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Friday, February 17, 2017

Digital TV box in Malaysia

In Malaysia, digital TV is something we might have heard of and actually using right now in the form of Astro. Other options which are free for the general public are not so much advertised as it is still slow in progress. However, digital TV will replace analogue TV transmissions and we will need to have TVs with DVB-T2 digital tuners or a TV box.

Analogue switch-off

Analogue TV broadcasts would have been shut down in stages, due to complete by 2015 as per recommendation from ASEAN. The DTT migration plan was divided into three phases:[14]Phase I (2007–2015)
  • Analogue TV & DTT co-exist
  • Analogue TV shut down in stages
  • Vacate other primary services (radar and LMS)
Phase II (2016–2020)
  • No analogue TV service
  • Vacate DTT service using channels 56 and above
  • Vacate LMS in band 477 MHz to 478 MHz
Phase III (2020-)
  • 100% DTT service using channels 5 to 12 and 21 to 54
Television broadcasts in analogue are originally scheduled for 2017, but the transition will be completed after the full-out of the digital platform.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television_in_Malaysia)

As a new TV is too expensive, I bought a K2 DVB-T2 tuner box which cost about RM60 on Lazada.
It seems that digital TV tuner is capable of receiving HD transmission (if available) and have no grainy visuals when tuned properly. Remember, get the DVB-T2 box as there are also DVB-T boxes which are not usable in Malaysia now.





The description on the box states the specs and it seems that you can use the box as a media player and recorder as well.






Pretty basic stuff included, a TV box, a remote, an RCA cable, manual and adapter. You can connect your own HDMI cable for clearer visual and RCA for older TVs. Also, you need your own antenna and antenna cable.

 The box connected and on standby. I used a normal indoor TV antenna with booster and after some adjustments, managed to get 10 channels.









Above are some of the settings you can configure to get your DVB-T2 TV tuner box working. A simple note when tuning. After tuning for the first time, go to a channel and press info twice to see the signal strength and quality bars. To get uninterrupted service, adjust your antenna to get at least 70% for both and you are set to go.



The photo above is a sample from the tuner. Horrible photo quality but please bear with it for now

In its full glory it looks better than the SD Astro channels which use MPEG2. For the full resolution, it still depends on the TV station whether to broadcast in SD or HD.

In conclusion, the DVB-T2 Digital TV tuner box is a must have for those who want clear free to air TV, however, you have to tune it properly and make sure that you are not too far from the nearest transmitter. You can use your old TV antenna, indoor or out door and properly fix it to the direction of the nearest transmitter which varies.

For people who fall in the B40 category, they can get the DVB-T2 box from MYTV but for those not in that category who want to get the same box will need to fork about Rm200+. (if not mistaken)

As Digital TV in Malaysia is still in test mode, there would be a chance for maintenance that happen once in a while.

If you need more info, you can go to the lowyat forum here: https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1921291
and ask around if there is not clear information available on Google.

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