Now I can see why it was cancelled
Trees? and Fish?

The same old rubbish - but clearer

Hong Kong will finally have Digital Terrestrial TV later this year (The Standard).  As usual in Hong Kong this is being carved up by the existing duopoly of TVB & ATV rather than introducing any new competition.

If TV viewers wish to watch programs in digital format, all they have to do is add a DTT set-top box.

Well, yes, but won't we need one for each TV and one for each video recorders we have?

DDT promises better reception, a wider screen ratio of 16:9, surround sound, multichannel programming and more. Two types of receivers with different specifications will be available. Using basic receivers costing several hundred dollars, people can view the four basic free-to-air channels in digital format, free of common reception problems like "snowing" and "ghosting."

More expensive and sophisticated receivers costing thousands of dollars will provide consumers with all DTT programs.

That will include existing programs and programs specially made for DTT, as well as high-definition television programs.

In the UK, the available digital spectrum was auctioned off about 10 years ago and the successful bidder (On Digital) offered a number of new channels (mainly on a subscription basis).  It was not a great success - coming to a premature end when they overpaid for the rights to (second tier) football, went into administration and closed down. Oops. 

The replacement service (Freeview) has been a big success, but the quality is not so good as traditional analogue TV (because they are squeezing the maximum number of channels into the available spectrum.  A high definition (HD) terrestrial service will only be available when the existing analogue channels are switched off (which will happen over the next few years), so if you want HD channels in the UK now you need to subscribe to Sky (or cable in some areas).

By contrast, Hong Kong will move straight to HD, but with far fewer channels.  Maybe that's not such a bad thing, given that we do have i-Cable, Now Broadband TV, TVB Pay Vision and others all offering a fairly wide range of channels (if you are willing to pay).

Unless i-Cable or Now TV get moving very quickly, we will be in the unusual position of having an HD service on free-to-air terrestrial before it is available from pay tv.  However, Now have been talking about their proposed HD service for a long time, and maybe it will actually happen soon.  Incidentally, I'm still waiting for the PVR that Doug Crets was on about, and I am increasingly convinced that it won't happen (because PCCW can charge for a limited VOD service instead).  Maybe Cable TV will offer one instead?  They need something to attract and retain viewers now they have lost the EPL.

Comments

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spacehunt

According to my sources, Now had been beta testing the HD stuff for several months at least, with their staff testing the gear at home. I guess they want to complete the ADSL+ rollout first before they offer it to the public?

Cable on the other hand is going after the diehard TVB free to air viewers... they seem to be placing all of their bets on the $10-for-life channel, hence I don't think they'll offer HD anytime soon.

Joel

Hopefully the decoders will be cheap because we have adopted the mainland system.

It was only when I went to Australia last year that I realized how we are being short changed by Cable and NOW, in that their decoders stay on the one channel all the time.

Of course with a proper system you can tell it to change channels at certain times so you can record what you want on your video or HD recorder.

Video, that's a laugh. After a year of using a HD recorder, I can't imagine anyone using video tape.

My HD recorder still amazes me.

Problem is, I hardly watch TV now. All my stuff is downloaded from the Internet.

spacehunt

Joel, you can in fact program the Cable settop box to change channels at certain times...

Chris

Yes - and it's fairly easy (because it's done through the Programme Guide).

Joel

Really, you can change the channel???

I'm talking NOW. I cancelled by Cable TV years ago.

We are talking NOW, right.

If so, I'll have to check this out !

Chris

No, this is cable only - if you want to do the same thing on the Now box you apparently need to use an "IR blaster". I've never tried it myself.

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