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China's Digital TV Industry to Boom

The newly announced terrestrial digital TV standard will help develop digital TV into a 500-billion-yuan (US$62.5 billion) business in China by 2015, as opposed to the 40 billion yuan it earned in 2002.

The China Digital TV Industry Association reckons China will have 230 million digital TV users in five years, with a yearly increase of 70 percent.

TV set manufacturers believe that the 2008 Beijing Olympics is another great opportunity for the industry to increase market penetration.

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 August 30 and will be the mandatory standard for Chinese broadcasters from August 1, 2007. In addition, set manufacturers will be able to start mass-producing digital TV sets from that date.

Digital TV offers sharper pictures and better sound. Its compressed signals also use narrower segments of broadcast spectrum, allowing for more channel options.

Terrestrial digital television will replace the existing analog system used by most Chinese consumers today.

(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2006)

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