SA the case study on how not to do DTT - TechCentral

SA the case study on how not to do DTT

andrew-fraser-180South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) has been glacial. Not only has the country missed the June 2015 deadline agreed to with the International Telecommunication Union to switch off analogue TV transmissions, but it hasn’t even started the process of distributing the set-top boxes that will be required to receive the digital signals.

The farce has gone on so long that I think many have just forgotten about it, thinking that anything that can have gone on for so long with such little result cannot be very important. But that’s the thing, it is really important.

And not important for the reasons that the politicians, broadcasters and local manufacturers would have you believe.

The real importance of DTT isn’t job creation, it isn’t about representation in the ICT or manufacturing industries and it definitely isn’t about delivering communication and services to the population, despite what the various spokespeople from government may say.No, the primary importance of DTT is that it makes an increasingly scarce resource available for communications: radio spectrum.

Because digital television transmission is significantly more efficient than analogue, fewer frequency bands are required to broadcast more content. And that means that huge swathes of spectrum in the 700MHz and 800MHz frequency bands become available — the digital dividend.

These frequency bands are important because the existing frequencies used for telecommunications are nearly used up, and because of the physical attributes of radio signals in these bands.

Lower frequency radio signals typically travel further and are less affected by physical obstructions like buildings. In a country like South Africa, with vast areas that are underserviced in terms of communications, these frequencies have the potential to offer real solutions. According to the GSMA, a body representing the mobile industry, the digital dividend can add as much as US$49bn to sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP in the period 2015-2017.

But that isn’t going to happen, not in the short term anyway. That’s because the process has been co-opted by incompetents, opportunists and political mountebanks; stifled by corporate greed; and failed by poor policy.

The department of communications has said it is certain the process will be completed in the next 18 to 24 months. That seems unlikely, even if the various court actions by the likes of e.tv are now over. It is telling that the same report from the GSMA states that a delay of 24 months could shave $23bn off the GDP benefits of the digital dividend in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lloyd Gedye, writing on The Con website, reckons the DTT process has cost about R8,5bn (and counting), and he has a really depressing precis of the 10 years since former minister of communications Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri started the DTT migration process.

SA has still not switched on commercial digital broadcasts

SA has still not switched on commercial digital broadcasts

A lighter hand in terms of regulation, without adding pork-barrel local manufacturing requirements, would have meant this process could have been completed well within the ITU deadline. In fact, set-top boxes probably wouldn’t have even been required in many cases as newer television sets would have had integrated digital tuners.  Leadership from government in setting standards and then sticking to those standards would have shaved at least four years off the process.

And the local manufacturers that were supposed to benefit from this process? They’re in limbo because … actually I don’t know why they’re in limbo. I simply don’t know why the process of set-top box manufacturing hasn’t started. It seems that everything is finally in place, regulations approved, specifications of the boxes have been published, tenders for manufacture issued, subsidy system for poor households approved, and manufacturers appointed. (Actually it seems that everyone that applied for the manufacturing tender is going to get some of the action – which does seems like an ill-considered move, but that’s a diffrerent story…)

Twenty-six manufacturers have reportedly been appointed and none is currently producing anything because no orders have been placed. So, it seems government has forced local manufacturing requirements into the regulations, but is unable to actually get the local manufacturers to … well, manufacture.

If anyone is writing a case study about the unintended consequences of poor government policy and over-regulation, they’d be well advised to follow this story.

  • Andrew Fraser is an independent marketing strategist with a focus on the South African IT, telecoms and consumer electronics industries
  • Disclaimer: At the time that the DTT process started, the author was employed by a manufacturer of TV sets in South Africa, where he was involved in market planning for integrated digital TVs. But, as he points out, that was 10 years ago

137 Comments

  1. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Without a target deadline that can be prioritized and acted on; any future outcomes aren’t going to be any different from the effects that the 17th of June 2015 had on BDM in SA… in fact what is to come will probably be even more disastrous and costly.

    >> According to the GSMA, a body representing the mobile industry, the digital dividend can add as much as US$49bn to sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP in the period 2015-2017.

    …the plans in-place for BDM in SA are more for wasting money rather than adding to the GDP and there are more culprits to share the in the blame rather than just the government, the policy that hasn’t been implemented and the ridiculous subsidy plan.

  2. CharlieTango on

    The following statement in your opening sentence says it all: “the unintended consequences of poor government”. DDT is just one example of how ineffectual this government is. Viva 21 years of ANC rule. Viva!

  3. “the primary importance of DTT is that it makes an increasingly scarce resource available for communications: radio spectrum.”

    Sentech is already broadcasting SABC 1, 2, 3 plus eTV via satellite to all its FreeVision satellite decoders. FREEVISION is a Universal Access Direct-To-Home Satellite (DTH-S) platform service that compliments the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) transmitter network to ensure 100% access to digital broadcasting services, particularly in areas not covered by the DTT transmitter network.

    So does Multichoice and OpenViewHD and TopTV (StarTV).
    Four broadcasters are all duplicating the very same SABC 1, 2, 3 and eTV signals via satelite to millions of viewers.

    Government should rather just use satellite services for everybody and use all scarce resources for communications.

  4. Anthony Bingham on

    Everything that the vile and loathsome ANC touches turns to sh!t – when are the voters going to wake up – when all that is left is a smouldering ruin?

  5. Greg Mahlknecht on

    At that point, they’ll vote ANC because “they’re the only party that can fix this mess that apartheid/economic downturn/whatever caused, because we need African solutions to African problems”.

  6. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Government should rather just use satellite services for everybody and use all scarce resources for communications.

    But the DTT infrastructure roll-out has been completed? The current bottleneck is on the STB’s, right? You’d have the same problem for satellite;

  7. There are already production lines and distribution channels set up for OVHD, Dstv and Starsat decoders.
    Not sure whether the Freevision is still available. Just like its predecessor the Vivid decoder, it is clearly very poorly marketed.
    Sentech can completely scrap the production of the Freevision sat receiver.
    As I said before and also was made clear in the recent article by Dominic Cull, DTT can be scrapped in totality.
    I even made the suggestion ages ago to completely sell, privatise SABC/ Sentech. The new private owner will decide on DTT or not. And maybe strip all the Sentech towers of all TV transmission equipment.

    Now that would be “Radical Transformation” of the broadcasting sector.
    Not very likely with this clueless, moneywasting, dilly-dallying, neurotic Big Brother, semi Stalinist, control freak government of ours.

  8. OpenViewHD high definition set top boxes are on special at House & Home for R389-00. Government should buy 5 million high def set top boxes from eTV – problem solved.
    Use all spectrum for communications as well as HbbTV.

  9. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Wow, imagine the outcry if government supported eTV’s parent company like that!

    Problem isn’t solved, still need to install millions of satellite dishes.

    The core problem remains – the current holdup is the STB.

  10. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Why from ETV and not DStv or Freevision STBs…??? are you hoping for that PO to be how you get to the millions of shacks?

  11. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >There are already production lines and distribution channels set up for OVHD, Dstv and Starsat decoders.

    Excellent, it’ll then be trivial to add another product to their portfolion. And this one’s a lot easier to install!

    >DTT can be scrapped in totality

    Why though? After we’ve spent billions and the project is complete? A few years ago before they built it, that might have been a good argument, but we’re a bit far down the road for that! Have to move on with what we have.

  12. Greg – DVB-T2 antennae are part of the tender. Government must supply T2 antennae as well. Price for satellite dish and T2 antenna almost the same.
    The parameters of the antenna necessary for proper reception of digital broadcasts depend on several key factors:

    the distance(s) from the transmitter(s),
    broadcasting power of the transmitter(s),
    the height of transmitting antenna(s,)
    directivity of the transmitting antenna(s),
    terrain profile (natural and man-made obstacles on the line between the transmitting antenna(s) and the receiving antenna array),
    environment (open space, urban area etc).

  13. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I bought one for R65 off eBay. Buying 5mil would be a lot cheaper. I doubt you can get satellite dishes that cheap.

    >Price for satellite dish and T2 antenna almost the same.

    No. Don’t just make up crap.

    And before you say the inevitable – yes, I’ve actually successfully received a DVB-T2 signal as part of the trial and my signal was awful (the free antenna I got with the USB DVB dongle I used didn’t work). I just needed to stick the cheap antenna at the top of a window on a burglar guard and it worked 100%. The idea behind the antennas is the same as people are used to with analogue TV – no special knowledge or skills necessary to install like satellite.

  14. Vusi – eTV decoders are selling in shops for R389-00. A million or 5 will cost far less.
    DSTV and FreeVision decoders are more expensive. Gov should go for a good satellite decoder at a better price than DVB-T2 decoders – Gov is budgeting R700-00 per T2 decoder.

  15. Greg – typical you. Go for the cheapest little thing you can find. Gov specified something far better. See for instance DVB-T2 pricing in UK or Germany. Gov is not supporting your $5 cheapie in their tender documents.

