SABC, e.tv and M-Net launch new era in TV

2008-10-31 00:00

Today sees the start of a trial period for a new era of television in South Africa. Broadcasters e.tv, SABC, and M-Net are working together to test Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) with closed trial groups. The digital signal will be switched on by signal distributing company Sentech.

DTT is expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2009. The technology is already used around the globe.

To receive DTT, a viewer will need a Set Top Box (STB) costing about R700, which takes the digital signal from a conventional antenna and decodes it for the display of multiple channels on your TV set.

The benefit is more channels and viewing options, better picture and sound quality and access to an electronic programme guide — much like the one DStv subscribers are familiar with.

Government has announced that it will subsidise the cost of STBs for poorer households — providing 70% (R490) towards the cost, leaving poor households to pay R210 (It is estimated that this will cost government about R2,45 billion).

• To find out more about Digital Terrestrial Television, visit the Features section of for a set of FAQs and a host of technical information on how DDT works.

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