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Government confirms final analogue TV switch-off date

Government has confirmed June 30 as the shut-off date for analogue signals. File photo

Government has confirmed June 30 as the shut-off date for analogue signals. File photo

Published May 25, 2022

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Johannesburg - As South Africa experiences a plethora of new streaming services and the progression from traditional TV signals to digital, the government has confirmed June 30 as the shut-off date for analogue signals.

The government’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies confirmed the new date in a tweet last night, stating: “The final analogue switch-off date is shifted to June 30, 2022. Analogue TV transmitters will be switched off progressively in the remaining provinces. You do not want to be left behind!”

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For those in the lurch of what the terrestrial signal shutdown will mean, any South Africans using outdoor element antennas or portable aerials that sit atop a television set will cease to receive a local signal come the shut-off deadline.

While the signal switch-off won’t affect South Africans using digital satellite TV services such as DStv, Openview HD, and StarSat TV, those who live in areas unserviced by satellite or internet connections won’t have access to any TV services once SA switches off its terrestrial signal.

The current analogue signal primarily supports the broadcasting of free-to-air SABC TV channels and eTV.

Meanwhile, the lack of access to digital TV, especially among those living in unserviced areas, has been one of the government’s pain points, causing delays in the transition to digital-only television.

Delays in recent years have marred the transition away from analogue. Amid this, the government has been laying out the intention to provide set-top boxes, a TV accessory to convert the analogue signal to digital for those who primarily use terrestrial TV signals.

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IOL recently reported that free set-top boxes would be available for those who earn R3 200 or less ahead digital migration deadline and can be applied for through the South African Post Office.

“The government will subsidise households that depend on social grants and those with a monthly income of less than R3 200. They must also have a functioning TV set and a television license. Such households must register at their nearest Post Office to qualify for the STB subsidy,” Government said regarding those in need of a set-top box.

Meanwhile, households earning more than R3 200 per month are expected to purchase decoders or STBs.

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The announcement comes at the tail-end of the launch of one of the most extensive international streaming services - Disney+.

Disney+ bolsters South Africans’ choice of streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and locally-grown Showmax, indicating that locals are already becoming accustomed to streaming content instead of traditional signals.

*If you don’t have access to a digital TV signal and need a set-top box, click here for more information or contact the Department of Communications Call Centre on 0800 111 188.

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