  16. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Uhhh… I did my research and I bought an item that worked. I actually have a FAR more expensive DVB-T2 antenna which is extremely bulky and a pain to deploy – it gives me the same reception strength. You seem to be buying in to some kind of audiophile snake-oil way of thinking.

    If the government is speccing R500 DVB-T2 antennas then I guess the same chap’s in charge of procurement that did Nkandla! Why buy a R65 item that gets the job done, when you can spend R500 and give a struggle buddy more kickbacks!

  17. Greg Mahlknecht on

    What makes you think they could get a T2 decoder cheaper than a satellite one? A sat decoder is basically the same hardware with a more expensive tuner module. Its only R700 because of all the gravy train drippings. The problem isn’t the technology used, it’s the procurement process.

    Takealot are selling DSTV HD decoders for R440, and that’s a decent decoder. So including an antenna, total cost should be under R500 for a good T2/satellite decoder, not R700+ for the rubbish that’s sure to come out the other side of this whole DTT migration mess.

  18. Greg – as always you are missing the point. You should not look at your cheapies on eBay or TakeAlot. You must look at the government tender for specs. Then you must visit 2 or 3 of the local manufacturers to get pricing of the real deal.
    You waste your time finding and buying your cheapies. Look at the real issue at hand – and that is what gov is paying for the set top box and the antenna.

  19. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Do you have a reference for that R700 price? I know it’s a number that’s been thrown about, but I’m not sure it’s a formal amount, and what it includes, and what’s the breakdown? You have stated they use an expensive antenna. Citation needed.

    You need to play by your own rules, though – what’s the price of an equivalent satellite decoder, with equivalent markup PLUS the dish PLUS installation.

  20. Greg – you don’t read my comments thoroughly. Government had tenders out with all the information. Local factories had to tender. Those tenders from hopefuls are not published all over the place. But you are more than welcome to go and chat with two or three of these factories. None of these factories are publishing their prices right now.

    What we are saying is easy to understand. Use the advertised rates of OpenViewHD, Starsat, DSTV and FreeView as fact. These adverts are in all newspapers week after week. Visit any Games, Dions, House & Home, etc etc etc for confirmation on pricing. OpenViewHD decoders are available for R389-00 at House & Home. You can use your current DSTV satellite dish or you can buy a decoder and dish for R745-00.

  21. Gregory S. Balchin on

    What’s he’s saying is “why the **** should anybody (or govt) spend^H^H^H^H^H waste R700 on a set-top tenderbox when an existing solution can be had for less?”

    And no, the existing solution is not inferior to the magical box the government will get local wekkahs to solder badly in tenderpreneur factories.

    Get your head out of your ass.

  22. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >You can use your current DSTV satellite dish or you can buy a decoder and dish for R745-00

    That’s the free market, subsidized-by-DSTV price. If you think that the tenders will come in anywhere VAGUELY near that, then you have a lot more faith in our government than I do!

    You’re criticizing me for comparing tender prices with free market prices, but are doing exactly the same.

  23. Greg – government will do whatever they want to do. At a speed and cost government likes. We only discuss alternatives to government decisions. Gov made up their minds. Gov published tenders according to government specifications. That’s it. We can not change it.
    But we can discuss alternatives for whatever it might mean. What I am trying to say that you can not compare Greg’s cheapest DVB-T2 antenna to the specifications of good T2 antennae from UK, Germany and the Tender.

  24. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >But we can discuss alternatives for whatever it might me

    I’m all for that, but it has to be done in an honest manner.

    You’re arguing against yourself here – saying one mustn’t use a cheap DVB-T2 antenna (even though it’ll work almost all the time) yet in the next sentence go and seek out the cheapest satellite dish and base your alternative arguments on that.

    When you’ve resolved this little dichotomy, we can continue the discussion in a sensible manner.

  25. Greg – I am using figures from adverts that you find in countrywide newspapers week after week. These are not the cheapest set top boxes or satellite dishes on the market. There are many cheaper options directly from China.
    So let us use info and products that are available in South Africa right now. These providers will not risk using the cheapest STB’s or dishes on the market.
    So why do you want to compare the cheapest findings in China to the current standard from DSTV, StarTV and OpenViewHD?

  26. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I’m not sure where you got the idea I bought “the cheapest from China” … you can find DVB-T2 antennas from $2 from China. I researched what I needed, found one with the right specs and it happened to cost R65. DVB-T2 antennas are pretty cheap, end of story. In fact, having looked at it again, the antenna I bought for R65 is probably mid-range, comparable in quality to the dishes that DSTV/OVHD/etc use.

  27. Greg – I got the idea from you.
    “yes, I’ve actually successfully received a DVB-T2 signal as part of the trial and my signal was awful (the free antenna I got with the USB DVB dongle I used didn’t work). I just needed to stick the cheap antenna at the top of a window on a burglar guard”.
    We are talking about decent DVB-T2 antennae next to you old analogue antenna on top of your roof.

  28. Greg Mahlknecht on

    R65 is cheap – that’s my whole point. DVB-T2 is a cheap tech.

    You keep saying you know this market, but clearly don’t. If you thought that R65 was the cheapest T2 antenna you got, it shows a lot of ignorance.

    >We are talking about decent DVB-T2 antennae next to you old analogue antenna on top of your roof.

    Are these the antennas that government is intending to supply with the STBs, and are you basing your entire argument on this? If so, that explains a LOT. I was under the impression (and my personal experience has held up that belief) that DVB-T2 didn’t need that except in extreme cases – which isn’t surprising seeing as it’s taking advantage of 50+ years of technological advancement over VHF/UHF!

  29. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>I was under the impression (and my personal experience has held up that belief) that DVB-T2 didn’t need that except in extreme cases

    >R65 is cheap – that’s my whole point. DVB-T2 is a cheap tech.

    Indeed most people would be able to receive the digital signal with an antenna that’s under R100; but the same CA culprits that wanted a free ride on the subsidy plan are now selling the story of a need for antennas with LTE (4G) filter and other noise filters included at a marked-up cost which I would imagine, they are hoping to cover the cost of Antonio’s cheap CA solution and then include it; given that the policy does allow for the inclusion CA.

    If Antonio was into construction then you can bet your last dollar that he would’ve been chief adviser on the Nkandla security upgrades project for the home of the president.

  30. Greg – You said it all. Cheap stuff does not work and in your own words “”yes, I’ve actually successfully received a DVB-T2 signal as part of the trial and my signal was awful (the free antenna I got with the USB DVB dongle I used didn’t work)”.

    Yes – cheap stuff does not work. Your cheap R65-00 antenna clips to your burglar guard.

    Greg – take that cheapie of you and try it all over town. You’ll see that it does not work in most cases. You are lucky that it works. We all have experience of cheap bunny ear antennae. The only true solution is a good antenna on your roof top.

    The parameters of the antenna necessary for proper reception of digital broadcasts depend on several key factors:

    the distance(s) from the transmitter(s),
    broadcasting power of the transmitter(s),
    the height of transmitting antenna(s,)
    directivity of the transmitting antenna(s),
    terrain profile (natural and man-made obstacles on the line between the transmitting antenna(s) and the receiving antenna array),
    environment (open space, urban area etc).

  31. Vusi – I am sure you have access to the Tender Documents. Please go and study the specifications for DVB-T2 antennae. The specs are far better than cheap bunny ears or R65 antennae that clips to burglar guards.

  32. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>The only true solution is a good antenna on your roof top.

    Nonsense… go do your research on in-door DVB-T/T2 antenna and stop displaying the ignorance that you’ve always shown about this industry; and I would certainly know better having worked as a broadcast engineer in the past.

    In one breath you talk about cheap CA solutions and STBs; in another you’re pushing for unnecessary expensive antenna… do you actually think that no one can see through your BS…???

  33. In all probability the reception in your village, town, etc. is too worse so that you cannot use an indoor antenna. You must use an outdoor antenna or a roof antenna. At first please check if you can receive DVB-T2 in the city, town, farm, rural village etc. you reside and in which quality. Depending on the colour at this place, you need a roof antenna or an outdoor antenna.
    Indoor antennas only work if you have a very good signal.

  34. Vusi – you won’t be able to use cheap indoor antennae when you are sitting in areas far away from the base station. If you really have the knowledge and experience you should know this? Go to “Find the right antenna for your location” and see for yourself.

    Is it so difficult for you to understand and acknowledge the facts around broadcasting and receiving?

    The parameters of the antenna necessary for proper reception of digital broadcasts depend on several key factors:

    the distance(s) from the transmitter(s),
    broadcasting power of the transmitter(s),
    the height of transmitting antenna(s,)
    directivity of the transmitting antenna(s),
    terrain profile (natural and man-made obstacles on the line between the transmitting antenna(s) and the receiving antenna array),
    environment (open space, urban area etc).

