3.3 Digital Broadcasting
Digital Terrestrial Television
The Government promulgated the implementation framework for digital terrestrial television (DTT) in July 2004, which required the two free domestic television programme services licensee, viz. ATV and TVB, to commence digital broadcasting by 2007 and achieve 75% digital coverage by 2008. To ensure timely rollout of DTT according to the Government's implementation framework, the Authority in December 2005 approved the investment plans submitted by ATV and TVB on digital broadcasting, including in-station facilities and programming for high-definition television programmes.
In their submitted investment plans, ATV committed to launch four new standard
definition television (SDTV) channels and not fewer than 14
hours of HDTV programmes during prime time per week starting
from end-2007. On the other hand, TVB committed to provide
a HDTV channel starting from end-2007, including not fewer
than 14 hours per day of HDTV programmes. Both ATV and TVB
proposed supplementary investments of over $400 million each
on in-station facilities and programming, on top of their
original six-year plans.
3.3.2 Digital Cable Broadcasting
HKCTV completed digitization of its HFC and MMDS network in 2005. By using the compression ratio of 6:1 for digital television channels, HKCTV increased the number of channels from 31 in early 2002 to 99 as at August 2006. Digitalization has also enabled HKCTV to improve picture quality and enhance the capability to combat illegal viewing of its programme services.
3.3.3 Digital Satellite Broadcasting
Two pay television operators, viz. TVB Pay Vision and HKCTV, and all the 14 non-domestic television programme service licensees provided digital satellite broadcasting services. In Hong Kong, around 35% of the households received digital satellite broadcasting services via the SMATV Systems installed in their buildings.
3.3.4 Digital Broadcasting over Broadband Network
PCCW Media and TVB Pay Vision provided digital broadcasting
services via broadband networks, covering 95% and 87% of households
|Figure 11 :
||Coverage of Digital Television in Hong Kong
(Percentage of Total Households)
3.3.5 Digital Audio Broadcasting
The Government's policy is that the launch of digital audio broadcasting service should be market-led and there should be no regulatory obstacles to the deployment of new technologies and entrepreneurial ventures to launch innovative services including digital transmission of specialised info-data to specified user groups. The Government welcomes applications for launching digital audio broadcasting trial services and has made available L-Band frequencies for digital audio broadcasting implementation. Subject to spectrum availability, it may also consider applications for using Band III frequencies for digital audio broadcasting. The Authority did not receive any application to conduct digital audio broadcasting trials in Hong Kong during the reporting review.