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South Africa : Broadcasters move on digital switchover

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and etv have received six bids after their request for proposals for digital terrestrial television set-top box control software. The public broadcaster issued the tender on behalf of both stations on 3 August and closed the process on 21 August.

Kaizer Kganyago, SABC head of group communications, says he cannot reveal any other information as this may “jeopardise the procurement process and, therefore, cannot be disclosed until the award of the tender”.

SA is in the middle of a dual-illumination period, during which both digital and analogue signals are being broadcast. The old signal is set to be switched off in November 2011, ahead of an international deadline of 2015.

The move to digital broadcasting will require that South Africans purchase either new television sets that can receive the signal, or set-top boxes to convert transmission. Government has set aside R2.45 billion to subsidise up to 70% of the decoders for about five million households. There are about nine million households with television sets in SA.

The tender document calls for proposals for digital terrestrial television set-top box control software for the free-to-air broadcasters. “SABC and etv, as the major free-to-air broadcasters in SA, will use the request for proposal process to determine the best suitable and most cost-effective solution,” it states.

(Source :ITWeb)

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