  35. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    And again we are back to the point already made by Greg –

    >>>>I was under the impression (and my personal experience has held up that belief) that DVB-T2 didn’t need that except in extreme cases

    This is also my experience and the experience of many people believe it or not… talking about technical key factors doesn’t make you less ignorant about this industry;

    …find something else to pursue Antonio because you’re going to always have the smart guys in this game wiping the floor with your behind; and the writing is already on the wall for your ETV friends whose crap content can’t even compete with all the emerging community TV channels let alone SABC.

  36. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>In all probability the reception in your village, town, etc. is too worse so that you cannot use an indoor antenna.

    In most cases you will be able to make do with an indoor antenna; in-fact I believe it’s as high as 89% of instances.

  37. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Actually I said the cheap R65 one DID work. The cheap Chinese rubbish I got with my USB2 dongle (basically a piece of wire that hangs out the back) didn’t work. I wouldn’t propose we bundle a $2 antenna with a STB!

    I live in an area TERRIBLE for reception – slap bang in the middle of hills and trees in KZN. I know more than I’d like to about bad reception

  38. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Is it so difficult for you to understand and acknowledge the facts around broadcasting and receiving?

    I think your problem is you’re confusing UHF/VHF tech with DVB-T2 tech – and you’re using 20+ year old facts. It shouldn’t surprise you that 50+ year old tech requires larger antennas strapped outside your house to receive a signal, and T2, less than 10 years old – doesn’t.

    If you told a UHF engineer 50 years ago that you could pick up a solid signal inside, on a cellphone without an external antenna at all, they’d probably react a lot like you are right now.

  39. Vusi list the transmitters with multiplexes in order from the nearest to the farthest, relative to the specified location. In addition, the individual items on the list are marked with one of three colors:

    green – high probability of stable reception;
    orange – conditional reception, stability not guaranteed;
    red color – reception is virtually impossible.
    The service also informs the user about the fact that the transmitter power and distance are not the only determinants of good reception (translation):

    Stable reception depends on many factors, not only on the distance from the transmitter and its power. We must also take into account the terrain profile, the height the transmitting antenna is placed at, the gain of the receiving antenna, sensitivity of the tuner/receiver.

  40. “I think your problem is you’re confusing UHF/VHF tech with DVB-T2 tech – and you’re using 20+ year old facts.”

    Do you know what a regular antenna is? Antenna is a piece of metal designed to resonate at a specific frequency and to be responsive over a range of frequencies. TV antennas are designed to work either in the range of Ultra High Frequencies (UHF), Very High Frequencies (VHF) or both. Any station transmitting within an antenna bandwidth, i.e. the VHF/UHF frequency range, can be picked up by the antenna and transferred to the TV set.

    All television broadcasts, digital and analog, high definition and standard definition, take place in the VHF and the UHF bands. What makes a signal to be HD is its content, the way a signal is modulated, and not the carrier frequency it is transmitted on. On the contrary, for antenna only the frequency matters.

    There is nothing specific about a TV antenna that is used to receive HD signals. Your antenna doesn’t really care whether the signal is high definition or not. It has absolutely no idea what the signal resolution is, or whether the signal is analog or digital. The antenna doesn’t care that you are receiving HDTV as it doesn’t care whether you are watching Fox News or NBC channel.

  41. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >On the contrary, for antenna only the frequency matters.

    At least we can agree on something. And thanks for that long explanation which backs up what I was saying. DTT uses the same frequencies as VHF/UHF, that’s kind of the entire point of it! Except it’ll use a lot less being newer tech, and the cellphone networks can get what’s left over.

    I appreciate you arguing against yourself again, it’s fun to see and makes my life easier 🙂

  42. Naturally, the TV antenna type you need depends on the distance from the broadcasting towers and on the environment the antenna will be installed in. In close proximity to the towers you can get away with an indoor tv antenna. If you want to pick up signals from more distant tv stations an outdoor tv antenna is required.

    The larger the distance is, the more powerful antenna is needed.

    In general, more powerful antenna means bigger size and/or higher directivity (or antenna gain).

    Omni- or multi-directional antennas can be used at small to medium distances from the towers provided that there are no big reflective “ghost” producing structures near your
    location.

    In remote areas, even big multi-directional antennas can not provide adequate performance. In those areas, directional tv antennas should be used.

    If big reflective structures (tall buildings, mountains in rural area, etc.) are present in your area, using directional tv antenna is a good idea due to its ability to suppress
    “ghosts”, no matter what the distance is.

    Last, if you are very far from the broadcasting towers and the signal is really weak, you may have no choice but to complement your outdoor tv antenna with a pre-amplifier.

  43. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    You are an ignorant fool trying to be smart and as such you’ll always be a loser…

    Are you not aware that BDM coverage is provided for terrestrially and also via DTH; the IS20 bird whilst there are those ignorant fools like yourself, who would refer to it’s footprint as a gap-filler, happens to be the solution in-place for those limited situations where the terrestrial network of transmitters would not be able to provide for stable reception… and that is less than 15% of the population;

    …now crawl back to your cave and Google something that you can competently apply yourself to – you are completely clueless about this game and you’ve repeatedly shown yourself to be a clown pushing his own selfish agenda on this TC forum.

  44. Vusi – try to concentrate. The cheap antennae you are voting for will not work for most people. Stable reception depends on many factors, not only on the distance from the transmitter and its power. We must also take into account the terrain profile, the height the transmitting antenna is placed at, the gain of the receiving antenna, sensitivity of the tuner/receiver.

  45. Thanks Greg. As long as you understand that not even cellphones get a good signal depending where you are. You must have experienced dropped calls when you are wondering on the borders of a cell.
    Not even analogue TV broadcasts cover all of SA. Hence the Sentech satellite decoder.
    Exactly the same with DVB-T2. A lot of people are in places with no or weak DVB-T2 reception.
    Most people will need a good outdoor T2 antenna.

  46. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Wake up Antonio!! BDM using DVB-T2 has already been successfully implemented in numerous countries across the globe; and there’s nothing new that is to be encountered in SA that is going to be changing the efficiency and effectiveness of the DVB-T2 technology platform;

    …and where there aren’t sufficient transmitters in proximity for stable reception, DTH is to be used… you’re not going to be able to load the cost of your cheap CA onto the antenna cost – you’ve lost that battle – now live with it.

  47. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Exactly the same with DVB-T2. A lot of people are in places with no or weak DVB-T2 reception.

    Rubbish… the large majority are adequately covered in much the same way that MNOs have the large majority of their subscribers covered with a good signal for cellphone reception.

  48. Vusi – why don’t you discuss dead spots with Sentech? You are making wild assumptions.

  49. Exactly Vusi. We are getting our stats from those countries using DVB-T2. Like the UK. And Germany. And Thailand. etc etc.
    The difference is we are listening to good advice from these countries – whereas Vusi wants to create his own stories.
    The 5 million sponsored boxes are mainly in rural areas with bad signal. You can try making cell phone calls from 500 rural villages and you’ll find that most have bad reception or even no coverage at all. The same with DVB-T2.
    Vusi – chat to UK and German or Thailand broadcasters and they’ll happily explain to you that they also suffer from dead spots.

  50. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Please Antonio… you’ve been pushing for CA to be made mandatory in the policy and turn SA into island.

    >> The difference is we are listening to good advice from these countries – whereas Vusi wants to create his own stories.

    …and which countries did you listen to for your good advice on mandatory CA – You are just a clueless clown and stop referring to yourself in the plural “we” because I know for a fact that no one would want to be associated to and idiot like you…

    …If I may ask; what happened to that name dropping habit of yours…??? It would be more credible if you mentioned the names in the “we” that you’re referring to.

  51. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>You are making wild assumptions.

    A wild assumption is –

    >> You must have experienced dropped calls when you are wondering on the borders of a cell.

    …and then translating that to mean that the majority of subscribers have inadequate signal coverage;

    …just like the wild assumption which you’re insinuating that the coverage of Sentech’s network of terrestrial transmitters is made up largely of dead spots;

    Now you just keep up with this display of ignorance because it’s exactly what’s required to ensure that chance-takers like yourself no longer get to take anyone for ride… talk about always shooting oneself in the foot LMAO!!

  52. Vusi – you remind me of that clever man at PRASA. The one that managed the design and ordering of trains. That bloke had a good “qualification” and “relevant” experience.
    We never promoted mandatory CA. You are dreaming. We promote CA for quality television content. CA is used to protect copyright of good and valuable content.
    If we listen to Vusi we might find 5 million cheap antennae that will not work in SA – or even in any other country with DVB-T2. Like the trains that are too high ….

  53. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>We never promoted mandatory CA. You are dreaming.

    …and again you refer to yourself as “we” – it was so much better when you were name dropping and talking about all those African countries that are going with CA;

    …dropping important names and making as if you were tight with all the smart decision makers there; Hey, it’s all right here on TC for you to remind yourself since I see that your memory lapses quite conveniently when you’re being exposed for the chance-taker you really are and not the “we” that you’d like us all to believe makes you connected with those in the know.

