70% of Kenya could receive digital TV signals by July

Kenya’s broadcasters could start producing DVB-T2 content across the country by July this year. This follows a statement made yesterday by Kenya’s Information and Communications Permanent Secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo.

According to Ndemo, the government is committed to ensuring 70 percent of the country has access to digital TV signal within the next three months, and all broadcasters should comply by producing contents compliant to the signal.

“Those who do not comply,” he said, “would run themselves out of market as the digital platform is set to revolutionise local broadcasting for good.”

The Information PS emphasised that TV broadcasters ought to put their content on the DVB-T2 platform for wider viewership across the nation.

The statement comes at a time the country is migrating to digital broadcasting. Initially, analogue TV sets have been in operation in various parts of the country with the exception of Nairobi.

At present, the DVB-T2 signal is available in the Kenyan capital and its outskirts including Ngong, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, Thika, Muranga, and some parts of Embu.

DVB-T2, short for Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial, is an extension of the television standard devised for the broadcast transmission of compressed digital audio and video hence ensuring clearer sound and better visual quality.

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s, KBC’s, SIGNET promises residents of Mombasa, Kisumu, Nyeri and Nakuru that the signal will be available in the area by June 2012. Another signal distributor the Pan African Network aims to take the signal to the country’s major towns.

KBC aims to engage 40 percent of its resources to produce content locally for firms, according to the broadcaster’s Managing Director, Waithaka Waihenya.

Patrick Quarcco, Radio Africa Group’s CEO, asked the government to promote the local film industry to ensure production of quality local content to avoid buying contents from outside the country.

The Communication Commission of Kenya, CCK, had set August last year as the deadline for migration from Analogue to Digital broadcasting but shifted it following various concerns.

The CCK Director General, Francis Wangusi, said the Government would launch a consumer awareness campaign to educate consumers on the importance of migrating to digital.

Ndemo supported the move and added that the government needed to consider waiving import duty on digital TV decoders to make them more affordable to the public.

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