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Malaysia announces transition to digital TV broadcast

Malaysia’s broadcasting industry is set to record another milestone following its announcement that it will begin the gradual transition from the analogue television broadcast to the myFreeview digital broadcast service.

The historic announcement is scheduled to be made by the Minister of Communications and Multimedia at the Langkawi District Civil Defence Force (APM) complex this evening.

The Minister, who will be here on an official visit, will also be gauging the success of the migration from the analogue to the digital service, on the island resort, which is into its second week.

On the morning of 6 August 2019, the minister visited the Kampung Padang Lalang internet centre in Ayer Hangat, before checking on the Analogue Switch Off (ASO) operations room at the Langkawi District APM complex.

The term Analogue Switch Off refers to the transition from the television broadcasting service, provided for free by RTM since 1963 and TV3 since 1984, using the old (analogue) technology.

Langkawi residents have begun moving towards digital TV broadcast since 21 July 2019 after the analogue TV transmission from Gunung Raya was replaced with the myFreeview digital broadcasting service which offers better broadcast quality.

Langkawi was chosen as the first zone in the country for the transition from analogue TV broadcast because the island has a robust digital TV ecosystem, where digital TV coverage is comprehensive. Free decoders were distributed to households under the government’s Bantuan Sara Hidup financial aid.

Malaysia is the third country in the ASEAN region to progress from analogue broadcasting after Brunei Darussalam in 2017 and Singapore in January this year.

An earlier report noted that the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Minister believes that technological advancements must be embraced as an opportunity to pursue greater achievements both locally and internationally.

Technological developments and a borderless digital world will help make Malaysia an economic giant, especially as Malaysians are known to be multi-talented and proficient in many languages.

It is extremely important in this digital age where communication and the economy and the opportunities that follow are changing the way we live and interact globally, the Minister stated. Moreover, in this regard, the government is definitely on track towards becoming a successful nation and be seen as a respected role model of a developing economy.

The Minister stressed that technological advancements can bring about many benefits to society if they are used wisely.

He stated that social media can be a double-edged sword, and the fact that it can be shared by millions across a borderless cyber world in the blink of an eye meant it could also be misused to spread fake news.

In this regard, the Minister urged all parties to be careful when sharing information or news on social media, and be responsible when making or sharing statements.

The Minister also urged all parties to verify the authenticity of news to curb the spread of fake news on social media and the Internet so as to safeguard and protect the country’s peace and to maintain public order.

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