PETALING JAYA: MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd CEO Michael Chan says the new set-top boxes to be distributed in the digital terrestrial TV (DTT) rollout will have the ability to poll viewership data and provide for over-the-top (OTT) and other future interactive services.
“MYTV has also been working closely with the industry, our regulator, namely the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and manufacturers, to ensure that the new set-top boxes (STBs) to be distributed will have these abilities,” Chan said in an email to StarBiz.
Chan was commenting on the recent StarBizWeek article entitled “Will digital terrestrial TV happen in time?”.
The article highlighted concerns from industry players that the current set of STBs distributed by MYTV are not Internet enabled and lack features that allow it to garner viewership data or enable OTT providers to offer their services.
Another issue highlighted was the fact that MYTV’s current STBs use a chipset being manufactured by a maker who is facing a legal suit.
Chan said MYTV notes the concerns raised and for the chipset legal issue, he said: “As for the legal action against MStar Semiconductor, whose chipset is used in our current STBs, the incumbent manufacturer has assured us that this will not be an issue for MYTV.
“MYTV also works with other manufacturers and will utilise different chipsets across the various generations of STBs to be distributed and made available for the people.”
By June next year, Malaysia will have an “analogue switch off”, which essentially means terrestrial TV signals should have migrated by then into digital signals.
The move is also part of the national agenda to transform Malaysia’s broadcasting industry through digitisation with the aim of improving the living standards of Malaysians as the country gears up towards a developed nation status by 2020.
Another key benefit of this exercise is that it frees up radio waves in the 700Mhz spectrum, which is meant to be refarmed to telecommunications companies.
This, in turn, will enable telcos to operate their networks more efficiently and allow the government to earn billions of ringgit in proceeds from leasing out this newly-freed up spectrum.
MYTV had been selected back in 2014 to spearhead this national DTT rollout.
MYTV’s Chan said the DTT project was “on schedule” and that MYTV was “fully committed to delivering on this very vital national project”. He added that MYTV is appreciative of the support they have received from the MCMC, their partners and the media who are helping to create the awareness of myFreeview. myFreeview is the name given to Malaysia’s new DTT service.