Singapore TV has gone fully digital, and all free-to-air transmissions are now broadcast in DVB-T2 Television standard.
Enhance your Digital TV viewing experience with our tips below!
What is Digital TV?
"Digital" refers to the way in which TV channels are broadcast and received in your homes. The Analogue TV channels were switched off on 1 January 2019 and all Mediacorp TV channels are now broadcast in Digital only using the DVB-T2 television standard.
What is DVB-T2?
DVB-T2 stands for Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial. It is an extension of the television standard, DVB-T, created for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television. DVB-T2 is adopted as the industry standard in key European and Asian countries. It offers higher efficiency, robustness and flexibility, enabling efficient use of valuable terrestrial spectrum for the delivery of audio, video and data services to fixed, portable and mobile devices.
Why do I need to switch to Digital TV?
Switching to Digital TV is necessary as the world is moving away from Analogue to Digital broadcasting. Going Digital will allow the government to free up frequency spectrum which can be used for higher quality and faster mobile services that ultimately benefit consumers.
When do I have to switch to Digital TV?
All households in Singapore are encouraged to switch to Digital TV to continue watching free-to-air Mediacorp TV channels* as the Analogue TV signals have been switched off on 1 January 2019. All you need is to connect your TV set to:
- the right equipment to receive Digital TV, or
- a Pay TV service.
*Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham, CNA and Channel U.
What can I look forward to with Digital TV?
Digital TV offers an enhanced viewing experience with:
- Better quality pictures (e.g. High Definition TV and even 3-Dimensional TV)
- Superior sound (e.g. surround sound)
- Electronic programme guides with more information about your TV programmes
- Multi-language subtitles (where available)
- Option to record shows in high definition (depending on the TV or set-top box model)
- meWATCH Red Button* that allows quick access to LIVE TV and on-Demand programmes across all Mediacorp channels
- Digital TV reception in vehicles and mobile phones with the DVB-T2 function
*meWATCH Red Button is available on selected registered HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) sets. By pressing the red button on the remote control, you can enjoy access to on-demand content, watch LIVE TV programmes across all Mediacorp channels with the flexibility to “Start Over”, and stay updated on upcoming shows with the on-screen TV guide. For more information, please visit mewatch.sg/help.
Can I watch Digital TV in my vehicle?
Yes, you will need an in-vehicle receiver to receive the Digital TV channels broadcast under the DVB-T2 television standard. However, the Digital TV broadcasting network is optimised to deliver free-to-air channels to residential homes, so the quality of reception for in-vehicle receivers is not guaranteed.
How do I know if I need to switch to Digital TV?
First, check if your TV is connected to Singtel TV or StarHub TV. If so, you are already watching Digital TV and do not need to switch.
If not, you need to switch to Digital TV with the necessary equipment to receive Mediacorp channels on your TV. To find out the type of equipment you need, you will need to check if your TV is digital-ready, i.e. it has an in-built DVB-T2 digital tuner.
- If your TV is digital-ready, you will need an indoor UHF antenna only.
- If your TV is not digital-ready, you will need an indoor UHF antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top-box.
You can purchase and install the necessary equipment from retailers such as Best Denki, Courts, Gain City or Harvey Norman.
How do I know if my TV is digital-ready?
Your TV is digital-ready if It has a built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner. If you bought your TV before April 2013, it is likely to be not digital-ready. You may wish to check with your TV manufacturer to confirm if your TV has the built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner to receive free-to-air DTV channels.
What if I live in a condominium?
An indoor antenna is not required if you have an UHF antenna system which is able to receive Mediacorp Digital TV channels. You can connect your digital-ready TV or set-top box directly to the wall TV point which links to the antenna system. Please seek the advice of your condominium’s management office to confirm the capability of the existing antenna system.
What if I live in a landed property?
An indoor antenna is not required if you have an existing UHF rooftop antenna to receive Mediacorp Digital TV channels. You can connect your digital-ready TV or set-top box directly to the wall TV point which links to the rooftop antenna. You could seek the advice of an antenna contractor if you are not sure. Click here for the list of antenna contractors.
What if I own or manage a commercial building?
You may seek advice from a qualified antenna contractor to enable reception via your existing rooftop antenna and distribute the Digital TV signals to your tenants. Click here for the list of antenna contractors.
My TV is connected to a Pay TV service (i.e. Singtel TV or StarHub TV). What do I need to do?
You do not need to do anything as you are already watching Digital TV.
My TV is not connected to a Pay TV service but it is digital-ready. What do I need to do?
