digital terrestrial television & tv aerial installers

frequently asked questions: digital television & tv aerials

frequently asked questions

What is Digital Television?

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Digital technology allows a signal to be compressed into a smaller bandwidth. This allows more data to be sent in the same bandwidth thereby allowing for more channels to be broadcast. For example, 8 new Digital TV channels can be provided in the same bandwidth as one analogue channel.
An analogue signal can have any number of values. A digital signal can have only the values zero or one. A digital signal can be more easily corrected of errors caused by unwanted electronic noise than can an analogue signal. This is why an analogue TV picture like SABC becomes gradually more snowy as the signal weakens whereas a digital TV picture like DSTV remains perfect while the signal weakens until a level is reached where the error correction electronics can no longer function, at which point the picture freezes.
These are simply different ways of broadcasting a signal. Satellite television broadcasts from a satellite in space from which you receive via a satellite dish that is mounted to your house. Digital Terrestrial Television uses transmitters on the ground to broadcast the signal which you then receive using a TV aerial and set top box.
Digital Terrestrial Television refers to the use of a network of TV transmission towers on earth as opposed to satellites in space to broadcast digital as opposed to analogue signals. SABC, e.tv and M-Net are analogue signals broadcast terrestrially. DSTV and Top TV are digital signals broadcast from satellite.
This is the process of moving from an analogue to a digital TV broadcast.
In keeping with other countries and advancing technological developments worldwide, the government has decided to migrate from analogue TV to digital. The benefits of digital TV broadcasting include:
  1. Excellent picture quality
  2. Clearer sound
  3. More channels
  4. A digital TV guide which can be easily updated for more accurate schedules.
  5. Interactive services like games or the Weather channel.
  6. Picture quality which does not deteriorate with a weaker TV aerial signal. Your TV picture will either be perfect or you will have no picture at all. No more snowy pictures.
  7. Allows transmission of high definition (HD 1080) TV pictures
When South Africa goes digital, everyone currently using a TV aerial will need a decoder (also called a set top box or STB) which will decode the digital signal. Without a STB (similar to M-Net decoder), your TV won’t be able to display the digital television picture.
Yes – your current M-Net decoder is an analogue decoder and will have to be replaced with a digital decoder.
In the next few years it may be possible to buy a TV with a decoder built into the TV. These are called integrated digital televisions because the decoder is integrated. These are not yet available in South Africa.
Probably not. Some viewers may need new TV aerials and in some instances TV aerials may only need to be adjusted. Whether or not you need a new TV aerial or an adjustment to your existing TV aerial will depend how good the DTT signal is in your area.
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No, only one - Your STB will be able to receive digital channels from all licensed South African broadcasters. Even if you unsubscribe from M-Net, your STB will still receive digital channels from SABC and e.tv.
Field trials for DTT started in November 2008. The SABC and e.tv tested free-to-air digital transmissions while M-Net tested PayTV digital transmissions on a selected group of viewers. Further tests will now take place in the new DVB-T2 format. Watch the media for announcements on when digital TV starts for the general public.
Government announced in 2008 that we would be using the DVB-T format for our digital terrestrial television. In 2010 government called for a review to consider the ISDB-T format. This, despite two previous reviews in a consultation process that began in 2000 and investment of R250 million by independant broadcasters in the DVB-T system. Finally (we hope) in January 2011 the minister of communications announced the decision to use the DVB-T2 format.
Set top boxes for the DVB-T2 format of DTT are already available in England. They will be on sale in South Africa as soon as DTT is broadcast to the general public. Watch the media for an official announcement.
December 2013 was the date set by government to discontinue analogue broadcasts, but arguments about using a set top box which can cut off a user's signal if he doesn't pay his Tv license have delayed this. The International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U.) have set June 2015 as the date beyond which analogue TV broadcasts will not be protected from interference. Whether our government has the ability to meet this deadline remains to be seen.
Nothing.The changeover to DTT only affects broadcasts received on a TV aerial. DSTV and TopTV received on a satellite dish are already in digital format.
No, will you will need to have a TV aerial installed and a STB connected to your DSTV system if you also want to watch DTT programs.
Only if you want each TV set to show different channels at the same time, otherwise one STB will be able to display the same program on multiple TV's provided your TV aerial wiring is correct.
HD television is not required to watch digital broadcasts, but if the programme content was recorded in High Definition the user of HD Television will see improved clarity and detail which was never possible on analogue broadcasts.
This could be caused by a faulty TV aerial or TV wiring or signal reception problems such as multipath error. Call us on 012-664 5223 to correctly install your STB or adjust your TV aerial or supply a new TV aerial installation in Pretoria or Centurion.

common abbreviations used in digital tv

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BDM
BSD
DTT
DVB
EPG
FTA
LCD
LED
RCU
RF
STB
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Accredited DStv Installer Centurion Midrand Pretoria
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