Parliament gets final dates for digital TV

South Africa DTT process

Digital TV set top box makers get timing...

set top box (indian)

set top box (indian)

Parliament has been told that the new date for a switch over, or “migration”, to digital TV will happen by the middle of 2015 – meaning that there is now extra time provided to start the manufacture of the necessary set-top boxes to enable households to receive the digital signal on analogue TV sets.     New telecommunications and postal services minister, Dr Siyabonga Cwele, was addressing the joint committee on communications, telecommunications and postal services on their joint budget vote.

Encryption argument settled

Minister Cwele told parliamentarians that the problematic area of the digital signal encryption had now been resolved after Parliament had approved the new Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) policy, allowing broadcasters to decide for themselves whether they want to use the encryption process or not.

He commented that the use of set top box (STB) controls for the encryption had caused major disagreements between MultiChoice and e-TV but this had been finally resolved by the previous minister communications, Yunus  Carrim, who suggested that  government subsidised STBs, with poorer households in mind, would only make more use of control mechanisms, hence the new BDM policy.

Cwele said the launch of digital TV in South Africa had overcome many problems and that the final BDM policy, as agreed, would now be officially published by the end of July, thus giving the go-ahead for the process to start and the manufacture of STBs to commence.   A new switch-on date is to be announced within three months, he said.

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