  54. Vusi – rather concentrate on real issues. Don’t let the we confuse you. You might think you are the spokesperson of Lala Land but try to keep focused on the discussion on hand. We are talking about DVB-T2 antennae and Sentech’s coverage map. Just like coverage maps from Vodacom, MTN, Neotel and others you’ll find blind spots on Sentech’s coverage maps.
    As and when you find blind spots on broadcaster’s coverage map it means your cheap DVB-T2 antennae will not work.
    The same goes for those trains that are too high for our railway lines ….

  55. William Stucke on

    > Government should rather just use satellite services for everybody and use all scarce resources for communications.

    Antonio, you said something sensible. Well done!

    Unfortunately, you rather spoilt it by your usual repetitious rant. This time saying something that you have obviously learnt about radio propagation. But repeating it 4 times or so doesn’t make your point any stronger. Sorry.

  56. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio… I’ll make this easy for you; how much money are you willing to bet that I know Sentech’s coverage maps of DTT, DTH, DAB+/DMB, FM, VHF/UHF better than you would ever imagine;

    …you’d better make the bet with real cash soonest because I know for certain that you’re going to find yourself, as usual, on the loser’s side – Mr Sentech spokesperson…

    …or is it spokesperson for the poor masses; or spokesperson for local producers who need their content protected with CA; or spokesperson for African countries going with CA –

    Aha! it’s actually… BS spokesperson – and clueless entertaining clown who’s about to actually put their money where their mouth is – I would hope!!

  57. Andrew Fraser on

    “Omni- or multi-directional antennas can be used at small to medium distances from the towers provided that there are no big reflective “ghost” producing structures near your
    location.”

    Er no. DVB-T2 is a digital system, using ODFM and error correction. Ghosting is an analogue problem. A reflected signal will not impact DTT reception if the main signal is sufficient.

  58. Andrew Fraser on

    “The 5 million sponsored boxes are mainly in rural areas with bad signal.”
    No. They’re not. Most of the population is urbanised, hence most of the decoders will be in urban areas. Think before you type.

  59. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio… the smart guys in this game which are most definitely going to be wiping the floor with your behind are really counting on you and your ETV friends to have your DTT offering coming with all the listed technically complicated explanations and requirements which you’re proclaiming;

    I can see that you’re most definitely going to be just as embarrassed as Platco to mention figures of take-up to justify further purchase orders when the large majority of people are enticed by offers which will highlight the truth in the simplicity getting set-up to receive digital transmissions…

    …oh and in such limited instances where reception is problematic the obvious choice will be a DTH installation that will also make you ready to receive DStv when you’re able to afford it; and not the antenna proposition which you’re mistakenly thinking people are going to opt for… the smart guys in this game are once again, as always ahead of you;

    Tell me Antonio, how is it that DStv would brazenly slap the highest percentage increase on the EasyView package when there’s a free for life, similarly positioned OVHD offering in the market place…??? You are really clueless about this game and the market place that you’re hoping to profit from.

  60. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>4. A good-enough wideband external UHF antenna costs about R100. So does a satellite dish. I lie. The dish costs about R120. Big deal. The cost of an antenna (wideband or dish) plus cable plus DTT-T2 or DVB-S2 STB plus installation are comparable. Within 20% or so. Government doesn’t really care which you use. If you have a brain, you’ll go for satellite.

    So William, given that DTH more than adequately covers the entire country – who are these silly people that are going to opt for antenna installations when a DTH installation will be able to future proof one for receiving DStv when they are able to afford it.

    Not sure why there are still those who would tout DTH as just being a DTT gap-filler…??? The fact that BDM is provided for terrestrially as well as via DTH means that Sentech has adequately catered for good signal coverage of the population in its entirety…

    …so in-effect the citizens are going to be able to make the simplest choice for themselves; and the best way for you to make sure that the ordinary person steers away from your offering is to complicate it with requirements filled with technical terrestrial reception jargon of the like that is contained right here in this discussion thread.

    The choice that people are going to be making is always going to be the simplest or most beneficial; …it doesn’t need you to have broadcast engineering experience because it’s pretty obvious – given whatever situation they find themselves.

  61. How much? The test we plan for you is a real life test of Sentech coverage. It is one thing to quote a general Sentech press release but completely a different scenario testing you on true and tested coverage under a variety of circumstances and places. You can find a copy of such a controlled study from Turkey at digitag dot org. Show us you in depth knowledge.

  62. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>You can find a copy of such a controlled study from Turkey at digitag dot org.

    Or you can have been directly involved with Sentech in the piloting of the various digital broadcast platforms.

    BTW – I asked you how much money you’re willing to bet… Mr Memory Lapse

  63. Vusi – the original discussion is about cheap indoor antennae. It has nothing to do with DSTV versus OpenViewHD. We are talking about the use of cheap indoor aerials and coverage.
    Why do you always rant on about something else than the topic on hand?
    Are you just a natural ranter?

  64. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Just doing what you do best… only better, now let’s see how long you can keep this up (revealing your ignorance that is) BTW – Check the topic it’s;

    SA the case study on how not to do DTT

    Now I would most certainly say that exposing the likes of you who have been leading the country astray for the clueless clowns that you and your friends are; fits hand-in-glove with how not to do DTT… wouldn’t you agree?

  65. Vusi – yes, a person might have been involved but did that person learn? Is that person honest about the outcomes of such pilot projects? Does that person remember all the results of those pilots?

    Is that person aware that Sentech’s coverage maps are
    assuming an external, roof mounted antenna? Is this person honest about Sentech’s 84% coverage using cheap indoor antennae?

    How much is good for you?

  66. Ranting on again? Yes – the discussion is all about how not to do DTT = Digital Terrestrial and not Digital Satellite. Now why are you going on about DSTV versus OpenViewHD? Or do Vusi see them as DTT suppliers?
    We are discussing how not to do DTT with cheap indoor antennae.

  67. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio… Sentech has the entire country covered with good signal reception for BDM; that is a fact – you can try and complicate things to your own detriment with technical reception jargon that the ordinary person isn’t going to be bothered about for DTT just to justify your antenna installation proposition for your self serving agenda;

    …but unfortunately for you and your friends, the choice that people are going to want is the obvious and sensible one already provided for by Sentech via DTH in the limited instances where DTT reception is problematic. I know that it really must be a bitter pill to swallow – allways finding yourself on the losing side when all your eggs are in one basket…

    Hey, but you can’t say that I didn’t warn you… what I’m really looking forward to though, is seeing the other clowns who believe that they are going to be profiting from this BDM Gravy Train also eating humble pie.

  68. Vusi – the ordinary person wants and demand a good TV experience – definitely without all the jargon.
    Cheap indoor antennae will cause more problems for this country. People will toy toy, burn schools and libraries, chase Vusi, strike and more if they can’t watch decent TV with your cheap indoor antennae.
    They don’t care about jargon. Sentech and SABS are supposed to look after technical stuff.

  69. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>People will toy toy, burn schools and libraries, chase Vusi, strike and more if they can’t watch decent TV with your cheap indoor antennae.

    toy toy – and that from the spokesperson of the poor masses LMAO!!

    Antonio, none of that is going to be happening because people already know that if they want good TV they can watch SABC1 or get themselves nice life problems from DStv.

  70. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Or do Vusi see them as DTT suppliers?

    Google GOtv and tell me what you come up with…

    I see you’re still not aware that DTT is being complemented by DTH in SA’s BDM… gee no-wonder you’re going on with ranting about the technical specs for DTT reception. (PS – DTH=No DTT reception problems.)

  71. Vusi – I wish we could believe you but Government is pushing forward with 5 million sponsored set top boxes, antennae and installation. 5 Million of them. If these 5 million get to use your cheap indoor antenna we going to see problems.
    Maybe Vusi you can meet with Zuma and Gov to convince them to sponsor 5 million DSTV satellite dishes?
    At least then we can us all the spectrum for comms?

  72. Vusi – you are missing the point again. We are talking about cheap indoor antennae for the masses. Will cheap indoor antennae work well for everybody in reach of DVB-T2 signals?

    Sentech’s coverage maps are assuming an external, roof mounted antenna. Moving indoors and losing height also means that you lose a whole bunch of dBs.

  73. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio you’re too busy pushing your own selfish agenda around this ludicrous “Gravy Train Subsidy Plan” that you don’t even realize it when you’re engaging with some one that is; has always been; and will forever be against this subsidy plan…

    …I really hope that there are people who will end up just like that late former convicted commissioner of police fraudster over this senseless waste of tax-payer money to fund an obvious gravy train scheme; and you’d better hope that the blame as in the case of Nkandla, doesn’t fall onto the suppliers.

  74. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Repeating yourself over and over again when the solution in those limited instances is already provided for via DTH; only serves to confirm you as being an idiot – also pointed out by William wherein he also commends you; as I have in the past for the same consideration that others have also had and more recently highlighted Dominic’s article here on TC about SA mulling dropping DTT.

