Digital terrestrial television is to be introduced in Hong Kong as early as the year 2000. It was proposed that a government-industry committee run technical trials for digital and high-definition television. Trials will start as soon as possible. Once the new system is introduced it will be decided when to drop the present analogue system. That will happen either five years after digital TV starts or when half of all households are using it, whichever comes first. The Government said digital TV provided improved sound and picture quality, overcoming 'snowy pictures' and the 'ghosting' problems of the present system. Sin Chung-kai, Democratic Party information technology policy spokesman, welcomed the move, but said the Government should not decide which standard to adopt or when to have high definition fully developed. 'We should allow the market and the industry to make the decision,' Mr Sin said. The Government said successful introduction would depend on when digital TV prices were low enough to attract buyers. The United States and Britain introduced digital TV this year and Japan will introduce it next year. Singapore began technical and programme tests in February.