Goodbye analogue TV
By December 31, you will need to switch to digital TV so you can continue to watch your favourite programmes on Mediacorp. Find out how you can make the switch.
Did you know that analogue TV broadcast will cease on December 31, 2018? If you enjoy watching Mediacorp’s free-to-air channels like Channel 5 and 8, and are still receiving analogue TV signals, it’s time to make the switch to digital TV (DTV). But where do we start?
We help give you some background and understanding, and how you can make the switch:
What is Digital TV?
“Digital” refers to the way in which TV channels are broadcast and received. TV channels in Singapore are now broadcast in both analogue and digital formats. Since December 2013, Mediacorp has been transmitting all free-to-air channels in digital format under the DVB-T2 television standard.
Mediacorp will turn off its analogue signals on December 31, 2018. If you have been watching on analogue, you need to make the switch by then – or you will not be able to watch your favourite Mediacorp shows!
Why do we need to make the switch?
Digital broadcasting uses radio spectrum frequencies more efficiently than analogue broadcasting technology. Switching to digital broadcasting allows scarce spectrum resources to be freed up for other services such as wireless broadband services.
Going digital will also allow Singapore to free up frequency spectrum which can be used for higher quality and faster mobile services that ultimately benefit consumers like you.
As the same time, we are keeping in step with the rest of the world who are also switching to digital TV signals. In fact, did you know that countries like Japan, South Korea and UK have already made the full transition to digital TV?
What is the difference between analogue and digital TV signals?
Digital TV signals offer an enhanced viewing experience with superior quality pictures and sound. It also offers electronic programme guides, which allow viewers to easily find out what programmes are on TV, whether currently or upcoming, and what they are about.
How do I know if I need to switch to digital TV?
The first step is to switch on your TV and check if you see the white “analogue” text on the top right hand corner, under the Mediacorp channel logo.
If you see the white “analogue” text, as well as a black crawler bar at the bottom of the screen, you are still watching analogue TV and need to switch.
What equipment do we need to get in order to make the switch, and where can we get it from?
If you subscribe to Singtel’s or StarHub’s Pay TV service, you are already watching digital TV. If your TV is digital-ready, which means it has a built-in set-top box, you just need to connect it to an indoor antenna. If you’re not sure if your TV model is digital-ready, you can check on https://www.digitaltv.sg/#how-to-check, or call your TV manufacturer.
If it is not digital-ready, you will need to connect it to an indoor antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top box.
Non-digital-ready flat-screen TVs will require a HDMI connection with the set-top box.
Non-digital-ready analogue CRT TVs will require an AV connection with the set-top box.
You can get DTV equipment at all major electronic retail outlets. Many of these outlets also have booths where you can get more information and help on making the switch to digital TV.
Singapore households who stay in HDB flats and do not have Pay TV can redeem free equipment with the DTV Starter Kit. If you qualify but haven’t received a letter from IMDA (Infocomm Media Development Authority), you can find out how to apply at https://starterkit.digitaltv.sg/#apply or obtain an application form from CCs or HDB branch offices. For more enquiries, you can reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail.
I heard there are different types of antenna that can help me receive digital TV signals. What type of antenna should I use?
There are mainly two different types of antenna – active and passive. While passive antennas are cheaper, we recommend active antennas, which come with a built-in amplifier or powered signal booster and requires a power source, as they offer better reception.
Finding the right position for your antenna can be tricky. Do you have tips to help us get the best reception?
We recommend that you place your antenna at a higher location and away from any electronic equipment, including HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables, your TV and set-top box, to reduce interference.
If I have more questions, where can I get help?
Mediacorp and IMDA are trying to make the switch process as smooth and convenient as possible for all Singaporean residents. As such, there are many different channels where you can get help:
- The DTV website digitaltv.sg
- The DTV helpline 1800-388-4357 (1800-DTV-HELP) or e-mail address at email@example.com
- Weekly DTV carnivals in the heartlands, such as August 17 to 19 at Toa Payoh Hub, September 1 to 2 September at Bedok Mall, September 8 to 9 at Nee Soon East Community Club, and September 29 to 30 at Westgate
- Pop-up booths in major retail stores, such as Gain City, Best Denki and Harvey Norman
- Mobile service counters in community centres, such as August 18 at Kreta Ayer Community Club
Bonus: If Singaporeans make the switch from now till end August, they can enroll in Mediacorp’s Switch to Win Lucky Draw where they stand to win prizes like 55-inch TVs and sound systems!
** The above story has been provided by IMDA and Mediacorp.
(PHOTO CREDITS: Mediacorp)