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Singapore firm engaged to roll out digital TV

Samoa Digital Communications Limited (SDCL) has selected Singapore-registered company Techtel to assist in building and operating the country's first digital terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure.

The announcement of Techtel's engagement was made in a statement released recently by the firm, which describes itself as a "systems integrator in the fields of broadcasting and media technology, specializing in the television, media and telecommunications industries".

The project to bring digital television services to Upolu and Savai'i will wind up at the end of this year, added the statement. 

“This end-to-end solution will provide every household across Samoa’s two inhabited islands, Upolu and Savai'i with access to a variety of digital TV services.

“The new digital services will increase the volume of channels available for a large section of the population who up until recently received either no service or limited channels via the legacy analogue transmissions," the company said.

As a part of a greenfield project with zero legacy infrastructure, Techtel will install, integrate, commission and support the headend facility as well as 18 DVB-T2 transmission sites, which will deliver free-to-air digital TV services to 100% of the islands’ population,” said the statement.

The statement also indicated that the project will include a new headend that will represent a fully redundant broadcast facility for reliable distribution of digital TV signals which involves SD/HD ingestion, MPEG-4 compression and multiplexing using Appear TV and PSI/SI generation and EPG Insertion by Barrowa; complemented by Egatel transmission systems and Bridge Technologies’ Nomad for signal monitoring.

“Once processed, the TV signals will be transmitted to three other redundant remote transmission sites for broadcasting to local households and further downstream terrestrial transmission stations to reach geographically challenging areas. 

“A total of 18 locations across two islands will receive transmission signals required to make the Digital terrestrial television (DTT) services available to the entire population, enabled by Egatel’s DVB-T2 transmitter network consisting of four (1+1) transmitters for redundant and fourteen (1+0) transmitters for non-redundant sites. 

“Egatel’s transmitters cover the main TV and Radio frequency (RF) spectrums and are equipped with the latest technology in signal processing allowing Digital TV signal broadcasting with the highest quality and reliability. In addition, Techtel provided RF infrastructural solution including DTT antennas, filters, combiners and feeders for every site,” added the statement.

Techtel as the systems integrator will continuously provide professional services involving RF planning, coverage estimation, Multi Frequency Network (MFN) design, proof of concept and field measurements - this will be followed by years of ongoing maintenance and support once the new DTT network is in operation.

According to the CEO at Techtel, Mal Chandler, “At Techtel, over many years we have developed a comprehensive approach to broadcast systems integration that now provides us with a unique ability to tackle projects from live production through to live transmission.

“We are proud that because of this capability, Samoan inhabitants residing in remote areas will soon have the privilege of enjoying Digital Terrestrial Television - the service that can be accessed anywhere on the two islands with a set-top-box and an existing antenna,” he said.

SDCL chairman Tuiaopo Fa’amausili Andrew Ah Liki said he was thrilled to make television viewing accessible for every Samoan household. 

“We will continue to invest in this venture, adding that there will be opportunities for pay and free-to-air services, local and international channels and new content opportunities,” he added. 

Techtel is a leading independent broadcast technology systems specialist, providing dedicated hardware and software to the Asia Pacific broadcast and telecommunications industries. It has regional offices in Sydney and Singapore with branches in Auckland and Melbourne. 

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