Kwaggafontein residents register for STBs

Friday, June 3, 2016

Kwaggafontein - The distribution of government subsidised set-top boxes (STBs) will be a major boost for poor TV-owning households in Kwaggafontein, says Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

Minister Muthambi is leading a door-to door registration drive for STBs in the rural township of Mpumalanga, where there is poor TV reception. Her visit precedes President Jacob Zuma’s Siyahlola Programme scheduled for next Friday.

As the door-to-door registration is aimed at the elderly, who for credible reasons are unable to go to their nearest Post Office for registration, Minister Muthambi first visited gogo Keith Nkosi, who just moved into her RDP house.

When the Minister arrived at the house, gogo Nkosi couldn’t contain her emotions.

“I don’t know how to thank government for restoring my dignity. They built me a decent house. We have an old television set at the house but it’s [like] a decoration as there is no TV reception here… Government is now giving me a set-top box so that I too can enjoy an improved television watching experience like other South Africans,” she said.

Minister Muthambi said: “There’s nothing more frustrating than sitting down to watch television, only to find that you have poor TV reception… The distribution of STBs in this area will be a major boost for poor TV-owning households.

“People are unable to watch TV because there is poor TV reception here, but all this will be history soon.

“There is a commitment from the Digital Migration Programme team that Nkosi and other registered indigent households will get their STBs before the end of this month.”

Minister Muthambi also visited gogo Sophie Masango, who told her that she is forced to watch DVDs because of poor TV reception.

“We bought the television set many years ago but we are forced to watch DVDs because of poor TV signal here. I am glad that now I’ve registered for a STB, so very soon I will be able to watch SABC news and all the local films. I really want to thank government for helping us to migrate from analogue to digital,” she said.

The Department of Communications has deployed a team of young officials who have been conducting consumer awareness about the digital migration programme in the area.

When Minister Muthambi was about to educate gogo Masango about digital migration, she quickly responded: “I know that digital migration involves shifting broadcasters from analogue to digital signals.”

Digital migration programme

The transition from analogue to digital terrestrial television broadcasting presents governments, broadcasters, regulators and the general public with immense opportunities.

The look and feel of television for viewers is going to change dramatically because digital terrestrial television (DTT) brings with it better quality pictures, meaning everyone will enjoy better quality sound and pictures that are currently being enjoyed by those with access to pay TV.

In order to view digital television signals on an ordinary analogue television set, consumers will need a set top box. The STBs convert the digital broadcasting signal for reception on an ordinary analogue television set.

If viewers have not acquired a set top box by time the analogue signal is switched off, they will no longer be able to view the existing terrestrial television broadcasting services.

Minister Muthambi said after realising that there is slow STB registration take-up by citizens, mainly due to the TV licence requirement, together with the SABC, they have since resolved to delink the TV licence requirement from the STB subsidy registration process.

The department will announce the analogue signal switch-off date when more than 80% of households across the country have been migrated to the digital television platform. -

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