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Digital migration: Ghana flashes out analogue TV networks December 2014

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Digital broadcastingGhana will switch-off all analogue television networks in the country in phases starting December 2014, authorities announced in line with minimum specifications for receivers of free to air digital terrestrial television (DTT).

According to the specifications released February 6, 2013 by Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA), television stations namely, GTV, TV3, TV Africa, Crystal TV, Metro TV, Viasat 1, Net-2 TV, e-TV Ghana, Coastal TV, GhOne, Top TV, UTV and all other stations with similar licenses, will migrate their transmissions from analogue to a digital platform in accordance with the Geneva 2006 Agreement of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

“Initially the DTT service will be available in parallel with the existing analogue service. However, the analogue TV network will be switched off in phases starting from December 2014,” said the NCA in a statement.

The deadline for digital migration is end of 2015.

During the digital television transition, the regulator indicated that TV viewers require “TV sets with the capability of receiving digital television signals transmitted according to the approved standards i.e. integrated digital TV (iDTV) sets”.

On the other hand, viewers whose TV sets are able to receive only analogue signals, according to the NCA, will need to use special digital adapters such as set-top boxes (STBs), which have the primary function of converting digital input to analogue output signals.

It however indicated that “with immediate effect, there shall be no manufacture, assembly, importation, marketing, or sale of a set-top box (STB) for Digital Terrestrial Television which does not conform to the requirements specified in this document.”

The Authority explains that the objective of the minimum specification is to ensure a DTT receiver which will provide good quality video and sound for the viewer and to ensure the lowest possible cost for the free-to-air receiver.

By Ekow Quandzie

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