The newly-announced terrestrial digital TV standard will help make digital TV a 500 billion yuan (US$62.5 billion) business in China in 2015 as opposed to the paltry 40 billion yuan chalked up in 2002.
According to an estimate from the China digital TV industry association, there will be 230 million digital TV users in China in five years from now, with a yearly increase of 70 percent.
TV set manufacturers believe that the 2008 Beijing Olympics are a great chance for the industry, and will whet people's appetites for digital TV.
Three big TV set manufacturers released digital TV sets that meet the new standard as soon as it was launched. Other factories are following suit.
"Domestic and overseas TV set makers have both been waiting for the new standard for a long time. It will give the high-end TV set market a shot in the arm," Hong Chengshao, an engineer with one of the manufacturers, was quoted as saying.
The national terrestrial digital TV standard, code-named GB 20600-2006, was announced on Aug. 30 and will become mandatory for Chinese broadcasters on Aug. 1, 2007. At that date TV set manufacturers will be able to start mass producing digital TV sets.
Digital TV offers sharper pictures and better sound. Its compressed signals also use narrower segments of broadcast spectrum, allowing for more channels.
Terrestrial digital television will replace the existing analog system which most Chinese viewers use to watch the TV networks.
(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2006)