Army launches trial of digital terrestrial TV broadcasts
TV5 launched a trial digital terrestrial TV broadcasting service in greater Bangkok yesterday, marking the 55th anniversary of the Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station.
Lt-General Chatchai Sarikulya, president of Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station, said the station would invest Bt60 million on this trial operation, which also covered other provinces within a 100-kilometre radius from Bangkok. The budget will be used for a new digital transmitter, 1,000 digital set-top boxes for a sample audience, and transmission cost.
The digital terrestrial TV signal will be transmitted from Thai Public Broadcasting Service's facilities from the rooftop of Baiyoke Sky Tower.
The TV5 president said his station also planned to deliver digital TV set-top boxes to the sample households during the trial period. Those who can get access to digital TV channels will enjoy the same programmes as those aired on the analog platform, including BEC's Thai TV3, TV5, BBTV Channel 7, MCOT's Modernine TV, NBT and Thai PBS.
The trial process was part of a memorandum of understanding signed last year by the Royal Thai Army - TV5 operator; MCOT - Modernine TV operator; the Public Relations Department - NBT operator; and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
The six-month MoU aimed to examine the readiness of the industry before the full launch of digital terrestrial TV broadcasting, planned for next year.
The NBTC has also welcomed related businesses such as distributors and manufacturers of TV sets and set-top box to join this process.
To prepare for such a transition, TV5 is building a new 22-storey office tower, at a cost of Bt1.6 billion, on the same grounds as the TV5 and Thai Global Network (TGN) stations. The project is expected to be completed and begin operating by late this year.
The new tower will house 12 studios equipped with digital broadcasting technology, up from the existing four operating studios. This will make them ready to produce their own TV programmes, particularly live shows, and transmit them in digital format through various digital channels in two years.
TV5 also wants to have licences for infrastructure and providing network as well as a public channel operating licence for national security issues.