LCQ13: Reception of digital terrestrial television and analogue television signals
The following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, in the Legislative Council today (June 15):
I have recently received complaints from quite a number of members of the public that up till now many remote areas still cannot have clear reception of digital terrestrial television (DTT) signals and analogue television signals, causing great inconvenience to the residents of those areas. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the areas which up till now still cannot receive DTT signals; which areas the authorities received the most frequent complaints about not being able to have satisfactory DTT signal reception; the reasons why those areas cannot receive DTT signals or cannot have clear reception of such signals;
(b) of the areas which up till now still cannot receive analogue television signals; which areas the authorities received the most frequent complaints about not being able to have satisfactory analogue television signal reception; the reasons why those areas cannot receive analogue television signals or cannot have clear reception of such signals; and
(c) whether the authorities will take measures to address the problem that some areas cannot have clear reception of DTT or analogue television signals or cannot even receive such signals; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Similar to overseas practice, the construction of the DTT network in Hong Kong follows a phased programme which allows the DTT signals to be received throughout the territory by phases. Currently, with DTT signals transmitted from a total of 20 stations, the coverage has reached over 90% of the population across the 18 districts. The coverage will be further extended when nine more transmitting stations are launched by the end of this year. We aim at an ultimate DTT coverage that is at least on a par with that of the existing analogue television broadcasting.
Turning to the various parts of this question, my responses are as follows:
(a) and (b) Currently, areas where analogue television signals cannot be received or satisfactorily received include Lau Fau Shan, Sha Kong Tsuen, Lung Kwu Tan, Ta Shek Wu, Chuen Lung, Lin Ma Hang, Ta Ku Ling, some remote areas in Sai Kung and Lantau South, etc.
For areas where DTT signals cannot be received, they include, apart from the above-mentioned areas, certain areas within Shap Pat Heung and Tai Tong, Mui Wo, Pui O, Ying Pun, Lin Tong Mei, Sheung Ling Pei, Ha Ling Pei, Wong Ka Wai, Lung Tseng Tau, Sham Tseng and Pok Fu Lam Village, etc.
The reception of analogue television at buildings in some areas of Hong Kong may suffer from varying degrees of "snowing" or "ghosting" due to the nearby buildings and hilly terrain. Currently, areas where analogue television signals cannot be received or satisfactorily received are found mostly located in remote areas with sparse population. The reception of television signals is weaker in these areas mainly due to long distance from the analogue television transmitting station or signal blocking by the hilly terrain, resulting in television reception problem.
As regards the reception of DTT signals, we have not seen any major problem since DTT was launched at end-2007. Generally speaking, reasons for unsatisfactory reception of DTT signals mostly came from problems related to the in-building communal aerial systems. Secondly, television antennae were at times found to be erected at improper location on the building roof top or antenna pointed to an inappropriate direction. Others may be related to signal interference or DTT signals were found partially blocked by nearby buildings or hilly terrain. As the reason for unsatisfactory DTT signal reception may vary on a case-by-case basis, the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) will examine each individual case and follow up accordingly.
(c) To address the issue of areas where there is no or unsatisfactory reception of analogue television signals, we are working with OFTA to study with Asia Television Limited (ATV) and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) on how to improve television reception in these areas during our planning for the DTT network. This will include consideration of optimising the transmission parameters of the DTT stations in order to maximise the overall DTT coverage as far as possible. We will also examine with ATV and TVB any feasible and cost-effective solutions aiming for the improvement of television reception in these areas.
For areas where DTT signals are yet to be received, as described in the preamble of the reply above, ATV and TVB will further extend their DTT network coverage with nine more transmitting stations to be launched by the end of this year. The ultimate DTT coverage will be at least on a par with that of the existing analogue television broadcasting.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011