Electronics manufacturers from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan all have stated that they are ready to market television products that receive digital TV signals in accordance with the new DVB-T2/MPEG4 standard, according to the English language news website VietNamNet Bridge.

Starting April 1, all TV products to be made in Vietnam, or imported to Vietnam, must meet the new technology standard. TV sets with 32-inch or larger screens, using the screen technologies of LCD, PDP, LED or OLED will have to be integrated with the feature allowing them to receive digital TV signals in accordance with the DVB-T2/MPEG4 standard.

From April 1, 2015, the standard will be mandated for TV sets with smaller (under 32 inch) screens as well.

According to the Steering Committee on the TV digitalisation programme implementation, RoK and Japanese manufacturers all have submitted reports on their plans to make TV sets which can meet the standards set by the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC).

Japanese manufacturers Panasonic and Sharp have reportedly gotten ahead of the crowd. They began marketing some DVB-T2/MPEG4-standard TV models in late 2013.

More recently, on March 18, LG Electronic Vietnam announced that it is strictly following the state’s TV digitalisation plan. This means that from April 1, all TV sets with 32-inch or larger screens to be made in Vietnam or imported to Vietnam will meet the MIC’s standards.

A representative of LG Vietnam said some 30 TV models with LED screen technology will be marketed in 2014 with the DVB-T2 standard. The electronics manufacturer also said that it would introduce some low-cost 32-inch TV models priced at about 6 million VND, which will target the rural market.

LG also emphasised that switch from analog to digital in would be a smooth transition for them, and would create no difficulties for LG’s production and distribution plans. In fact, LG began manufacturing digital TVs compliant with the DVB-T standard in 2009, which makes the shift to products meeting the DVB-T2 standard fairly straightforward. DVB-T is an older standard which DVB-T2 builds upon. As the production costs for DVB-T2 integrated TVs remain unchanged from those of the earlier models, LG has no plans to raise the selling prices.

Other electronics manufacturers, including Samsung, TCL and Toshiba, have also reported on their plans to launch new TV models in the upcoming days. Samsung will market some 23 models, TCL 12 models, Sharp 5, while Toshiba will offer 3 and Panasonic 12.

All told, that means 86 DVB-T2/MPEG4-standard TV models will be available on the market after April 1.

There are some 22 million households with TVs nationwide, including 5 million using pay-TV services. About 3.5 million households are using set top boxes based on the older DVB-T standard, while 12.5 million households watch analog TV with antennas.

With the implementation of the TV digitalisation programme, the 3.5 million households using DVB-T set top boxes will have to shift to higher technology devices to be able to receive TV signals in accordance with the DVB-T2 standard.

In addition, the 12.5 million households relying on analog TV will have no choice but to buy new set top boxes. As such, the upcoming demand for set top boxes is expected to be very high.-VNA