TECHNOLOGY & CONVERGENCE

Rwanda: Star Africa Media introduces Digital TV Receivers

Star Africa Media, a Chinese pay television service provider has introduced the first digital TV sets that receive digital signals before the Christmas break. According to Star Africa Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ken Xie, this is in line with the government's vision to digitalize the broadcast media by 2012 and the fulfilment of the agreement they had with the Government of Rwanda to help in digitalizing the media.

The digital TV sets will not need decoders to connect to digital pay TVs like Star Africa, GTV and DSTV. "Our vision is clear; we need to digitalise the population not some people, that's why our services are affordable for all to have access on developmental technology," Xie said in an interview.

The company which started its operations in Rwanda in June this year, has so far registered 5,000 subscribers and the process to be efficient needs all television stations to also be digitalized in the studio, transmission and receivers in an effort to move from the current analog system to a digital era.

"Our first eight hundred affordable TV receivers will be on the market by December 16, this year. Our subscribers who will buy these sets will not need decoders to be connected to our network, because the digital receivers have got inbuilt decoders," said Leo Hao, the company's marketing executive.

Star Africa media, whose official launch was graced by President Paul Kagame, will be the first pay TV to introduce the digital sets in the country and in the region. "It is also the first company to introduce DVB-T technology in Africa," Hao added. Xie, revealed the company's plan to extend their services to Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Tanzania very soon, and establish the Africa headquarters in Kigali.

"By December 16, we will have opened our branch in town, to ease the burden to our clients of coming to the headquarters, and we shall continue to open branches in the whole country to extend our products near the customers," Hao emphasised.

(The New Times (Kigali) 16 December 2008)

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