BTV runs pilot ahead of switchover

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana Television, through the Department of Broadcasting Services, will run a pilot test for Botswana Television’s digital readiness ahead of its June 17 switchover. The pilot is expected to run from the 1st of June at selected locations around Gaborone and the greater Gaborone area. 

“This will require the installation of Digital Terrestrial reception equipment in selected homes and offices. Equipment to be installed includes ISDB-T set-top boxes, television sets and digital ready television receiving antennas,” said a statement from the Mass media complex, a facility that houses the government communications centre.

In light of this, the relevant authorities at the complex are asking experienced and qualified hundred per cent citizen owned relevant service providers to “with proven experience” to submit their interest in carrying out the installation.

According to the information, successful service providers will be required to complete a minimum of 10 installations per day which includes tuning the TV sets or set-top boxes to the digital service.

“Service providers will be further expected to provide own transport and all tools necessary for the installation of terrestrial television equipment including rooftop access. For quality service assurance installers will be required to leave all installations premises in the state in which they found them including paintwork, wiring/cabling and general cleanliness.”

Digital terrestrial television (DTTV or DTT) is a technological evolution of broadcast television and advancement over analog television. DTTV broadcasts land-based (terrestrial) signals. The advantages of digital terrestrial television, are similar to digital versus analog in platforms such as cable, satellite, and all telecommunications; the efficient use of spectrum and provision of more capacity than analog, better quality images, and lower operating costs for broadcast and transmission (after the initial upgrade costs). A terrestrial implementation of digital television (DTV) technology uses an aerial to broadcast to a conventional television antenna (or aerial) instead of a satellite dish or cable television connection.

DTTV is received either via a digital set-top box (STB), TV gateway or integrated tuner included with television sets, that decodes the signal received via a standard television antenna. Some set-top-boxes and TV gateways include digital video recorder (DVR) functionality. However, due to frequency planning issues, an aerial capable of receiving a different channel group (usually a wideband) may be required if the DTTV multiplexes lie outside the reception capabilities of the originally installed aerial. This is quite common in the UK; see external links. Indoor aerials are even more likely to be affected by these issues and possibly need replacing.  


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