The government will shut down all analog TV signals in Nairobi in the next two months to facilitate the migration from analog to digital signals.
Permanent Secretary for Information and Communication Dr Bitange Ndemo said that with everything becoming digital, the shift is inevitable.
“Everything is becoming digital and in the next two months all analog TV signals will be shut down to facilitate the shift to digital,” said Ndemo adding that the programme is almost reaching its mature stages at Mombasa and Kisumu.
The launch of Digital Video Broadcast – Terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2) which is an upgrade to the previous DVB-T standard earlier this year has seen the project achieve massive results in Mombasa and Kisumu.
Nairobi is next and other parts of the country will follow once the programme rolls out in Nairobi. Dr Ndemo acknowledged that the uptake of digital content remains low, which he attributed to lack of awareness, urging the current players in the technology market to enter the market with the digital content.
“People don’t see the difference between the analog and digital contents, which makes it impossible for migration. We now have new players coming in with new content and we would ask them to be on the new platform. We are asking the current broadcasters to bring in new content that would make it attractive for Kenyans to move to the new platform,” said Ndemo while addressing key stakeholders in the construction industry at Sankara Hotel during the launch of Intelligent Properties, a technology-based approach in the building and construction sector.
Current analog TV users will have to buy set- top boxes, small devices that connect to current analog sets and enable them to receive digitally broadcast signals and roll out digital television broadcasting.
Ndemo said that the price of the boxes had been reduced to Kshs. 2,000 following the Treasury’s move to waiver import duty on set-top boxes. This came after relentless lobbying from consumer bodies, private broadcasters, the Communication Commission of Kenya who raised red flag over the ridiculous prices of decoder.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae announced on 14th June when he presented the country’s 2012/13 national budget in parliament that the government had waived the 25 per cent import duty on Set-top boxes.
Initially, a set-top box cost between Sh5,000 and Sh10,000, the price that rivaled that of a TV Set, making the migration to digital a pipe dream.