Thai viewers taking up ‘digi-Vouchers’

Thailand’s digital TV switch-over subsidy ‘voucher’ scheme was introduced a month ago to help low-paid viewers afford the switch to digital TV. In the month more than 1.2 million homes have redeemed their vouchers which can be used to help pay for a digital converter box, or help fund a new all-digital TV.

A total of 4.6 million vouchers have been issued, said Takorn Tantasit, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Adisak Limprungpatanakij, president of Nation Broadcasting Corporation, the operator of Nation TV, said he believed that the remaining households that have already obtained a coupon from the NBTC would soon use it either for a digital set-top box or a TV set with built-in digital tuner.  Some of them might wait and see if there are better offers or discount from the set-top-box dealers, as the coupon will remain valid for six months after they were issued, he added.

Starting next week the second phase of the voucher scheme will kick in with another 4 million homes qualifying in 21 of Thailand’s provinces. Phase 3 doesn’t start until March next year when the final batch of 5.4 million will be available and to coincide with the final regions to get digital TV.

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