Cabinet chooses T2 for digital TV - TechCentral

Cabinet chooses T2 for digital TV

It’s official! SA will adopt the European standard for digital terrestrial television, TechCentral can reveal exclusively. Furthermore, the country will implement the second generation of the standard, known as DVB-T2.

Cabinet has endorsed a recommendation by a Southern African Development Community (SADC) task team that the region adopt DVB-T2.

Curiously, no mention was made in formal cabinet statements about the decision, with cabinet opting to leave the announcement to communications minister Roy Padayachie.

It’s expected that Padayachie will make a formal announcement after he returns from leave in mid-January.

The news will be welcomed by commercial broadcasters and M-Net, both of which have lobbied hard for SA not to change its commitment to adopting the European standard. Five years ago, SA, as part of SADC, made a commitment to the International Telecommunication Union to adopt the European standard.

Confusion was sown last year when the department of communications called an industry colloquium to re-examine a 2006 decision to adopt the European standard.

Brazil and Japan lobbied hard to have their standard, known as ISDB-T, adopted by the region, eventually prompting SADC communications ministers to appoint a task team to examine the issue.

The task team reported back on 25 November, recommending that the region adopt DVB-T2, but leaving the door open for individual countries to adopt other standards, provided they meet certain technical guidelines.

Padayachie’s adviser, Kuben Govender, has now confirmed — in an interview with TechCentral — that SA will adopt the European standard. He says cabinet ratified the decision at its last meeting of 2010, held on 15 December, and the cabinet minutes reflect this.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral


  1. This is great news for the SA market. One can only hope the process is now expidited, it’ll benefit consumers most in the long run.

  2. Wonderfull news! DVB-T2 SECOND GENERATION is the best choice for south Africa! Way to go!!!!

  3. The isdb-t field tests that were made in South Africa was a total failure. The tests showed us that adapting isdb-t into an 8mhz band didn´t work at all, plus, created severe interference with analog signals in the Joburg area.


  4. If SADC chose DVB-T2, South Africa should follow the same track! And thank God it did.

    India, Australia, Europe, and more than 120 countries are migrating to T2!

    South Africa chose to be global, and not isolated.

    Well done DOC! Welcome to South Africa DVB-T2! Let´s rock n roll now!!!!


    I wonder if the cabinet was equipped enough to make this decision, or was this part of the EU influence. ISDB-T would have been ideal based on the new growth plan and ensuring that we play a critical role in ownership of future software. This perhaps is the worst decision that the government has ever made since the ARMS DEAL, reducing the country to further dependency on EUROPE. We have now reduced over 200 million AFRICANS in the region to followers of Europe

  6. Do not underestimate the lobbying power of the big broadcasting corporates. Naspers and E-sat were not going to lie down and see their investments going into the drain.

    The DOC colloquim was a good thing and should be a frequent occurence in our new and dynamic democracy. The DOC, as one of the main custodians of the industry, should do their homework and guard against self-interested domestic and foreign influences.

    The best outcome was reached nevertheless. DVB-T2 is indeed the best standard at the moment.


    You are an absolute fool if you believe the words you write. The SA Gov needs to move quickly on this and we need to find a balance between local jobs and cost to our poor people. The fact of the matter is that the technology that can deliver education to rural people can be rolled out faster and they will be able to afford it sooner. Why on earth would we want to be tied to a backward Brazilian/Japanese standard that would have meant another 2 years or more of policy, standard etc development? Plus that doesn’t guarantee we wouldn’t have imported them anyway. Besides, as far as I understand they may even implement unique ‘code’ in our standard which would prevents us from bringing and taking out our decoders – something I hope they don’t do be because the free market should rule.

    Please, do some research and stop jumping on your anti-colonial band wagon before you apply your mind!

  8. I wouldn´t want to be a colony of Brazil and Japan either, why should we help brazilian exports when we have a deficit with that country? Besides, isdb-t tests FAILED! I repeat: FAILED!!!!!


  9. Nkula Matlame on

    DVB-T2 is the ideal standard for us based on the new growth plan and ensuring that we play a critical role in ownership of future software, given DVB-T2 is an OPEN STANDARD. This perhaps is the BEST decision that the government has ever made since many years. For our industry it will be great, because it will be able to export to ASIA, AUSTRALIA, AFRICA, and EUROPE! isdb-t would have left us with ONLY South America to export. GOOD JOB PRESIDENT ZUMA! DVB-T2 WAS IDEAL FOR SOUTH AFRICA!

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