Page 48

FEATURE

Writer: Nthambeleni Gabara

Digital broadcasting

milestone for SA

R

esidents in the core towns of the Square Kilometre Array

logue TV broadcasting is converted to and replaced by digital

(SKA) area became the first South Africans to enter the

TV.

digital broadcasting space in the country.

The SKA radio telescope in the Karoo is one of the biggest

To much applause, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi

international research infrastructures in the world and will

recently turned off the analogue television (TV) transmission

assist scientists all over the world to work towards answering

and more than 3 700 households in the towns of Carnarvon,

previously unsolved questions.

Vanwyksvlei, Brandvlei, Vosburg and Williston were successfully migrated to the much-awaited digital platform.

Analogue switch-off The Minister said the days of TV screens full of “snow” were over for the locals.

The analogue sunset in the SKA area is signalling the dawn of a fully digital age in which everyone can enjoy extra choice of more channels of perfect digital reception. The world is going through a TV revolution of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting is far more efficient, allows better pic-

“We have moved from analogue to digital and this chapter

ture and sound quality. Once analogue transmissions are

has been closed in this area. We will be doing it in phases in all

switched off, a large amount of radio frequency spectrum

the nine provinces.

will be released, which can then be used for new broadcast-

“We are witnessing a historic moment with the transmission

ing and other communications services such as broadband.

of analogue signals for terrestrial TV being officially phased

Minister Muthambi said she was looking to complete the

out nationwide. “Turning off the analogue terrestrial TV transmission meant that a digitalised era of high-definition TV has come for our

process of migrating to the broadcasting digital system by December 2018.

people in the SKA area. Indeed, analogue TV transmissions in

Registration of set-top boxes

our country is fading,” added the Minister.

Residents living in the SKA community of Keimoes and Kai

The analogue switch off (ASO) is the process in which ana-

46

Garib in the Northern Cape were the first South Africans to

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017

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