regulating body.

It is part of the national agenda to transform of the country's broadcasting industry through digitisation with the aim of improving the living standards of Malaysians as the country gears up towards a developed nation status by 2020. It is one of the key initiatives in the 11th Malaysia Plan which was announced by the Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

According to MYTV CEO Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Yaacob, who is also the Group CEO of Altel Holdings, "When MYTV's DTT services is officially launched next year, users and viewers will not only enjoy free digital quality terrestrial TV transmission, but also in terms of channel variety as well as a wide range of lifestyle services including online shopping and education."

MYTV has been appointed by the Government of Malaysia to develop and operate the infrastructure and network facilities for DTT services in Malaysia in order to migrate the national broadcasting system from analogue to digital by 2017.

The DTT infrastructure and network facilities includes a digital multimedia hub and a network of high, medium and low-powered digital TV transmitters that are capable of carrying and supplying up to 80 digital TV channels which includes both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) channels.

MYTV is collaborating with Telekom Malaysia Berhad ™ in providing infrastructure and network facilities for DTT services in Malaysia. Through the collaboration, TM is responsible for developing terrestrial distribution network to link MYTV's Digital Multimedia Broadcast Hub (DMBH) to all 60 main transmitters and 40 gap fillers, 10 regional hubs and 2 earth stations nationwide with the STM-1 network.

In addition, TM will provide fibre network to enable MYTV to transmit high quality images and enhance the overall quality of digital entertainment experience.

Once the trial phase is completed by the end of the year, the DTT services will be officially rolled out covering up to 85 per cent of the populated area early next year.

It will be followed by the second phase that includes an increase in coverage of up to 98 per cent of the populated area by mid-2016.


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