Digital Switch Over: Participants Call For Affordable Set Top Boxes

Boxes

Digital Switch Over: Participants Call For Affordable Set Top Boxes

Participants at a one-day training on the digital switch over on Wednesday lamented the non-availability of “set top boxes’’ to ensure better transmission, after inauguration of the digital switch over.
The participants, who spoke in Lagos, expressed various opinions on the cost implication and accessibility of the boxes after the country had switched from analogue to digital transmission.

A set top box is described as a decoder which can provide various contents for viewers, when installed on television.
Addressing issues raised by participants, Malam Ishaq Kawu, Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), said that it had licensed 13 indigenous companies to provide the set up boxes.

According to Kawu, only five out of the 13 companies could assemble the boxes in the country and they have started production.
Kawu, who was represented by Dr Armstrong Idachaba, a Director in the NBC, spoke at a one-day training for administrators, chief executive officers and key operators in the broadcast industry.

The training was organised by the NBC, in collaboration with the Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU).
The theme of the training is: “Understanding the Roles of Key Operators, Signal Distributors, Channels Owners and Software Integration’’.
He said that NBC targeted 850,000 boxes to be manufactured and the delivery would be based on how many broadcasting offices could afford them.

“We are trying to ensure that the cost of production is reduced, to ensure that more people purchase them,’’ he said.
The director general further said that NBC had the power to regulate all forms of broadcasting and could also regulate the digital switch over.
He said that the commission would soon inaugurate the switch over from analogue to digital and begin to publicise it nationally, as well as in states such as Osun, Enugu and Kwara.

“This is because there are already set up boxes in these states,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Yemisi Bamgbose, former RATTWU president, said that the training was to create an interface among the people in the industry to understand their role in the delivery process.
Bamgbose said that the government had given out some of the set top boxes for free and later, at a subsidised rate, but might not be able to sustain it.
He said that participants would continue to dialogue until the challenges facing the digital switch over were solved. (NAN)

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