39,000 homes receive free set-top box for digital TV

More than half of the 160,000 low-income households eligible to receive a free set-top box and antenna to watch digital television (DTV) programmes with their existing television sets have been informed.

Of the 84,000 that have been informed, 39,000 - or 46 per cent - have been given the devices, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim yesterday in Parliament.

The adoption rate is "a good sign", as many homes may already be pay-TV subscribers and hence do not need a separate set-top box, or may have bought new TV sets that are DTV-ready, he added.

Dr Yaacob was giving Ms Sun Xueling (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) an update on the DTV Assistance Scheme, launched in September 2014. He said the Media Development Authority (MDA) is on track to notify the rest of the eligible households by early next year, when all housing estates will be DTV-ready.

Dr Yaacob also said the MDA plans to "step up publicity in the lead-up to the cessation of analogue broadcasting at end-2017, and to track and encourage early adoption by households". The MDA has also worked with voluntary welfare organisations and senior activity centres to inform the disabled and elderly, and help them make the change, he added.

  • 46%

    Percentage of notified low-income households that have been given free digital TV set-top boxes

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline '39,000 homes receive free set-top box for digital TV'. Print Edition | Subscribe