DVB-T2 chosen as South Africa's digital TV broadcasting standard

Rouxenator

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Valid points but take into account the following.

1) Yes - weather can break transmission but a lot of the international station are beamed to SA via satellite anyway so a thunder storm in Auckland park will kill it for everyone. Plus this rarely happens.
2) They launch new ones all the time and leasing capacity is cheaper than putting up transmitters all over SA on remote high sites.
3) No one uses return paths anyway so why bother with expensive hardware that enabled it.

In the end DVB-T is a lot more expensive than DVB-S, not only for the broadcaster but also for the end user.
Coverage on DVB-S is much better and my guess is a lot of people will just go with a cheap (R400) DVB-S solution instead of a pricey DVB-T one.
 

Valerion

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Coverage on DVB-S is much better and my guess is a lot of people will just go with a cheap (R400) DVB-S solution instead of a pricey DVB-T one.

Are you considering the real price for the hardware, or the discounted price DSTV and TopTV sells it for, in anticipation of a contract?

DVB-S: http://www.openboxs9.us/?page_id=33 - $169.95, or at least R1700.00 without import duties. Retail price.

DVB-S2: http://www.chinazrh.com/wholesale-usb-dvbs2-hd-tv-receiver-p-3303.html - this cheap one is almost R1000 before import duties are levied ($92.58). Wholesale, not retail price.

DVB-T: http://szhddvb.en.alibaba.com/product/389585646-0/HD_DVB_T_Receiver_LOW_COST_.html - Wholesale, $25-30. Or about R350.00.

I can't find any DVB-T2 pricing, but I won't be surprised it it's close to the DVB-T pricing soon.
 
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Rouxenator

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Well spotted. In theory DVB-T hardware should be less complicated and therefor cheaper to obtain, but in SA the reality is much different.

DSTv sells decoders, dishes and installation at massively subsidized prices to get subscribers, but you can still opt for a R20 per month EasyView bouquet that gives to all the channels you would get on DVB-T.
Another thing people often forget is that in SA many people will have to get pricey hi-gain yagi aerials installed in order to get a good enough signal for a DVB-T receiver to work. Many people that currently use cheaper antennas and are happy with a little snow in their picture will find themselves on the wrong side of the digital cliff when they enter the DVB-T world. You just don't get that with DVB-S.
 

fvdbergh

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The Brazilian version of ISDB-T did have certain advantages over DVB-T before anybody shoots it down completely.
MPEG-4 vs MPEG-2 (DVB-T2 levels the playing field)

Not quite. Although "original DVB-T" only used MPEG-2, they have extended (bent?) the standard to support h.264. The trials that ran last year in SA was using h.264 -- I saw bits of the soccer world cup over DTT, and it sure beats the hell out of current DSTV SD channels i.t.o. image quality; I could not see any compression artifacts at all.
 

Valerion

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Well spotted. In theory DVB-T hardware should be less complicated and therefor cheaper to obtain, but in SA the reality is much different.

DSTv sells decoders, dishes and installation at massively subsidized prices to get subscribers, but you can still opt for a R20 per month EasyView bouquet that gives to all the channels you would get on DVB-T.
Another thing people often forget is that in SA many people will have to get pricey hi-gain yagi aerials installed in order to get a good enough signal for a DVB-T receiver to work. Many people that currently use cheaper antennas and are happy with a little snow in their picture will find themselves on the wrong side of the digital cliff when they enter the DVB-T world. You just don't get that with DVB-S.

I wonder how the cost of a Yagi (plus installation) compares to the cost of a satellite dish (plus installation), when no subsidies are considered? My previous post considered the cost of the receiver only, not the dish or antenna. I was quoted R2,000 for a dish installation 5 years ago when I moved.

DVB-S still looks more expensive to me.

Also, there's a limited amount of geosynchronous orbit space. If a satellite breaks, you are stuck with a dead piece of junk and either launch a repair crew of trained astronauts, or launch a new one, taking up more valuable space. If a DVB-T transmitter breaks you send a tower climber that's trained in swapping out units, then repair the affected piece, or replace it. I feel that's orders of magnitude cheaper.

Now it's your turn. Post your estimated price figures, since you claim that DVB-S is cheaper.
 
