Efforts to complete digitisation of television in Vietnam are meeting with difficulties, as the number of digital TV receivers serving the scheme is limited, the Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon Online (Sai Gon Economic Times Online) reported.

At present, DVB-T2 TV receivers from digital TV service providers such as Vietnam Television (VTV) and An Vien Television (AVG) have been developed in dribs and drabs.

The Authority of Radio Frequency Management (ARFM) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) confirmed that only a small number of businesses are involved in manufacturing digital TV receivers now.

The director of ARFM, Doan Quang Hoan, told the Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon that big firms want to manufacture made-in-Vietnam digital TV receivers themself to provide the domestic market, but they are still hesitant to compete against foreign-made DVB-T2 units imported into the country.

Some television experts reckon that large companies are waiting for the State to issue an invitation for bidding for the right to provide receivers in provinces and cities earmarked to make the switch from their existing analogue TV signals.

From now until the end of this year, the market is estimated to need about 1 million receivers to meet user demand.

According to ARFM deputy director Le Van Tuan, digital TV has covered almost all big cities, but less progress has been made in rural areas. He added that poor households have not received support on the process quickly enough, especially considering that the use of digital television is more difficult than the traditional analogue system.

The ministry has allocated 1.7 trillion VND (79.5 million USD) from its telecommunications fund for public interest services to assist poor and near-poor families in 50 localities in the conversion process.

In July this year, residents in central Da Nang city and neighbouring Quang Nam province will be assisted to buy digital TV receivers. MIC will also invite tenders for supplying receivers for people in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the northern city of Hai Phong and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. All will make the switch to digital by the end of this year.

Statistics from the ministry show that around 22.3 million households nationwide are using pay TV while 8 million are suing the old DVB-T digital standard. It is estimated that about 14.3 million families across the country will be in need of DVB-T2 receivers after the analogue signal is turned off in the coming years.-VNA