Hong Kong is generally quick in embracing technology and trends. Yet the pace of development in some respects can be woefully slow. The government’s decision to finally pull the plug on analogue television broadcasting is a case in point. In an era when news and entertainment are just a few clicks away on smartphones and tablets, the announcement comes as little surprise. As we consign bulky TV sets and fishbone antennas to the museum and free up the spectrum for better use, there is also room for reflection on the development of the industry. The switch-off has been long overdue. Analogue TV was originally scheduled to go off air five years after digital broadcasting was launched in 2007. But it was put back twice because of the slower-than-expected pace of digitisation. Meanwhile, countries like Britain, Japan and Singapore have done so. Now that nine in 10 households have switched to digital TV, most viewers will be unaffected when the change takes effect on December 1 next year. Nevertheless, there are those who are still unprepared. An estimated 160,000 households will be eligible for subsidies from the Community Care Fund to buy a new TV set or a set-top box to receive digital signals. Those who are still holding on to old TV sets are likely to be less technology-savvy and well off and may therefore deserve assistance. With a digital TV costing as little as HK$1,000, the total cost should not be too much of a burden. Low earners to get subsidies for digital TV sets when analogue ends in 2020 The details of the subsidies remain unclear. We urge the authority to put in place a mechanism that makes application simple and abuse free. The old TV sets must be properly disposed of under a newly implemented recycling scheme for electrical and electronic waste. We trust the government will also make better use of the vacated spectrum to enhance existing and future mobile communication services. The additional capacity is expected to help pave the way for 5G development and improve coverage in overcrowded hotspots such as train stations. This is of vital importance to our aspiration of becoming a smart city. The past few decades have seen the golden era of TV entertainment. What follows the end of the analogue chapter is anything but clear. The government’s policy is no more than providing a regulatory framework for the industry, meaning individual broadcasters are left to compete and adapt to a fast-changing environment. The disappearance of ATV is made up by new players who are still struggling to establish a footing, while TVB is transforming into a cross-media entertainment provider. Sadly the public is still not much better off in terms of content quality and variety.