Skytree prime time broadcast test provokes thousands of complaints
Tokyo Skytree, which has been beset with problems regarding its function as a television broadcasting tower, experienced more problems when it was tested during prime time on Monday night.
Five channels, including NHK, were switched to the Skytree signal from 6:35 p.m. for 3 minutes during the evening news in an attempt to establish how many viewers are likely to be affected by the changeover to the Skytree broadcasting transmission.
Test broadcasts from Tokyo Skytree began in December, following which 21,040 complaints were lodged by a call center set up to deal with reception trouble. Of these cases, 6,194 reportedly required corrective measures, Fuji TV reported.
Following the test broadcast, NHK said it wasn’t able to estimate how many homes would be affected because public awareness of the test broadcasts was low.
This prompted the expansion of test broadcast time slots to raise awareness by running tests during peak viewer ratings windows. These were scheduled to include 6:35-6:40 p.m. on March 4, 5 and 7, and 8:35-8:40 a.m. on March 13-15.
However, there was reportedly some disagreement between the broadcasters over conducting tests during prime viewing hours. The six major TV broadcasters involved in the tests estimate that about 160,000 of the 15 million households and businesses set to receive TV broadcast signals from the Skytree will experience reception problems.
In Monday’s test, 3,930 complaints were received, of which 1,719 required corrective action, Fuji reported.
The unexpectedly large number of signal problems last year prompted broadcasters to push back the switchover from the originally planned schedule of “early 2013” to May. The cost of resolving reception problems is estimated at around 10 billion yen.