A "New" Digital TV Station Launched For Zimbabwe


After closely following the not so clear news on the alleged “New ” Digital TV station for Zimbabwe, there seems to be a bit of clarity now on the latest development.
According to a report in The Sunday mail, this is not a Satellite based service, it’s just good as any of the current ZTV stations which you can tune in to using your standard TV set ,although technically it would not make sense since the “Standard TV sets are all not DIGITAL but rather analogue using the Standard VHF (Very High Frequency) searchable channels.
The latest sets of TV sets especially the “Flat Screens as their commonly named in Zimbabwe or those high Tech with HDMI enable are also digital TV sets, so this would effectively mean these are the only TV sets with digital decoders to receive the digital transmission.
Its also a bit shady whether this is a private or another ZBC offering but stake wise, it seems to be just another State controlled stations although the state is not the largest stake holder.
Transmedia the Government`s Corporation, clinches 30% of the stake in the deal which also has Dstv by MultiChoice and Skynet which has 60% and 10% respectively.
Ofcourse the most exciting news about this deal is that most of the packages found on the DsTV basic package will be available to the public for FREE.
Here is a transcript from the Sunday mail
Zimbabwe’s first terrestrial television channel, Go TV, which is set to revolutionise broadcasting by offering affordable international television channels to all Zimbabweans, has begun test-runs in preparation for a large scale rollout next month.
The project is the brainchild of Transmedia Corporation which has partnered satellite television providers MultiChoice Zimbabwe and Skynet.
Go TV will offer local viewers a bouquet of 26 channels, the majority of which are international stations currently being offered by MultiChoice’s DSTV, at a low monthly cost of US$6,50.
Connected households would need an ordinary decoder that is plugged into a television set without the need for a satellite dish and installation costs.
However, owing to limited funding, the project will first roll out in Harare and Bulawayo before going national.
Terrestrial digital television uses an aerial signal to broadcast straight to a television antenna unlike satellite television which requires satellites and decoders.
Transmedia owns 30 percent of Go TV while MultiChoice and Skynet control 60 and 10 percent respectively.
Explaining the Go TV concept, Transmedia board chairman Dr Paul Chimedza told The Sunday Mail last week that the parastatal will realise a small commission from the subscription payments.
Funds collected from the initial subscriber base will go towards financing the national digitalisation programme.
The Ministry of Finance has so far failed to provide adequate funding to Transmedia for digitalisation.
This is despite the fact that the International Telecommunications Union has directed broadcasting companies to digitalise by 2015 while Sadc has set 2013 as the deadline for its members to go digital.
The digitalisation project is reported to cost in the excess of US$15 million.
Dr Chimedza said the failure by the Finance Ministry to provide the necessary funding, had forced Transmedia to “come up with innovative ways of funding the digitalisation programme so that we can carry out the mandate handed to us by the State.
“We got excellent guidance from the Minister of Information and Publicity Cde Webster Shamu and incisive guidance from the Ministry’s permanent secretary Cde George Charamba and this encouraged us to strive to meet the Sadc deadline. We then negotiated a deal with our current partners, Skynet and MultiChoice.
“Under the arrangement, Transmedia provided the best sites for our partners’ transmitters and gave them our operating licence. Our partners funded the project.’’
Go TV will provide a broad range of content, cutting across news, current affairs, general entertainment, documentaries, music and sports.
The initial bouquet, at US$6,50 per month, will include leading international channels such as Africa Magic Plus, Discovery, Disney Junior, E-Africa, Nickelodeon, BBC World News, and Al Jazeera as well ZTV Channel 1 and 2 and all ZBC radio stations.
“As Transmedia it is our duty to ensure that everyone has access to digital television transmission.
“Go TV will also ensure that Zimbabweans have access to television at low cost,” said Dr Chimedza.
The terrestrial television channel is also available in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.
Transmedia is a State-owned entity with a mandate to facilitate broadcasting transmission throughout the country.

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