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Samoa will join the rest of the world with the launch Tuesday of its first official transmission to digitise television as part of the Digital Terrestrial Television Project which started in 2018.
The project had a setback since 2013 following a number of consultations, surveys, field assessments and approval from Samoan Government to implement it.
Broadcasting service using television was officially recognised in early 1990 and this year marks 20 years; a just in time change as part of Government strategies to promote digital.
Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi reminisced how the first live televised match between the Manu Samoa and Wales back then, where Manu Samoa caused a huge upset to the 1991 Rugby World Cup by beating one of the six nations team and made its first entrance to the Quarter Finals. It provided positive energy to the village young men by promoting their levels of confidence, which players from Samoa can compete at such international level.
“Today, is a very special day worth celebrating. In 2013 Cabinet approved the change from analogue to digital as it was a positive step for social and economic development, a proof that Samoa is keeping up with the times. The Office of the Regulator as the implementing agency had faced many challenges in ensuring that this vision for our Digital TV will be achieved.
“The Digital TV Project expects to have full coverage for the country by 2020. The first phase that is launched this evening will cover 70% of our viewers. The second phase is due to complete in late November 2019 and the last phase is to be completed early 2020.
“Digital TV will provide work opportunities for our radio engineers, marketing, programmers and many more. This will lift the level of skills for our people.
“I commend the Office of the Regulator for their hard work as well as SDCL and each TV Station in the respective parts they will play in making this project a reality,” said PM Tuilaepa.
Samoa is now Digital TV ready and ready to level up.
The project will lift the broadcasting industry by promoting coverage and providing quality transmission in terms of signal strength. Thus, settings were customised to Samoa catering for bad weather conditions. This is made possible with the use of bad weather data collected from March-April 2019. There will be 8 channels of which all 8 are Free to Air services and will use this network to access all its target audience. It also means that the level of competition is expected to foster quality programs and at appropriate costs.
The Digital TV launch will officiate the 70% coverage for Phase 1, 90% for Phase 2 to be completed in November 2019 and the final Phase to cover 100% in early 2020. The event will be held in front of the FMFMII Government Building. Those invited include Government senior members, Foreign Dignitaries and Business community.
SOURCE: SAMOA GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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