Well before we get any further, let’s get the boring and hard terms out of the way. From your primary SST, migration meant the movement of people, animals and whatever possessions they had. Digital migration is somewhat similar only in this case, consider broadcast signals. It involves the switching of the broadcast frequency from Analogue to Digital as far as we are concerned, literally.
Apparently, if you are reading this then you probably have got and idea of what it is, either the hard way or the very hard way.
Following the international upgrade from broadcasting over the Analogue to Digital signal that was announced a few months back by International Telecommunication Union’s Regional Telecommunication Conference (RRC).
Uganda has had a humongous task through the UCC to mobilize its citizens to aquire Digital decoders. Amidst putting up a series of deadlines and postponing them here and there, it finally turned off the Analogue channels as Golola Moses had predicted. Well, we can’t confirm this as the final move basing on the fact that “this is Uganda”.
A couple of players have taken this rather predictable opportunity to dive into the youthful market. I won’t bore you with the details of Dstv, Azam, Startimes, GoTV, Zuku and other greedy wolves trying to devour your little money. But, truth be told those guys are going to chew your money. What you need is a Free-To-Air (FTA) Decoder to receive the 26 currently registered television stations.
Digital Migration is not only an advanced way to broadcast signals but it comes along with robustness in the wide range of advantages that include:
1. Better picture quality
Images will be sharper with improved sound quality. Interferences will be reduced as well. All the qualities of High Definition will come into play. Note, however, that the bigger the TV the better. Small TVs will also have sharper display but why waste all that HD in a small display… Digital has higher resolution that is about twice the quality of analogue. So you will be able to get cinema quality display with Dolby surround sound.
2. More channels, more choice
Since this digital format takes up less bandwidth comoared to Analogue, more channels will be able to air. These will benefit all people from different walks of life. Including children, youth, the elderly, farmers, engineers and more professionals.
3. Electronic Program Guides
This will enable users to browse through the list of channels and be able to identify the programs currently airing and also the ones coming up. Better EPGs can even set reminders for specific shows, provide a brief summary of the show screening, search programs according to categories or genres and also provide programming for several days to come…
4. Better utilization of frequencies
A digital signal being able to carry more than one channel at the same time as it isn’t the case with an analogues signal, hence multi-channeling. Unused frequencies can therefore be used for other developmental stuff.
5. Extending coverage in vernacular language
Digital broadcasting offers the possibility of more channels which can include those in vernacular language. Am talking lukiga, lugabar and luganda.
6. Extending the transmission coverage area
The digital transition provides the opportunity to extend the signal coverage area within a country so that more people can share the same television programmes. These will transmit signals deep down there in areas of Kasokoso, Madugomba, Mawokota, Butalejja among others.
7. Job Opportunities
It is not rocket science to realise that this Digital migration trend will create new jobs. It’s only basic economics to know that jobs such as brokers, technicians, annoying customer care assistants, con artists will be created. Not forgetting the boda boda guys that will transport you back to your place. For the robbers, am not sure to what extent they are seeing this as an opportunity.
This only applies to governments that are not corrupt. Governments have found an effective way to monetise the whole television process. This means taxas will be got hence improving social infrastructure in the country.
The Impact of the Migration
The quenes for digital set-up boxes (call them decoders) is really long at all major digital setup box providers’ offices. In fact GoTV, Startimes, Sigmanet are having insanely long quenes of people to trying to buy themselves a decoder. In fact Sigmanet claims that the number of decoders available are not enough for the migration.
Around the city Suburban areas mostly, people have opted for rather mind blowing alternatives. I passed through Kisenyi where this Guy had stagged stand-up commedy, those shi!tty translated movies are selling like hot cake no like Digital Decorders, the pocket snatchers and iron bar hitters are back in business as I assume and over to the Local media houses, I Honestly have no idea but am betting my money on them bargaining with UCC to extend the deadline… Am just messing with them.
Hmm… I guess you now get the whole picture of the Digital Noise that has rounded up the country. Better get yourself a decorder before drastic measures are devised. Yes drastic, hope that doesn’t sound new if you live around here.
With all this Digital nonsense, yaka, smartphones, GoTtenas, Smartphone networks, Fridges running on Android and other Sci-Fi mamble jumble coming into play, Surely; Ugandans are about to witness Smarthouses.
Much as this migration was considered sudden and abrupt by many, we must remember that the deadline has been pushed twice and UCC has to act like that IT head who will force you to change your password frequently for your own good. Uganda needed this!
Let us know what you think of digital migration in the comments below