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Hong Kong Broadcasters Begin Migration Simulcast Period

To prepare for a switchover to new transmitting frequencies from 1 December this year, six digital TV programme channels in Hong Kong have commenced a digital simulcast period until 30 November 2021.

The channels involved are Jade 81 of Television Broadcasts Limited, ViuTVsix 96 and ViuTV 99 of HK Television Entertainment Company Limited, and RTHK TV 31, RTHK TV 32 and RTHK TV 33 of Radio Television Hong Kong. The channels will be broadcast on both existing and new transmitting frequencies. Meanwhile, HK’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) has appealed to owners or property managers to reconfigure communal aerial systems in their buildings within this period.

“Public housing estates, private residential estates/buildings and commercial and industrial buildings generally use common antenna broadcast distribution systems or in-building coaxial cable distribution systems (collectively known as communal aerial systems) for TV reception. Depending on the design of individual systems, reconfiguration may be required for the reception of new transmitting frequencies. Owners or property managers should engage contractors as early as practicable to reconfigure their communal aerial systems within the digital simulcast period, and inform residents/users whether or not they need to rescan for TV programme channels on their digital terrestrial television (DTT) receivers for continued reception of the TV programme channels concerned,” a spokesman for OFCA said.

“For households using self-provided antennae, including residents of village houses, bungalows and old tenement buildings, they should be able to receive the existing digital TV programme channels as usual during the digital simulcast period and do not need to adjust their DTT receivers or antennae over this period. If these households cannot receive any of the above TV programme channels after 0.00am on 1 December 2021, they can rescan for TV programme channels on their DTT receivers for the continued reception of the TV programme channels concerned,” the spokesman continued.

The spokesman said that the channel numbers of all digital TV programme channels, including the abovementioned numbers 31, 32, 33, 81, 96 and 99, will remain unchanged. Members of the public do not need to replace their TV sets or DTT receivers.

OFCA has issued letters to building management offices, incorporated owners of buildings and communal aerial system contractors to notify them of the relevant details, and will further launch a series of publicity programmes to inform the public of the relevant arrangements and the preparatory work required. The publicity programmes cover TV and radio Announcements in the Public Interest as well as putting up posters and distributing flyers in public housing estates and private residential buildings/estates. OFCA will provide further information and assistance to households using self-provided antennae in the second half of this year.


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