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Rouxenator

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Asking what it would be if it is not subsidizes is pretty pointless because DVB-T will also be subsidized and apart from that the economics of scale is much in favour of DVB-S.
You can get DSTV from as little as R500 these days http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthr...-dish-and-installation-R499.-Is-this-for-real

Before I got DSTV I spent about R600 on a hi-gain 13dB Yagi antenna, 26 dbi masthead amp and power supply. This was just for normal analog broadcasts and I did the installation myself. If you add professional installation and STB receiver costs you will end up way more expensive than DSTV.

What you must also remember is that all the high sites scatter all over SA also cost a crap load of money to switch to DVB-T and there is ongoing maintenance costs (diesel generator servicing and what not).

Satellite is cleaner and cheaper plus it frees up valuable spectrum that can be used for mobile/internet connectivity.
 

ponder

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I saw bits of the soccer world cup over DTT, and it sure beats the hell out of current DSTV SD channels i.t.o. image quality; I could not see any compression artifacts at all.

Anything beats the crap out of DSTVs SD channel quality :D

Seriously, just compare a normal SABC terrestrial broadcast to same one on DSTV, it's shocking.
 

Valerion

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Asking what it would be if it is not subsidizes is pretty pointless because DVB-T will also be subsidized and apart from that the economics of scale is much in favour of DVB-S.
You can get DSTV from as little as R500 these days http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthr...-dish-and-installation-R499.-Is-this-for-real

Before I got DSTV I spent about R600 on a hi-gain 13dB Yagi antenna, 26 dbi masthead amp and power supply. This was just for normal analog broadcasts and I did the installation myself. If you add professional installation and STB receiver costs you will end up way more expensive than DSTV.

What you must also remember is that all the high sites scatter all over SA also cost a crap load of money to switch to DVB-T and there is ongoing maintenance costs (diesel generator servicing and what not).

Satellite is cleaner and cheaper plus it frees up valuable spectrum that can be used for mobile/internet connectivity.

Soo ... because DSTv can offer a R500 package means that EVERYONE will be able to get a R500 DVB-S installation for SABC and eTV as well? After all, they are subsidized to the same extent, right?

The point of comparing without subsidies was to try and find out how the real cost of the two compare. Then you can afterwards apply a fixed subsidy (R500? R1000?) and you will know how much you will pay at the end for either. I've done my research and came to the conclusion that buying DVB-T is cheaper. Nothing you've posted changes that, except to compare everything to DSTV.
 

Rouxenator

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Yes - for R500 you can get a multi choice DVB-S receiver and installation. For R210 per year (or R20 per month) you can get not only SABC and ETV but a few other channels as well. Please note this is only with Multichoice - Vivid is something dead and I think TopTV is much cheaper.

As I pointed out in theory DVB-T should be cheaper - but in reality it is much different. They is why we have such cheap DVB-S in SA. Also, if you want to compare real cost then you need to take into account the millions of tax payer and licence payer fees that spent on creating the DVB-T landscape. It is much most cost effective to just lease capacity on a tin can drifting in space.

DSTv is a much better and cheaper alternative than DTT.
 

Valerion

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Yes - for R500 you can get a multi choice DVB-S receiver and installation. For R210 per year (or R20 per month) you can get not only SABC and ETV but a few other channels as well. Please note this is only with Multichoice - Vivid is something dead and I think TopTV is much cheaper.

As I pointed out in theory DVB-T should be cheaper - but in reality it is much different. They is why we have such cheap DVB-S in SA. Also, if you want to compare real cost then you need to take into account the millions of tax payer and licence payer fees that spent on creating the DVB-T landscape. It is much most cost effective to just lease capacity on a tin can drifting in space.

DSTv is a much better and cheaper alternative than DTT.

R40 a month (R20 for DSTv and R20 for your TV license) may not sound like a lot to you. However, there are people in this country for whom that means they won't properly eat that month. People for whom DSTv will never risk issuing a contract, because they have very bad or no credit scores. These people can currently get SABC/eTV for R20/month. When the switch happens, they will no longer be allowed to have TV, as DSTv will not issue contracts to them. They cannot afford the R500 installation fee in any case. DVB-T2 will give an alternative to these people, who will never be able to afford a DSTv subscription. They too have a right to TV, without onerous costs and requirements.

Also, placing all the channels that SABC and eTV have and plan solely in the hands of TopTV and DSTv is hardly fair to them. If you want a new channel, you have to get permission from your biggest competitor to start showing it.

