Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has revised earlier standards set for the importation of DVB-T2 set-top boxes to be imported in the country as Uganda prepares to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting, paving way for free to air channels and other external.
In accordance with its mandate under the Uganda Communications Act (Cap 106 Laws of Uganda), the Commission on 12 June 2012 adopted and communicated the minimum specifications for set-top boxes for use in digital broadcasting in Uganda based on the DVB-T2 standard.
The media and public relations specialist at UCC, Isaac Kalembe told CAJ News on Friday, 28 September 2012, that in the earlier specifications, it was a requirement that all set top boxes should have "at least one embedded smart card reader or a DVB-CI (Common Interface) slot to allow any type of conditional access module to be plugged into the set top box."
Kalembe explained that the regulator has however, revised the minimum specifications for DVB-T2 set top boxes.
"Accordingly, the conditional access feature is optional for DVB-T2 set top boxes intended for use to receive Free to Air (FTA) TV content on the digital terrestrial platforms in Uganda.
"However, the feature remains mandatory for DVB-T2 set top boxes that are intended for use to receive premium content or pay/subscription TV on the digital terrestrial platform" Kalembe said.
UCC indicated that vendors of equipment should cease importation of DVB-T set-top boxes into Uganda while urging them to hear correct directives from the government.
Kalembe said all equipment suppliers and vendors should obtain type approval of the set-top boxes from the Uganda Communications Commission.
"These [free-to-air] channels will continue to be free even after the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting (or digital terrestrial television - DTT migration as it is more commonly referred to)" Kalembe explained.
He said the communications regulatory would clarify on the other broadcasting requirements expected after the migration exercise.
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