SINGAPORE : Retailers are being trained on how to educate consumers for the digital switchover.
The Media Development Authority (MDA) will work closely with broadcaster MediaCorp, as well as major manufacturers and electronics stores on this.
In anticipation of the switchover, MDA held workshops for sales staff so they would be able to provide accurate information to consumers about digital TV products and services.
Brochures will also be handed out at major electronic stores.
And MDA said it may also look at having a label, to show which receivers are "digital—friendly".
On top of this, there will be training workshops, organised by either government or manufacturers, for consumers to learn about the benefits of having a digital TV.
Arthur Huang, vice president for sales at LG Electronics Singapore, said: "Every technology has its introduction stage; the introduction stage, very importantly, has to be at an early time, we need to get consumers to understand, and probably also to be aware of what is the benefit of adapting (to) such TVs.
"And the benefit is actually very personal; I can really enhance all my entertainment needs at home, through the free—to—air programmes, so it takes time, but introducing or training is very important, to bring understanding to the market."
By 2013, viewers can expect to see new Integrated Digital TVs in stores. But some retailers Channel NewsAsia spoke with said they do not expect to see a spike in sales. That is because the shift from analogue to digital will take some time."
Joanne Ho, marketing consultant at AudioHouse, said: "I expect sales to be very gradual. They are going to run both the analogue channel and digital channel parallel till 2020. So people might take some time to switch over. (There) won’t be a mad rush."
Consumer reactions to the digital switchover are mixed.
One consumer said: "It is definitely good, digital can give us more information and at the same time, give us more choice, clearer image."
Another commented: "People who do not have these kind of accessories, it may be sort of a prejudice in not being able to watch their favourite channels. Not everybody can afford to change Tvs."
A third noted: "Digital TV, sharper images, better sound, hopefully better programming as well."
MediaCorp will announce details on its digital broadcasting plans towards the second half of next year.
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