Frequently-Asked Questions

Background

  1. Why is Mediacorp going into digital broadcasting?
  2. Mediacorp is transmitting all free-to-air channels in digital format since December 2013 under the DVB-T2 television standard. It is necessary as the world is moving away from analogue to digital broadcasting. Going digital will allow the government to free up frequency spectrum which can be used for new services like mobile, wireless broadband and potentially more TV services and channels. For more information, please visit Infocomm Media Development Authority website on Singapore's roadmap to digital TV here: www.imda.gov.sg/digitalTV

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  3. What is DVB-T2?
  4. DVB-T2 stands for Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial. It is the extension of the television standard DVB-T, created for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television. DVB-T2 is adopted as the industry standard in key European and Asian countries. It offers higher efficiency, robustness and flexibility, enabling efficient use of valuable terrestrial spectrum for the delivery of audio, video and data services to fixed, portable and mobile devices.

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  5. What are the benefits of digital TV?
    1. Better quality pictures (e.g High Definition TV and even 3 Dimensional TV)
    2. Superior sound (e.g. surround sound)
    3. Electronic programme guides where you can find out more information about the TV programmes
    4. Multi-language subtitles (where available)

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  6. Do I need to change my TV set now?
  7. The switchover to digital broadcasting has begun in December 2013. The existing analogue TV signals will continue to be broadcast alongside the digital TV signals until end-2017. This will give you enough time to migrate to digital TV. However, you may wish to switch to digital TV early to enjoy an enhanced viewing experience. After the current analogue channels are switched off, you will not be able to receive or watch Mediacorp TV channels if

    1. You do not have the right equipment to receive digital TV or
    2. You are not a pay-TV subscriber.

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  8. How do I know if my TV is digital-ready?
  9. You can check the list of DVB-T2 products on IMDA website at http://www.imda.gov.sg/digitalTV. If you bought your TV before May 2013, it is not digital ready and will not be able to support the latest DVB- T2 standard. As such, you will need to buy a DVB-T2 set-top box. If you are buying a new TV, you can look out for the digital-ready labels in the shops.

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Tuning / Reception

  1. How to receive Mediacorp digital TV channels
  2. For pay-TV subscribers

    If you are a StarHub TV or Singtel TV subscriber, you do not need to do anything as you can receive and watch the Mediacorp TV channels in digital quality through your pay TV service. However, if you have TV sets not connected to the pay-TV service, you will need to purchase an indoor antenna and DVB-T2 digital set-top box to connect to your current TV. If your TV set is a DVB-T2 Integrated Digital TV or IDTV, you will just need the antenna.

    For non-pay TV subscribers

    You need to do is to buy an indoor antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top-box and connect them to your existing TV set to watch digital TV. You can also consider buying a new TV with a built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner (Integrated Digital TV or IDTV) set and an indoor antenna to enjoy an enhanced viewing experience. Additional equipment required will be a 75-ohm coaxial cable and a HDMI cable if you are using the digital set-top box.

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  3. What is the type of antenna to use?
  4. You need a UHF antenna to receive the DVB-T2 signals which will be broadcast in the UHF channels 21~69 (470~862 MHz). The reception capabilities of TV antennae vary considerably so do consult the retail staff. TV reception may be improved by using an active antenna and varying the location/position of your antenna. You may consider getting one of the following active indoor antennae which are available at the major retail stores:
    1. Funke DSC550 indoor antenna
    2. Funke Home 2.0 indoor antenna
    3. NewMedia Solutions ANT2-6A indoor antenna

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  5. How do I place the indoor antenna for best reception?
  6. The location of an indoor antenna is an important factor to have good signal reception. Here are some of the tips on the placement of antenna if you are unable get good reception from its existing location. Try positioning the antenna:
    1. near a window
    2. higher
    3. away from other electronic equipment that may introduce interference
    In most cases, position the antenna vertically should yield better reception. If optimal signal reception cannot be achieved, you may try positioning it horizontally. For directional antenna, position the antenna facing appropriate window opening, away from area whereby the signal may be block.

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  7. Can I connect a single antenna to multiple digital receivers?
  8. Splitters can be used to connect a single antenna to multiple digital receivers (IDTV and/or digital set-top box). However, such connections reduce the amount of signal available to each receiver. If you are having problems, check whether reception is improved without the splitter. In some cases, an active splitter that includes an amplifier can solve the problem.

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  9. What to look out when I'm buying a new TV or digital set-top box?
  10. To ensure that you can receive Singapore's digital TV channels, look out for the consumer labels below, which indicate that the set-top box or the TV with a built-in tuner (IDTV) that you are purchasing is digital-ready.

    This label indicates that the IDTV or set-top box supports Singapore's DVB-T2 channels in stereo sound.

       

    This label indicates that the IDTV or set-top box supports Singapore's DVB-T2 channels in surround sound when connected to a home theatre system.

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  11. I'm a non-pay TV subscriber, and I'm watching Mediacorp digital channels in HDB/Condominium/Landed Property /Commercial Building, what will I need to do?
  12. You will need to buy an antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top box and connect them to your existing TV sets to watch digital TV. You can also consider buying a new TV with a built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner (Integrated Digital TV or IDTV) and an indoor antenna, in which case you do not need to purchase a separate set-top box.

