The department of communications has met with the local television manufacturing industry on the mass production of integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) for the local retail market.
This comes as the department — which is the lead for digital migration — has accelerated the roll-out of broadcasting digital migration.
The department wants to ensure that the non-subsidised market, currently on analogue, has options available as the country migrates to the digital platform.
An ITDV set has a built-in digital tuner and does not need a set-top box to receive a digital signal. Most of the latest smart TVs or connected TV sets with an Internet/Wi-Fi connection already have IDTV capabilities.
“Today’s meeting was the first of many meetings to come as we seek to ensure that products for digital migration become readily available in the retail market.
“What we have been missing in the value chain for migration from analogue to digital has been products for the retail market,” said Aldred Dreyer, head of the department’s digital migration project management office.
The meeting was also attended by other organs of government, including the department of trade & industry.
The department of communications is encouraging TV-viewing households, who are looking to buy new TVs, to buy sets that come with an integrated digital tuner.
“People who do not qualify for the fully-subsidised set-top boxes — in other words, those who earn above the stipulated threshold of R3 200/month — have an option of buying a new integrated digital television set with the digital decoder built-in and migrate with us.
“Households that are on pay television platforms need not worry as they are already on a digital platform,” said Dreyer.
The roll-out of the migration project continues with a focused approach. The department’s target is to complete the roll-out in the Free State province by the end of 2018.
Officials from the project office will visit various districts in the North West and Free State province to register and install government-subsidised decoders to qualifying households in the coming weeks.
The average registration for set-top boxes per day in the Free State province is currently sitting at 600, while an average of a thousand decoders are installed daily.
Acting director-general for the department of communications, Mashilo Boloka, encouraged the electronic manufactures to participate in the workstreams of the newly appointed Broadcasting Digital Migration Advisory Council.
Communications ,inister Nomvula Mokonyane appointed the council in accordance with the migration policy. — SAnews