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Thimphu residents to switch over to digital broadcasting by December

To facilitate and support technology innovation as well as to ensure that cable television viewers get improved picture and sound quality (High Definition (HD) programs), Bhutan Infocomm and Media Authority (BICMA) has decided to implement the digital switch-over of cable television services.

BICMA Director General Chencho Dorji said digital switch-over is for the interest and benefit at the larger population and it will ensure better quality of picture and sound in the long run.

He also added Bhutanese citizens have been using analogue cable TV since the last 19 years and in the initial period of establishment there might be few issues regarding the pricing among others but people will get used to it.

Chencho Dorji also urged all analogue cable TV users under Thimphu Throm to switch-over to digital system before Demember 31.

“All the three licensed cable operators under Thimphu Throm have completed the establishment of digital cable television system and is technologically ready to take full advantage of the digital cable television broadcasting,” he said.

BICMA in consultation with the three service providers have decided the switch-over of analogue cable TV service to digital by December 31, as beginning of January 2019 the analogue transmission of cable TV will be switched off to receive digital cable TV services via set-top-box.

The Director General also said the second phase will be applied to other dzongkhags to reach the people living in the remote areas.

BICMA has provided a period of six months duration to the cable operators to advocate and educate their subscribers on the process of switching from analogue to digital services.

The digital transition in broadcasting is a global process involving the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting signals. Most countries have already completed this transition and many more are in the process of making the transition.

Today, Bhutan has 90% of people around the country using cable TV and 60% using analogue cable services. Television was introduced in 1999 and cable television services are now available in all 20 Dzongkhags and about 40 different channels are provided by the cable TV operators.

Tshering from Thimphu

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