The Nation



'Go digital' drive to air on debut of 24 new TV channels



The "Go digital" TV educational campaign will be aired in February along with the debut of 24 commercial digital terrestrial TV channels.

"Raising public awareness of the benefits of digital terrestrial TV broadcasting services is also a crucial process in the transition from analogue to digital," Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the Broadcasting Committee, said yesterday.

People must be prepared for this new technology that will change their lives forever.

"Besides creating good people at schools or universities under a proper education system, the good-value TV contents that people consume are also a crucial function that helps strengthen the country's core competency," he said.

This was the key benefit of offering more channels.

The Broadcasting Committee has budgeted about Bt30 million to support the educational campaign.

The panel will work with the 24 broadcasters to create a greater impact from a series of nationwide campaigns.

Each new operator could pitch for the NBTC's funds to subsidise its own educational campaign.

In the first year, digital coverage would reach 50-60 per cent of the 22 million households in the country, particularly in Greater Bangkok. The awareness campaign will be deployed in those areas first.

"Nong Doo Dee," the official mascot, will make its appearance in media spaces to build public understanding. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will also distribute vouchers all households to access the new service.

Around April, the committee would provide discount coupons to all households to purchase an integrated digital TV set or digital TV set-top box.

An iDTV is equipped with built-in digital TV tuner. If viewers do not want to buy a iDTV, they can use the Bt690 coupon to buy a digital TV set-top box to convert digital TV signals to analogue so that they can still use their old TV.

The NBTC has issued 500,000 labels guaranteeing the compatibility of both kinds of digital TV receivers to help manufactures and retailers communicate with their customers.

Digital TV set-top boxes will get 300,000 labels and the rest will be attached to iDTVs.

More labels are expected to come after the official launch of digital TV broadcasting and the educational campaign.

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