SA's delayed migration to digital TV 'will be completed early in 2022'

05 October 2021 - 21:10
Households with a combined income of less than R3,200 a month will qualify for a fully subsidised set-top box.
Households with a combined income of less than R3,200 a month will qualify for a fully subsidised set-top box.
Image: 123RF/Marco Ciannarel

Communications and digital technologies minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Tuesday that SA was on track to complete its migration from analogue to digital television by March 2022.

“Those receiving their service directly from aerial or antenna should buy a set-top box from the post office or retailers,” said Ntshavheni. “You will not be affected if you’re already receiving your service from streaming platforms from DStv, OpenView, or StarSet.”

Households with a combined income of less than R3,200 a month will qualify for a fully subsidised set-top box and have the option of buying a new integrated digital TV with a built-in digital receiver.

This is in collaboration with broadcasters.

The analogue switch-off and move to digital broadcasting has been delayed for years. The process is expected to be staggered across the country with the end of October as a first deadline for applications.

“It is anticipated that this process, which will be done province-by-province, will be completed by the end of March 2022,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said during his state of the nation address (Sona) during a hybrid joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.

Meanwhile, the licensing of high-demand spectrum is at an advanced stage.

“We hope that the ongoing litigation on the licensing matter will provide legal certainty and will not unduly delay the spectrum auction process,” said Ntshavheni.

Digital broadcasting will bring more television channels, more content and allow more choice for consumers.

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