The Public Relations Department (PRD), one of the four state-run digital TV network operators, is shifting its focus to public service after the Royal Thai Army, MCOT and Thai PBS were picked up by all 24 commercial digital TV operators.
“We are in talks with five state agencies, namely the House of Representatives, the Education Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and the Royal Thai Police. They are potential TV broadcasters for public service in the future,” Chumporn Kruakhwan, executive director of the PRD’s Engineering Supports and Development Bureau, told The Nation yesterday.
Chumporn added that it had prepared two channels on its network for high-definition (HD) service and six for standard definition (SD).
One HD channel will be used for simulcast of its own NBT channel, commonly known as Channel 11, which will be aired on the digital terrestrial platform soon.
To expand its digital network coverage, the PRD has earmarked about Bt980 million
for procuring and installing transmitters and fibre-optic cables for the first year of operations.
In the first year, the PRD plans to install digital transmitters at 18 of Thai PBS’s 39 broadcasting towers to reach 11 million households, half of the total nationwide.
In the second year, the PRD plans to have digital transmitters on all of Thai PBS’s broadcasting towers across the country, and in the third year, it will add 114 gap fillers.
Chumporn acknowledged that the prolonged political unrest might hurt the PRD’s plans to expand its digital TV network, particularly in the second and third year if a new government could not be formed promptly.
The PRD budget might be affected.
Last week, MCOT confirmed that Spring News Television, Triple V Broadcast and Voice TV would lease its network for transmission of their digital TV channels.
On February 10, Thai PBS signed an agreement with BEC-Multimedia, RS Tele-vision and Thai TV to lease its network for distribution of their newly obtained digital TV channels.
Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station, the operator of TV5, reached leasing agreements with GMM HD Digital TV, Bangkok Media Broadcasting, Bangkok Broadcasting and Television (Channel 7), Amarin Television, True DTT, Thai Broadcasting (Workpoint Entertainment), GMM SD Digital TV, Bangkok Business Broadcasting, Mono Broadcast, NBC Next Vision, Thai News Network, 3A Marketing and DN Broadcast.