SKA goes digital as Northern Cape switches off analogue TV signal

TV satellite dish. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
TV satellite dish. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - The first phase of the analogue switch-off (ASO) and migration to digital broadcasting will take place on Friday, starting in the Northern Cape. 

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) area in the province will become the first province in the country to switch off its analogue signal.

Analogue transmitters will also be switched off in Van Wyksvlei, Brandvlei, Williston, Vosburg and Carnarvon.

READ: Faith Muthambi eyes 2018 analogue TV switch-off

In April this year, the door-to-door set-top-box (STB) registration campaign was initiated for the core SKA towns.

The Department of Communications said in a statement that it was a direct intervention aimed at fast-tracking the uptake and usage of STBs and facilitating analogue switch-off in the SKA area.

“The ASO is one of the critical milestones of the broadcasting digital migration process. This symbolises capabilities of broadcasting digital migration stakeholders who made it possible to reach this stage,” the statement said. 

The registration campaign is currently under way in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Free State and will be rolled out to the rest of the country in phases.

READ: Muthambi grilled over 'slow' digital migration

The main event in the Northern Cape is expected to be attended by senior government officials including the minister of the department of communication, the Presidency and BDM stakeholders together with international ICT bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union as well as the Southern African Development Community.

“The main reason for the world’s migration to digital is to release valuable spectrum which can be used for other services. 

“Spectrum is scarce; therefore more efficient use of the spectrum is necessary if more terrestrial telecommunications and broadcasting services are to be made available.

“With digital broadcasting, sound, video, text and still images can be transmitted using a technology that allows for information to be compressed, thus using frequency spectrum efficiently,” the department said. 


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