  75. Vusi – we all hate the Gravy Train. And Nkandla. And all the money wasters. But the reality is that government is pushing forward with 5 million boxes and rooftop antennae. Gov will not use cheap indoor aerials.
    Thing is – if gov is going to support your cheap indoor antennae we’ll see a lot of problems.

  76. Vusi – maybe you are the real idiot here? You keep on ranting about DTH when we are actually talking about cheap indoor antennae in areas with DVB-T2 (terrestrial) service.
    Vusi – we are not talking or discussing DTH. Do you now think gov is going to supply 5 million with DTH?

  77. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    And this from the same person who not so long ago was adamant that CA would be included and thereafter quite certain that things would change;

    Your confidence is seemingly always misplaced when it comes to being spokesperson for the government;

    …I have a feeling that there’s going to be more surprises in-store for you but by now I’m guessing you’re already used to the feeling of being a loser.

  78. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Please refer to William’s reference to the Soweto pilot and then go to StatsSA for the last census on the population in urban environments;

    >>Do you now think gov is going to supply 5 million with DTH?

    You have clearly proven yourself to be a real idiot just with that remark…

    …but I’m sure you’re still going to manage to take your foolishness to even greater heights aren’t you??? after-all, you were the one to suggest that DTH be the primary solution so that the spectrum can be available for comms;

    …whatever it is that you’re smoking – I know for certain that it’s no Legal.

  79. William Stucke on

    Eish! Vusi, don’t get me started on the whole “Why didn’t we go satellite in the first place” thing. That’s the subject of a separate article.

    Of course we should have. Anyone with even half a brain knows that. Instead, we have spent large amounts of money – very large amounts – while Sentech first rolled out a DVB-T transmitter network, then upgraded it to a DVB-T2 network. Once they realised that there was no way in hell that they would get anywhere near 100% terrestrial coverage as demanded by their political masters without an exponential increase in costs, they worked out (with a little prodding from Yours Truly and others) that DTH can ‘fill in the gaps”.

    You know, and I know, that DTH can cover the entire country cheaply and easily, with a bit of DTT in dense urban areas to “fill in the gaps”. Not the other way around.

    But, hey! If they did that, what would they do with the 300 Sentech employees, 70% of whom would be immediately redundant?

    Never mind the fact that changing to DTT reduces the number of transmitters by a factor of 3 or better. That means costs need to go down. By a factor of 3 or so. That means retrenchments. WHAT! In a 100% SOE?

    And we reach a point where technology become irrelevant, and politics is all …

  80. Vusi – you confuse yourself. We are still promoting CA for all set top boxes in Southern Africa. CA has a lot of benefits for content owners, broadcasters and viewers. SABC might come up with their own CA for premium channels and commercial set top boxes. Gov should have done good to to opt for CA at $1.00 to $1.50 per box.
    But Gov decided otherwise.
    Any case – you’ll definitely see CA on DVB-T2 commercial channels.
    One thing that is certain is that Gov will and DVB-T2 will not support your cheap inhouse antennae for the masses.

  81. Vusi – Fact remains. As per William “Although Greg got good
    reception with his R65 indoor antenna, Sentech’s coverage maps are assuming an external, roof mounted antenna. Moving indoors and losing height also means that you lose a whole bunch of dBs. Their 84% coverage prediction is assuming
    external roof mounted antennas at a height of 10 m”.
    Vusi – they will not use your cheap indoor antennae for the masses.
    Gov supply free DTH for those in areas with ZERO terrestrial signal. Think those around square array.
    Vusi – we are stuck with DVB-T2. Accept it.

  82. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    It’s a given inevitability that Sentech, SABC, Post Office, etc. will all have to follow the same path as Telkom and right-size their operations not just to remain profitable but to ensure survival… there’s no escaping this reality and the unions would be doing themselves a huge favor in factoring this reality in the bigger picture of ensuring that they too remain relevant.

    Back to the BDM disaster; it’s bad enough that government had other commercial players attempting to exploit this insane gravy train subsidy scheme for their own selfish CA interests, now we have the same culprits conjuring up yet another antenna installation bundling scheme that makes absolutely no sense when there’s the DTH solution provided for in the instances that have been determined, from the pilots, as being potential problem areas.

    Conducting an on the ground survey of these potential problematic areas has also revealed that the households in these environments, have always experienced UHF/VHF reception issues and have already, in most instances installed either an antenna that can be utilized for receiving the digital signal or a DTH installation of their choice given that they’ve realized for themselves being in those locations what does work.

    Now it seems that there’s going to be 3 suppliers of useless gravy train drippings because some culprits believe that it’s just so easy to pull the wool of people’s eyes… they’ve got another Jackie Selebi mountain coming their way. It seems that some fools are just too clueless to realize that there’s no gravy on this BDM train which is the the very reason why it has delayed for so long.

    They just need to switch-on now and forget about the schemes… the market is ready to sort itself out without the assistance of government’s ill-conceived plan of stealing the tax-payers’ money.

  83. So why don’t you you tell your buddies in the highest ranks of the DoC, DTPS and Luthuli House all this ?

    After all, as a continuous supporter of the “Winners”, you must be well connected and influential there.

    We, the somewhat better informed, all allowed these useless Billions of Rands wasting politicians to get away with all this nonsense.

    The standard you accept, is the standard you will get.

    The one who keeps silent, condones.

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -Edmund Burke

    Where there is a will, there is a way.

  84. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    It would seem that you also aren’t aware that there has been extensive piloting done that has determined that there are plenty of instances where people will be pleasantly surprised with the great reception they’ll receive from an indoor antenna that costs around R65;

    …but this is how LOSERS like yourself and your ETV friends always roll – NO on-the-ground research and surveys; just thumb sucking and BS and then you wonder why after all your marketing noise hype you end up with an uptake of less than K50 for your OVHD offering;

    …and as if to add salt to your wounds, the market share of DStv Compact grows and Multichoice are all smiles in their new “Temple of Success” building reporting huge profits and all you can do is rant on TC… Agh Shame!!

  85. The voters are badly informed in this country, and you should know that by now.
    The typical ANC voters relies on hearsay in the townships, with occasional watching /listening to SABC news, and having a rare glance at the Daily Sun.
    And the better informed never got into the act, of providing a counter balance with better info. Our education system and opposition politicians have failed in this respect.
    BTW, when was the last time YOU had a relaxed, constructive discussion with a a “typical ANC voter” on all the challenges in SA ?
    And explained them how the ANC is messing up DTT and the SOEs, and many other things.

    Or in other words, it is not just the ANC and their voters, it is SA at large. A very divided and dysfunctional country still, with a failing democracy.
    No use to whine,moan, blame and point fingers over a braai with like minded buddies from your own background.

  86. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Vusi – you confuse yourself.

    Excuse me…??? and you’re one to make such a statement – LMAO!!

    >>One thing that is certain is that Gov will and DVB-T2 will not support your cheap inhouse antennae for the masses.

    When did Faith hire a clown like you to be her spokesperson…???

  87. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Where there is a will, there is a way.

    Very true indeed… and all in good time;

    Everything in this world evolves and evolution moves just in one direction – towards improvement.

    Yes! at times it’s difficult for one to see that the change occurring is the progress of evolution…

    …but that doesn’t change the fact that life is indeed evolving.

  88. Vusi – we have and are still conducting tests. Your personal involvement in piloting seems to be limited based on your constant support of cheap indoor antennas.
    The market is good for OpenView HD and DSTV. No problem with that. eTV never said it is going to sell 30 million set top boxes. A good market share is a good market share. Just like newspapers. And magazines. And radio stations.

  89. Vusi – you are the real clown here. You keep on promoting your cheap indoor antenna regardless the results of tests at Sentech. Seems you left the because you could never understand the results? Just like that bloke at PRASA. He also kept going with trains that are too high for our railway lines?

    Sentech found their 84% coverage prediction is assuming external roof mounted antennas at a height of 10 m, with a gain of 11 dB. Yes, 10 meters. That’s on top of a three story building. So, don’t believe the 84%.

  90. “Everything in this world evolves and evolution moves just in one direction – towards improvement. ”

    Wrong, absolutely off !!

    See what RGM and his ZANU-PF have done to Zim, and what your favourite ANC is doing to SA : Total Destruction.

    Look what the Greek have done to their territory.

  91. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>See what RGM and his ZANU-PF have done to Zim

    What RGM has done for Zim is what he should’ve done earlier but now exactly what had to be done has been accomplished…

    …and we’re headed in that exact same direction; if you had your pulse on the ground then you would know that – Juju is not leading any fight – the fight had already been brewing only stalled by respect for Madiba whilst he was alive;

    …he’s out of the picture now and things on the ground are indeed about to take on catalytic change for the evolution of freeing this country from those who still don’t know from their apartheid upbringing;

    …that being a certain skin color doesn’t actually make you smart or superior.

    The good thing for SA though is that we have the example of “how not to do it from Zim” and can now work together with the ANC to ensure that the change that is inevitable does not negatively impact our country.

