The new myFreeview Digital TV Transmission is a government effort to reduce the digital gap between people in rural, urban and suburban areas. - NSTP/File pic

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will fully shift to digital TV transmission from the current analogue terrestrial TV service from Oct 31, signifying a new era of broadcasting in the country.

In a statement earlier, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said the broadcast would start on Sept 30 for the central and southern region, Oct 14 for the northern and eastern region and Oct 31 for Sabah and Sarawak.

It said the new myFreeview Digital TV Transmission was a government effort to reduce the digital gap between people in rural, urban and suburban areas.

"This is also in line with the government's vision of 'Shared Prosperity', which allows the people to enjoy free and quality digital TV services.

"The myFreeview Digital TV also offers the option to tune to various television and radio channels, as well as the latest applications for online shopping, current information and interactive education, among others," it added.

MCMC said the latest applications such as online shopping will enable the people to generate income using the digital TV platform.

For a start, 15 TV and six radio channels under Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Media Prima, TV AlHijrah and Bernama News Channel (BNC) will be available on the myFreeview Digital TV platform.

"A few other new channels are also expected to be aired on myFreeview digital TV in the near future," it added.

Langkawi was the first to fully receive the myFreeview digital TV broadcast when the pilot transition was carried out in the island on July 21.

It was reported the myFreeview digital TV broadcast offers better and clearer audio and picture quality in standard definition and high definition (SD/HD).

Viewers only need to pay once to buy a new Integrated Digital TV (IDTV), a DVB-T2 decoder or the UHF aerial, and pay for installation fees should they need assistance in installing outdoor UHF aerial or maintenance services.

To receive the myFreeview digital TV broadcast, they need to connect the DVB-T2 decoder and UHF aerial to their existing TV set, or via an IDTV that comes with a built-in decoder and installing a UHF aerial.

Currently, there are 13 IDTV brands in the market, which have been approved by SIRIM. These TVs are sold online, in hypermarkets, or at selected electrical stores nationwide.

The myFreeview coverage currently covers 98 per cent of populated areas through infrastructure buildings, DTT transmission, and Direct-to-Home (DTH) through satellite service support.

The DTH service is provided to ensure digital TV coverage would be available at remote areas.