Category Archives: MediaCorp

All 7 MediaCorp FTA Channels in Digital

mediacorp-logoAccording to MediaCorp owned ChannelNews Asia, on Monday December 16th 2013, all seven free-to-air TV channels are now available in digital (DVB-T2 format). Additionally, four out of the seven channels are now being broadcast in High Definition (HD) (Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria and Vasantham) while the remaining three (Channel NewsAsia, Channel U and okto) will be upgraded to HD by 2016.

In a statement on Monday, MediaCorp said:

Residents in Bukit Batok are the first in Singapore to receive these channels as the estate is now covered by the new digital broadcast infrastructure. Over the next two to three years, coverage will be expanded progressively to enable all residential homes to receive digital TV signals — Jurong East and Ang Mo Kio are next, and are expected to be ready to receive digital TV early next year.

MediaCorp Deputy CEO Chang Long Jong said: “Besides better picture and sound quality, digital TV allows MediaCorp to consider rolling out other value-add services and features for the discerning audiences of today such as closed captions and multi-language subtitles.”

“With digital TV, MediaCorp will also be able to offer time-shifted services, which will provide an alternative choice for viewers who miss out on their favourite TV programmes due to work or lifestyle commitments. More information on these value-add services will be announced soon,” Mr Chang added.

The article went on to say:

To get digital TV, non pay-TV viewers will need to buy a digital set-top box and an antenna for their existing TV set. The two items cost S$129 in total — only one model each is available on the market for now.

Pay-TV subscribers are already able to watch digital TV, and do not need to change their set-ups.

The public can continue to receive free-to-air TV channels in analogue broadcast as existing analogue TV signals will continue to be broadcast alongside the digital TV signals for at least another two years.

Full story here:

Here is a rollout-map for when DVB-T2 can be expected in each location throughout Singapore:

Singapore Digital Television – FAQ

logo_mediacorpWhat you should know about Mediacorp’s transition to digital television (DVB-T2) television standard.

DVB-T2 stands for Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial, and is the new standard for broadcasting. DVB-T2 offers high efficiency, flexibility, and frees up valuable terrestrial spectrum for delivery of additional audio, video and data services.

Mediacorp published a well documented FAQ concerning what SIngaporean FTA Television consumers should know about the transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting. Here is a summary.

  • WHY?

Going digital will allow the government to  free up frequency spectrum which can be used for new services like mobile, wireless broadband and potentially more TV services and channels.

  • WHEN?

December 2013

  1. Better quality pictures (e.g High Definition TV and even 3 Dimensional TV)
  2. Superior sound (e.g. surround sound)
  3. Electronic programme guides where you can find out more information about the TV programmes

No,  while all 7 MediaCorp channels will be broadcast in digital this December 2013, only 4 channels will be available in HD also. Those channels are: Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria and Vasantham. The remaining 3:  Channel NewsAsia, Channel U and okto, will be upgraded to HD in a few years’.


Not immediately. Existing analogue TV signals will continue to be broadcast alongside the digital TV signals for at least another two years. This will give you enough time to migrate to a digital TV.

More information at Mediacorp.

Television Turns 50 in Singapore



This year marks the 50th anniversary of television in Singapore. Indeed, it was 1963 when television was first introduced to Singapore, 6pm on Feb 15, 1963 to be exact. It has been quite a road travelled when you look back and see all of the changes that have transpired.

The current landscape for television in Singapore has been well summarized by Mr. Boon Chan of the Straight Times, stating:

According to Nielsen’s Media Index Report last year, free-to-air TV continues to have broad reach with most popular terrestrial channel Channel 8 reaching 62.3 per cent of the population, followed by Channel 5 with 54.2 per cent. In the pay-TV market, StarHub has about 532,000 subscribers, while SingTel has 404,000. The competition for attention is not just between pay and free-to-air TV. Mr Gui Kai Chong, an instructor at the National University of Singapore’s department of communications and new media, says: “TV now has to compete with new sources of entertainment and new forms of leisure, and that is a big challenge.”. He ticks off more families having cable TV subscriptions and more young people turning to the Internet and mobile devices and adds that “TV has a much harder time trying to attract and retain people’s attention”.

Singapore Television Milestones

1963 A pilot television service commenced on Jan 21.

Feb 15 marked the inaugural launch of Television Singapura at the Victoria Memorial Hall. Then Minister of Culture S. Rajaratnam gave an opening message at 6pm. The first programme was a 15-minute documentary called TV Looks At Singapore. It was followed by Cartoon Time featuring the magpies Heckle and Jeckle, News in English, Hancock’s Half-Hour with comedian Tony Hancock, and Rampaian Malaysia (Malaysian Mixture), a variety show that later became a staple on television. Transmission ended at around 7.40pm.

