Nairobi TV viewers now enjoy higher quality pictures


TV viewers in Nairobi and its environs now enjoy higher quality pictures with digital broadcast. This follows activation of a platform for transmitting digital video broadcasting (DVB-T2) technology by government signal distributor Signet. Viewers in Mombasa and Kisumu are expected to enjoy the high quality TV signal by the end of this month.

Industry regulator Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) said in a statement that Nairobi viewers could receive clearer images if they invest in set-top boxes.

This means that Nairobi viewers who have been viewing their favourite TV programmes using lower version convertor boxes called DVB-T1 have to either upgrade them or buy the new DVB-T2 gadgets.

“The process of migrating from analogue to digital TV broadcasting is on course and the DVB-T2 signal is now available in Nairobi and its environs,” said CCK in the statement. The regulator added that about four million analogue TV sets would require connection to the new technology.

Although the migration process begun in December 2009, the government’s impromptu ban of DVB-T1 set-top boxes that were already on sale slowed down uptake of the technology.

A switch to the new technology meant that other than consumers buying the new gadget, licensed digital signal distribution firms Signet and China’s Pan African Network had to make their platforms compatible with DVB-T2 technology.
CCK said that the new technology offers better picture and sound quality, 50 per cent more programme channels on one TV frequency and a larger coverage area by TV transmission station.

The government has imposed a ban on importation of analogue TV sets beginning July.

Information PS Bitange Ndemo, in a telephone interview with the Business Daily, said the ministry was holding talks with the Treasury for removal of duty on set-top boxes to make the gadgets affordable. “We are pressing the Treasury to remove duty on imports of set-top boxes to avert a situation where the majority will be unable to access TV channels due to the high cost of convertors,” said Dr Ndemo.