The era of the analogue TV is coming to an end. Yes, it’s finally happening. The DTT Project (Digital Terrestrial Television) is essentially a government initiative to migrate the country’s broadcasting to full digital broadcast. Officially named myFreeview, it will offer Malaysia’s most popular TV and radio channels for free, and sans subscription fees.
The launch of myFreeview was officiated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Najib said that 4.2 million decoders will be distributed to the people, including those receiving 1Malaysia People’s Aid or Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).
The number covers 2.2 million free decoders contributed by the government, with the balance allocated by MYTV Broadcasting Sdn Bhd. MYTV is the company appointed to operate the DTT infrastructure and network.
The company is the sole infrastructure provider licence holder and will be responsible to build and operate myFreeview for the next 30 years.
The distribution of the free decoders will happen in stages, until Q2 2018.
Towards a digital Malaysia
Malaysia is targeted to halt analogue TV broadcasting in June 2018, aligned with targets set by ASEAN which is to go fully digital by 2020. Our neighbour Singapore will also be shutting down analogue TV broadcasting by this year.
myFreeview includes the National Broadcast Digitisation Project which will enable to government to utilise the analogue spectrum for other modern communication services. This includes improving cellular networks and high speed broadband.
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 high quality digital. More channels and interactive services will be introduced later namely home shopping, video on demand and more.
MYTV estimates the service will have 90 channels by the end of 2019.
To enjoy the digital broadcast, you will require the MYTV decoder (DVB-T2 model) that can be obtained for free. For those who don’t receive free decoders, they can be purchased for MYR299 through authorized MYTV retailers, or call 1-300-80-6988.
The decoder connects to a TV via HDMI/AV cable, and a UHF aerial.
Alternatively, you can buy a new Integrated Digital Television (IDTV) that comes with a built-in digital TV tuner. You will not need a decoder, with this option. You can identify an IDTV by a DTTV label.