On April 3, President Yusof Ishak’s address was viewed by people in their homes for the very first time, marking the inception of regular television transmissions with Television Singapura. Regular broadcasts began, with four hours of English-language programmes on Channel 5.

1965 Singapore’s separation from Malaysia was marked by a teary and emotional announcement on Aug 9 by then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

1974 Public response was reportedly lukewarm to colour transmissions at first. It was only during the World Cup football season that more people started buying television sets in colour. Approximately 1,000 colour television sets costing more than $2 million were sold three days before the live finals on July 7 between Holland and Germany.

1982 The 50-minute long The Seletar Robbery was the first locally produced Chinese language TV drama.

1984 Singapore Broadcasting Corporation’s (SBC’s) first large-scale outdoor variety show was Singapore’s 25th National Day Parade.

Seminal series The Awakening, which made enduring stars out of Huang Wenyong and Xiang Yun , aired.

1988 Zoe Tay emerged triumphant in the first edition of the talent-scouting Star Search – and a star was born. Previously, there were Talentime singing competitions held, starting in the 1960s.

1990 Stereo audio was launched on all TV channels.

1992 On April 2, SBC launched the nation’s first subscription television channel, NewsVision, through its new subsidiary Singapore CableVision (SCV). The 24-hour news service showed mainly news from United States’ Cable News Network (CNN).

1994 First local English-language drama Masters Of The Sea aired and “I’ll crrrush you like a cockroach” went into the annals of TV’s unforgettable lines, albeit for the wrong reasons.

The first Star Awards were held and Li Nanxing and Chen Liping were named Best Actor and Best Actress.

1995 First English-language sitcom Under One Roof aired. It was exported to Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Canada and won the Best Comedy Programme or Series Award at the Asian Television Awards in 1996 and 1997.

Channel 5 and Channel 8 began broadcasting around the clock.

1997 Amali Thumali (Hustle And Bustle), Singapore’s first Tamil sitcom, made its debut on Prime 12.

Popular local serials, including Return Of The Condor Heroes starring Fann Wong and Christopher Lee, made their maiden appearances on Taiwanese cable TV via Television Corporation of Singapore International.

The Prime 12 Awards were the first to recognise talent in Malay and Indian television.

2000 Suria replaced Prime 12 as a dedicated channel for the Malay community, while Central replaced Premiere 12 with three distinctive programming belts catering to specific audiences: Kids Central, Vasantham Central and Arts Central.

2001 TVMobile was launched and made available on SBS Transit buses, at Suntec City’s Fountain Food Terrace and on Bintan Resort Ferries. It was scrapped on New Year’s Day 2010.

Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) MediaWorks was Singapore’s second broadcaster from May 2001 to January 2005.

2004 MediaCorp and SPH merged their mass-market television and free newspaper operations.

As a result of the merger, MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, a new jointly owned TV company, was created – with MediaCorp owning an 80 per cent stake and SPH holding the rest. MediaCorp took on the running of the new organisation, which would now comprise MediaCorp Studios and all the channels operated by both companies (Channel 5, Channel 8, Channel U, Suria, Arts Central, Kids Central and Vasantham Central).

2005 Asia’s first 3G mobile drama P.S. I Love You was launched.

2006 Subtitles were introduced for news bulletins on Channel 5, Channel 8 and Suria for the benefit of hearing- impaired viewers.

2007 HD5, the first high-definition TV channel, was launched.

SingTel’s mio TV was available from July 21.

2008 Vasantham Central was expanded to a full-fledged free-to-air channel, Vasantham. Another new channel, Okto, featuring Arts and Kids Central content, soon followed.

2009 The Ultimatum was the first Channel 8 drama to be fully filmed in high-definition. And viewers zoomed right in on the facial wrinkles on Zoe Tay.

Thanks to Mr. Boon Chan, media corespondant of Singapore Press holdings, for a well written nostalgic walk down the memory lane of television in Singapore.

Full Article:

Free To Air Television Channels in Singapore

Singapore, with it’s close proximity to Malaysia and Indonesia, can receive a wide array of Free To Air television channels. But in order to receive some of the Malaysia and Indonesia channels, you need to have an antenna positioned near the border. Here is a comprehensive list of all Free To Air television channels that can be received within Singapore, and the position of the transmission towers.

