What you need to know about digital migration

About digital migration

1. What is digital terrestrial TV migration?

Digital terrestrial TV migration is the transition from analogue TV to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting.

What is digital terrestrial TV?

Digital terrestrial TV is where the digital signal is transmitted over the earth from masts to home receivers.

How do I receive a digital signal?

All TV viewers in Uganda will need to have a set-top-box (STB) or use a digital TV in order to receive television services. A Set-Top Box is what is often referred to as a decoder.

2. What is the difference between analogue and digital TV?

In analogue broadcasting, the signal is transmitted as a continuous wave while for digital TV the signal is transmitted as a discrete wave. For digital TV, the signal is encoded and can be compressed to allow for more channels to be broadcast.

3. What is digital terrestrial TV?

Digital terrestrial TV is where the digital signal is transmitted over the earth from masts to home receivers.

4. What are the benefits of digital migration?

Better picture quality: The digital broadcasting experience, offers a sharper, brighter picture quality.

More services: Services like radio, teletext, interactive services, games, and support for visually-impaired and internet.

Environmental benefits: Infrastructure-sharing by using the signal distributor's masts.

More local content: New content will be required leading to job creation

5. What is the deadline for the switch off from analogue to digital migration in Uganda?

By June 2015, all television broadcast will be digital.

6. When should I switch to digital TV?

Immediately, by purchasing a Set Top Box that meet the DVB-T2 standard with or without monthly subscription or by a digital television set.

7. When will the analogue signal be switched off?

The analogue signal will be switched off by June 2015. Thereafter, you will not be able to watch analogue television if you have not yet migrated.

8. How can I prepare for the Digital TV migration?

  • Buy a Free-to-Air STB/decoder (a one-time purchase and no monthly subscription)
  • Buy an Integrated Digital Television set
  • Buy a Pay TV STB/decoder. (This comes with monthly subscription)

9. What is DVB, DVB-T and DVB-T2?

DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting is a standard for digital television that has been adopted in most countries in ITU-Region 1 where Africa falls.

DVB-T stands for Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial, it is the first DVB standard that is being replaced by DVB-T2.

DVB-T2 stands for Digital Video Broadcasting - Secong Generation Terrestrial. it is a newer system that provides the benefit of the best technical performance and the highest efficiency.

10. What Standard was Adopted for Uganda

DVB-T2, MPEG-4 Standard was adopted for Digital Terrestrial Television in Uganda.

11. Is DVB-T compatible with DVB-T2?

DVB-T2 is not backward compatible with DVB-T. therefore DVB-T receivers cannot receive DVB-T2 signals, and neither can DVB-T2 receivers recieve DVB-T Signals. It is, therefore, advisable when buying a digital TV or a receiver to check that it supports the DVB-T2 standard not DVB-T.

The easiest places to check for this are:
  • The label of the set,
  • the packaging (box), or
  • the manual/literature and specifications that comes with the set.

12. What does a consumer need to do?

To pick a digital broadcast signal, one needs to have a digital TV. Digital TV is any TV that has an inbuilt digital tuner. However, if one still has an analogue TV, one needs to get a digital receiver in form of a set-top box (also referred to as a decoder).

A set-top box is a device which converts the signals from a digital television broadcast into a form which can be viewed on the traditional analogue television set.

13. Does this mean all TV shall now be broadcast via satellite?

No, there shall continue to be the other of broadcasting: Satellite, Terrestrial, Cable and IP-broadcasting

14. Does this mean we now have to pay to watch the channels we have been receiving free under terrestrial broadcasting?

There are two types of broadcasting service packages on the terrestrial platform: i.e. Free-to-air and Pay TV.

The Free-to-Air channels are those you receive without having to subscribe or pay a monthly fee to receive e.g. UBC, WBS, NTV, NBS, Lighthouse TV, Record TV, Capital, Bukedde TV, BTN TV, Bunyoro TV, EATV, Family TV, Top TV, Kakira Sugar TV, Channel 44, Top TV, Urban TV, Northern TV, and TV WA. These channels will continue to be free even after the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting (or digital terrestrial television – DTT migration as it is more commonly referred to).

Pay TV is where someone has to subscribe and pay a subscription fee to watch the associated TV channels. Examples of this are Star Times and Go TV.

15. Which areas are currently covered by the Free-to-Air Digital signal?

As of October 31, 2014, the Digital TV signal covers a radius of 60 Km from Kololo.Some of the area currently covered include; Central, Kawempe, Rubaga, Busega, Wakiso, Bombo, Wobulenzi, Luwero, Mawagga, Mityana, Nakawa, Makindye, Mukono, Lugazi, Lugalambo, Entebbe, Kigungu, Kamengo, Mpigi and Mbizzinya.

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Set Top Box (STB)

1. How do I receive a digital signal?

All TV viewers in Uganda will need to have a set-top-box (STB) or use a digital TV in order to receive television services. A Set-Top Box is what is often referred to as a decoder.

2. What is a Set Top box?

It's a receiver that decodes or converts the digital signal to analogue to enable the channels to be displayed on your analogue TV set.

3. What is an Integrated Digital TV (IDTV)?

This is a TV that can receive the digital TV signal without a Set Top Box. Please note that Not all Flat screens are Digital TVs.

4. Where can I buy a Set Top Box or Digital TV?

From UCC Type Approved vendor with a displayed UCC Approval certificate. The following companies have so far been approved by UCC to provide Set Top Boxes.

- Brivid Uganda Limited
- Widestar Digital (U) Limited
- Icomsys Africa Limited
- Kagadi Technical Services
- eWorld Technologies Limited
- Roise de Classe
- Future Electronics (Hisense)
- Trans-African Container Transport Limited

How do I identify a Type Approved STB?

The UCC Type Approval Mark will be prominently displayed on the front panel of the Set Top Box. (Illustration of the mark below)

6. How many TV channels can I receive with my set top box?

You will be able to receive between 12 and 24 channels including the following. E.g. UBC, STAR TV, UBC 24, UBC Magic 1, Bukedde 1, NTV, NBS, WBS, LTV, Miracle, Al-Jezira, BBC, CCTV, CITIZEN, EATV, CAPITAL, TOP TV, Record TV, Urban TV etc.

7. Do I need to pay monthly subscriptions when using a FTA Set-Top-Box?

No, you don't have to pay monthly subscriptions to watch free-to-air programmes on your Set Top Box.

8. How do I identify the right set-top-box or IDTV?

It must conform to the DVB-T2 standard

9. If I have two TV sets, can I connect my set-top-box so that each receives its own digital TV Channel?

No. Each TV will need a separate Set Top Box.

10. Will my old external antenna receive the digital signal?

Yes.

11. How do I know that the flat screen TV I am buying is a digital TV?

  • Look out for labels, markings and information in the TV manual.
  • Go through the settings menu at the time of purchase.
  • Alternatively, look out for the UCC Approval Mark.
    Note. There is no need to buy an STB when you have a digital TV.

12. Are all flat screen TVs digital?

As mentioned above, a digital TV is one with a digital tuner. Not all, flat screen TVs, plasma TVs and LCD TVs include a built in digital tuners.

Digital TV migration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Digital Migration-Luganda Version