It is rather ironic that one of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services favourite child ZIMPAPERS Television Network (ZTN) which was last year as anticipated awarded a broadcasting licence along with other five stations, has welcomed yesterday’s digital switch-over and is ready to roll out programming.
The company is also considering providing set-top box gadgets as a business route.
Speaking on the sidelines of the switch-over launch from analogue to digital television transmission (DTT) by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa in Magunje yesterday, Zimpapers CEO Mr Deketeke was upbeat about the development.
Minister Mutsvangwa commissioned the country’s DTT programme under the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration at a landmark ceremony.
Digital terrestrial television (DTT or DTTV) is a technology for terrestrial television in which land-based television stations broadcast television content by radio waves to TV sets in homes in a digital format.
DTT is a major technological advance over the previous analogue television, and has largely replaced analogue which had been in common use since the middle of the 20th century.
Test broadcasts began in 1998 with the changeover to DTT, also known as Analogue Switchoff (ASO) or Digital Switchover (DSO), beginning in 2006 and is now complete in many countries.
“As we were given licence to function, we need to have transmission so we are hoping that with the opening of more transmission sites, we will be able then to get our content to go across the country.
“ZTN has been in the game for almost three years and producing content online so they are quite prepared to meet the challenge,” he said.“
As the Minister indicated, we might be looking at supplying set-top boxes as a business line.”Minister Mutsvangwa urged companies with free funds to import the set-top boxes so that the digitisation process would be fully completed.
At least 18 transmitters in Karoi, Mutorashanga, Chivhu, Binga, Mudzi, Gokwe, Gweru, Kotwa, Gwanda, Kamativi, Kadoma, Harare, Chiredzi, Chimanimani, Nyanga, Kenmaur, Mutare and Bulawayo have been completed and are ready to offer digital terrestrial television (DTT) signals.
Critics while welcoming this advancement say government must allow all players the fair chance to be able to say they are more than ready to compete and not only be giving state institutions an advantage in this case ZTN.