  92. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>The market is good for OpenView HD

    NO! the market doesn’t want that crap… check the up-take figures from Platco, they are giving the answer;

    People want nice life problems from DStv; do yourself a favor and make a point of doing some after-sales with the very few people that bought OVHD…

    …you are going to find that in the majority of instances you’ve helped propel them to take-up DStv because of the CRAP your friends are serving; and that is the reason why DStv can brazenly slap the highest percentage increase on the EasyView package.

    Once again stop sucking your thumb – this business works with actual subscribers not BS.

  93. Vusi, be serious and sensible. Why should “We” still work together with the ANC. That “movement” is BER, beyond economical repair.

    It is solely hellbent to defend the indefensible, the utterly corrupt and incompetent Nr One and his cronies.

    They are way to slow to grasp the harsh realities of SA. They should be ousted at the polls ASAP.

    The financial/economic management of SA is just disastrous.

    This is what I wrote below a BDlive article on taxes and state finances 36 days ago:

    We really do NOT need tax rises, but we surely need a far more cost effective use of the existing R 1350 Billion state budget. “Radical” rationalisation, austerity and frugality. Not clueless rants about a “radical Economic Transformation”, which just means vacuous Gov intervention, throwing money at issues. To start it all off :Sell SAA, Telkom, split up Eskom in 3 or 4 power producing units and a company that runs the grid, and privatise them all.
    Sell SABC/Sentech, Infraco Broadband and many other useless and tax sapping SOEs. Not in underhand behind the screens deals to the PIC, but in a transparent fashion.

    Reduce parliament to 200 members, the number of ministers and deputies from 72 to 30.
    Retrench 30% of civil servants, and reduce their highly inflated salaries with 5% for the lowest paid to 40% for the highest posts.
    Stop the money wasting madness of the R 15 Billion Digital Disaster, the Digital Migration, a project apparently approved by all political parties, that could have been up-and-running for less than R 3 Billion by 2011 or 2012. But this Gov wants to control and manufacture all necessary STBs by 27 suppliers in SA and put import duties on imported ones.

    Judge Dennis Davis once admitted on a BD live forum, that he estimated the loss of money through corruption and other wasteful practices to be R 30 -100 Billion a year. Personally I feel it is more like R 100-200 Billion.

    The article is called :VAT hikes lesser evil to raise tax revenue

  94. William Stucke on

    > the market is ready to sort itself out without the assistance of government’s ill-conceived plan of stealing the tax-payers’ money.
    Did you really say that, Vusi? Well done! I’m glad to see that your support of your chosen political party isn’t blind and uncritical. It should never be, whichever party one supports.
    Unfortunately, not everyone agrees.

  95. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>The financial/economic management of SA is just disastrous.

    You will find that with all governments, there will always be room for improvement and an improvement in “The financial/economic management of SA” would most definitely be welcomed by all.

    >>Sell SAA, Telkom, split up Eskom in 3 or 4 power producing units and a company that runs the grid, and privatise them all.
    Sell SABC/Sentech, Infraco Broadband and many other useless and tax sapping SOEs.

    There are some SOEs that can be privatized but I wouldn’t suggest that it be a wholesale off-loading of all these strategic assets. Government should still have major shareholding interest in most; and any sale should be towards BEE – there are those who are suggesting privatization because they just want to see these assets in the hands of the beneficiaries of apartheid… that cannot be allowed to happen.

    >>Reduce parliament to 200 members, the number of ministers and deputies from 72 to 30.

    That’s perfectly alright because with the proportional representation system we have – it wouldn’t change the democratic will of the people and less ministers is a cost cutting measure that many would support.

    >>Retrench 30% of civil servants, and reduce their highly inflated salaries with 5% for the lowest paid to 40% for the highest posts.

    …and what would you have all these unemployed people doing; as well as all the others who would then be living below their accustomed norm…??? Without a feasible solution and answer that works then all that you will have succeeded in doing is creating even more problems.

    >>Stop the money wasting madness of the R 15 Billion Digital Disaster, the Digital Migration, a project apparently approved by all political parties, that could have been up-and-running for less than R 3 Billion by 2011 or 2012.

    Well that is something that I would definitely put my energy behind given any opportunity that I can find to do so.

  96. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    There’s nothing new or peculiar in how Sentech calculates or makes its predictions… it is an accepted norm and anyone clued-up about this industry would know that.

    I’m just bemused at how you keep on managing to take your foolishness to extraordinary heights of idiocy at every opportunity.

    Instead of reading and understanding all of William’s listed points – you’ve jumped onto the one that you’ve confusingly assumed supports you;

    …so what you’re purporting is that no one with an outdoor installation that is below a height of 10m will receive transmissions taking these standard predictions literally;

    I can tell you for a fact that no one is going to have your antennas mounted on a pole to get to a height of 10m on their homes. Stop! smoking that Sh*t – it’s turning you into an absolute moron; and I’d be surprised if there’s anyone who still takes you seriously.

    This is a fact tested on the ground Antonio… the large majority of the population which mainly consists of people living in urbanized areas will be able to receive the digital transmissions with a R65 indoor antenna, just like Greg was able to in an area where he experiences bad reception.

  97. Vusi – what William is stating is an antenna at a height of 10 meters high. You were definitely smoking when you were reading most of our comments. 10 meter high is not 10 meter high from rooftop. It is 10 meter high from ground level to get a gain of 11dB. So – you get less dB’s as you go to 5m high. When you are indoors at 1 or 1,5 meters you’ll get even less to almost zero dB’s.

    Vusi – you are the smoked one – I never made any statement as you are trying to put into my mouth “…so what you’re purporting is that no one with an outdoor installation that is below a height of 10m …” – crap – where did you read this in any of my replies? You live in lala land. You make up stuff. You the moron.

    Sentech and all manufacturers also tested plain common installations of outdoor antennae on normal TV masts anyone can buy at Ellies or Builders Warehouse. Those are standard TV masts for homes, shacks, flats, etc.

    What we are saying is that cheap indoor antennae will not work in most cases. Cheap indoor antennae does not work for most people in UK, Germany, Turkye and other DVB-T2 countries.

  98. 小杜 (xiao du) on

    “Could” add as much as US$49bn should be the operative word.

    If anyone believes the government is going to freely give away spectrum, I have a bridge to sell them. Spectrum is more than likely going to be auctioned off, and that process will take years while the ANC squabble about who gets the money.

  99. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio… the only thing that is now perfectly clear is that the “we” that you’re always referring to – is pointing directly to those bunch of LOSER friends of yours who wanted CA;

    …and are now thinking that pushing for the bundling of an outdoor antenna installation, at the tax-payers expense, that would basically equate to a DTH installation in costs – is a clever way around the policy and will allow them to still achieve their agenda.

    Make no mistake… the smart guys in this game are going to bust that bubble of yours again. Go back to Williams listed points and check no.4 …the one I responded to; and also see his response.

    >>What we are saying is that cheap indoor antennae will not work in most cases.

    …where they don’t work (and I beg to differ with your “most cases” assumption from a thumb suck and not from on-the-ground piloting); why on Earth would anyone opt for an antenna installation when there’s the DTH installation option that will also future proof one for receiving the pay-TV service that everyone wants which is DStv…???

    This I’ve said many a times before on this TC forum… birds of the LOSER feather will always flock together. BTW – Has Platco past the K50 mark on that crap OVHD offering of theirs? You never came back with the latest figures of up-take… but I would assume from the silence that the answer is NO… (You really do enjoy being a LOSER don’t you…??? and that’s why that stuff is illegal – Stop! smoking it)

  100. Vusi – you are a PRASA blueprint. A mister know it all but guiding all into something that will not work. The PRASA bloke boasted degrees and experience just to build trains higher than most bridges. Vusi – you are just like this clown. You want to make people to believe you. But boy, you can talk crap. You like to attack people. You like like to call people morons, idiots, etc.
    But you are the biggest MORON an IDIOT.
    You are like our big father Robert Mugabe. You think you can trash people. You call them names constantly. But you are the weakest link.
    Why did you not take your own offer to bet a couple of thousand rands to show your ignorance?
    Vusi – go claim back your money from Durban Univeristy and Sentech. You are clueless. You sucker.

  101. How much money do you need to expose yourself as a worse than PRASA case? Vusi – the oke which “designed” trains higher than our railways can accommodate?
    You, Vusi, preach cheap indoor antennae? Jut like the bloke of PRASA you will find that your cheap indoor antennae will not work for 5 million plus households.

  102. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Maybe trains is where you’ll be more successful Antonio… this business is way beyond your ability to understand; but I’m glad you keep persisting with this discussion because it’s helping to clear the murky waters and expose those who have been pulling the wool over the eyes of the public.

  103. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    They are doing a great job at that all own…

    …just take a look at those Namec clowns; oh and not to forget Antonio, spokesperson of the poor masses when the truth is you’re just pushing your own selfish agenda.

  104. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Vusi – you are a PRASA blueprint. A mister who knows it all but guiding all into something that will not work.

