Q&A: UCC answers on Digital TV Migration in Uganda

UCC digital migration

All eyes on the Communications regulatory bodies. The questions still linger, when are they going to pull the plug on analogue signal in spite of several bottlenecks?

An enchilada bottlenecks such as; widespread unawareness of the migration campaign, extortion from Digital TV ancillary vendors, compulsory subscription mandated by Digital TVs even for access to free-to-air channels and some legal caveats slapped against the migration campaign — like the one in Kenya — amongst many others.

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In sub-Saharan Africa, so far, it’s only Mauritius, Rwanda and Tanzania that have switched off the analogue signal. Kenya is buoyed next in line according to reports from the Kenya Communications Authority. In a released Q&A (Question & Answer), Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) finally comes clear about the digital migration as shown below.

QWhat is the deadline for the switch off from Analogue to Digital Migration in Uganda?

A: By June 2015, all television broadcast will be digital.

QHow do I receive a digital signal?

A: All TV viewers in Uganda will need to have a set-top-box (STB) or use a digital TV in order to receive television services. A set-top-box is what is often referred to as a decoder.

QHow can I prepare for the digital TV migration?

A:

• Buy a Free-to-Air STB/decoder (a one-time purchase and no monthly subscription)

• Buy an Integrated Digital Television set

• Buy a Pay TV STB/decoder. (This comes with monthly subscription)

Q: When will the analogue signal be switched off?

A: The analogue signal will be switched off by June 2015. Thereafter, you will not be able to watch analogue television if you have not yet migrated.

Q: Where can I buy a set-top-box or digital TV from?

A: From Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Type Approved vendor with a displayed UCC Approval certificate. The following companies have so far been approved by UCC to provide Set Top Boxes.

• Brivid Uganda Limited

• Widestar Digital (U) Limited

• Icomsys Africa Limited

• Kagadi Technical Services

• eWorld Technologies Limited

• Roise de Classe –

• Future Electronics (Hisense)

• Trans-African Container Transport Limited

Q: What are the benefits of digital migration?

A:

  • Better picture quality: The digital broadcasting experience, offers a sharper, brighter picture quality.
  • More choice: More TV programmes and services
  • More services: Services like radio, teletext, interactive services, games, and support for

    visually-impaired and internet.

  • Parental controls: Having more control on programmes received and viewed
  • Environmental benefits: Infrastructure-sharing by using the signal distributor’s masts.
  • More local content: New content will be required leading to job creation

Q: How many TV channels can I receive with my set-top-box?

A: You will be able to receive between 12 and 24 channels including the following. E.g. UBC,STAR TV, UBC 24, UBC Magic 1, Bukedde 1, NTV, NBS, WBS, LTV, Miracle, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CCTV,CITIZEN, EATV, CAPITAL, TOP TV, Record TV, Urban TV etc.

Q: Do I need to pay monthly subscription when using a FTA set-top-box?

A: No, you don’t have to pay monthly subscriptions to watch free-to-air programmes on your STB.

Q: If I have two TV sets, Can I connect my set-top-box so that each receives its own digital TV channel?

A: No. Each TV will need a separate Set-Top-Box

Please note: There is no need to buy an STB when you have a digital TV. (All HDTV is digital, but not all Digital TV is HDTV )

Download the Q&A pdf here. You can also get real-time updates on the current status of digital TV transmission from here.

Image via UCC Q&A pdf

  • Salongo Mpungu

    If I bought a STB to receive local TV channels, can I also receive other free to air TV channels from around the world using the same set up?