If your TV is digital-ready (DVB-T2 Integrated Digital TV or IDTV), it has a built-in DVB-T2 digital tuner, which means you will only need to purchase an indoor UHF antenna and connect it to your TV. To find out how to connect your digital-ready TV, please watch this below
My TV is not connected to a Pay TV service and it is not digital-ready. What do I need to do?
You need to purchase an indoor UHF antenna and a DVB-T2 digital set-top-box, and connect them to your TV to watch Digital TV. To find out how to connect your non-digital-ready TV, please watch this below
Where can I buy the equipment?
You can buy DTV equipment at any major electronics store such as Best Denki, Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman, etc.
How much does the equipment cost?
A DVB-T2 Integrated Digital TV or IDTV costs between $199 (24") to $13,999 (86")*, depending on the size and features of the TV model.
An indoor UHF antenna costs between $18.90 and $64*, while a DVB-T2 digital set-top box bundled with an indoor UHF antenna costs between $69 and $99*.
*All prices listed are approximate figures only, accurate as of 30 Nov 2020.
What type of antenna should I get? Should my antenna be active or passive?
You need an ultra-high frequency (UHF) antenna to receive the DVB-T2 signals which are broadcast in the UHF channels. The UHF antenna can be either Active or Passive. Modern antennae now come in compact forms such as a bar, frame or rod from various brands.
An active antenna is recommended over a passive antenna because the former improves TV reception. It has a built-in amplifier or powered signal booster and requires a power source. A passive antenna does not require a power source. It only needs to be plugged into your digital set-top box or IDTV.
The reception capabilities of TV antenna vary considerably, so do consult the retail staff or refer to the user manual for more details. You may consider getting one of the following active indoor antenna which are available at major electronics stores:
- Funke DSC250 Indoor Antenna
- Funke DSC550 Indoor Antenna
- Funke DSC560 Indoor Antenna
- Funke CITY 5.1 COMBO
- NewMedia Solutions Indoor Antenna 3M - ANT2-3A - White
- NewMedia Solutions Indoor Antenna 6M - ANT2-6A - White
- NewMedia Solutions Indoor Antenna 3M - ANT2-3AB – Black
- NewMedia Solutions CALLIE Premium Antenna - ANT3-3AB - Black
How do I set up an active antenna?
For set-top box users – No USB power inserter or AC adapter is required:
- Connect the active antenna to the digital set-top box
- Remember to switch on the antenna power via the digital set-top box's settings menu.
For IDTV users – A USB power inserter or AC adapter is required:
- Connect active antenna via the USB Power Inserter to the IDTV; or
- Connect active antenna to the IDTV and connect AC adapter from antenna to power socket.
Where should I place my antenna for best reception?
To find the best placement for your antenna to get the best signal reception possible, access the signal strength and quality bar from the menu feature on the IDTV or set-top box remote control. The readings for the signal strength and quality depend on manufacturers' implementation. Signal quality is the better indicator for good reception. Typically, a reading above 70% is sufficient for good reception. Refer to the user manual of your IDTV or set-top box for detailed instructions on how to access its signal bar display.
For good TV reception, try to position the indoor antenna:
- at a high spot; and
- near a window, and
- far away from other electronic equipment or cables that may interfere with the TV signals.
In most cases, positioning the antenna vertically should yield better reception. If you are unable to get good reception, try positioning the antenna horizontally. For directional antenna, position the antenna facing the appropriate window opening, away from an area where the signal may be blocked.
I want to only use a single remote for both the set-top box and my current TV set. How do I do that?
Pairing of remotes is only applicable for the DTV Starter Kit or NewMedia Solutions ETA set-top boxes only.
- Point the TV’s remote control sensor to the set-top box’s remote control sensor
- Press the SET button on the set-top box’s remote control for 3 sec (indicator will become solid red)
- Press the SOURCE button on the set-top box’s remote control (red indicator light will blink slowly)
- Press the SOURCE button on the TV’s remote control (red indicator light will blink quickly)
- Press the SET button on the set-top box’s remote control again to save the setting
- Repeat above steps for VOL+, VOL- and POWER buttons
I have connected my equipment to my TV, so why is there no image on my TV?
If you're using a Pay TV or DVB-T2 digital set-top box, please follow these steps:
- Switch on the TV and digital set-top box
- Select “HDMI” or “AV” using the “SOURCE” button on your TV remote control.
- You should be able to view Mediacorp Digital TV channels.
If there is no signal on the screen, please:
- consult your pay TV operators (i.e. Singtel or StarHub) if you are using a Pay TV set-top box
- perform a channel scan to receive the Mediacorp Digital TV channels if you are using a DVB-T2 digital set-top box
If you are using a digital-ready TV connected to an indoor antenna, please make sure you perform a channel scan to receive the Mediacorp Digital TV channels.
