Zhang Haitao, vice-minister of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, told a cable TV executive management conference on Thursday that free set-top converter boxes will be offered to promote pay-TV and speed up the move to digital broadcasting. He said the move would connect millions of households to interactive government, education and shopping services, along with providing entertaining and informative programming.
The announcement of the free set-top boxes comes after the decision to allow satellite broadcasting of pay-TV programming from August 1. Mr Zhang said the administration had given its approval to four media groups, in addition to China Central Television (CCTV), to operate pay-TV networks.
The new pay-TV service will be officially rolled out on September 1. CCTV is offering a six-channel package for 58 yuan per month. Sun Yusheng, President of China Central Digital Television, noted that digital TV was the way of the future with the dawn of high-definition TV, exclusive content and interactivity, which would justify the extra cost. CCTV is planning to launch high-definition TV next year.
(Source: South China Morning Post)