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Latest on Zimbabwe’s digital migration – we are 400,000 decoders closer

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Digital Migration is still supposed to be completed, and a lot more needs to be done beyond the catchy jingle that is being aired on local radio. While we missed certain aspects of the deadline (some would say most actually) the government is still putting a lot of work into completing the project.

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According to a report in the Herald, earlier this week, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba revealed that the country had ordered 400,000 set top boxes from Huawei in China. According to Charamba, this is four times the penetration rate of TV sets in this country.

Huawei was the company contracted to handle the Digital Migration project on the technical side, so it’s not surprising that they are providing the decoders.

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The model that has been selected is still being tested by the government to determine if it meets certain standards. The set top boxes (or decoders, as most of us know them) are going to be subsidised to ensure that they are affordable for everyone in Zimbabwe, especially folks in the rural areas with less disposable income.

Once these set-top boxes decoders become standard for every viewer and the whole country is migrated from an analogue to a digital signal, there will be a subscription based model implemented by the ZBC. If viewers do not pay their subscriptions they will be switched off.

No figure has been presented as a price for the decoders, but a $3 subscription fee was recommended to the government in an audit report on ZBC that was submitted to parliament. This was based on the 6 channels that will be offered and it’s weighed against other offerings like MultiChoice’s bouquets.


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12 thoughts on “Latest on Zimbabwe’s digital migration – we are 400,000 decoders closer

  1. Good move.
    We need sports, live sports coverage, best movies, cartoons etc
    eventually decoders we can use as internet modems.
    Afordable decoders ……..

  2. Please research first before writing anything.Zimbabwe did not miss the deadline for Migration even some of our neighboring countries are yet to migrate.17 June deadline was not for complete migration or switching of Analogue transmission but was for us to make sure we do not interfere with our neighbors’ signals which BAZ complied.So take note that 17 June was the compliance date.Another point of correction ZBC is not the one leading the migration project but is part of the project as the only public broadcaster in zimbabwe.BAZ is leading the implementation of everything and the is also Transmedia as a signal carrier.ZBC will offer 6 channels and there also other 6 channels from independent broadcasters to make it 12 HD channels.I m not sure about STB or decoders

    1. Zimbabwe did not miss the deadline for Migration even some of our neighboring countries are yet to migrate.

      According to the press briefing made by the BAZ in March 2015, the objective was to be able to switch off analogue transmitters by 17 June and begin the broadcast of a digital signal. That did not happen. On the 17th of June, the CEO of Transmedia, Florence Matambo Sigudu, pointed out that we had assumed dual elimination – the simultaneous function of analogue and digital systems, because we had not completed the migration. These are the reasons why I said we missed “certain aspects” of the migration process, not all of it.

      Another point of correction ZBC is not the one leading the migration project but is part of the project as the only public broadcaster in zimbabwe.BAZ is leading the implementation of everything and the is also Transmedia as a signal carrier.

      I did not say ZBC was leading this project. I referred to the broadcaster’s role in providing viewers with content. This is the same reference to its 6 channels that you are also referring to. I appreciate the role played by every stakeholder in this project, which is why I pointed out ZBC’s role in determining the monthly subscriptions on content aired on its stations.

      ZBC will offer 6 channels and there also other 6 channels from independent broadcasters to make it 12 HD channels.I m not sure about STB or decoders

      6 SD live channels, option for 3 HD live channels, 5000 hours of SD VOD, 100 hours of HD VOD, 10 audio channels.
      According to BAZ, and a presentation made at the Digital Future Conference in March 2015 by Gelfand Kausiyo, (the National Digitisation project lead consultant) this is the complete digital solution that Zimbabwe will have capacity for when the migration is completed. This information was shared with the public and BAZ pointed out that it would be enabling 6 channels as this is within the parameters of our local content creation strategy.

      1. hey @nigel, thanks fr the news update brah..can u plz tell hint to me what these six channels will comprise,and will there be a sport channel,showing live games across the world

      2. I now see where the problem lies. You are still giving reference to information made available to you in march 2015. It helps to keep pace with the implementation of the project if you intend to give accurate info to the readers. Please update us on the current progress of the project.

  3. 12 Channels my foot. We dont even have enough content for 1 Channel. Where will we get stuff for the other 11 Channels..

  4. do the standard led/lcd tv’s need the setup boxes to get the digital signals. i’m seeing zbc having to either stepup or doe if they use the monthly subscription mode.many people will just choose not to take it up

  5. The publisher of this page should simply ask the relevant parties for the correct information before misleading the masses. @Net Neutrality ZBC will offer only six channels and for now only six independent broadcasters will be offering services.
    @ G flat panel TVs eg your LCD,LED,Plasmas and the like still need the set top box unless they are IDTVs(integrated Digital Televisions) …these have room for smart card insertion.

  6. Seems to be some good news, I would love to subscribe if the channels offer better content(News, live sports, movies and documentaries). For the mean time we just wait for them to fix the technical side of it.

  7. Nigel when you get corrected for a poorly done article do not argue. Simply apologise and do better next time. You get paid because guys like R read this blog and contribute to the numbers that help make TechZim viable in an impressions based ad model that results in you guys getting paid. So we are all in essence your customers, treat us well don’t be an obstinate blockhead so to speak.

    Strive for excellence my guy.

  8. I dont care whether its 3 or i dont know number of channels that will be broadcasted when the digital signal starts to be transmitted.The issue here is ZBC must not be the oversea of the Channels cause their policies will not change just because we now have many number of channels.Yes its not possible for ZBC not to own a channel considering its the only sole broadcaster in this country.Since ZBC will never change its policies-policies like biased news towardz ZANU PF,pushing ZANU PF propaganda only and not giving 50 50 covering for all the political parties in ZIM,broadcasting ZANU PF rallies on state owned media which is suppossed to give fair news coverage-it must contract/allow many private ownd broadcasters to give us new staff kwete zveDEAD-BC izvi tanzwa nazvo takuda zvirinani

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