Some people may be wondering why all this hullabaloo over digital TV and why do we have to migrate? Here are the reasons why:
- The world is progressing. We are moving forward with wireless technology, but the frequency band that exists (think of the electromagnetic band in Physics) is limited. Currently with analog transmission, each TV station is assigned its own frequency. However, with digital transmission, several TV stations can be broadcast using the same frequency. Your receiver (set top box) will then decode these signals for each station and display them on your TV. The freed-up frequencies will be used to deploy services such as 4G (or Long Term Evolution- LTE) to enable better quality for data and voice over our mobile phones.To this end, the global deadline (for all TV stations on earth) to migrate to digital signals is June 2015. However for Kenya, we will do it one year early, June 2014. The Nairobi is set to December 13, 2013.
Internet apps on TV. Image from digitaltrends.com
- Better Quality Sound, Video
The quality of digital TV is very high (up to 10x more detail), with capability for High Definition videos that make it possible for a screen any size to have beautiful, continuous images. Who wouldn’t like that? No more ‘mchele’ or having one station clear, and the next station all flickery (remember having to adjust the aerial over and over so all signals can be clear?). The sound quality is also improved.
- Potential for more channels
With shared frequencies, and the separation of content producer from signal broadcaster, it will be easier for people to own TV channels thus creating potential for more (hopefully local) channels. This means as consumers, we will have a wider choice of content to view.
- More Services
The Set Top Box (STB) (see a list of approved providers) which will be used to receive the digital signal also has the capability to interface with devices such as a cell phone, memory card or internet modem. This will provide viewers with access to many more services and information.
Things such as Electronic Program Guides will also be available so you don’t need a newspaper to find out what program will air on which channel at a particular time.
Read more about the benefits of migration from the Digital Migration website.