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Three barriers hinder TV digitalization program

VietNamNet Bridge - The DVB-T2 set top box (STB) has a 35 percent import tariff. The STB market is chaotic with counterfeit goods and the broadcasting wave quality remains poor.
VietNamNet Bridge - The DVB-T2 set top box (STB) has a 35 percent import tariff. The STB market is chaotic with counterfeit goods and the broadcasting wave quality remains poor.

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The analog TV waves will cease in 40 days in four large cities under a TV digitalization program.

Analysts have warned that the demand for DVB-T2 would soar after June 15, 2016 as people rush to buy STB as digital TV takes over. 

It is expected that 1 million DVB-T2s would be needed in the first month after analog TV broadcasting stops.

Meanwhile,  STBs with no internet connection and interaction with users such as DVB-T2 now have to pay a high import tariff of 35 percent as stipulated in a General Department of Customs’ (GDC) document released on April 7, 2016.

Under GDC’s decision, only the STB which allows internet connection and interaction with users such as IPTV STB or Android TV Box can enjoy the tax exemption.

The analog TV waves will cease in 40 days in four large cities under a TV digitalization program.

Importers fear that GDC will impose a high import tariff on new import consignments as well as consignments already sold. 

The high import tariff of 35 percent on DVB-T2 is expected to raise prices by 30-35 percent. 

A report shows that imports account for up to 70 percent of the STBs registered at the Telecommunication Agency. This means that people would have to pay VND100,000-200,000 more on every DVB-T2.

Meanwhile, the chaotic DVB-T2 market with many counterfeit and smuggled goods has confused consumers. 

Three weeks ago, an ad about a kind of antenna capable of receiving satellite TV signals was posted on Facebook. The antenna was sold at a high price of VND700,000. However, in fact, the antenna did not have the advertised features.

Some analysts said that the antenna, with its limited features, was valued at only VND50,000. Le Viet, the administrator of DVB-T2 Forum, said that the advertised product is just a normal antenna for terrestrial TV.

Digital TV has been broadcast on a trial basis in some large cities. However, people do not feel satisfied about the TV signals.

People in the southern provinces of Long An and Tien Giang have complained on DVB-T2 Forum that the TV waves are very weak and the signals cannot be received. 

The erratic TV signals have occurred since March 15, 2016 when SDTV began broadcasting at the Long An transceiver station.

In the north, people also complained about broadcast quality. TV viewers in the suburbs of Hanoi said they could not receive VTC signals.


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