Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) is entering the digital era today by being the first terrestrial television station to broadcast programs through digital signals.
"The onset of digital broadcasting is another revolution in the television broadcasting industry. From the arrival of black-and-white to color television to the advent of digital broadcasting, every stage is a revolution in itself," said David Cheng (鄭優), TTV general manager.
With the availability of digital technology, one television channel can be compressed into three. As such, TTV will be offering three channels: a general channel, a family channel that targets a female audience and a finance channel.
Digital channels offer viewers different options.
"There are four different modes of digital technology: through satellite, multimedia on demand (MOD), ADSL, cable and terrestrial. What the television broadcasting industry is working toward is to compete to generalize digital television," said Julian Chen, (陳洲任), deputy manager for event promotion.
TTV offers a FreeView setup box and a pen-sized antenna to enable viewers to receive all channels available in digital quality.
"With eight digital broadcasting towers installed around the country, about 80 percent of all areas of Taiwan are able to get reception. We are currently looking to include all the missing corners around the country," said Cheng.
Once a terrestrial setup box is installed, a viewer is able to receive terrestrial channels via digital signals for free.
"The good news is that these extra channels are free of charge as long as a viewer pays the initial cost to install a setup box," said Chen.
Digitalization also requires synergy among the four terrestrial television stations: Taiwan Television Enterprise Ltd (TTV), China Television Co (CTC), Chinese Television System (CTS) and Formosa Television (FTV).
Together, the four stations are to broadcast the Athens Olympics in August and may also establish a common television station in the future.
"The Government Information Office (GIO) has proposed that the four stations come together to form a common station and split up the different channels; we are still waiting for further response on that. Right now, what is for sure is that we will form strategic alliances for reach, development and other different areas" said Cheng.
In order to transfer its old analogue system to the new digital system, TTV has spent NT$1 billion on research and development.
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