    It actually does work… Greg, in an area which has been problematic for reception – clearly points out that he has indeed received the pilot transmissions; and the on-the-ground piloting also proves that there’s plenty of people who will get great reception with indoor antenna.

    Your ill-conceived plan for outdoor antenna installation is going to just have the smart guys in this game come up with an offer for free DTH installation vouchers to those in the limited instances where Greg’s R65 antenna doesn’t work; and once again bust that bubble of yours in the same way they were able to get the SABC on their side.

    Now go and join PRASA and see if you can come up with a way to fix the train problem… I’ve warned you on more than enough occasions; this game is not for idiots like yourself.

  105. Vusi – can you clearly state that everybody – each and every household – will get above average signal for cheap indoor antennae?

  106. Vusi – can you guarantee that these cheap indoor antennae will work in all 5 million homes where they have DVB-T2 signal?
    If you, Vusi, can guarantee a 100% success rate government will definitely listen to you.
    But what is to happen if government listens to Vusi and buy 5 million X R65-00 cheap indoor antennae just to find out that it is not working in 1 or 2 million homes?
    Can you guarantee your cheap solution 100%

  107. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Do you have a problem with understanding English…???

    With the digital broadcast signal unlike with the analogue signal; you either have reception or you don’t… there is no gradual progression from a snowy picture to a crystal clear picture.

    Just like with your cellphone; and the signal indicator represented with several bars going up to full strength… your digital TV receiver will also give you an indication of the signal strength wherever you are.

    Your cellphone can be on a single bar or two bars and you will be able to make a call… the call will only drop when you loose signal and you have zero bars. Optimum signal strength with full bars is not required, you simply need to always be having signal and the bars are the indicator of whether or not yo do; and they also indicate strength.

    The same applies to the digital broadcast signal. There are people with indoor antenna that will be in close proximity to the transmitters and will have full bars… and as you move further from the transmitter the same indoor antenna will have less bars but you will still be receiving a quality signal with good reception.

    It is only when there are zero bars that you begin to experience a problem and there are very limited instances of that in urbanized areas where you find the majority of SA’s population;

    (which incidentally also includes poor households; because poor people are not just in rural areas… just like you will be able to find wealthy people in the rural areas – check with StatsSA the last census and you’ll be able to get a breakdown)

    Now since you are subsidizing 5mil poor households in the ridiculous and unnecessary waste of tax-payer money gravy train scheme; the larger proportion of those poor households will be in the urbanized areas and those households can make do with indoor antenna; in the rural areas you can then go with DTH installations.

    So yes… I can most certainly guarantee that your stupid plan for outdoor antenna installation is completely without merit… and to quote William on the DTH argument “…anyone with half a brain would know to go with DTH” (…besides, as has been mentioned to you; the smart guys in this game are going to definitely bust your bubble on that one again just like they got the SABC to be on their side in this never ending BDM saga)

    All that you and your ETV friends have been doing, is pushing your own silly agenda… and by now, with the all media and public attention that this has managed to receive, anyone with half a brain would know that it’s time – to back-off and accept defeat; but you’re still believing you can pull the wool over peoples eyes and manage to accomplish your intended agenda.

  108. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    And once again you manage to take your foolishness to new heights of idiocy –

    …so in your lack of understanding of the English language you are interpreting all that’s contained in this discussion to mean;

    >> each and every household – will get above average signal for cheap indoor antennae?

    You need to stop smoking that sh*t asap… because at this rate – not even the guys at PRASA are going to take you seriously.

  109. Vusi – we have lots of cell phone dead spots in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and almost all towns. You move around these cities and you loose signal. Why? You are in an area with lots of cell towers but you lost your signal?
    Just as you loose cell phone signal in areas that are suppose to have 100% coverage you pick up problems.
    So with DVB-T2. There are dead spots in all countries with DVB-T2.
    So – the question remains – do you Vusi guarantee 100% success with your cheap indoor antennae?

  110. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>You move around these cities and you loose signal. Why?

    Wake up! you clueless clown… who’s going to be moving around with their TV sets…??? (There’s DMB mobile TV or DTT lite for that; the DVB-T2 network in-place would still need an upgrade to support DTT lite)

    >>So with DVB-T2. There are dead spots in all countries with DVB-T2.

    Very limited in urbanized areas and for the umpteenth time, here in SA BDM is also provided for via DTH… and anyone with half a brain; will go with a DTH installation and also future proof themselves to receive the leading pay TV service, DStv when they are able to afford it;

    …your outdoor antenna solution has no merit whatsoever; and you’re going to learn the same hard lesson about life and this game (as with when the SABC decided to do a 180 on you);

    …when the smart guys in this game, who are always ahead of you, dish out an offer for free DTH installation vouchers to those who want the best alternative option to your ill-conceived bundling of an outdoor antenna scheme; for pulling the wool over the public’s eyes and again attempting to get the tax payer to fund your commercial interests.

  111. Vusi – government already appointed 3 companies to manufacture DVB-T2 antennae. You the clueless one here. What we are saying is that there are dead spots and to proof it we mentioned cell phone dead spots that everyone experience from time to time. So – there are dead DVB-T2 spots as well?
    DTH comes at a cost. Gov is not planning to supply those which can’t get a signal on their cheap indoor antennae with DTH. Gov will provide directional outdoor antennae.

  112. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>>>4. A good-enough wideband external UHF antenna costs about R100. So does a satellite dish. I lie. The dish costs about R120. Big deal. The cost of an antenna (wideband or dish) plus cable plus DTT-T2 or DVB-S2 STB plus installation are comparable. Within 20% or so. Government doesn’t really care which you use. If you have a brain, you’ll go for satellite.

    That stuff has really affected your memory in a bad way; Stop smoking that Sh*t; …oh and go back to Google something that you can apply your clueless mind to;

    Just got a call… no one at PRASA wants you; and I really thought that you could help out there – with you being a staunch supporter of 10m high installations (Eish! beg your pardon – from the ground that is)

    …hey, but you can’t say I didn’t try to help you out buddy… you’re the one that keeps on shooting yourself in the foot and exposing yourself for an absolute idiot.

  113. You are the idiot Vusi. You say that everyone in DVB-T2 reception areas will be able to use a cheap indoor antenna. That is your statement?

  114. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>You are the idiot Vusi. You say that everyone in DVB-T2 reception areas will be able to use a cheap indoor antenna. That is your statement?

    Go back to all the schools you attended Antonio and ask for a full refund for all the English classes… those teachers of yours did such a crappy job and yet still passed you;

    …it’s no wonder that you even struggle to Google properly and find something to apply that clueless mind of yours to – (or is it perhaps that you’ve undone all their work because of that SH*T that you’re smoking?)

    Go back through this entire thread of comments on this discussion and quote exactly where it is where I’ve said;

    >>everyone in DVB-T2 reception areas will be able to use a cheap indoor antenna.

    Antonio… Winners make the rules and LOSERS live by those rules; this is a game that you are never going to Win because that’s just how it works.

    I found it like this when I arrived on this planet and I made up my mind that I am going to be a WINNER; that’s how the smart guys in this game roll, unlike you and your ETV LOSER friends.

  115. Vusi – you do not understand yourself. You are very clear that everyone in T2 reception areas will have 100% reception on their cheap indoor antennae. You even went into a long explanation of cell phone reception = 1, 2 or full bars.
    Remember, we are talking areas with T2 reception and not about DTH areas. You kept on shooting down rooftop directional antennae. You said it many times. Your view and statement is that if you are within T2 coverage you ONLY need Vusi’s cheap indoor antennae.
    Again – we are not talking about DTH areas. Vusi – we are talking about T2 coverage areas and not DTH areas.
    Vusi – you make it clear that people in T2 areas ONLY need a cheap indoor antennae for super television experience?

  116. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>we are talking areas with T2 reception and not about DTH areas.

    Where in this country is there no DTH coverage you dumb idiot…???

    In the large proportion of urbanized areas; oh and out in the KZN hills of Kloof where Greg is …indoor antenna reception has been proven to work;

    DTH is the available option in SA’s BDM for the instances where reception would problematic;

    – there is no need for your stupid outdoor antenna bundling scheme since it would basically be a cost that’s the same as a DTH installation; and in the same way that you are quiet about the latest OVHD up-take figures… you don’t seem to be able to come up with any reason whatsoever why there’s merit in your stupid plan. ( …but we all know your hidden agenda)

    >>Vusi – you do not understand yourself.

    You don’t seem to understand that you are a LOSER and as such you will never Win in this game. Now I can organize a lesson for you on how to use Google and select the language that you’ll be most comfortable with (English is clearly not an area of strength for you); so you can be able to find something to best apply that clueless mind of yours to –

    Would that be helpful…??? it’s the least that I can do for such an entertaining clown LMAO!!

