China Adopts DVB-C DTV Standard - Analog TV Broadcasting To End by 2010

China has decided to use the DVB-C standard for digital cable TV until a Chinese standard under development is complete. An article, China Decides Digital TV Broadcasting Standard in the Chinese People's Daily said, "Ownership of domestic standards is regarded as critical." To emphasize this, the article pointed out the if the US$30-$40 royalty per TV set South Korean's were paying to use the ATSC standard were applied to China's 100 million cable television users, "the Chinese people could face a royalty bill of of more than 30 billion Yuan (US$3.6 billion)."

The Chinese standard will be compatible with the DVB-C format and "will have interactive functions, better support for data services and will be easier to use than DVB-C", according to Wang Kuang, general manager of Hangzhou Science and Technology Co. Ltd. He said the new standard would be ready this year.

Zhang Haitao, vice-minister of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), explaining why China cannot wait for its domestic standard to be completed before beginning digital broadcasting, said, "Time is pressing and the task is demanding, so we should accelerate the pace of change." Thirty cities will receive the trial DTV broadcasts.

Zhang estimated that the cost to switch to digital broadcasting would be up to 1 trillion Yuan (US$120 billion). This includes the cost of upgrading broadcast facilities and for the purchase of DTV sets. The switch is expected to create 500,000 jobs in China.

The article said analog broadcasting in China would stop by 2010. China is still working on its terrestrial DTV standard.