DTT making great strides in Africa

While only a handful of countries in Africa met the ITU deadline of June 2015 for analogue switch-off, the digital transition has been gathering pace across the continent in the intervening years. DVB has been a trusted partner of the broadcast community in Africa, most recently in helping to design next month’s digital television technology workshop in Johannesburg. The event is free-of-charge for delegations of 1-4 people from outside South Africa.

Spread of DVB-T2

DVB-T2 is the system of choice for the vast majority of administrations in Africa. Those that launched services prior to 2010 used the then state-of-the-art DVB-T system; all bar one of the rest have adopted DVB-T2. (Botswana decided to adopt the Japanese ISDB-T system, however even there the authorities permit the inclusion of a DVB-T2 decoder in set-top boxes.)

Digital terrestrial television (DTT) is now on air in 28 countries in Africa, with analogue switch-off completed in ten. Beyond the official national systems for free-to-air television, there has also been a surge in the growth of payTV services over DTT. The Chinese company StarTimes is one of the main players in this regard, with a presence in around 15 countries. Other providers with payDTT services in multiple countries include South Africa’s GoTV (from MultiChoice) and EasyTV (from Vivendi and Canal+), while there are some other smaller players.

Building capacity

November’s workshop, titled “Building Digital TV in Africa“, will focus on the competencies and skills required to plan, implement and operate DTT systems and networks. The speakers will include world-renowned experts on the various elements of the broadcast ecosystem as well as representatives of some of the countries that have led the way with DTT implementation in Africa.

Day 1 of the three-day event will look at baseband topics, including digital video production, source coding, service information and multiplexing. On the second day the focus will shift to transmission, reception and network operation. It will include a session on the receiver test and certification procedure adopted in Ghana. The final day will feature a series of masterclasses on a wide range of topics, including UHD features, audio coding, interactivity and HbbTV, SAT>IP and OTT delivery.

For the latest programme information and to register for the workshop, please visit the SADIBA website.

The workshop is organized by SADIBA, in conjunction with DVB, the EBU and Broadcast Networks Europe.

Photo: Johannesburg skyline by Chris7cn, Wikimedia Commons