    Landed property

    You should be able to use your existing rooftop antenna if you are currently using it to receive Mediacorp's current UHF Channels (Channel NewsAsia, Channel U, and okto). You could seek the advice of an antenna contractor if you are not sure. Click here for a list of antenna contractors. Alternatively, if you do not have a rooftop antenna, you can connect your existing TV to an indoor antenna and set-top box to receive the digital TV channels. If you are using a DVB-T2 IDTV you can connect it directly to an indoor antenna. To get better reception, try positioning the antenna at a higher spot or near a window. Place it further away from other electronic equipment that may interfere with the signals. You may refer to Mediacorp's hotline at 6435 6288 for assistance on DTV reception. Do note that the quality of reception using an indoor antenna may differ depending on whether or not your estate is officially lighted up. Please refer to the roll-out schedule for details.

    Commercial building

    The property owner/ property managing agent can seek the advice from a qualified antenna contractor to enable reception via rooftop antenna and distribute to its tenants. Click here for a list of antenna contractors.

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  13. If I am staying in HDB, can I connect to the wall socket TV/cable point instead of using an antenna?
  14. If your TV is connected to a StarHub TV or Singtel TV set-top box, you are already able to watch the Mediacorp digital channels. If your TV is not connected to these pay TV services, you are receiving analogue TV via the cable point and will not be able to enjoy the enhanced viewing experience available in digital format. Alternatively, you can buy an antenna and DVB-T2 set-top box or IDTV to receive the digital signals over-the-air. This will enable you to receive digital FTA TV without the need to pay monthly charges.

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  15. How do I perform tuning?
  16. Make sure your digital TV or set-top-box is connected to an antenna. Tuning may take a few minutes. Every model of digital TV or set-top-box box will be a little bit different. Please refer to the user manual if you are unsure. Here are some general guidelines. Select the 'set up' or 'installation' option. If you are prompted for a password, try 0000 or 1234. For full tuning, select the auto tuning option. This is sometimes called 'auto set-up' or 'first time installation'. Press 'OK' if the digital TV or set-top-box asks if you want to delete all your channels. Channels will automatically be installed and you should receive all the free-to-air channels: Ch 5 (HD), Ch 8 (HD), Suria (HD), Vasantham (HD), CNA (HD), Ch U and okto (HD).

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  17. What is an active antenna?
  18. An antenna with built-in amplifier is known as an active antenna. In general, an active antenna performs better than a passive antenna, but the performance may not be good if you do not connect it to a power supply. Here are some of the ways to supply the power to your active antenna:
    1. Enable the Set-Top-Box's inline power supply for the antenna (please refer to the Set-Top-Box manual to find out how it can be switched on)
    2. Connect the USB Power Inserter or AC adapter that is provided when you purchased the active antenna
    Not all antennas have the same performance. You may wish to check with your preferred retailer on which antenna is suitable for your needs.

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Others

  1. Aside from electronic programme guides, what other new services can the public expect? Will there be new TV channels?
  2. Viewers can expect superior quality picture and sound from programmes broadcast in the latest digital TV technology DVB-T2. Once the digital broadcasting system is in place, Mediacorp will consider rolling out other services and features. There is currently no plan to introduce new TV channels.

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  3. Does Digital TV also mean that all channels are in high-definition (HD)?
  4. No. Digital TV is a broadcasting system to deliver TV channels in a digital format, but the various channels might not necessarily broadcast in HD.

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  5. I am a pay-TV subscriber and I also have additional TV sets at home. How can I ensure that I can receive Mediacorp digital channels?
  6. You will need to purchase an indoor antenna and DVB-T2 digital set-top box to connect to your current TV. If your TV set is a DVB-T2 Integrated Digital TV or IDTV, you will just need the antenna.

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  7. Can I view Mediacorp digital channels in my vehicle?
  8. The digital TV broadcasting network will be optimized to deliver free-to-air channels to residential homes. The quality of reception for in-vehicle receiver is not guaranteed.

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  9. Will Mediacorp Digital TV roll-out affect the way I record my TV programmes?
  10. Analogue TV users and pay-TV subscribers who are recording via their respective pay-TV feed will not be affected. For digital receiver users, you may wish to check with your preferred retailers. Some digital receivers have built in digital recording functions commonly known as PVR (Personal Video Recording).

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  11. What are the costs to migrate to digital TV? / What is the cost of the receivers?
  12. Currently DVB-T2 IDTV prices range between $600 to $50,000 (depending on the size and features of the TV model) and a DVB-T2 set-top box bundled with an indoor antenna costs around $129 (accurate as at December 2013).

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  13. What can I use to help me in adjusting the antenna?
  14. Most receivers have the capability to display the signal strength and quality bar which can be useful in helping to adjust your antenna for best signal reception. The signal strength and quality bar is usually accessed through the menu feature on your remote control. The readings for the signal strength and quality depend on manufacturers' implementation. Signal quality is the better indicator for good reception. Typically, a reading above 70% will be sufficient to have good reception. Refer to the owner's manual of your receiver for detailed instructions on how to access its signal bar display.

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  15. How do I know if there are subtitles and how can I select the language that I want on my DVB-T2 set or set-top-box?
  16. The availability of subtitles is indicated in the electronic program guide. To select your preferred language, press the 'subtitle' option on your remote control to enable your preferred subtitling language. Most receivers also allow the viewers to pre-set their preferred subtitle languages, providing a control option in selecting primary and secondary subtitling languages.

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  17. Why do I see a ‘Test’ channel?
  18. The ‘Test’ channel is a temporary test transmission under the DVB-T2 standard to check the broadcasting facilities.

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  19. Will there be subsidies for households to purchase the necessary equipment for digital TV?
  20. The government offers Digital TV Assistance Scheme for low income households. Please click the link for more details: http://www.imda.gov.sg/DTVAS.

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