Home » General » Digitilisation – Viewers to Buy New TV Sets

Most Zimbabweans will have to dispose of their television sets or buy the equipment that enables them to watch digitalised content when the country migrates from analogue to digital, parliamentarians have heard.As a result, it emerged that Zimbabwe may not meet the 2015 International Telecommunications Union deadline to digitalise despite the fact that some transmitters have already been installed at some sites.

Former Transmedia Corporation chief operations officer, Engineer Cloud Nyamundanda, said Zimbabweans would need appropriate technology when the country migrates to digitalisation.

He told Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services chaired by Umzingwane legislator Cde William Dewa (Zanu-PF) in Gweru at a workshop organised by Misa-Zimbabwe on Saturday that without buying fully integrated television sets or Set Top Box (STB), Zimbabweans would not be able to switch to digital.

“For you to receive digital signal, you need to have a Set Top Box, something we can call a decoder because it decodes the digital signal,” he said.

“If you don’t have a Set Top Box, then you should have an integrated television set that is digital compliant that receives the standard Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial Two (B-T2).

“Meeting the 2015 deadline is going to be a challenge because resources need to be made available especially to make the receiver gadgets available because already the signal carrier company has already put up facilities for the transmission but in terms of receive hardware that is where there are greater challenges.”

Eng Nyamundanda said on average STBs cost about US$60 each while fully integrated television sets cost about $900.

He said most of the television sets that were imported into the country and marked digital would not be able to transmit.

He said other governments in the region subsidised the STBs to enable citizens to receive the signal.

Eng Nyumundanda said Zimbabwe did not have the intergrated television.

“The TV sets that we have on the market that they call digital will not and cannot receive B-T2 standard.

“What we need are sets that receive B-T2 standard and not any other standard. So the television has to be very specific that it needs to receive B-T2,” he said.

Legislators said they would lobby Government to ensure mechanisms are put in place for Zimbabwe to meet next year’s deadline.

Meanwhile, media expert Takura Zhangazha said the country’s new Constitution guaranteed media freedom including a provision in the Bill of Rights.

He said the portfolio committee was best positioned to play a role in the appointment of commissioners to the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

It was regrettable, he said, that the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Public Order and Security Act still criminalised journalism.

However, Misa-Zimbabwe board member Kelvin Jakachira hailed Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo’s recent pronouncements on the need to remove criminal defamation from the country’s laws.

Source : The Herald