With the gazetted date of 31 March 2022 for analogue switch-off and end of dual illumination in South Africa, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies said that of the 14 million TV-watching households in the country, 11,5 million have self-migrated as they watch TV through satellite and will therefore not be affected by the analogue switch off.
The Department has to date registered in excess of 1,4 million indigent applicants for government’s free decoder and installation. The installation process continues countrywide, and more than 1,2 million households would have their free decoders by the analogue switch-off date.
The set-top box (decoder) is not the only way to continued TV watching after the analogue switch-off. Major electronics companies like Hisense, LG, Samsung, Sinotec and AIM have introduced approximately 2,5 million integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) with a built-in digital tuner since 2012 into the market. A list with some of these television sets that are compatible can be accessed at: https://www.dcdt.gov.za/dtt-all-you-need-to-know/file/194-idtv-models.html.
The switch-off of analogue television will release valuable spectrum for application in the communications industry. The spectrum becoming available will benefit people in rural areas as the lower frequency bands will provide wider coverage.