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Digital TV

last updated 22 March 2017

Digital TV delivers higher-resolution pictures that are sharper and clearer, and free from the fuzzy images that are associated with analogue TV.

Digital TV is an advanced broadcasting technology that enables superior-quality pictures and sound. This technology supports two broadcast formats, namely Standard Definition TV (SDTV) and High Definition TV (HDTV).

Compared to conventional analogue TV, digital TV allows for richer audio-visual experiences and opportunity for more interactive services.

Digital TV delivers higher-resolution pictures that are sharper and clearer, and free from the fuzzy images that are associated with analogue TV.

HDTV, for instance, enhances viewing experiences with a screen resolution of 1920 (horizontal) by 1080 (vertical) pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio, whereas analogue TV has a maximum resolution of 720 (horizontal) by 576 (vertical) pixels and 4:3 aspect ratio.

Singapore’s free-to-air (FTA) TV channels began broadcasting in digital on 16 December 2013 using the DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) broadcasting standard.

More information about digital TV, including when and how you can receive digital TV can be found on Mediacorp’s website​.

The world is transitioning from analogue TV to digital TV. Many countries including the USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and several European countries such as UK, France and Germany have already gone fully digital. Other countries in Asia, such as China, India and Hong Kong are in the process of switching over to digital TV. ASEAN countries have agreed to switch over to digital TV between 2015 and 2020.

Content is increasingly being produced in digital format. Singapore needs to switch to full digital broadcasting in the years to come so as to ensure that consumers can continue to enjoy their favourite TV programmes from around the world. Our industry also needs to keep up-to-date with worldwide digital broadcasting developments to capitalise on the opportunities in digital content and services.​​

Benefits to Con​​sumers

Digital TV offers:

  • Better quality pictures (e.g. high definition TV);
  • Superior sound (e.g. surround sound);
  • Multi-language subtitles; and
  • Electronic programme guides which will contai​​​n more information about TV programmes

Benefits to Indust​ry

Digital broadcasting uses fewer frequencies than analogue broadcasting. Thus, as Singapore switches over to digital broadcasting, frequencies that are freed up can be made available for other broadcasting and telecommunications services such as wireless broadband services.​​

Scenario 1: StarHub TV or Singtel TV Subscription

Households with TV sets connected to StarHub TV or Singtel TV service, need not do anything as they are already enjoying digital TV.

Scenario 2: Convert existing TV with a digital set-top box and an indoor antenna


Existing TV sets can still be used. Households with TV sets NOT connected to StarHub TV or Singtel TV service will need to buy a digital set-top box and an indoor UHF antenna. Just connect them to the existing TV set to watch digital TV channels.

Scenario 3: Upgrade to TV with built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner and get an indoor antenna

Alternatively, households can consider buying TV sets with built-in DVB-T2 digital tuners (Integrated Digital TV or IDTV). Just connect the IDTV to an indoor UHF antenna to watch digital TV channels.

For scenarios 2 and 3, households living in landed properties can use their existing rooftop UHF antennas. Just connect the antenna directly to the digital set-top box or IDTV.

DVB-T2 Consumer Identification Label

Th​ese ​DTV consumer labels indicate that t​he equipment complies with Singapore’s receiver specifications and is suitable for use to receive the Mediacorp digital channels. Do look out for these labels when purchasing your digital TV equipment.

digi1

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

digi2

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. Compatible IDTV sets affixed with the DTV consumer labels have been available in retail outlets since April 2013. Consumers who are planning to upgrade their TV sets may wish to consider purchasing a compatible IDTV set to enjoy the digital channels.

Compatible set-top boxes affixed with the DTV consumer labels are already available at major electronics retail outlets.

Consumers can check for the brands and models of all DVB-T2 receivers registered with IMDA and carrying the DTV consumer labels.

DVB-T2 ​Stereo Rec​​​​eiver

digi1

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

Compatible Integrated Digital TV sets:​

Compatible Set-top Boxes:

DVB-T2 Surround Sound Ready Receiver​​​

digi2

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​.

Compatible Integrated Digital TV sets:

Compatible Set-top Box:

This page ​contains hy​perlinks to websites or web pages of third parties. The content on those websites or web pages has been compiled and issued by those parties. The information contained in the hyperlink is provided for reference only. IMDA has not verified or endorsed the content of those websites or web pages and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from or related to the use of those websites or web pages.

For further clarifications, please send an e​mail to DTV@imda.gov.sg​.

The Digital TV (DTV) Assistance Scheme will help low-income Singaporean households make a smooth transition from analogue to digital TV, so that they can continue to enjoy their favourite Mediacorp TV programmes. Click here for more information.

Find out what the ABCs of Digital TV mean in a brief glossary of the technology.

Analogue is a type of signal which transmits sounds and pictures as a continuous wave. Analogue technology is being replaced worldwide by digital technology.

Broadcast Frequency is the set of radio air-waves used to transmit television, radio and other forms of electronic communication.

Digital Receiver/Set-top Box is a piece of digital equipment that receives and decodes digital TV signals for display on the television. When connected to an analogue TV set, it converts the signal for display on the analogue TV.

Digital TV is an advanced broadcasting technology that enables broadcasters to transmit TV programmes with better pictures, sound and interactivity. Digital TV supports two formats, namely Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD).

Digital Switchover refers to the phasing out of Mediacorp’s analogue TV signals, which would be replaced by digital TV signals.

Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) is suite of open technical standards for the global delivery of digital television and data services developed by the DVB Project, an industry-led consortium of over 200 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries.

DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial) is a technical standard, developed by the DVB Project, that specifies the framing structure, channel coding and modulation for digital terrestrial television broadcasting. The first version of the standard was published in March 1997 and in the twelve years since then it has become the most widely adopted DTT system in the world.

DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial) is the second and latest generation of the DVB-T standard. It offers higher efficiency, robustness and flexibility, enabling efficient use of valuable spectrum for the delivery of audio, video and data services to fixed, portable and mobile devices.

Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) is an electronic version of the printed television program guide.

Free–to-air (FTA) TV refers to Mediacorp’s seven TV channels (i.e. Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham, Channel NewsAsia, okto, and Channel U) which are delivered free over-the-air.

High Definition (HD) is a format of digital TV which gives higher picture quality. HDTV has a screen resolution of 1920 (horizontal) by 1080 (vertical) pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio. The picture resolution of a HDTV signal is approximately five times sharper than an SDTV signal.

Pay TV refers to subscription-based TV services provided by pay TV operators – StarHub TV and Singtel TV.

Simulcast is a period where both analogue and digital Free-To-Air TV signals are being transmitted by Mediacorp. This gives households sufficient time to acquire the equipment necessary for receiving digital FTA TV.

Standard Definition (SD) is a format of digital TV which has a screen resolution of 720 (horizontal) by 576 (vertical) pixels and 4:3 aspect ratio. SD has less resolution than HD.