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Digital TV era now with Okinawa broadcasting

Date Posted: 2007-01-08

The days of analogue television are history for most Okinawa viewers, replaced by high technology digital signals.

The digital system became effective across the Prefecture in December, except for more isolated locations on outer islands or the northern part of Okinawa. The rapidly changing information and communication industry is pleased with the transition, noting that UHF television antennas are available for those who canít receive the digital broadcasts.

Digital television signals are clear, with very limited noise getting through. Industry officials praise the ease on eyes afforded by the new television screens, and note the increased amount of data available through digital, including weather reports, news events and schedules, and real time information. With connections to telephone lines, viewers have options to participate in quiz shows and surveys.

The new technology has spawned a burgeoning market for flat screen televisions, with the most popular being 37Ē. Prices are still a big high, but industry leaders predict the prices will begin falling soon. A flat screen TV now runs •100,000-200,000 ($870-1,660). The drawback to the new digital is a need to purchase special video recorders at a cost of •80,000 ($695). Standard DVD recorders and video record systems donít work with the new digital system. Stores are offering sales that link the new digital televisions and the new video recorders.

The new televisions are popular. A Naha City store reports more than 300 flat screen televisions sold in a single month, and demand increasing for more inventory.

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