High costs hamper move to digital TV - kenyadetails

Lack of affordable set-top boxes in the market has stood in the way of the country’s ambitious plan to completely migrate from analogue to digital television by the end of this year.

Speaking to Nation, the Communications Commission of Kenya assistant director for multi-media services,

Mr Alfred Ambani, who also sits in the Digital Television Committee said the digital signal is already available in Nairobi but the switch over is difficult due to lack of set-top boxes in the market.

He added that the committee has written to Treasury requesting for duty waivers on importation of the gadgets to encourage traders to flood the market with them, which will lower their cost.

“We have had several meetings with Treasury and the progress is positive. If this goes through, the country can see a full migration by end of this year,” he said.

Mr Ambani said the migration has adopted a new model where different regions will experience the switch over at different times instead of a national deadline.

“There is no point of setting national deadlines and failing to meet them every time.

We need to be realistic and approach this process with an open mind,” he said.

Nairobi will be the first region to complete the migration by the end of this year, followed by other cities before the rural areas.

“However, availability of the gadgets will determine the success and time of this migration.”