Television in Samoa could be going digital by 2017.
That’s one of the predictions from a regionally backed workshop that is looking at implications of phasing out analog broadcast signal in the next three years.
Regulator Donnie De Freitas said “digital television is coming to Samoa”.
“Or rather,” he added “it’s here.”
He was referring to the mix of broadcast signals currently available in Samoa, with most still on free to- air analog signals, while Moana TV is an example of digital signals requiring decoders.
de Freitas said in the very near future the world will be turning off analog and turning on digital television.
“What the workshop proposes to do,” said the Regulator, “is to look at technical issues surrounding the digital transition.”
“Another issue put on the table is to consider a proposal to create a common platform, a digital platform which means less money for us because of less frequency,” he said.
“It is a common platform where they can share that platform and come into an arrangement on how to govern it and who’s responsible and who will be part of it.”
Does this mean the transition will be cheaper for the consumers? “Depending on how you approach it,” said de Freita.
“The T.V. sets are going to be expensive.”
“Initially for the consumer it’s going to be expensive and how much I can’t say, I don’t know the prices but as the process goes on, the prices of the (T.V.) sets will come down.”
It will take another three years for Samoa to go fully digital.
The Regulator said they are targeting 2017 as the year for digital because “it may be enough time to address all issues and (see if) government will support the process”.
“The era is to make it cheaper… it’s an ongoing discussion and 2017 is the date we initially flagged.”
APIA, (SAMOA OBSERVER)