Under the Vietnam television digitalization plan until 2020, the State will help about two million poor and on-the-brink families and those under the preferential treatment policy buy set-top boxes to decode digital TV signals.
Around 10% of the 20 million households in Vietnam are poor or near-poor. The State will support them to buy digital TV signal decoding devices, with the cheapest priced at VND500,000, said Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang.
Thang told the Daily that it would cost a huge sum in equipping citizens with TV set-top boxes, adding this would be the major difficulty in implementation of the plan.
The budget for this support will be extracted from the public telecommunication fund, said Thang.
On December 27, 2011, the Prime Minister released a decision approving the plan for television digitalization until 2020. After that, the information ministry set up a steering committee for television digitalization.
Thang, deputy head of the steering committee for television digitalization, said the television digitalization plan was aimed to gradually expand the digital terrestrial TV coverage to serve the socio-economic development and offer a variety of quality TV services. It will also promote development of the digital terrestrial TV market and create conditions to rearrange the system of radio and TV stations across the country.
The plan’s goal is to ensure that 80% of households with TV sets nationwide can watch digital TV channels by different methods and the digital terrestrial TV coverage will reach 60% of the population by 2015.
By 2020, all households with TV sets will be able to watch digital TV channels and digital terrestrial TV coverage will reach 80% of the population to broadcast programs serving political tasks.
When analog TV channels stop broadcasting, TV sets can only receive digital terrestrial TV signals with set-top boxes.
In addition to the support for the poor and near-poor households, the information ministry requires TV producers and importers to integrate digital terrestrial TV signal receiving functions in their products.
Specifically, the requirement will apply to TV sets with a display of over 32 inches from April 1, 2014 and to those with a display of 32 inches or less from April 1, 2015. However, it will not apply to TVs with CRT display.
The Saigon Times Daily