Prospective community satellite television broadcaster GauTV will use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to ensure its programming content can’t be received outside the borders of Gauteng, its target market, officials from the company told the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) on Wednesday.
The company will use GPS-based “geo-control” technology developed by Nagravision to ensure that people outside the province are not able to view the service.
In a presentation to Icasa on behalf of Mzansi, Muzi Makhaye, CEO of set-top box manufacturer ABT, explained that the system will use real-time GPS data to determine the location of viewers. A “geo-control locater unit” will be paired to viewers’ satellite dishes, with a smartcard providing additional encryption and access control.
“If a person, for whatever reason, takes the set-top box outside Gauteng, they will rupture connectivity with the geo-control locater unit,” Makhaye says.
Mzansi, which is registered as a nonprofit entity, has applied for the community service licence on the basis that it will have the technology to constrict its broadcasting footprint to Gauteng.
It plans to offer one free-to-air channel, with Sentech acting as signal distributor, with the number of channels expanding after launch.
Mzansi says GauTV will offer only locally produced content and plans to set up programming hubs in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni (East Rand), Tshwane (greater Pretoria), Mogale City (Krugersdorp and surrounds) and Sedibeng (Vereeniging and surrounds).
Avhasei Mukoma, chairman of Mukoma Attorneys, which is representing Mzansi, told Icasa on Wednesday that GauTV would cater to the content needs of all Gauteng citizens, across the spectrum of living standards measures. “We have done extensive research to ensure whatever content is transmitted will address the needs of the community.”
The company said it would be ready to begin broadcasting its first 24-hour channel within six months of receiving the necessary licence from Icasa. It aimed to reach 2m viewers by its second year of operation, it said on Wednesday. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media
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