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So… ZBC was serious about digital TV channels, six are already on the air

ZBC Van, CEO, TV Zimbabwe, Digitisation, Digital TV 12 new TV stations, ZESA

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has for the longest time promised a digital television migration, stretching back to the days when Supa Mandiwanzira was Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. Digital TV was not a Zimbabwean ambition alone, many other countries in SADC and across the globe made the pledge to move from analogue to digital. The initial deadline for the migration, set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), was the 17th of June 2015.

Until the deadline, there was a transition period that was set starting from 2013 to 2015 when countries would transmit both analogue and the new DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting Project) standard. But that rollout, as I am sure you are aware, didn’t go according to plan for us.

Well, in a strange turn of events, it looks like the ZBC and Broadcasting Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) have finally come good on Digital TV because you can already pick up the channels if you have the right equipment.

“A lot of people who know me personally know I love TV , today I was bored then thought let me scan for channels , I then picked 20 channels have been uploaded on the Zim digital Terrestrial signal”

Brian Matamba on Twitter

Digital TV stations on offer

It isn’t quite 20 channels, according to Lyngsat, there are about 6 digital tv channels that are operational in Zimbabwe:

Channel NamePositionSatelliteBeamEIRP
ABJ TV68.5°EIntelsat 20Europe & Africa45.812562 HDVB-S2SD
Black Bury Zimbabwe
(Listed but the channel doesn’t yet have a licence to broadcast in Zimbabwe)
7.0°EEutelsat 7BAfrica4711356 HDVB-S2HD
Christ TV68.5°EIntelsat 20Europe & Africa45.812522 VDVB-SSD
Jive TV

(lifestyle, entertainment and local music channel)
7.0°EEutelsat 7BAfrica4711356 HDVB-S2HD
Yadah TV68.5°EIntelsat 20Europe & Africa45.812562 HDVB-S2SD
ZBC News
(24 Hour News Channel)
7.0°EEutelsat 7BAfrica4711356 HDVB-S2HD
ZBC TV7.0°EEutelsat 7BAfrica4711356 HDVB-S2HD
Other channels that were granted free-to-air licences will surely be coming on air at some time

It looks like digital TV in Zimbabwe is available both as DTT (Digital Terrestrial Transmission) and DTH (Direct to Home). The former, as reported when the digital migration was announced, uses terrestrial towers to transmit the signal much like mobile network operator base stations. These signals can be picked up by special antennas and set up boxes. The latter (DTH) comes directly from a satellite much like DStv or OpenView.

How you can watch the new digital programming

As earlier mentioned, you will need the right equipment to be able to scan for these channels. The one that was recommended in Brian Matamba’s thread was the outdoor Super Sonett TV Antenna SNA-950TG. This antenna will allow any TV, both smart and conventional, to receive the DTT transmission.

We reached out to a number of TV shops and DStv installation companies about antennas like these (both indoor and outdoor) or digital TV set-up boxes but none had any in stock or knew where they could be found. If you know anywhere where we can check some out, drop the shop and address in the comments.

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31 thoughts on “So… ZBC was serious about digital TV channels, six are already on the air

  1. Lol, are we getting close to the day that pigs will actually fly?! Oh, by the way, what of digital radio? I cant remember if that was supposed to be part of the migration. I just swapped my DAB capable radio away so i can’t run a test scan 😶

  2. Hahaha. That ZBC 24hr news station is definitely bad for ones health. Brainwashing propaganda lmao. Anyways, all those channels are boring as f#$k….would rather watch sesame street on loop

  3. All those new channels suck big time. Who the hell watches them anyway. What a waste of time. Nothing to be excited about here. Just some useless boring sh*t. Same old Zanu pf nonsense. 😆

    1. Saka kana zvisinfa batike nyore vaitira ani nemaomero ezvinhu mu Zim. Who can afford additional tv set top boxes while many are failing to repair ma dying digital tvs avo and migrating back to the reliable set ye gotsi

  4. Analogue isn’t going anywhere soon, because they want to collect licence fees and it is a great propaganda tool. These aren’t technical challenges, they are intentional delays, because we were once told that set top boxes were purchased and ready for roll out (a few years back). Moving to 100% digital, would mean those who don’t have official set top boxes would no longer be required to pay TV licence fees.

    1. Zvinoita. As long decoder rako richibata FTA u can get those channels but you will need to redirect your dish signal to Eutelsat 7B

  5. So can i use my Dstv decoder to scan those FTA Zim channels i want to see something, i already watch different church channels scanned using DSD 3 decoder

    1. I tried using my Wiz Tech DVB S2 decoder to search for ZBC TV but it says the channel is scrambled, I only got God channels

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