In 2015, Kenya transitioned from a largely free-to-air TV into a pay-to-watch regime when analog signals were switched off. While today the uptake of digital signals by consumers is on the rise, at the time when it was implemented, a big number of Kenyans were denied access to information as they readied resources to buy decoders or pay subscription fees. But the reality is that there is more variety provided by new stations and local languages are now being televised.
Today, digital TVs are available from as little as KES 9,000 and even without pay-TV services like GOtv or Startimes, Kenyans can still access a decent number of channels.
All Free to Air Digital TV Channels in Kenya
If you have a Free-to-Air decoder or a digital TV, you will receive digital signals distributed by two main distributors, namely; Pan Africa Group (PANG) and Signet. Local free-to-air channels that you will watch from these distributors include:
|Free-to-Air Channels in Kenya|
|KBC Channel 1||KTN||NTV|
|K24||Citizen TV||GBS TV|
|QTV||Edu TV||Bunge TV|
|Heritage TV||3 stones TV (Broadcasts in Kikuyu Language)||Express TV|
|Kass TV( A TV channel in Kalenjin)||Kiss TV||Family TV (Gospel television)|
|Sayare TV (gospel television)||LVTV (lake Victoria TV)||Gor TV|
|Senate TV(parliamentary proceedings)||Aviation TV (gospel)||Hope TV (gospel C.I.T.A.M Church)|
|Revival Television (Gospel)||Fountain Television||Bazaar Television (about cars-sales and shopping)|
|Dream Television||GE TV(gospel)||Joy Television(gospel)|
|Property Television(sell of houses real estate)||TV10(music)||Youth Television|
|KAABA (Muslim Religious Channel)||DOVE||U-TV|
|GOD TV||Times TV||West TV|
|W-TV||Imani TV||Daystar TV|
The reception of these digital TV stations varies depending on your location and antenna. The digital TV signal is available across the nation and you will mostly get great reception as long as you buy a decent antenna and correctly face it towards the nearest substation.
Digital TV Receivers
Digital TV migration in Kenya does not mean that you have to pay in order to watch TV. In fact, there are 3 digital devices that you can use to receive the DVB-T2 signal in Kenya. They are:
- DVB-T2, MPEG4 compliant boxes –These are the free-to-air set-top boxes that you can use to get access to digital television. They are so far the cheapest option and the easiest option that you can use without getting rid of your existing TV set. There is a wide range of reliable brands in the market ranging from Hotpoint to Sonar and the Bamba decoder.
- Integrated digital TV set (IDTvs) –These are television sets that have an inbuilt DVB-T2 tuner. Therefore, instead of purchasing an analog TV and a DVB-T2 box, you only need to buy this TV and receive all the Free To Air (FTA) channels at no cost. Nowadays, digital TVs are very cheap and you can get them for as low as Ksh12,000.
- DVB-T2 dongles– these are digital receivers that you can connect to your Desktop computer or laptop to receive digital TV signals in Kenya.
At present, the DVB-T2 signal is available all over the nation. All you have to do is install a decent aerial and point it towards the base station in your region for maximum reception.
The Digital TV (Integrated Digital TV Set)
Digital TVs are more common in the country now. Most of the LED TVs now have an inbuilt DVB-T2 decoder and will tap into the free to air channels directly without the need for a digital set-top box. It is actually more convenient to buy these TVs if you are upgrading or buying for the very first time as you won’t have to clutter your house with extra cables if all you need is FTA TV. The TV will also be a great fall back in case you fail to pay your TV subscription for one reason or the other