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What is happening with the free set-top boxes for digital television? I heard that it’s been pushed back yet again by the government – Sean David, via Facebook
Digital migration has hit another stumbling block – and it’s not unexpected. Government has discovered that it’s “not sustainable for us to be the one that procures and gives away” these set-top boxes, which would give the public access to digital TV once the outdated analogue signals are turned off. That was meant to happen in June 2019 but it has been pushed back until 2020, says the communications ministry. They want to form a public-private partnership what would see broadcasters (like e.tv, SABC and MultiChoice) assisting with the migration. As for those set-top decoders, advertising, testing and procurement (about R10 billion worth), they won’t go completely to waste, says the ministry: “Those supposed to be cushioned by government are still going to benefit‚ but not just benefit through a set-top box.” So you’re probably going to have to buy them after all…
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We’re going to be stuck with analogue signal a little longer.