This morning, Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, turned on the digital terrestrial TV switch in the Square Kilometre Array area, Northern Cape, making it the first region in SA to enter the digital broadcasting space.

Muthambi is in the province today to turn the analogue switch off, ushering in the digital TV for  3 700 households in the town of Carnarvon Vanwyksvlei, Brandvlei, Vosburg and Williston.

Residents in Keimoes, Northern Cape, were the first to be registered for government subsidised set-top-boxes in December last year.

Registrations will open in the North West, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng at a later stage.

“We are witnessing a historic moment with the transmission of analogue signals for terrestrial TV being officially phased out nationwide. Turning off the analogue terrestrial TV transmission meant that a digitised era of high-definition TV has come for our people in the SKA area. Indeed, analogue TV transmissions in our country is fading,” Muthambi said.

Muthambi projected that South Africa will have fully migrated to digital TV by the end of 2018, a promise that will hopefully be fulfilled after a couple of years of missing the international switch on deadline.

“The migration from analogue to digital television presents more opportunities for broadcasters in terms of content proliferation and affords South African audiences, a wider range of higher quality television channels. The DTT platform is also an alternate revenue stream within SENTECH’s broadcasting signal distribution services,” Mlamli Booi, CEO of Sentech, which is behind the installation of digital TV transmission stations across the country.

[Image – CC Public Domain]