Singapore: Trial HD to Launch Next Summer

Singapore, one of the most sophisticated technology markets in the world, will begin a trial service of HD programming by the mid-2006, according to the country's Media Development Authority. It will work with Singapore-based MediaCorp and other partners.

The HD trials are expected to cost $20-$30 million, according to published reports. MediaCorp said it plans to focus on three key areas, but especially content. A second priority is transmission, and determining the specific equipment and facilities that will be required to deliver first class services. The third issue, according to the media firm, will be distributing home receivers and educating the public on what it needs to know about the HD evolution.

Government officials and private industry, however, already are working to assure Singapore consumers they are not being compelled to replace their analog sets immediately. Singapore's HD plans of transition were first unveiled at the Asia Media Festival, which concluded in early December. The three-week Singapore exhibition also included presentation of the first full-length 3D animation film produced in the region, "Zodiac, The Race Begins."