Alternatively, you may have misconnected your equipment or used the wrong equipment. Double-check your set-up with the following videos:
I have connected my antenna to my TV, but cannot seem to get good reception. What is wrong?
Below are some possible scenarios:
- Your TV may not be digital-ready. In this case, you will need to connect both a set-top box and an active indoor antenna to your TV. To connect your non-digital-ready TV, please watch this tutorial video.
- You may be using a passive antenna. Instead, try using an active antenna, which is recommended because it improves TV reception. It has a built-in amplifier or powered signal booster and requires a power source.
- You are using an active antenna but did not switch on the antenna power. Remember to connect the USB power inserter or AC adapter to a power source (for digital-ready TVs), or switch on the antenna power in the set-top box settings menu (for not digital-ready TVs).
- Your antenna might not be placed in the best position. You can try repositioning it
- near a window, or
- away from other electronic devices (e.g. CCTV, routers, Android devices, etc) or cables* that may interfere with the TV signals.
*Please note that HDMI connections can also cause interference with TV signals.
How do I connect a single antenna to multiple digital receivers?
Splitters can be used to connect a single antenna to multiple digital receivers (IDTV and/or digital set-top box). However, such connections reduce the amount of signal available to each receiver. If you are having problems, check whether reception is improved without the splitter. In some cases, an active splitter that includes an amplifier can solve the problem.
How do I perform tuning to get the Digital TV channels?
Tuning may take a few minutes and the time needed varies with each digital-ready TV and digital set-top box. Please refer to the user manual if you are unsure.
Here are some general guidelines:
- First, make sure your digital-ready TV or digital set-top box is connected to an antenna.
- Next, select the 'set up' or 'installation' option. If you are prompted for a password, try 0000 or 1234.
- For full tuning, select the auto-tuning option. This is sometimes called 'auto set-up' or 'first time installation'. Press 'OK' if your digital-ready TV or digital set-top box asks if you want to delete all your current channels. Digital TV channels will automatically be installed and you should receive all the Mediacorp free-to-air channels: Channel 5, Channel 8, Suria, Vasantham, CNA and Channel U.
- If you wish to perform a manual tuning instead of full tuning, you may enter the Channel or Frequency:
- Channel 29 or UHF 538MHz: Channel 5 and Suria
- Channel 31 or UHF 554MHz: Channel 8 and Vasantham
- Channel 33 or UHF 570MHz: CNA and Channel U
How do I record shows with Digital TV?
Pay TV subscribers who are recording via their respective Pay TV feed can continue to record shows as per normal.
If you are using a digital set-top box or IDTV, your equipment may have built-in digital recording functions, commonly known as PVR (Personal Video Recording). You can check with retail staff or refer to your equipment user manual for more information.
To record shows, you will need to connect a storage device (e.g. thumb drive or portable hard disk) to your set-top box or IDTV’s USB port. Select the programme you will like to record via the electronic programme guide, then press the “record” option/symbol on your digital set-top box or IDTV’s remote control to schedule the recording. If your TV does not have digital recording functions, you may wish to purchase a digital set-top box with built-in recording functions.
How do I watch my recorded shows?
You will need to playback the shows using the same set-top box or IDTV (with the same thumb drive or portable hard disk in place) that you have used for recording. Refer to your equipment user manual for instructions on playback of recorded shows.
How do I turn on multiple language subtitles?
Press the 'subtitle' option on your digital set-top box or IDTV’s remote control to select your preferred subtitle language. Most digital set-top boxes or IDTVs also allow you to pre-set your preferred primary and secondary subtitle languages. These are usually set in the system settings menus. Click here for the guide on enabling and selecting subtitles.
How do I check if a programme has subtitles?
The availability of subtitles is indicated in the electronic programme guide. Press the ‘Guide’ or ‘Info’ button to check for subtitling information.
Why am I not able to turn on dual subtitles (e.g. English and Mandarin subtitles)?
Analogue TV does not have the ability to allow the viewer to select their preferred subtitle languages. Thus, the subtitles are “burned-in” and you can see subtitles in dual languages.
Digital TV allows the viewers to select the subtitle languages. Thus, the subtitles are offered to allow the viewers to select their preferred language. A Digital TV receiver does not support decoding 2 or more subtitles streams and display them concurrently. Thus, you are not able to see both subtitles.
Who can I contact for reception of Digital TV?
Please email email@example.com or call us at 6333 3888 for technical queries. Our hotline operating hours are from 8:30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).