According to Engineering News, a total of 36 bids sent by companies wishing to locally manufacture the set-top boxes (STBs) required for South Africa's migration to digital TV, have been received in the Department of Communications (DoC).
This followed the DoC's request for information from local manufacturing companies for digital terrestrial television (DTT) STB production.
The government aimed to subsidise STBs for about five-million households that are unable to afford STBs, at an estimated cost of R2.45-billion. Subsidisation qualification criteria were currently being finalised by the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa for the qualifying television-owning households. The DoC said it would launch digital migration in the third quarter of this year and the analogue transmission would be switched off on December 31, 2013, after which analogue television sets would require an STB to receive the digital broadcast signal.
According to Engineering News, the DoC said there were about 11.5-million television-owning households in South Africa, of which 72% rely on free-to-air broadcasting services.
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