Cable TV

South Africa scraps digitization plans; sticks to analogue signal

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NEW DELHI: The South African government has decided to abandon the digital migration project at a time when the whole world is going digital.

Expectedly, this has taken broadcasters unawares as they had been looking forward to a mid-year switch-off of analogue signals. Even the media has described the decision as shocking. 

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said in an official statement, “Seeing that none of our neighbouring countries has switched over to digital television, we have taken a decision to ignore the 17 June, 2015 ITU deadline and remain with analogue television for the foreseeable future. The government will save billions that can be used in better ways, like funding public broadcaster South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.”

This will mean that the cash-strapped South African government will not have to subsidise set-top boxes for the nation’s poorest citizens. Muthambi added, “This solves the debate - there won’t be any set-top boxes and so there is no need for encryption.” 

Nagra Kudelski had won the contract to encrypt and protect transmissions for Sentech, the official transmission company.

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