Thailand will adopt the DVB-T2 standard for commercial digital TV services, said the country’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
The change to digital TV will affect all 20 million households in Thailand, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.
The Thai cabinet on May 20 approved DVB-T2 as the digital broadcasting standard in compliance with the NBTC’s proposal. “The adoption of the technology standard is a crucial step towards the digital transition,” said Col Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC’s broadcasting committee.
DVB-T2 was chosen because it could accommodate future technology development. It could also maximise the use of spectrum to yield a greater number of TV channels. The NBTC expects set-top boxes for digital TV to range in price from US$30-35 per unit.
Under the 2012-16 roadmap, the local broadcasting industry is set to be fully digital. Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan, a Prime Minister’s Office minister, said the government fully supports the NBTC broadcasting policy and the use of DVB-T2, as the existing six free TV channels may not be adequate in the digital era.
The NBTC’s spectrum draft plan says the digital switch-over will begin within four years and completely change 80% of households in major cities to the digital system within five years. The switch-over of all households to digital TV is expected to take ten years.
From February 2011, Thai Army TV (TV-5) has been testing DVB-T2 and MPEG-4 coding on a single mux with four SD Channels plus one HD channel.