TECHNOLOGY & CONVERGENCE

Kenya: LG Electronics launches digital TV sets

LG Electronics has launched its digital broadcasting TV set in the Kenyan market laying the foundation for the country's plan to switch to digital broadcasting. The launch comes eight months after last year's release of a transition timetable that will see the country switch from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2012.

George Mudhune, LG's regional marketing manager, said the move had been necessitated by the keen interest that local media houses had switching to digital broadcasting. "As media houses make the switch, consumers also have to move with the technology and invest in digital sets," he said. Digital television is a telecommunication system for broadcasting and receiving images and sound through digital signals with improved reception quality.

In 2006, the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) set a June 2015 deadline for all broadcasters to make the transition to digital broadcasting. In Kenya, a task force was formed to look into the migration process leading to release of the transition timetable.

With over 99.5 per cent of televisions broadcasts based on the analogue system, the migration to digital broadcasting is expected to open new market opportunities for electronic companies. "The digital convertor is a temporary solution and eventually everyone will have to own a digital TV," the head of marketing at Hotpoint Appliances, Rahul Kochhar said.

LG's new digital TV is a 42 inch set and will retail at a price of Sh190,000 (US$2,809). The current set comes with an internal hard drive that allows viewers to pause and rewind live television. The set will be available at all LG distributors including Hotpoint and other leading supermarkets.

(Business Daily (Nairobi), 30 January 2008)

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