DSTv relies on the people paying premium packages to subsidize the low-end of the market (plus advertising), and spreads the money received out. Since eTV and SABC only get the R20/month from license fees (plus advertising), they can't buy as much capacity on the satellites, and cannot pay as much to the operators. They will also be leasing fewer channels. This means it will be more expensive for them to run DVB-S than it is for DSTv to do the same.
 

HapticSimian

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Just as a point of clarity - eTV doesn't receive any money from licensing.
 

deweyzeph

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R40 a month (R20 for DSTv and R20 for your TV license) may not sound like a lot to you. However, there are people in this country for whom that means they won't properly eat that month. People for whom DSTv will never risk issuing a contract, because they have very bad or no credit scores. These people can currently get SABC/eTV for R20/month. When the switch happens, they will no longer be allowed to have TV, as DSTv will not issue contracts to them. They cannot afford the R500 installation fee in any case. DVB-T2 will give an alternative to these people, who will never be able to afford a DSTv subscription. They too have a right to TV, without onerous costs and requirements.

Also, placing all the channels that SABC and eTV have and plan solely in the hands of TopTV and DSTv is hardly fair to them. If you want a new channel, you have to get permission from your biggest competitor to start showing it.

DSTv relies on the people paying premium packages to subsidize the low-end of the market (plus advertising), and spreads the money received out. Since eTV and SABC only get the R20/month from license fees (plus advertising), they can't buy as much capacity on the satellites, and cannot pay as much to the operators. They will also be leasing fewer channels. This means it will be more expensive for them to run DVB-S than it is for DSTv to do the same.

DSTV is a month-to-month service paid for in advance each month. As such there is no credit check done when signing up for DSTV as their is no credit facility given to clients. If you check your credit report you will see that DSTV does not appear as one of your listed accounts.

If you fail to pay your DSTV account, you simply get cut off.
 

Valerion

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Just as a point of clarity - eTV doesn't receive any money from licensing.

Point taken. This skews the cost even

DSTV is a month-to-month service paid for in advance each month. As such there is no credit check done when signing up for DSTV as their is no credit facility given to clients. If you check your credit report you will see that DSTV does not appear as one of your listed accounts.

If you fail to pay your DSTV account, you simply get cut off.

True, but will they provide a service to you if you have a horrible credit record? Multiple judgements against you, etc? They don't HAVE to provide a service, after all. There are free (mostly) alternatives available, from SABC and eTV. If everyone were to use them, and use subsidized units they pay for, they will have to cover themselves somehow.
 

Rouxenator

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Some very valid points you raise Valerion, but I am still convinced that DVB-S is the solution.

Fair enough, DSTV might not be the best platfrom for the masses to jump onto when analog is switched off but instead of spending millions on transmitter upgrades and new DTT STBs they could just as well have made some deal with Multichoice to get a DVB-S alternative in place.

But we should not forget about the SABC's (or Sentech's for that matter) DVB-S solution. Vivid is still alive and in desperate need of attention. They already have the capacity on the satellite so all the need to do is improve the the receivers and provide them at a competitive price. It already uses smart cards with CA protection so locking out someone that does not pay their license is easy. It has all the benefits (and more) of DTT plus it has been sitting there for years now ready to be consumed by the masses.

If you like neither the SABC or DSTV then you have TopTV - also using the Superior DVB-S platform (although on AstraSAT and not PAS 7/10 satellites)
 

deweyzeph

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True, but will they provide a service to you if you have a horrible credit record? Multiple judgements against you, etc? They don't HAVE to provide a service, after all. There are free (mostly) alternatives available, from SABC and eTV. If everyone were to use them, and use subsidized units they pay for, they will have to cover themselves somehow.

They have no reason not to provide the service to people with bad credit histories. Their service is strictly paid for in advance. If you fail to pay your subscription fee it does not cost them anything, they simply disconnect you.
 

Merlin

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R40 a month (R20 for DSTv and R20 for your TV license) may not sound like a lot to you. However, there are people in this country for whom that means they won't properly eat that month. People for whom DSTv will never risk issuing a contract, because they have very bad or no credit scores. These people can currently get SABC/eTV for R20/month. When the switch happens, they will no longer be allowed to have TV, as DSTv will not issue contracts to them. They cannot afford the R500 installation fee in any case. DVB-T2 will give an alternative to these people, who will never be able to afford a DSTv subscription. They too have a right to TV, without onerous costs and requirements.

