Malaysia is switching to digital TV completely by the end of this month. As part of the switchover phase, the central and southern region of Peninsular Malaysia has just completed its transition from analogue to digital TV on 1st October 2019.
The move will affect all free-to-air TV such as RTM channels TV1 and TV2, as well as Media Prima channels TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9.
Higher image and audio quality with Digital TV
With Digital TV, viewers can enjoy better image and audio quality compared to traditional analogue signals. The platform also offers interactive services and electronic program guide which isn’t available with analogue TV transmission. With the switchover, users will need to switch to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) by getting a DVB-T2 decoder box and a supported UHF antenna. For those using newer LCD TVs with IDTV (Integrated Digital Television), you can set it up immediately by tuning digital channels on your TV.
At there moment, there are a total of 14 channels which include RTM, TV3, CJ Wow Shop, NTV7, 8TV, TV9, Al-Hijrah, Bernama News Channel and 6 digital radio stations. There’s no subscription fee and you don’t need internet connectivity unless you’re accessing the optional interactive TV service.
Once you’ve completed the setup, you can watch the channels like any other free-to-air TV channel. It works on older TVs including old CRT units as the decoder also supports the typical yellow, red and white RCA connectors.
There are currently 6 HD channels that push 1080i resolution and this includes RTM HD Sports. According to MYTV, the viewing experience for HD channels on Digital TV is superior to other broadcasting service providers in the country due to its compression technology.
At the moment, the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service covers around 95% of the population via 44 transmission sites located throughout Malaysia. To reach viewers in remote areas, there’s also a Direct to Home (DTH) service that offers 100% coverage via AsiaSat 9. The DTH service will require a dish and this is provided free of charge by the government in selected areas.
Digital TV decoder box and UHF antenna required
If you need a decoder box, you can purchase a unit from Pensonic retailers or you can order online. MYTV is also giving out free decoder boxes for those who are eligible under the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) program. You can find out if you’re eligible here.
For those that require assistance with the setup, there’s a MYTV installer service that costs around RM50. If you need a new UHF antenna, it will cost you around RM180 inclusive of installation and decoder setup.
MYTV recommends that you get a UHF antenna that’s designed for Digital TV. Unlike Analogue TV, the UHF antenna must be pointed to the nearest transmission site with no obstruction and they recommend installing it at least 10 metres from the ground for optimal reception. They added that old UHF antennas with built-in booster may cause interference and it is recommended that you purchase a new unit like the one pictured above.
For residents in Northern and East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, the digital switchover will take place on 14th October 2019. East Malaysia will switchover on 31st October 2019.
For further assistance, you can contact MYTV at 1800-18-1088. You can also learn more at myfreeview.tv.