Digital TV Switch – FAQs

Here is a list of 5 of the most asked questions about the planned switch off of analog TV signals:

1. Is the deadline still on December 13th now that there is a court case to stall it?

digital TV Digital TV Switch   FAQs

Digital TV in Kenya

Well, the jury is still out for this one. The case hearing starts next week (December 6th) so I wonder if the judge will have enough time to hear all arguments before making the decision.

85% of Kenyans rely on analog TV for their news, entertainment and whatever else you folks use your TVs for. A majority may not even be aware of the looming deadline for Nairobi and its environs. For you to get the digital signals, you will have to buy a set top box that costs an average of Ksh. 5,000. This is a high cost for many unprepared Kenyans.

In the meantime, it’s better to be prepared because the December 13th deadline for switching off analog signals has actually been gazetted (meaning it’s law).
Unless the court overturns the deadline, and even then it will be more of an ‘extension’ because in the end we MUST all switch by 2015. I know we are Kenyans and we do things last minute, but must we wait for the deadline before switching to digital TV?

2. Do I need to have an aerial to watch Digital TV? Should I throw away the current one? (ok maybe nobody has asked the second question )

Yes. You do need your aerial. You will then connect the aerial to the set top box, and then connect the set top box to your TV. Like Smartjoker shows in this video.

3. Do I have to pay a monthly subscription for Digital TV?

No, you don’t have to pay any subscription fees for free digital TV. Once you buy the set top box, that is it.

However, should you want additional premium channels on offer from companies such as GoTv and Star Times, you will have to pay their monthly rates.

Although Star Times now have a non-subscription set top box on which you will receive their free-to-air channels.

4. Where can I get a set top box? Which is the best?

Try this pdf list of CCK approved set top boxes.

At the moment, the only set top box I have used is Star Times (their Ksh. 500 per month option). With it, you can easily upgrade to get more channels. However, for local channels it only has K24 and KBC Tv. Some of my friends have used GoTv and I think they pay about Ksh. 1,000 monthly.

For free-to-air channels, I will say go with your gut

5. Just why are we migrating really?

This is the actual answer:

The Regional Radio communication Conference (RRC) meeting of 2006, in a treaty, set 17th June 2015 as the deadline for all countries to migrate to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting. It is, therefore, a mandatory for countries. Digital broadcasting will result in more efficient use of the spectrum hence more valuable spectrum can be released and used for other services. The rest of the world is migrating to digital broadcasting and analogue broadcasting will not be protected from interference after 2015.

However, digital TV guarantees better quality. Read my previous post answering why we have to migrate.

For all these questions, find the answers on the Digital Kenya website. Follow the conversation on facebook and on twitter.

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