For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
In order to keep pace with world trends:
Dharma SRI ABEYRATNE
The terrestrial television broadcasting system would be converted to digital technology to keep pace with world trends, Cabinet spokesman and Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella
The Minister addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday, said the terrestrial broadcasting would be fully converted to digital technology by 2017.
The present analogue transmission would come to an end and analogue signals would not be available thereafter.
A committee has been appointed by Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella to look into the technical aspects and evaluation of the digitalization project.
The committee would be headed by Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary W B Ganegala.
In addition, representatives of State and private electronic media and telecommunication organizations, Moratuwa University academics have also been appointed to the committee. The committee has recommended that DVB T2 technology should be adopted for digital transmission in the country.
The converting process would commence next year and would be completed within five years. In line with digital technology, the analogue television sets would have to be replaced with digital television sets by 2017, since only digital signals would be transmitted after 2017. There was a tiny gadget available in the market which could convert analogue signals to digital. It could be used for receiving digital signals rather than replacing analogue television sets with digital television sets. The gadget costs around US $ 10 at present and it would be cheaper gradually, the Minister said.
However, television sets which were compatible with digital signals could be used even after 2017, without any inconvenience.
Digital technology has the capacity to transmit several channels using a single frequency resulting in optimal utilization of the frequency spectrum available for television broadcasting. As a result of this advantage, the obstacles for the expansion of broadcasting facilities could be removed, the Minister added.
The Minister further said that most countries in the world as well as in the Asian region including Japan, used digital technology for television broadcasting.
”This was a giant step forward not only in television transmission, but also in technology. It was said that this technology would last at least another 15 years,” Minister Rambukwella noted.