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South Africa: SA’s Move to Digital TV is 'Long Overdue'
Source: IT Web News
Source Date: Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Jul 01, 2014

Muthambi has issued a directive that "a programme of action to bring us up to speed be ready for pronouncement before the end of the 100 days period". She will consult through focused meetings with "key" industry players to see how this process can be set on a faster course of implementation.

Moving off analogue television will "unlock huge exposure to content", allowing – for example – the South African Broadcasting Corporation to add multiple channels to its current offerings, said Muthambi.

Migration will also open up the so-called digital dividend, freeing up spectrum so that mobile operators can expand coverage.

SA's move off analogue television to digital – which has been in the pipeline since 2006 – has repeatedly been delayed. The latest snarl-up is a dispute between broadcasters over set-top box controls.

The former minister, Yunus Carrim, had sought to resolve an impasse caused when broadcaster etv took his predecessor, Dina Pule, to court over her decision to have Sentech manage controls. Controls are provided for in the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy.

Carrim's solution was to make controls mandatory for subsidised boxes, but to give broadcasters the option of whether to use the technology when distributing signal. This decision led to an outcry from TV stations, and the matter was not resolved before Carrim was redeployed.
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