WHEN WILL WE START TO MIGRATE TO DIGITAL TV?
South Africa will start its migration to digital TV when Sentech switches on the digital signal on 1 November 2008, placing it well ahead in respect of meeting one of our broadcasting guarantees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With the digital switch on this year South Africa will join the few leading countries in the world that have started this process.
WHEN WILL THE ANALOGUE BROADCASTING END IN SA?
The switch-off date for the analogue signal is 1 November 2011. This gives South Africa a three-year migration period. This is commonly referred to as the dual-illumination period because both the digital and analogue signals are transmitted.
WHAT DOES THE MIGRATION MEAN FOR SOUTH AFRICANS?
All South Africans will need to migrate to the digital TV era. This does not mean that we have to get rid of our TV sets. During the dual illumination period we will still be able to continue watching television as usual. Only after November 2011, when the analogue signal is switched off, will we need to have a set-top-box (STB) in order to continue watching television using our current TV sets.
WHAT IS A SET-TOP BOX (STB) ?
A set top box is a type of decoder that converts the digital signal into an analogue one so that households with analogue TVs can continue to watch television services after the analogue signal is switched off. These boxes will be made in and customized for South Africa.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN STB
The South African STB will be more than a signal converter. It will be designed to make the delivery of government information and services possible for the citizen from home. It is estimated that the retail price of this special STB will be about R700.
Excerpt from an official document from the Department of Communications, published in the Sunday Times on August 17, 2008