South Africa’s digital migration office, the Digital Dzonga, has identified the date for the commercial launch of digital terrestrial migration (DTT) as late 2009. In the meantime, DTT trials conducted by the country’s broadcasters and signal distributors have been on the go in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town since 1 November last year.
Operational since June 2008, the Dzonga is focused on the smooth implementation of DTT, on achieving co-operation between different parts of the value chain, and on reducing the costs inherent in the country’s switchover from an analogue broadcasting signal to a digital one.
Speaking at the recent Digital Broadcasting Switchover Forum 2009 held in Johannesburg, Digital Dzonga chairperson Lara Kantor noted that in the six months since its formation, the Dzonga had created working groups, intervened in the set top box (STB) specifications space, and come up with an implementation plan for DTT.
“Although we’re modelled on digital migration offices in other territories, we’re specifically structured to cater for South Africa’s unique needs. That is, defining digital standards specifications, managing the technical platform, selling the concept of digital transition to the public, and creating a help scheme for vulnerable viewers. The Dzonga was conceived as a one-stop shop for all matters relating to digital migration,” explained Kantor. Dzonga working groups are divided into: Communications, Technology & Standards; Help & Support; Monitoring & Research; and Broadcast Infrastructure.
Read more in the March 2009 issue of Screen Africa