Sentech’s 2010 television plans

first_img4 July 2006Sentech has announced plans to rollout Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in time for the 2010 World Cup. The upgrade is expected to cost about R1-billion over the next five years.DTT is a digital technology that provides a greater number of channels and better quality of pictures and sound.The company is optimistic that it will play a major role in the 2010 World Cup by ensuring that South Africa’s analogue broadcasting infrastructure is upgraded to a digital-ready terrestrial system.Digital convergencePunted to be the most significant revolution television has yet seen, Sentech spokesperson Bongi Potelwa said DTT would give users access to a multi-channel and multi-platform viewing experience.“It is aimed at average TV viewers; and will finally bring true convergence into living rooms,” she said.Test transimssions have already been broadcast from Sentech’s main broadcast tower site in Brixton, Johannesburg.Frans Lindeque, Sentech’s acting COO, said digital TV sets were to “increasingly” become integrated with fixed and mobile broadband networks, allowing viewers to switch easily between watching television, surfing the internet, or doing online shopping.‘Clearer, sharper’“DTT thus opens the way to combine the pay-per-view services available on the internet with the simplicity of television.“A primary benefit of DTT that is sure to delight consumers will be the clearer, sharper pictures provided without interference and ghosting that some residents of built-up areas or hilly terrain sometimes experience.“It also offers a wide screen format and multiple language offerings per channel,” Lindeque said.He indicated that Sentech would first upgrade its network and duplicate the current analogue network channels on a digital system.Digital migrationSentech anticipates the first phase of network upgrades to take two years, with digital migration commencing in 2008.“Most of the 220 sites needed to broadcast DTT to 92 percent of South Africa’s population are already in place and only need upgrades to become fully digital.“Once that process is complete, DTT and analogue systems will be run side-by-side [a dual illumination process] until South Africa is ready to switch off analogue transmission,” Lindeque said.He also explained that the analogue infrastructure which dated back to the launch of television in South Africa in the mid 1970s, had become increasingly expensive to repair and “DTT provides a timely answer to this problem.”Set-top boxesConsumers will need a set-top box costing about R500 to decode the signal, even for public broadcasting service and free-to-air channels.“Although the cost of the set-top boxes should reduce significantly over the next five years, they will still need to be subsidised if the main aim of reaching the masses in a relatively short time [four to five years] is to be achieved.“It is possible that incentives will be provided to electronics companies to establish set-top box manufacturing facilities in South Africa,” Lindeque said.This, he said would contribute to a reduction in the cost of the set-top boxes.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

IBSA ‘well on the way’ to $25bn in trade

first_img19 October 2011 The India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) grouping is well on its way to achieving its target of US$25-billion in trilateral trade by 2015, with the latest figures suggesting the three countries had surpassed $16-million in 2010, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies. “We set ourselves a target of achieving $10-billion in combined intra-IBSA trade by the year 2010, and in fact we achieved that in 2009, in the midst of the first wave of global economic recession,” Davies told the IBSA Business Forum in Pretoria on Monday. IBSA is a trilateral developmental initiative between the three countries aimed at promoting South-South cooperation and exchange. “The current figures suggest that in 2010 we achieved $16.1-billion, which places us somewhere in striking distance to achieve the current target, which is $25-billion combined intra-trade by the year 2015,” he told the Indian, Brazilian, and South African delegations at Monday’s forum.Build trade ‘in complementary areas’ Davies urged the IBSA countries to build trade relations based on complementary areas. “As South Africa, we have learned an enormous amount in terms of our own policies on small business development from the relationship which we have … with NSIC [the National Small Industries Corporation] of India and the Sebrae of Brazil. “We follow very closely what you are all doing in terms of industrial policy. We study what you are doing, we learn from you, and it helps us enormously, and we hope as well that we are able to contribute in terms of the development of your own policies as well.” Davies also called for the formation of an IBSA CEOs Forum with a permanent secretariat to continuously assess what needed to be done to enhance business cooperation among the three countries.Business ‘must take advantage of IBSA’ Business Unity South Africa (Busa) CEO Nomaxabiso Majokweni told the forum that business had to make the most of the opportunities provided by the relationship that existed between the IBSA countries. “As the private sector, we must make the most of the opportunities provided by the strong political commitment and will demonstrated by our government leaders to improve trade and investment relations among our countries.” Majokweni said the countries were meeting in uncertain global economic times, particularly for developed economies haunted by fears of recession and sovereign default.Govts ‘must act to avoid fiscal debt crisis’ “The banking sectors amongst IBSA countries all survived the banking crisis. However, our exposure to European sovereign debt poses a serious concern,” Majokweni said. “Our respective governments and central banks have and need to continue making bold fiscal and monetary moves that sustain our economies in challenging times. Of particular importance are those policy interventions aimed at stimulating the real economy.” She said the steps taken should not cut capital expenditure, which was a key stimulus for economic growth, but rather should be measures to avoid a fiscal debt crisis. Although current growth rates were reduced, emerging markets remained a frontier of hope, Majokweni said. Busa also presented recommendations coming out of the forum on sectors such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals, where observations made included that all three countries needed to produce and promote generic pharmaceutical products. For the financial and business services sector, it was recommended that there be continued shared learning on rural financial inclusion in areas such as new products and IT connectivity. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more