Communication department speeds up decoder installations ahead of analogue switch-off

Communication department speeds up decoder installations ahead of analogue switch-off

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies said it has registered more than 1.4 million indigent applicants for government’s free decoder and installation.

This comes ahead of the gazetted 31 March 2022 analogue switch-off and end of dual illumination in South Africa.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has commended the people of South Africa for their patience and embracing migration from analogue to digital.

“The Department reiterates that of the 14 million TV-watching households in the country, 11.5 million have self-migrated as they watch TV through satellite and will therefore not be affected by the analogue switch off.”

The department said the installation process continues countrywide, and more than 1.2 million households would have their free decoders before the analogue switch-off date.

“Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni receives daily updates on the progress with STB installations,” the department said.

The department has also shared information for South Africans on the digital migration:

  • The set-top box (decoder) is not the only way to continue TV watching after the analogue switch off. Major electronics companies like Hisense, LG, Samsung, Sinotec and AIM have introduced into the market approximately 2.5 million integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) with a built-in digital tuner since 2012.
  • Households with IDTVs who reside within a 30-50 km radius of a city are able to access digital television by tuning their IDTV sets without any need for a decoder. This is because South Africa has a broad digital television coverage of up to 84% of the population.
  • The department continues to call on households that earn less than R3,500 per month to make applications at their nearest post offices. The qualifying households will be assisted to migrate within 3 to 6 months after the analogue switch-off as per the commitment made to Cabinet and communicated to the public.
  •  A TV licence is not a mandatory requirement when applying for set-top box assistance. The benefits of the digital migration and ending dual illumination far outweighs any short-term inconvenience that may happen after the analogue switch-off.

South Africa began its broadcast migration plan shortly after 2006, setting itself a target to complete the process by 2011, but this was not to be.

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