Thailand’s Terrestrial Digital Television Broadcasting Standard (25/05/2012)
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has endorsed the adoption of Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial Second Generation, or DVB-T2, as the terrestrial digital television broadcasting standard for Thailand.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on 20 May 2012, acknowledged the NBTC’s decision, which was regarded as a significant step for Thailand to work out a roadmap for the implementation of digital broadcasting.

At the 10th Conference of the ASEAN Ministers in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in November 2009, ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information agreed that ASEAN should adopt a phased approach toward analog switch-off over a period of time from 2015 to 2020.

NBTC resolved in its meeting on 30 April 2012 to endorse DVB-T2, a Europe-based consortium standard for the transmission of digital terrestrial television, as the uniform standard for Thailand in the process of moving to digital broadcasting. It told the Cabinet that the decision was in line with the joint media statement, issued at the 11th Conference of the ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 1 March 2012.

In the joint media statement, the ASEAN Ministers noted the progress in the implementation of digital broadcasting in ASEAN Member States toward analogue switch-off from 2015 to 2020. The Ministers also endorsed the “Guidelines for ASEAN Digital Switch-Over,” which will serve as a shared blueprint to aid all Member States in their transition toward digital broadcasting. These guidelines are based on the best practices of the various ASEAN Member States and referencing the "Guidelines for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting" developed by the International Telecommunication Union.

In the area of technical standards, the Ministers noted that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recognizes that DVB-T2 is a more advanced technology compared to DVB-T and acknowledges the benefits of migrating directly to DVB-T2. The Ministers also noted that the ADB will be developing common specifications for DVB-T2 receivers, to enjoy economies of scale.

NBTC also reported to the Cabinet that, in making the decision to endorse DVB-T2, it attached great importance to the use of broadcasting frequencies for the maximum benefit, in accordance with Section 47 of the present Constitution of Thailand, which states that transmission frequencies for radio or television broadcasting and telecommunication are national communication resources in the public interest.

According to NBTC, the decision will also promote cooperation with other ASEAN partners, which agreed to endorse DVB-T2 as the ASEAN common digital terrestrial broadcasting standard. It is based on the affordability of set-top boxes as well, which will benefit the public, who will be able to buy them at low prices. NBTC needs to tell people step by step the reasons and advantages of moving to digital broadcasting.

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