Singapore has officially delayed its analog TV broadcast switchoff date to the start of 2019 as the Infocomm Development Authority (IMDA) looks for new ways to help the island’s remaining analog viewers to go digital.
Singapore has originally planned to shut off analog TV at the end of this year, but currently around 3 in 4 Singapore households now receive digital TV (DTV) either over the air or via pay TV subscriptions. Consequently, according to a parliamentary response issued by Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the switchoff date will be pushed ahead to December 31, 2018 to allow more time for households to switch over to DTV. Mediacorp will continue to broadcast in both analog and digital formats until January 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, IMDA is studying enhancements to its DTV Assistance Scheme (DTVAS) to assist more HDB (Housing & Development Board) households with the switchover.
The DTVAS currently provides households with a free digital set-top box, indoor antenna and installation. Households who qualify under the current DTVAS criteria can continue to apply to receive assistance. The IMDA will announce its enhancements to the scheme early next year.