China: Senior Official Promotes DTV for All Chinese

The practice in Shenzhen, China, of making digital cable widely available should "serve as a model for the nation," according to a senior official of the Communist Party of China.

According to the official Chinese News Agency, Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee said Shenzhen should provide technical service and training "to help other regions implement the use of digital television," including HD and other DTV possibilities.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television this month also underscored that China is working hard to switch from analog to digital cable following a successful three-year pilot program in 49 urban areas. The nation's broadcast industry plans to cover all aspects of the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing in SD and HD, and has earmarked 2015 as the target date to provide all citizens access to DTV services.

According to official government statistics, China had 2,548 radio-TV stations, 126 million cable TV subscribers and 900 million TV viewers -- which means about 400 million do not have TV among 1.3 billion. Although China boasts an impressive and rapidly growing number of modern metro areas, much of its rural population remains decades behind in technology and other services.