Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on digital migration
Collated categories; (A) Migration Process, (B) Migration Technology, (C) Digital Benefits, (D) Set-Top Boxes, (E) Infrastructure Rollout, (F) Signal Reception, and (G) Consumers
1. Why must Kenya migrate? The Regional Radio Conference (RRC) meeting of 2006 set 17th June 2015 as the deadline for all countries in the planning area (comprising of Africa, Europe, Russia and Iran) to migrate to digital terrestrial broadcasting technologies. It is, therefore, mandatory for all countries in the said planning areato migrate to digital terrestrial television broadcasting technology. 2. What is the timetable for the migration in Kenya? The migration is expected to take a minimum of three (3) years. During the migration period, viewers are able to receive the current analogue TV broadcasts. However, , viewers without digital set-top boxes or integrated digital TVs (idTV) will be unable to receive any new digital channels or services broadcast on the digital platform. The process of switching off the analogue signal in Kenya is expected to be completed by end of 2012. After that, viewers will need to have DTT set-top boxes or idTVs to receive free-to-air terrestrial television services. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC TV) is conducting a trial to test the new DTT services and technology. This trial begun in October 2009. 3. Must I wait until 2012 to switch to digital TV? No. You do not need to wait until 2012 to switch to digital TV. If you are in an area that is currently covered by the digital signal (like Nairobi and its environs), all you need is to purchase a DVB-T2 MPEG 4 set top box which you will connect to your existing analogue TV. This set top box will therefore enable you to receive digital broadcast on your existing analogue TV using your existing UHF aerial. 2012 has been set as the analogue switchover date. This means that broadcasters will shut down their analogue TV transmitters and only digital TV signal will be available thereafter. In that case, if by then you will not have acquired a set top box or an integrated digital TV, you will then not be able to receive digital TV service (analogue TV will also not be available).
4. Are we on track to meeting the 2012 deadline? Yes, we are on track to meeting the 2012 deadline. The government will keep the public updated including information on any changes that may arise with respect to the deadline. 5. But with the change in technology to DVB-T2 set top boxes are we still on target to fully migrate the country to Digital broadcasting? Yes we believe we will meet the national deadline of 2012 long before the global deadline of 2015. In the event circumstances necessitate extension of the national analogue switchover deadline, the public shall be adequately informed.
6. Will Kenya implement a coupon system as they did in the U.S to subsidize the cost? We are aware of the coupon system that was used in USA. However, for our case in Kenya, the coupon system will not be used because of the budgetary challenges the government is currently facing. Instead, the government is studying other proposals, which if implemented, will result in affordable prices of set top boxes. 7. With the new technology, will I be required to pay monthly subscriptions? The digital technology supports both free to air and subscription/pay TV. You will therefore not be required to pay any monthly subscriptions unless you choose to subscribe to the pay-tv option.
8. Are the current broadcasters (local) broadcasting on the platform? The existing TV broadcasters signal was broadcast on the digital platform in Nairobi and environs from the December 2009 until December 2010 when they pulled out their programmes from the platform in protest against the KBC’s accommodation of a new broadcaster on the platform. The matter is now pending in the High court..
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