Also, placing all the channels that SABC and eTV have and plan solely in the hands of TopTV and DSTv is hardly fair to them. If you want a new channel, you have to get permission from your biggest competitor to start showing it.

DSTv relies on the people paying premium packages to subsidize the low-end of the market (plus advertising), and spreads the money received out. Since eTV and SABC only get the R20/month from license fees (plus advertising), they can't buy as much capacity on the satellites, and cannot pay as much to the operators. They will also be leasing fewer channels. This means it will be more expensive for them to run DVB-S than it is for DSTv to do the same.

I haven't read this thread in its entirety, but that's a load of bollocks.

This modern hippie BS needs to stop.

Everyone is entitled to the right to live - unless they kill. Anything else is earned.

No-one has a right to TV, a car, 'net access, etc. unless they work for it.
 

Valerion

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I haven't read this thread in its entirety, but that's a load of bollocks.

This modern hippie BS needs to stop.

Everyone is entitled to the right to live - unless they kill. Anything else is earned.

No-one has a right to TV, a car, 'net access, etc. unless they work for it.

I'm not even going to address this, way too off-topic, other than to say the following: Read the Bill of Rights in the Constitution sometime. Quite a few things in there is granted unconditionally, i.e. unearned.

The Preamble of the Broadcasting Act of 1999:

Preamble.--NOTING that the South African broadcasting system comprises public, commercial and community elements,
and the system makes use of radio frequencies that are public property and provides, through its programming, a public
service necessary for the maintenance of a South African identity, universal access, equality, unity and diversity;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the South African broadcasting services are owned and controlled by South Africans;
REALISING that the broadcasting system must reflect the identity and diverse nature of South Africa, is controlled and
managed by persons or groups of persons from a diverse range of communities, including persons from previously
disadvantaged groups, and must reflect the multilingual and diverse nature of South Africa by promoting the entire spectrum
of cultural backgrounds and official languages in the Republic;
ENCOURAGING the development of South African expression by providing a wide range of programming that refers to South
African opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity by displaying South African talent in radio and television programming
and by making use of radio frequencies that are public property and that provide a public service necessary for the
maintenance of national identity, universal access, equality, unity and diversity; and
RESOLVING to align the broadcasting system with the democratic values of the Constitution and to enhance and protect the
fundamental rights of citizens:

You'll notice the term "Public Service" in there.
 

Merlin

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I'm not even going to address this, way too off-topic, other than to say the following: Read the Bill of Rights in the Constitution sometime. Quite a few things in there is granted unconditionally, i.e. unearned.

The Preamble of the Broadcasting Act of 1999:



You'll notice the term "Public Service" in there.

You must be a very generous person. I' m sure the robot vendors love you, right? ;)

Don't get me wrong - I'm not attacking you. I'm just sick and tired of working my arse off to pay for someone else's 'right' to breathe, eat, watch TV and so on and so forth.

Life is not about watching TV so htF can it be a 'Right'?
 

Valerion

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You must be a very generous person. I' m sure the robot vendors love you, right? ;)

Don't get me wrong - I'm not attacking you. I'm just sick and tired of working my arse off to pay for someone else's 'right' to breathe, eat, watch TV and so on and so forth.

Life is not about watching TV so htF can it be a 'Right'?

Not really. However, it's written into law. However much we complain about it, there is only one way to modify the Broadcast Act - get the government to do it. They were elected by the people of the country, so they are supposed to be the voice and hands of the people. How much they succeed at that is a matter of political debate, which is not on-topic here.

My side of it: People have certain basic rights. One of those rights is to try and better yourself. Another is the access to information. The very poor have no way of tapping the enormous amount of information on the net (too expensive), or sometimes libraries (often out of date, or only open certain times, or need transport), so what's left is public broadcasts. Education is also available, but it doesn't work equally well in all areas. If they don't make use of this, that's their own problem. Also, it very easily gets co-opted for propaganda purposes, but that is human nature, which is a definite negative there. Also, it's debatable if the SABC and eTV actually fulfils this ideal. Again, another political debate, with different people feeling differently about it.

I will note that I don't watch TV myself, since I rarely have time for it.
 

Rouxenator

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Either way - if it is a right or not - there is more than sufficient DVB-S support out there already (DSTv, TopTV, Vivid) so to me it is a clear cut case that DVB-S would have been a much cheaper and faster solution to roll out instead of DVB-T.
 
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