Uganda: Digital Broadcasting Begins
Signal testing of digital broadcasting in Uganda has commenced, starting with Kampala, officials have said. This marks the automatic migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.
The move follows the installation of the digital antennae at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) mast in Kololo yesterday. According to Mr Paul Kihika, the UBC managing director, when TV and radio stations are switched back on air, the corporation will start the gradual signal test-run for the greater Kampala area.
UBC, the signal distributor had to switch off air TV and radio stations, whose antennae are hosted on the Kololo mast, in order to install digital terrestrial television broadcasting equipment.
According to Kihika, the stations were switched off primarily for safety and pre-cautionary measures for the officials installing the equipment. Installation of equipment cannot be done when electricity in the area is running. The UBC engineers were busy at the site installing the antennae and a Combiner—a machine which merges both analogue and digital signals.
Mr Dan Isabirye, a UBC engineer, said it was good for the country to migrate from analogue broadcasting to digital because the latter is cheaper and more efficient. He said under analogue, a broadcaster requires more than one channel to transmit different signals but with digital migration, only one channel is needed.
“Now you will be able to receive many stations on one channel. Here we are fixing two channels but all the stations are using just one channel,” he said at the site in Kololo. Mr Kihika added that the test run would mark the start of the digital broadcasting. “We know some people still have Set Top Boxes without inbuilt decoders which will need to be added but we shall be installing them in a phased manner,” he said.