"The era of digital and high-definition TV (HDTV) has come," Premier Sean Chen said at a ceremony marking the transition of Taiwan's terrestrial television stations to exclusively digital TV broadcasting on June 30. "I would like to thank all of you for your efforts to make a new history for Taiwanese television."
"The next steps to providing Taiwanese citizens high-quality service are for the cable TV industry to fully digitize as soon as possible and for stations to upgrade the content on their channels," he continued.
Premier Chen noted that only a little more than a year ago, on April 11, 2011, the Executive Yuan approved a program to inaugurate fully digital television broadcasting in 2012. "Without the concerted efforts of former Minister without Portfolio Chang Jin-fu, local governments, public and private organizations, the National Communications Commission (NCC) and the now-defunct Government Information Office in planning, preparation, coordination and installation over the past year, achieving this goal would not have been possible," the premier noted.
Yet Premier Chen emphasized that two more steps must be taken before the era of high definition TV can truly begin: digitization of cable TV programs and enrichment of content. Chen said that with the digitization of terrestrial TV completed, viewers can access digital terrestrial channels by purchasing digital TV sets or installing set-top boxes. However, as most Taiwanese viewers watch terrestrial TV programs through cable systems, they will not be able to enjoy digital content until their cable service providers digitize their receiving end. "Though the digitization of cable television is a daunting task, it is an imperative for the government," Chen said.
The premier said all sectors are eagerly awaiting the enrichment of channel content. The Ministry of Culture and other relevant agencies will work to present the viewing public high-quality content for the high-definition channels, he pledged.
The NCC, the host of the event, stated that besides upgrading the quality and quantity of television programs available to viewers, the complete digitization of terrestrial TV will make the usage of spectrum resources more efficient and increase the country's international competitiveness in this area, bringing it on par with developed countries' standards. The NCC arranged for the premier to present recognition trophies to individuals and groups who contributed to the project as an expression of appreciation.