Shanghai has started to trial a wireless high-definition (HD) television service, the second city in China to adopt it after Beijing, industry officials said Monday.
The free services consist of one HD channel and 17 standard definition (SD) local channels with DVD image quality. Consumers are required to purchase an all-in-one TV or set-top box and antenna to receive and decode the channels, said Wang Changsong, secretary general of the Shanghai Information Household Appliance Industry Association.
The content of HD channel, which has an image quality four times higher than DVD, is provided by CCTV.
It broadcasts the European Cup and is expected to broadcast Olympic events. The 17 SD channels are operated by the Shanghai Media Group, covering news, finance and sports channels.
"Sports and big events will be HD TV services' major attractions for Chinese users, especially the Beijing Olympics content," Wang said. "The popularity of big-screen LCD TVs in China will boost the demand."
Consumers, however, have to pay a considerable price to enjoy the services.
Sony, SVA and Toshiba have launched the all-in-one TVs which integrate receiving and decoding processors but each model costs 2,000 yuan (US$285) more than the normal TV. The independent set-top box costs 1,200 to 2,000 yuan, said Guan Yunfeng, Shanghai High Definition Digital Technology Industrial Co's chip designer.