  117. Vusi – don’t be such an idiot. You are trying not to be exposed. You know very well what we are talking about. From Sentech’s website: “As at 28 March 2013, SENTECH had recorded an 80.43% DTT population coverage, thus exceeding the targeted 80% coverage; four days before the deadline. This was achieved though the installation of 62 additional sites mostly located in rural areas.”
    The people in the rest = 20% of the country without T2 are forced to use DTH.
    You want to tell us that everyone in the 80% coverage area will get a great reception on Vusi’s cheap indoor antenna?
    Greg had no reception in his house. Greg had to fix the indoor antenna to his window (facing outside) with a piece or wire or something else.
    Fact remains – Greg had no indoor reception with his cheap antenna on top of his TV. Greg had to make all kinds of plan to fix his cheap antenna on a burglar bar.
    But Vusi keeps on stating that every one in Sentech’s 80.43 to 80 something will have great success with Vusi’s cheap indoor antenna.
    Just to clarify – the DTH areas I am referring to is the percentage that do not have any T2 reception at all. These people are forced to use DTH at a higher cost than T2 decoder and antenna.

  118. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>But Vusi keeps on stating that every one in Sentech’s 80.43 to 80 something will have great success with Vusi’s cheap indoor antenna.

    I’m really glad that you’re persisting with this because it’s proving the fact that the delay with all of this is mainly because of “tax payer money stealing gravy train chasers” who are still attempting to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and have their commercial interests funded through another stupid ill-conceived scheme that; just like that crap OVHD offering …no one with half a brain would opt for.

    I’m going to repeat exactly what I’ve said…

    In the large proportion of urbanized areas; oh and out in the KZN hills of Kloof where Greg is …indoor DVB-T2 antenna reception has been proven to work;

    DTH is the available option in SA’s BDM for the instances where DTT reception would be problematic;

    – there is no need for your stupid outdoor antenna bundling scheme since it would basically be a cost that’s the same as a DTH installation; and in the same way that you are quiet about the latest OVHD up-take figures… you don’t seem to be able to come up with any reason whatsoever why there’s merit in your stupid plan. ( …but we all know your hidden agenda)

    Now let’s see how long you can keep going with displaying your foolishness… and you wonder why you’re a LOSER – LMAO!!

  119. “there is no need for your stupid outdoor antenna bundling scheme since it would basically be a cost that’s the same as a DTH installation”
    What is the price of Sentech’s DTH Solution – FreeVision decoder with Nagra Conditional Access?

  120. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Antonio… haven’t you learnt anything from how the smart guys, that are always wiping the floor with your behind, operate;

    …any price that you come up with can be undercut; any scheme that you think of will be countered; when you think you have SABC on your side – that too can be turned around; and when cabinet meets to discuss BDM the outcome will surprise you;

    The Winners make the rules and the LOSERS… well, they get to rant on TC; and are always forced to live by the rules. Eish! wouldn’t you love to be a Winner – Stop trying so hard to prove that you the biggest idiot ever in this game.

  121. Vusi you are the idiot. Let me help you. TechCentral reported some time ago “The cost of installing the Sentech service starts at R1 350, including the cost of a decoder. The entry level decoder is a standard-definition box, though high-definition decoders will also be available.”
    At R1,350 you get a Sentech FreeVision Decoder with Nagra Conditional Access.
    Vusi – R1,350 is far more than the R700 government is planning to spend on a DVB-T2 installation? That is a R650 price difference per household or shack.
    Multiply R650 X hundreds of thousands of installations if people can get their cheap indoor DVB-T2 antennae to work. These people are situated in the 80% plus coverage areas.
    You are an idiot to think government or anybody else will spend R1,350 instead of just buying a decent rooftop outdoor antenna. Again – these people are staying in the 80% plus areas with Sentech DVB-T2 coverage.
    But Vusi keeps on promoting his cheap indoor antennae?

  122. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    You are an idiot if you believe that it won’t possible to undercut any price that you’ll be able to come up with – just as you were foolish enough to believe that CA would be included in the policy.

    What needs to happen now is the digital switch-on. There are enough people who don’t qualify for this “Gravy Train Subsidy Scheme” and you will see exactly how the smart guys in this game operate and how they are going to bust your bubble.

    Starting with offers for DTT STBs and iDTVs the include free indoor antenna; and as a means to collect valuable BI (Business Intelligence) data; those consumers that find themselves in the limited problematic for receiving DTT – can have the option to take up a DTH offer with free installation voucher. That is a small price to pay to get yourself a database of prospective new clients to market DStv to going into the future.

    The problem with you and your ETV friends is your THUMB SUCK approach to this game; rather than the SWOT analysis approach required in business that focuses on the right-side being [Weakness & Threats]; making certain that one preempts every possible counter plan that the smart guys will come up with…

    …all that you look at is [Opportunity] and then THUMB SUCK and BS your way into the market; and that’s why you’re always going to be a LOSER int this game.

    (BTW – I worked on a quote for supplying BTV (Business TV) on the Freevision platform just two weeks ago and even with the economy-of-scale that was less than 500 installations, I was able to get pricing of R850 per site; and there after I could add my markup… so I now for a fact that when you’re talking economy-of-scale that’s in the millions of installations you will be able to have anyone coming in at a cost below R700 for Freevision and I’m also certain that DStv can undercut that price given the same economy-of-scale)

    Stop sucking your thumb… this is NOT the game for doing that; and that OVHD failure of an offering should already be a lesson to you that you need to be on-the-ground with real research and surveys; and be in-touch with the target market.

    Please do continue with this so I can clear all the murky water from all the BS you and your friends have being dishing out.

  123. Vusi – you are the idiot stating that Sentech Freevision Decoder with NagraVision Conditional Access will be cheaper than the R700-00 including installation government is working on.
    You are the bullshitter claiming great TV reception with your cheap indoor antennae for everybody in the 80% Sentech is covering.

  124. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    I’m gathering from your remark that your Hillbrow connection supplied you with some real messed-up Sh*t …

    Thank you for clearing up the fact that it’s not your English teachers that are to blame;

    When I posted the first comment on this discussion, I was really counting on the real culprits around BDM in SA to reveal themselves… couldn’t have ever guessed that it would have turned out to be this good.

    Don’t you just love it when a winning plan comes together…???

    Eish! my bad… you wouldn’t know anything about winning now would you? Go back to smoking your cheap Sh*t you LOSER!

  125. Shame Vusi. It must be bad to believe that your cheap indoor antennae is going to work 100% in all households in areas covered by Sentech T2.

  126. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Can’t be as bad as being sold cheap Sh*t to smoke that’s got you repeating the same crazy statement that you alone are making;

    Shame, these guys selling this cheap illegal Sh*t really need to be punished for what they’re doing to you;

    Now for some cut and paste of exactly what I said…

    In the large proportion of urbanized areas; oh and out in the KZN hills of Kloof where Greg is …indoor DVB-T2 antenna reception has been proven to work;

    DTH is the available option in SA’s BDM for the instances where DTT reception would be problematic;

    – there is no need for your stupid outdoor antenna bundling scheme since it would basically be a cost that’s the same as a DTH installation; and in the same way that you are quiet about the latest OVHD up-take figures… you don’t seem to be able to come up with any reason whatsoever why there’s merit in your stupid plan. ( …but we all know your hidden agenda)

    Don’t worry… I’m going to keep at this for as long as it takes to sink in – at some point you’ll figure out the meaning of;

    In the large proportion of urbanized areas; vs

    >>indoor antennae is going to work 100% in all households in areas covered by Sentech T2.

  127. William Stucke on

    > Why though? After we’ve spent billions and the project is complete?
    Just because money has been wasted in the past on a stupid idea is no reason to continue wasting money in the future. The idea hasn’t got any cleverer.

  128. William Stucke on

    > If you want to pick up signals from more distant TV stations an outdoor TV antenna is required.
    Oh, Boy!
    Antonio, with that little bit of “common knowledge” you display the depth of your ignorance about how DTT will (one day, maybe!) implemented in South Africa.
    Let’s consider only the situation after the digital to digital migration – the restacking. The entire country will be divided into 11 regions. Each region will have between 12 and ~30 transmitters. Every transmitter in a region will broadcast EXACTLY the same signal same frequencies, but carefully adjusted in time so that the signals add up when received by your antenna instead of interfering. This is called a SFN – Single Frequency Network, and RSA will have 11 of them for each multiplex. They will, if all goes well, be the largest in the world, BTW.
    So, the situation of picking up a “distant TV station” simply doesn’t exist.
    Maybe you should look at some of my presentations on the subject? Maybe I should write an in-depth article explaining it all.
    Duncan, do I get paid if I do? 😉

  129. William Stucke on

    > Last, if you are very far from the broadcasting towers and the signal is really weak, you may have no choice but to complement your outdoor antenna with a pre-amplifier.
    Err, no. You would use DTH-S2 and get a satellite signal.

  130. Dear William. The industry is full of different views from truly learned people. Your views make sense but it is conflicting to press releases from antenna manufacturers.
    Please come up with a complete article on DVB-T2 antennae.