Operators of television stations on the continent have been urged to pay particular attention to improving their content and dedicating more funds to it rather than their coverage (reach).
The call comes at a time when Africa is preparing to switch from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by the close of 2015. At the just-ended conference in Dubai, dubbed Digital Dialogue, panellists said the competition among the stations would be expected to heighten sharply with the migration and noted that those which would survive would be the ones with rich content and not coverage.
At present, content on free-to-air broadcasting is low and unattractive as compared to what pertains in the developed world such as Europe and America.
Road to DTT
The agreement reached at the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITUs) Radio communication conference in 2006 (RRC-06) paved the way for utilising the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to achieve the internationally recognised development goals.
The date of transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting in the year 2015 is intended to coincide with the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals.
The digital dividend
The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting will create new distribution networks and expand the potential for wireless innovation and services.
The digital dividend accruing from efficiencies in spectrum usage will allow more channels to be carried across fewer airwaves and lead to greater convergence of services.
Formats of DTT
Digital television supports many different picture formats defined by the broadcast television systems which are a combination of size among many other things. With digital terrestrial television (DTV) broadcasting, the range of formats can be broadly divided into two categories: high definition television (HDTV) for the transmission of high-definition video and standard-definition television (SDTV).
Television pictures have differing amounts of definition (rendering of fine detail) according to how many individual picture elements are provided to reconstruct the picture.
TV content in Ghana
Meanwhile, the Manager of Engineering at the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr Edmund Yirenkyi Fianko, told the Daily Graphic in an interview after the conference that what presently pertained in Ghana was “competition on coverage but we expect that to go away when all is set”. He noted, however, that “we anticipate competition will shift from the coverage to content”.
For now, he said the players in the industry spend a lot more money of transmission but they stood to make savings when the migration was completed. Consequently, Mr Fianko advised them to use the savings they stood to make from not having to mount additional towers to transmit their programmes to develop content that would be appealing to viewers since that was the only way under the circumstance for them to stay competitive.
With the talk about the migration in Ghana, many television importers seem to be importing sets of any kind into the system under the guise that they were DTT complaint.
But Mr Fianko warned the public to beware and be sure of what they spend their money on. “The public should beware what they spend their money on. Not every flat screen is DTT complaint”, he said.
Source: Graphic Business
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