Hong Kong will enter an era of full digital television broadcasting from December next year, as analogue TV services go off the air for good.
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, said since almost 90 percent of households are already watching digital TV, only about 180,000 households have to replace their TVs or get a set-top box to receive the digital signal.
He added that the government is planning to subsidise the less well-off to get new devices.
Yau said part of the analogue spectrum freed up will be used to improve telecommunication services.
“We intend to make use of 160 megahertz of spectrum vacant from the analogue TV for use by the mobile telecommunications services, which essentially would relieve existing congested indoor mobile hotspots such as MTR stations,” he said.
“We hope this will be conducive to the overall telecom service delivery as well as helping Hong Kong to move ahead with the smart city development initiative,” he said.
RTHK is one of the few stations which has analog television services. The Director of Broadcasting, Leung Ka-wing, said the switch will not affect the operations of RTHK because it has been producing the same content for both its analog and digital channels.