Digital TV migration new timeline announced

The Ministry and Department of Communications plans to implement South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) over an 18-month period.

That’s the word from Faith Muthambi, who was speaking to attendees of the Southern African Digital Broadcasting workshop.

Muthambi said South Africa is on track to ensure a successful migration with policies, standards, plans, and the DTT broadcasting network all in place.

“Sentech has completed 84% geographic coverage, with the remaining 16% to be covered by satellite,” said Muthambi. “All 178 transmitters are in place and DTT head ends have also been configured.”

The South African Bureau of Standards has approved the DTT SANS 862 DVB-T2 standard, and the DTT regulations from Icasa are also ready.

One outstanding item is the technical requirements of the controversial set-top box control system, with Muthmabi saying work to finalise the STB specifications is at an advanced stage.

“Our priority going forward will be to engage with the neighbouring countries for spectrum harmonisation.”

Since South Africa is going to be missing the ITU-imposed deadline for migration (17 June 2015), there is a possibility there could be interference between our TV broadcast signals and those from neighbouring countries.

Muthambi said these countries are aware of the need to engage with South Africa.

“A harmonised effort is being executed. The Bilaterals will be completed before the deadline of 17 June 2015.

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Digital TV migration new timeline announced