Thu, Oct 26, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Commission discusses HDTV plan for PTS

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) announced yesterday that it would invite the Public Television Service (PTS) and five other analog television stations next week to discuss the possibility of jointly developing content to be broadcast in the high-definition digital television (HDTV) format.

The announcement was made following a meeting by the commission -- which has been declared unconstitutional but is still allowed to operate -- held yesterday morning. During the meeting, commission members reviewed the application of PTS to have a trial broadcast of HDTV content on channel 30.

Liu Tsung-de (劉宗德), vice chairman of the commission, said the government approved approximately NT$2.78 billion (US$86.8 million) in June for the Public Television Service Foundation to construct a transmission system for HDTV.

Liu added that the government has decided that PTS will act as a common carrier, which will incorporate resources from both the government and the commercial sector.

"The budget has not been appropriated to benefit PTS alone," Liu emphasized, "It creates an opportunity in which other players will have a chance to participate."

HDTV refers to a type of digital television broadcasting system with significantly higher resolution than traditional TV. Viewers must purchase a set-up box in order to access HDTV content.

Sources within the NCC have indicated that it has yet to finalize a date to have a trial broadcast of HDTV. The date will be set based on the progress made in negotiations between PTS and the five television stations. It also depends on whether these five stations could quickly construct the infrastructure needed for the HDTV broadcast.

According to the NCC, Taiwan is lagging in the technology when compared with Japan, South Korea, China and Hong Kong.

China plans to broadcast the 2008 Olympic Games in HDTV.

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