All broadcasters in South Korea will stop transmitting analogue TV signals December 31, 2012. A special committee on broadcasting and communication at the National Assembly approved a bill that confirmed the deadline.
The Ministry of Information and Communication and the Korean Broadcasting Commission first proposed the analogue-to-digital transition in 2006. “The transition of terrestrial TV to digital signals will contribute to the nation’s economy by creating new markets in related industries,” the ministry said in a statement.
Viewers who watch cable or DTH won’t be affected. Households who are still dependent on terrestrial reception will receive help from the government, who intend to spend Won60.8 billion (about €41.75 million subsidising digital tuners for low-income households.
According to the Ministry of Information and Communication, only 31.8% of TV sets in Korea are digital-capable, far lower than 77.4% and 60% in the UK and US. Though the number of digital TVs sold is steadily increasing, there are still significant sales of analogue TVs because they are less expensive. Among TVs sold last year in Korea, 1.47 million were digital and 810,000 were analogue.