KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight opened a new vista in the country’s broadcasting industry with the launching of digital terrestrial television (DTT) , myFreeview which can be enjoyed by the people for free.

It officially signalled the change of the nation’s broadcasting industry from analogue to digital in the government’s efforts to provide the best television and radio broadcast for the people.

In this regard, Najib announced 4.2 million free decoders would be distributed to the people, including recipients of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).

The number will cover 2.2 million free decoders contributed by the government in addition to the two million sets allocated by MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd, the company appointed to operate the DTT infrastructure and network.

“The government through MCMC has appointed MYTV in 2014 as a sole infrastructure provider licence holder and MYTV will be responsible to build and operate myFreeview infrastructure for the next 30 years.

“The distribution of free decoders will enable the people to enjoy myFreeview digital broadcast for free without having to pay monthly fees. The free decoder distribution will be implemented in stages until the second quarter of 2018,” he said when speaking at the launching of myFreeview here today.

Najib said the free decoders for eligible households under the BR1M list would expedite the migration from analogue to digital, and Malaysia took the initiative to provide free decoders to assist the poorer community as compared to developed and Asean countries.

The prime minister said myFreeview included the National Broadcasting Digitisation Project which would enable the government to reap returns of digital dividends after the release of spectrum used by analogue TV to date.

He said the spectrum would be allocated for other modern communication services such as improving cellular network and high speed mobile broadband.

Najib stressed the project under the patronage of the communications and multimedia ministry (KKMM) would be monitored by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) as part of the national agenda to transform the national broadcasting industry through digitisation to improve the people’s standard of living towards a developed nation by 2020.

The myFreeview broadcast offers all existing terrestrial TV channels namely, TV1, TV2, TVi, TV3, ntv7, 8TV, TV9, TV AlHijrah and Bernama News Channel (BNC) in quality digital signals and many other TV channels, as well as interactive services which will be introduced later.

To enjoy digital broadcast, the people only need to obtain a receiver that is a MYTV decoder (DVB-T2 model) which could be obtained at electronic product shops and connect it to a television set.

“In future, the audience will also have access to interactive television services including home shopping, watching video on demand and customised services and mobile TV, UHD TV and TV shopping,” said Najib.

He said myFreeview broadcast would open up more employment opportunities for content, creative and electronic industries apart from developing human capital in the creative industry.

“Local television broadcasters will also benefit from new opportunities to reach more audience and expand their business,” he added.

Najib said the transformation of digital terrestrial TV broadcast was a global development and phenomenon with more than 60 developed countries having migrated from analogue broadcast to digital TV since 2007.

The prime minister said Asean countries had also decided to stop analogue TV broadcast in stages from 2015 to 2020 with Singapore closing its analogue broadcast this year while Malaysia was targeting to stop its analogue TV broadcast by June 2018.

“Malaysia is now moving at a faster pace in the development of the digital economy in which the digital sector would be the aspiration of Malaysia achieving double digit growth.

“This is another initiative of the country to move into the digital era in line with the government’s intention to enable the people to partake in the booming digital economy,” he added. — Bernama