How to get genuine Free-to-air decoders in Uganda


Following last Wednesday’s analog-to-digital TV deadline, the demand for Set-Top Boxes or STBs soared in Uganda.

According to reports from the Daily Monitor, there were about 800,000 STBs imported by CC-approved companies in the first round. But three days after the deadline, the authorized companies have already run out of Free-to-air (FTA) decoders that are priced between Ugx 180,000 and Ugx 200,000 depending on the quality.

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As a result, a number of individuals are taking advantage of the crisis. There are a number of fake STBs being sold in the market right now. Here’s how to safeguard yourself and get a genuine digital TV STB.

#1. Buy from licensed vendors

Ensure that you buy your FTA decoder from companies that have been licensed by the Uganda Communication Commission to sell DVT-T2 compliant digital decoders. We already listed them in previous this post. Simply walking to the street and trading with anyone that claims to offer FTA decoders is a sure way of landing yourself a fake digital TV STB.

#2. Must have Signet stamp on

Signet is an offshot company of Uganda Broadcasting Corporation that’s charged with carrying digital TV signals around the country. Ensure that the FTA decoder you are buying has a Signet logo on it. Other have reported that some have the UCC logo instead.

Remember that buying yourself a Free-to-air decoder exempts you from paying monthly subscription fees to watch TV. However, you’ll be limited to Free-to-air channels only.

Read more: Digital TV Migration in Uganda: A beginner’s guide to switching from Analog to Digital TV

If you get yourself a Pay TV decoder from one of the 5 Pay TV service providers in Uganda, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee to access Free-to-air channels even though they are free. For instance if you’re subscribed to one of DSTV or GoTV or Startimes Uganda packages and your subscription expires, that’s it. You’ve to renew your monthly package before you watch both Free-to-air and premium channels.

  • SOL

    Hey Digited team, I know that the decoders mentioned above are free to air but what I don’t know is whether or not they can also work as pay TV. Is there such a provision?