JSE-listed Allied Technologies (Altech) has threatened to take government to court if it decides to implement a Brazilian digital television standard instead of the European DVB-T standard.
The company, which manufactures television decoders through its Altech UEC subsidiary, claims that local broadcasters and manufacturers have already invested R700m in preparing for digital migration on the assumption that SA would adopt the DVB-T standard.
The lack of clarity from the department of communications about which of the two standards SA will adopt is bad for the country’s economy, says Altech’s CEO Craig Venter.
He says his company alone has spent millions of Rand planning for a migration to DVB-T.
The department of communications announced in April it had decided to review whether the country should maintain its commitment to the DVB-T and introduced a Brazilian adaptation of the Japanese ISDB-T standard as a possible alternative.
If government decides to adopt the ISDB-T technology, Altech and other industry players will go to court to get the decision reversed and to claim back the millions they have already invested in the DVB-T technology, says Venter.
The adoption of the Brazilian standard will reduce competition in the SA market and make the local industry reliant on imported skills and technology he adds. “This will stifle growth of the ICT sector.”
Altech says it has tried unsuccessfully to set a meeting with the department of communications to discuss the migration to digital television. — Staff reporter, TechCentral