Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting: The Viewers Perspective
DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TELEVISION BROADCASTING: THE VIEWERS PERSPECTIVE
Digital television is a new technology, an advancement from analogue to digital for transmitting and receiving broadcast television signals. It has transformed the television viewing experience as it enables broadcasters to offer television with better pictures and sound qualities and multiple channels of programming. Digital broadcasting has several other advantages amongst which are:
• An increase in the capacity of broadcast transmission networks by improving spectrum efficiency (more data being transmitted per unit bandwidth)
• Better signal quality which increases robustness to interference and picture degradation
• Supports HD services and interactivity
• A potential reduction in energy usage on transmission network
• The implementation of single frequency networks (SFNs) instead of the independent parallel networks which are common in analogue broadcasting.
• Digital TV would lead to greater demand for digital content
• In a competitive multi-channel, multi-platform environment, DTT FreeTV, provides opportunities for terrestrial broadcasters to address the challenges posed by Pay-tv and the Internet.
The decision to transit from analogue to digital television in Nigeria is keeping with our international obligation as required of signatories to international telecommunication union ITU o6 convention for better and efficient use of spectrum.
Digital broadcasting frees up part of the valuable broadcast spectrum for other application. Consumers also benefits as digital broadcasting allows station to offer not only improved pictures and sound quality but also multiplicity of choice and interactivity.
The switch over to digital terrestrial television, thus was a necessity for Nigeria as a signatory to the international broadcast union agreement which mandated all countries to switchover to avoid signal interference. The switch over will also enable viewers enjoy several free to air channels.
The Nigeria journey of digital switchover started when it signed into the ITU resolutions to transit from analogue to digital broadcasting in 2006 but real movement commenced in 2008 with the setting up of the presidential advisory committee (PAC) on digital migration by president YarAdua.
The real transition commenced on 30thApril, 2016 when the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed launched the first pilot of the federal government digital transmission project in Jos, Plateau state on the platform of the first broadcast signal distributor, Integrated Television Services (ITS) pioneering the digitization process in Nigeria (Free TV). Following the digital switched on of terrestrial television in Jos, viewers that had acquired and installed government subsidized set top boxes will have access to 15 high quality video and audio channels free of charge.
The free to air channels include:
NTA Sports24 NTANews24
Channels Galaxy TV
Africa Movie.Net CNBC Africa
Music1 Kennis music
Gotel TV Liberty TV
Silver bird TV
This migration is a development that will transform television broadcasting. It affects how we receive, watch, develop, and monetize television transmission. As against the analogue broadcasting, the digital television broadcasting is not just limited to the delivery of television programmes, it has interactive and other value added services which will be accessed on the television by the viewer, thereby bringing in a new television viewing experience.
Nigeria recognizes digitization as an important global movement that will revolutionize broadcasting. It provides for a wider range distribution of information and content that can turn broadcast media into a universal access platform.
Digital television broadcasting encourages an increase in the number of programmes, improves quality and accessibility and creates new media services.
Until now, television has run on an analogue system which uses complete waves to transmit pictures and sound and a major drawback of this is that location play an integral factor, disabling and distorting images and audio of television broadcast in far flogged areas from the transmitting site. Digital broadcasting provides solution to this and other shortfall of analogue broadcasting.
It allows stations to offer several channels of digital programming at the same time, using the same amount of spectrum required for one analogue program.
The pay television, somehow creates a disparity between the rich who can afford them and the poor who have to make do with the few free channel provided by analogue television but digital television broadcast tends to address this disparity as many people will have access to (for now) at least 15 free to air channels with rich contents.
They would be able to flip across the entire channels on the bouquet which is a combination of virtually all genres of television programming.
There would be information services available on the EPG and the public service information menu as well as weather.
Viewers are in for a treat.
– AIGBONOGA WOSILAT