KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has acknowledged the issues faced by certain quarters with regards to the quality of digital TV broadcast. Those who are still having issues are urged to contact the myFreeview careline at 1800-18-1088.

The myFreeView Digital TV service is being served in two methods. The common medium is via Digital terrestrial television (DTT) that covers 95 per cent of the populated areas with 44 transmission sites operated by MYTV. For those residing in remote and hard to reach areas, there’s the Direct to Home (DTH) option that uses satellite.

According to the MCMC, the myFreeview customer service team can check if your location falls under DTT or DTH coverage areas. For DTT, you can receive digital TV signals via a UHF antenna that is hooked up to a decoder or a TV (DVB-T2) that supports digital TV tuning. The government has allocated free decoder boxes for those that fall under the B40 category, and you can check if you’re eligible here. It is also important that the UHF antenna is pointed towards the nearest transmission site. Meanwhile, DTH would require a satellite dish pointed towards AsiaSat 9.

MYTV decoder. — SoyaCincau pic
MYTV decoder. — SoyaCincau pic

MCMC would like to remind users that reception may be affected when a counterfeit decoder and UHF antenna is being used. Consumers are urged to purchase decoders that are certified by MCMC or SIRIM.

Improper installation can also cause reception interference. If you’re using existing cabling, do ensure that the connection (RG6 cable) is in good condition. For those requiring assistance with the setup, you can request for an installer by calling 1-800-18-1088. The careline is operational from 8 am to 10 pm daily including public holidays.

At the moment, the digital TV service uses two frequencies from each transmission site which will be detected if tuned automatically. If you’re planning to perform manual tuning, you can check the list of frequencies here.

MCMC is monitoring the situation closely and they hope that all Malaysians can enjoy better viewing experience with digital TV. On 15th October, entire West Malaysia has completed its analogue shutdown. The switch to digital TV will be completed nationwide at the end of this month after Sabah and Sarawak complete its switchover on the 31st October. For more info, you can visit MYTV’s website.

In case you missed it, the switch to digital TV can free up the 700MHz spectrum which can be repurposed for mobile connectivity such as 4G and 5G. In Europe, the 700MHz is prioritised for wide-area 5G deployments. Digital TV is more efficient than analogue as the spectrum used for one analogue channel can be used to broadcast 10 channels in digital format that offers higher picture and audio quality.

If the 700MHz spectrum is used for 4G LTE, it can provide up to 12 times wider coverage area compared to 1800MHz. Apart from having a wider footprint, the lower frequency bands can penetrate buildings better and this provides better reception compared to high-frequency LTE bands. — SoyaCincau