SA adopts DVB-T2 digital TV standard

2011-01-14 11:32

Johannesburg - SA will adopt the digital television standard DVB-T2 and the country will complete the process of migrating from analogue to digital television by December 2012, Communications Minister Radhakrishna "Roy" Padayachie said in Midrand on Friday.

The decision ends weeks of speculation which digital standard the country would adopt for broadcasting.

Under consideration were ISDB (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting) and ISDB-T, supported by Brazil and Japan, and the two DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) terrestrial standards, DVB-T and its successor DVB-T2.

Initially the government had accepted DVB, but now the country would adopt DVB-T2. Padayachie said the government had looked at representations from the Brazilian government.

Twelve of the 14 SADC countries had accepted DVB, the main digital standard in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

'Important contribution'

At a 2006 conference in Geneva, where the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Region 1 Geneva ITU GE06 Agreement was signed, a 2015 deadline for the migration from analogue to digital television was set.

Padayachie said the decision had been taken by the government and not by his department alone. He hoped the decision would lead to more opportunities in manufacturing in the industry.

"We think this is an important arena that will make an important contribution in that arena."

There was no indication how much the roll out of the DVB-T2 standard would cost.

"There will be a cost, but the benefits will outweigh the cost," said Padayachie, who would not commit to saying how much new set top boxes would cost.

  • SaintBruce - 2011-01-14 11:52

    At last - the past 10 years invested in the DVB build up will not be wasted. I was worried that Nyanda would jump the wrong way with the late entry from Japan and Brasil but I see good sense has prevailed. Well done Minister Roy! Now the chipsets can be ordered and the set to box design finalised and the digital streams focussed along this technology which also is compatible in many other Countries. Something good among all the bad news we see every day. - 2011-01-14 12:01

      Totally agree with you. At last somebody did the right thing for the right reasons. Well done Mr Padayachie.

      O'forth - 2011-01-14 12:24

      This shows that a lot of the bad news can be avoided if reasonable leaders are put in place and consultation is conducted with a common outcome in mind. Thank you Prez Zumies, you fired Min. Nyanda not a moment too soon, putting country before party. Now do you mind asking your son to give back our iron ore please. Thx, much appreciated.

  • Gennath - 2011-01-14 11:56

    Took them long enough! Glad it's settled now. right choice :)

      SiphovdMerwe - 2011-01-15 10:45

      I guess they were still cleaning up the mess and pay the massive debts left by the apartheid regime.

  • Trevor - 2011-01-14 12:14


  • CDS - 2011-01-14 12:14

    What?? No talk of corruption on this one?? ;-))

  • tatsss - 2011-01-14 12:15

    What does this mean for the Layman like me?better pic quality??

      Tshepo - 2011-01-14 12:59

      This new standard has a capacity for 4 HD channels in the same space that was previously used for a single analogue channel, so basically it means HD for the masses! Also it's much more efficient so the left over bandwidth can be used for next-gen broadband such as 4G, thus in colclusion you can look forward to a lot more HD channels and much faster wireless b/band (+- 100mb/s)

      Bob - 2011-10-04 00:44

      It means you're going to pay more.

  • draadkar - 2011-01-14 12:16

    Does this mean we'll get better content with less repeats? I think NOT!

  • spiderkzn - 2011-01-14 12:26

    So it will feature subtitle caption?

  • Peter - 2011-01-14 12:32

    sanity prevailed

  • Barrydegreat - 2011-01-14 12:32

    Will my old tv still work?

      dreyerretief - 2011-01-14 12:36

      You will need a digital setup box... but yes it will still work

      IceBlaster - 2011-01-14 12:53

      You'll need a digital to analogue coverter. They will probably go on sale before the change

      Maleo - 2011-01-14 14:07

      If I remember correctly a couple of billion rand was set aside in the budget some years ago to pay for the setup boxes of the "poorest of the poor"

      CDS - 2011-01-14 19:56

      Converter box: I hear it's going to be cheap. A few hundred Rand.

      Ponkie - 2011-01-14 20:30

      I will not buy the set top box a I do not want to watch the smut on SABC. I only use my old TV to watch DVD's. Since the law states that you need a TV licence if you have a device capable of receiving SABC's signal does that mean I will not have to pay TV licence any more as my old device will not be receiving their signal once the old transmission network is switched off. I can not wait for that to happen!

  • elbie.steytler - 2011-01-14 12:47

    Shoe! At last!

  • IceBlaster - 2011-01-14 13:00

    Analogue requires more airspace and that is limited. Digital requires less therefore room for new services such as high-speed mobile broadband and high-definition television.

  • datraveller - 2011-01-14 13:04

    what does this mean? Well we can now have a better quality picture infact HD SABC, ETV etc free! This also means we they can broadcast more languages per program plus subtitles etc.

