SA broadcasters condemn STB stance in an open letter

Pay-TV operator, MultiChoice along with Association of Community Television – SA (ACT-SA), and the National Association of Manufacturers in Electronic Components (NAMEC) has published an open letter to South Africa’s communications minister, Yunus Carrim, asking him to launch free, unencrypted digital terrestrial television without any further delay.

Criticising the government’s decision to install a control system on all STBs in the forthcoming digital migration, the open letter stated, “We have serious reservations about this – it has been almost universally rejected internationally, it will make the migration process more expensive and it is opposed by most South African broadcasters.”

The three organisations argue that including this technology in every free-to-air STB will harm consumers by raising the cost of digital migration and bind consumers to an STB forever. IT will also harm FTA broadcasting by increasing the cost of FTA television for broadcasters.