Taiwan launches dedicated TV channel on the buses

TV screen on Taiwanese bus

On January 19, 2005, a new channel tailor-made for mobile reception was launched on the bus service in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Kaohsiung is only the third city in the world with a bus service equipped with DTT reception. The others are Singapore's TVMobile (in 2001) and Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Mobile TV (in 2002).

DIMO TV, standing for "Digital Mobile Television", broadcasts to 165 buses and six ships in the harbour area. This initiative is not only a field-test for DVB-T mobile reception, it also sets two records in the world television industry. Firstly, DIMO TV is the pioneer of public service broadcasting for commuters. It is designed as a noncommercial and advertising-free channel to inform, educate and entertain passengers on public vehicles. The schedule includes news and weather, traffic report, infotainment, edutainment, docutainment, travel and language teaching. All programs are subtitled, which avoids the need for loud sound inside the bus. Secondly, the channel was established through an open tender and 'beauty contest' scheme, and was chosen by a selective committee of the municipal government in the end of 2004. It benchmarked a review/decision-model for rolling out the digital broadcasting service on the public transportation system.

To cover the whole metropolitan area of Kaohsiung, PTS is responsible for building a main 5kw transmitter and a filler. Each bus is equipped with a DVB-T receiver and a 19 inch LCD screen, and has GPS positioning. This e-bus service is one of the strategies to bridge the digital divide between North and South Taiwan's communication infrastructures.

Hamilton Cheng  |  17.02.2005

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