  • datraveller - 2011-01-14 13:04

    What does this mean? Well we can now have a better quality picture without satellite (no rain interference either) we could even get HD SABC, ETV etc free! This also means we they can broadcast more languages per program, subtitles, interactive programming even 3D down the line! Plus it will leave more space in the airwaves for additional channels so maybe this will mean more adverts and poorer quality shows so we’ll have to wait and see. In terms of what do you need? Well either you will need to upgrade to a DVB-T2 TV or get a DVB-T2 STB which is a bit like an M-Net decoder – your aerial should not need to be replaced but possibly repositioned.

      Katleho Lenong - 2011-01-14 20:18

      Don't forget that this is South Africa boet, HD/3DTV quality on SABC channels? Who'll pay for the resources needed to make that a reality? The consumer obviously, TV Licence tariffs are about to sky rocket... I'll stick to my HD PVR thank you

      datraveller - 2011-01-16 21:00

      We need to remember that the SABC is supposed to provide a public service - i.e. educational material, create market for local talent etc. If its run properly like etv there'd be no need to pay any tv licenses. Biggest pro for our country is that it looks like ETV News will become available nationally and for free - bring on balanced news for the poor!

  • Shistirrer - 2011-01-14 13:33

    At leas this will mean the $%^&* irritating subtitles can be switched off by those who don't want it! It's a disturbing trend that all good Afrikaans programs are spoiled by the subtitles. I thought all languages were to be treated equally - why do we not have Afrikaans subtitles on English programs? On a more serious note, I happened to be in the USA on the date of their switch-over to digital. It was chaos. The government gave everyone a free voucher for something like $20 which they could use on the most basic set-top converter, but still most people left it until the last minute and about half the population were left without signal, and in the ensuing scramble a lot of suppliers ran out of stock - it was quite funny to watch. And I thought something like that could only happen in SA!

      yokidace - 2011-01-14 14:03

      what a liar , i live in the usa and that never happend all operations went as planed, yes there might have been a handfull of last minute idiots , but it was perfectly orchestrated. keep you stupid african stories to your self youve never been to america , you jus tryna look cool on the internet infront of your fellow africans . loser!

      arthsterorama - 2011-01-14 14:57

      I am sorry Yokidace, We didn't realise that America had any interest in the poor Africans to the east :) . But to be fair we always here stories of things that happen in the USA. Just like the Americans think we keep lions and Elephants as pets. so a simple not true it went according to plan would have sufficed, but then the famous American first strike had to take place. You call a SA man a Looser, so here is a good old Afrikaans DOOS for you.

      arthsterorama - 2011-01-14 15:33

      Actually Yokidace, I am sorry. calling you a doos is not right my apologies. the literal meaning of the word does not work for a person such as yourself. You are completely redundant and easy to zip up. So hence forth you shall be known as Foreskin. never attack a fellow South African boet.

      CAD59 - 2011-01-14 15:34

      Hey yokidace, do you even know where Africa is? As far as you lot is concerned, America IS the world, so... which of your 50 states is Africa???

      Kevin - 2011-01-14 15:35

      I usually just read these forums, but thought I'd put my two cents in this time. @ yokidace: In no way supporting the first paragraph of Shistirrer, it appears as though his comments in p2 indeed are part (if not totally) factual. The rant that the yank has given is the typical all-American "righteous" attitude where nothing done in the USA can go wrong and we all know that all countries have their own issues to deal with. Try doing at least a little research before mouthing off at fellow forum comments. Here's a little help if you still struggle. Copy and paste link into browser. Not quite as smooth as yoki suggested. Anyway, let's hope it goes a bit better here. Quite dubious myself as to the changeover. May it live up to all its expectations!!

      Kevin - 2011-01-14 15:42

      @yokidace Try doing a little research before throwing comments around. Your attitude appears the typical "All-American" righteous one where nothing and nobody can touch the USA and everything goes right all the time where we know that all countries have their issues Lets just hope the SA one goes a bit better and learns from the mistake of the US. Have a look at the link below which may shed some light on Shistirrer's comments in paragraph 2.

      datraveller - 2011-01-16 21:06

      Dude the 'irritating' subtitles has meant that I have actually watched Afrikaans tv for the first time in my life! Thanks to the subtitles have learnt a lot of Afrikaans. Most programs with other South African languages have subtitles - I just hope they don't start dubbing stuff! Face it English is our national language and its about time it was compulsory as at least a second language at school - disagree? Then why are you commenting in English?

  • Kevin - 2011-01-14 15:47

    Stupid me. Copied wrong address. Here's the correct link for the US report Sorry guys

  • Hot Water - 2011-01-14 15:47

    Is that musc I can hear? Hush! Listen. Why yes, it is Bruce Springstein singing his old hit, '57 Channels And There's Noting On!' Strange isn't it; the more things change, the more they remain the same.... Still, I suppose we'll be able to see them better now!

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-01-15 12:00

    And the cost to the average person? Too much for them I guess. But then I guess they don't pay their TV licenses either... Which begs the question why programming does not reflect those that pay their licenses, not those that watch illegally.

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