DTT to cover 75% of Hong Kong

Extension completed by end of month

Free-to-air digital terrestrial TV will be extended to cover 75% of the population of Hong Kong by the end of the month, it was announced Thursday. That means more Olympic Games coverage for more people.

DTT was launched at the beginning of this year from two transmitters and covered 50% of the population. Extension follows commissioning of six new transmitters. Hong Kong’s mountainous topography, sub-tropical climate and proximity to China make TV and radio transmissions a tricky tech issue despite the small land mass.

Some 10% of the population has begun using DTT services, which so far comprise expanded channel offerings and HD options from the territory’s two FTA groups Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Asia Television (ATV). Viewers may need to buy a special set-top box or have their communal aerial upgraded.

“The DTT take-up rate in most of the advanced economies does not exceed 5% in the first year of launch, while that of Hong Kong has reached nearly 10% just six months after the launch. Following the extension of the coverage and launching of the Olympic Games programs by the two broadcasters, it is expected that more people will switch to DTT,” Alan Siu, Acting Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), said.

Hong Kong is committed to switch off analog signals by 2012.

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