Tokyo to See Early Digital TV Light

24 June 2004

More of Tokyo's TV audiences will be able to access digital services ahead of schedule, if all goes to plan for five private networks based in the city.

The networks plan a trial run of terrestrial digital TV programming this August, with an eventual aim of reaching 6.4 million homes in the area.

For the signal to be received loud and clear, Tokyo Tower antenna outputs will be upped from their current 15 watts (which reaches 120,000 homes) to 700 watts.

But the biggest challenge is preventing interference with digital broadcasts by analog transmissions aired over the same ultra high frequency band. The telecommunications ministry is prepared for this too and has begun altering broadcast frequencies, changing audience channel settings and adjusting the direction of antennas.

Such efficiency is likely to enable viewers to receive shows from the private networks, as distinct from NHK's digital TV programs, up to two months earlier than expected.

Data sourced from: The Asahi Shimbun (Japan); additional content by WARC staff