Singapore to Assess HD Market

Singapore, one of the most modern and technologically advanced regions in Asia, will launch a six-month trial this month to gauge the local market for HD services, according to the New China News Agency.

A large sampling of HD programs reportedly will be transmitted to about 2,000 Singapore households via cable and terrestrial platforms. The news agency said Asian industry observers believe now is a good time for Singapore to introduce HD on a trial basis since broadcasters apparently are now ready with sufficient content.

Local residents don't seem to need much encouragement: Singaporeans in the capital city reportedly have already purchased 200,000 HD flat-panels. (Overall, the nation has about one million TV dwellings.)

Singapore's only cable operator, StarHub, plans to launch its HD services by the end of 2006, while a full ramp up of HD programming by the half-dozen terrestrial stations belonging to the city-state's major broadcaster, MediaCorp, will be decided at a later date.