11:09 | 08/07/2015 Science - Technology
The Steering Committee for Viet Nam's television digitalisation plan has issued a decision to stop broadcasting analogue TV channels in the central city of Da Nang before September 30.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang meets Da Nang City's People's Committee on the digitalisation plan on July 1. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Information and Communications
This was announced by Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Le Nam Thang at a meeting with the city's People's Committee on July 1.
Under the plan, Viet Nam will convert all transmission infrastructures from analogue to digital by 2020. The committee has also asked the city to shut down the TV channels that do not cover politics and social news. Following this, Da Nang Radio and Television's DRT1, Vietnam Television's VTV6 and VTV Da Nang have been closed down since July 1.
VTV6 has been given a temporary licence for analogue broadcasting on the condition that its signals will be shut down when the digitalisation plan is carried out. Meanwhile, local DRT1 channel will be replaced by DRT2 channel.
"Shutting down inessential channels will stimulate the transition to digital terrestrial television. This is also a pilot procedure to consider the effectiveness of the plan and take the experience for implementing the conversion in other areas," Thang said.
Although the digitalisation plan is being carried out in Da Nang, the infrastructure required for the transition has not been completed and people have not received any support in purchasing digital receivers. In addition, the construction of transmission stations in the city's Hoa Son and Hoa Bac Districts remain unfinished.
In view of this situation, the People's Committee on June 24 sent a document to the ministry, asking them to adjust the deadline for turning off channels' signals. As mentioned in the document, Da Nang has shut down DRT1 channel from July 1 and VTV Da Nang and VTV6 along with other channels will stop broadcasting from September 30.
However, the ministry did not approve its proposal in a response sent on June 30. Therefore, at 6am on July 1, VTV and DRT locked the three channels as scheduled in the digitalisation plan.
At the meeting, People's Committee vice chairman Dang Viet Dung said that of the three channels, VTV Da Nang has been affected most because it had lots of viewers. He also said that the immediate shutdown will affect local people who live in poverty. He asked the ministry to release a circular to instruct the city's authorities to provide financial support for people to purchase digital TV receivers.
According to the Deputy Minister, his ministry has sent a document to the Ministry of Finance, seeking its approval for providing support for the poor and the nearly poor in Da Nang. If the proposal is approved, the support is expected to be implemented before August 30.
Thang said that the ministry will only support households that have not had any digital TV receiver and integrated digital TV set and that the city should soon send a list of such households to the ministry.
Da Nang is one of the five cities implementing the transition in the first phase; the other four are Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, and Can Tho./.