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Namibia: NBC goes digital nationwide, GOtv on the field

The national broadcaster, Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), has finalised the digitalisation of its networks, and is now asking households to purchase the required decoders that would enable them to watch digital free-to-air television.

The decoders are available at the Mobi-pay outlet at Wernhil Park Shopping Mall and are priced at N$159.20, which is 20 percent lower than the actual retail price of N$199. “This special offer is only applicable to the first 20 000 decoders sold,” said NBC’s Chief Commercial Officer, Alex Shimuafeni. Customers are required to present an identity document and a receipt of the 2013/2014 TV licence payment in order to purchase the new decoder that would allow them to access the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) technology.

Television set owners who live far from NBC transmitters might need antennae, preferably out-door VHF ones, while for those living closer to the transmitters, an in-door antenna might be sufficient. “The public should also take note that those with a good quality television reception might not need an additional antenna. The NBC will announce the names of other outlets where the public can purchase the DTT decoders in due course,” Shimuafeni explained.

Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) refers to the broadcasting of terrestrial television in digital format. Currently, terrestrial broadcasting in Namibia is in analogue format and the country is preparing itself to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states approved the adoption of the Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DBV-T2) standard as the blueprint for digital migration in the next five years. This comes in the wake of recommendations by a SADC task team, which was tasked to compare available standards, including the Japanese ISDB-T standard. In 2006 SADC member states committed themselves to complete full digital migration by 2015, the global deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Joel Kaapanda had earlier said SADC member states had set December 31, 2013 as the deadline for the switch-over in order to “ensure that all related challenges are overcome before the 2015 global deadline.” The nine SADC member states include Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Magreth Nunuhe for New Era 11 October 2013

In another article, it was report that  MultiChoice’s launch of GOtv Plus and GOtv Mobile, positions Namibia well in integrating Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)  era.

General Manager of MultiChoice Namibia, Roger Gertze, this week said that Africa is a part of the digital revolution, and Namibia is no exception.

“African governments have approved a continental digital tele-vision switchover that will be complete by 2015, at which time Namibia is set to switch off analogue.

Analogue will eventually be switched off, in which case all Namibian households will need to switch to digital in order to watch television,” Gertze said.

NBC’s director general, Albertus Aochamub, welcomed DTT and said that it has improved broadcasting.  He pointed out that the sound and picture quality are better, more channels are available, and that all NBC radio stations are also broadcast.

Viewers who do not buy the NBC decoders will not be able to watch the new additional channels that NBC is expected to launch later onwards, because they will not be available on platforms like GOTv and DSTV. Only the old NBC channel will be available on GOtv and DSTV.

GOtv now offers both the GOtv and GOtv Plus bouquets, which offers local and international channels, that include news, movies, kids programming, and sport.

GOtv Plus has over 30 channels, while GOtv Mobile offers viewers seven channels. Five channels are available on the NBC decoder.
Source: informante Namibia.

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