Akira Digital Setup Box HDVB-T2A1: Digital TV Era

The box with USB in the front to power antenna.
 [EXPERIENCE] As of 23 November 2016, the last residential estate in Singapore, Tampines East, is ready for indoor reception under the DVB-T2 television standard, commonly known as the Digital TV in Singapore. Our existing Analogue TV signal will run until end 2017.

And here are 3 things about the Akira Digital Setup Box that I bought from Fairprice Hypermart.

Setting Up the Akira Digital Setup Box

The Akira Digital Setup Box HDVB-T2A1 comes with a Digital Antenna in the package. According to the salesperson at Fairprice Hypermart, for residential units on the lower floor, requires a more powerful amplifier. He recommended Draco, but I decided to stick with Akira for its Singapore branding and its S$88 price point.   

Back of the box.
My plan is to setup the Akira Digital Setup Box to my 5 year old Panasonic Plasma TV. The setup box will run on HDMI to the TV and a line out to the digital Antenna. It took a while to get going because the key to the whole setup is the Digital Antenna.

Antenna is the key to the performance. Position it well if you are lower floors.
First, it needs to be as close to the window as possible. That is challenging with Akira because the connecting Antenna wire is only 1.5m long. Second, it will not work without USB connection apparently to give the antenna more power or that my antenna is faulty! Not to mention that I used the front USB port of the box for powering antenna while it is supposed to be used for USB memory devices for recording and playback!

Either way, I am convinced that lower residential units suffer a poor connection because my unit on the second floor. This also means I had to buy RCA cable extension (for antenna) and USB cable extension (for USB connection).

Digital Antenna right facing the window like a kid who is punished. 
Once the box is ready to work, the performance is decent. An occasional lag during rainy days aside it is largely OK. My other complain would be the font of the subtitles which not possible to customise but looks a tad too big.

As far as the box goes, nearly all digital boxes does the same job. Eletronic Program Guide to check the TV schedule and USB recording are essential value add function of a digital signal conversion.

Who are affected?

The switchover to digital broadcasting may or may not affect you depending on your existing TV setup and if you at all watch the national TV.

In short, all you need to know if that the government is changing TV signal from analogue to digital. They are giving you up to the end of 2017 to make the switch. The digital signal is ready now for you to switch if you want to.

Front shot of the digital antenna. The box will work with any DVB-T2 compatible antenna.
Pay-TV subscribers don't have to be bothered because Pay-Tv setup boxes are already delivering digital TV quality programs. Non-pay TV subscribers have to check if they are using a digital TV. With a digital TV, all you need is a Digital Antenna. Otherwise, you need both a Digital Setup box and the Digital Antenna.

To find out if your TV is a digital one, google your TV model and see if it is DVB-T2 compatible.

Link - "Mediacorp is going fully Digital."
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