Channel Country Main Languages Operator Station Name Transmitter Location
3 Malaysia Malay Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) TV1 Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
5 SINGAPORE English MediaCorp TV Holdings Channel 5 Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
6 Indonesia Indonesian TVRI TVRI Jalan Palapa TVRI, Sekupang, Batam
8 SINGAPORE Chinese MediaCorp TV Holdings Channel 8 Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
10 Malaysia Chinese, English Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) TV2 Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
12 SINGAPORE Malay MediaCorp Suria Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
24 SINGAPORE Tamil MediaCorp Vasantham Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
25 Indonesia Indonesian PT Media Televisi Indonesia Metro TV Batam
26 Malaysia Chinese, English, Malay Sistem TV Malaysia Berhad TV3 Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
28 SINGAPORE Chinese Mediacorp TV Holdings Channel U Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
29 SINGAPORE Chinese Mediacorp TV Holdings TVB-T (Multiplex carries programming of Channel 5, Channel 8, Channel U and Channel NewsAsia) Single frequency network with at least four transmitter sites: Bedok, Bukit Batok, Senoko, Westin Stamford
30 SINGAPORE English MediaCorp okto Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
32 SINGAPORE English MediaCorp Channel NewsAsia Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
38 SINGAPORE English / Chinese / Malay MediaCorp HD5 (digital transmissions using 1080i50 MPEG-4 H.264 standard). Bukit Batok

01° 21′ 07″N, 103° 45′ 57″E
39 Indonesia Indonesian PT Semenanjung Televisi Batam STV Jalan Palapa 2, Sekupang, Batam

103° 57′ 12″E, 01° 07′ 12″N
41 Indonesia Indonesian PT Media Nusantara Citra TV MNC TV Jalan Ir. Sutami, Sekupang, Batam

103° 57′ 12″E, 01° 07′ 12″N
42 Malaysia Chinese, English, Malay Nat Seven sdn bhd ntv7 Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
43 Indonesia Indonesian PT Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia RCTI Batam

103° 56′ 03″E, 01° 07′ 45″N
44 Malaysia Chinese, English, Hindi, Malay, Tamil Sistem TV Malaysia Berhad tv9 Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
45 Indonesia Indonesian PT Televisi Tranformasi Indonesia Trans TV Jalan Palapa 2, Sekupang, Batam

103° 57′ 12″E, 01° 07′ 12″N
46 Malaysia Chinese, English Metropolitan TV sdn bhd 8TV Gunung Pulai

01° 36′ 12″N, 103° 32′ 50″E
47 Indonesia Indonesian PT Surya Citra Televisi SCTV Batu Ampar, Batam

104° 00′ 48″E, 01° 10′ 44″N
49 Indonesia Indonesian PT Indosiar Visual Mandiri Indosiar Jalan Palapa TVRI, Sekupang, Batam
51 Indonesia Indonesian Riau Pos Group Batam TV Batam
53 Indonesia Indonesian PT Cakrawala Andalas Televisi ANteve Batam
55 Indonesia Indonesian Barelang TV Batam
57 Indonesia Indonesian PT Global Informasi Bermutu Global TV Batam
59 Indonesia Indonesian PT Duta Visual Nusantara Tivi Tujuh Trans 7 Batam
61 Indonesia Indonesian Urban TV (UTV) Batam

Internet DVR Legal in Singapore

On December 1st, 2010, Singapore has ruled Cloud DVR / Internet DVR / iDVR legal by the highest court on appeal in the case of versus Mediacorp, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a wholly owned Singapore government entity that broadcasts the 7 Free To Air Television channels for Singapore. Here is a copy of the court document for this verdict:

RecordTV Judgment – InternetDVR Ruled Legal by concerned-citizen

MediaCorp Toggle to use Tvinci OTT Platform

tvinci_hMediaCorp partners with Israel-based “Over-the-Top” (OTT) platform solution provider Tvinci to power Toggle, it’s newly released television platform. Tvinci says the following concerning the integration deal:

“Toggle provides rights protected content across iOS, Android and Windows devices using Tvinci’s multi-DRM capabilities: supporting Microsoft PlayReady and Google’s Widevine DRM simultaneously, depending on the device. Tvinci also allows Toggle users to rate, share and interact around TV shows, with Twitter and Facebook integrated into the service from the backend level to the interface.”

Tvinci CEO Ofer Shayo sheds more light by offering the following:

“The amount of content consumed via connected devices is increasing steadily every month. Leading operators and media companies such as MediaCorp understand the need to introduce an OTT offering in order to meet viewers’ need to access content on any of their devices, whilst also enjoying an immersive social experience.”

Philip Koh, MediaCorp’s Managing director over the convergency media division commented that:

“Today’s viewer is a sophisticated one, expecting to access their favourite content selections without fuss. Toggle offers this experience by allowing you to choose the content you want, plus where and how you want to consume it. This means Toggle’s content goes where you go, allowing you to switch from watching on your PC to your mobile phone when you leave home. And with the wide range of content offered, from different channels and movies to original productions, viewers will have a lot to keep them toggling.”

Full story at TheNextWeb and APB-News.