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October 21, 2009

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City digital TV expands

AROUND 2.5 million Shanghai families will be able to enjoy TV shows with better image quality starting in 2011 when the city completes an upgrade of its cable network from analog to digital in the downtown.

Residents will then gain access to an improved version of the current 61 TV channels plus 15 new channels on the digital system and 20 radio channels, city government officials said this week as they updated the public on the 2.18 billion yuan (US$319.4 million) technological project.

"The analog network can no longer support the need for higher image quality programs and meet the increasing demands of our customers," said a customer service representative at the city cable TV operator, Oriental Cable Network Co.

Compared with analog, digital TV has better image quality, interactive functions like weather forecasts and video on demand and the capacity for up to 500 channels, six to eight times that of analog TV.

The upgrade is in line with a national improvement project that began in 2008.

The goal of the revamp is to replace the analog TV network by 2015 after the program expands to all areas of the country.

Shanghai's cable TV operator has already completed the transformation for 600,000 households.

About 200,000 homes will go digital by the end of this year in Xuhui, Putuo, Zhabei, Hongkou, Yangpu, Huangpu, Changning, Luwan and Jing'an districts and parts of Pudong New Area.


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