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Televisions to advertise digital compatible logo
Effective May 1, all televisions sold in Viet Nam must bear the "Digital Compatible" logo in order to help buyers recognise the standards and authorities to better control the market.
Moreover, from April 1, all televisions manufactured and sold in Viet Nam must be equipped with a digital compatible device (set top box), according to a recent announcement by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC).
The move follows a decision by the government, which last year approved a nationwide analogue to digital migration plan, which will see the country's television stations broadcasting all their content in digital format by 2020.
However, local TV producers and importers could still sell their remaining stocked inventory of analogue televisions, according to MIC.
"While all televisions manufactured after April 1 must be equipped with a digital compatible device, but we have allowed television manufacturers to sell their remaining inventory of analogue televisions," stated Nguyen Hong Tuan, the vice head of the policy department, MIC's Authority of Radio Frequency Management unit.
Tuan elaborated that digitalisation would be carried out in four phases, covering different groups of provinces and cities.
The first phase would be carried out in Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, and Can Tho; the second phase in 26 provinces with a deadline of December 31, 2016; the third phase in 18 more provinces; and the last phase in remote provinces of the north and central region.
According to MIC, besides boosting the quality of television signals, the digitalisation scheme also aims to gradually expand digital terrestrial television coverage to serve the economic development, culture, society, and offer a variety of high-quality TV services (such as HDTV, 3DTV).
According to the master plan, by 2015, 80 per cent of households with television sets across the country will be able to view digital television via different methods, and digital terrestrial TV will be accessible to 60 per cent of the population.
By 2020, 100 per cent of the households with television sets across the country will be able to view digital television by different methods, and digital terrestrial television coverage will be accessible by up to 80 per cent of the population.
Under the scheme approved by the Prime Minister, the DVB-T2 terrestrial digital TV standard was selected.
During the transition period until 2020, households will still have access to digital TV through their existing sets using set-top decoder boxes, which they will have to purchase.
The State will help about 2 million poor families to buy these boxes, the budget for which will come from the telecommunication public-interest fund.
The majority of television manufacturers in Viet Nam have voiced their support to the government digitalisation scheme.
While most Japanese and Korean electronics manufacturers in Viet Nam had submitted their production plan to the MIC, some manufacturers, such as Panasonic and Sharp, have already started manufacturing digital televisions by the end of 2013.
LG Electronics has claimed that all its television units manufactured before April 4 were already compatible with digital standards and were mostly LED televisions.
The Korean electronics giant reported that they would not hike the prices of digital televisions as the production costs are the same as that of analogue televisions.
Other popular manufacturers, such as Samsung, TCL, and Toshiba, announced that they had already started manufacturing digital televisions.