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South African broadcasters E.tv and M-Net plan to launch a trial of the upgraded European digital television standard, DVB-T2, in response the news that a pilot of the rival Brazilian and Japanese standard will soon get underway.
The local broadcasters’ pilot will take place in Soweto. State-owned signal distributor, Sentech, is establishing test transmission sites to pilot digital terrestrial television broadcasts based on Brazilian and Japanese standards.
The two broadcasters have been running trials across the country using an older version of the European standard since 2008, when SA’s cabinet ratified it as the standard South Africa would use for digital migration. However, the department of communications dropped a bombshell on the broadcasting industry in April when it called for a review of the European standard and suggested that the Brazilian version of a Japanese standard could be an alternative.
Patricia Scholtemeyer, CEO of M-Net, says the signal is now on-air in Johannesburg and trial participants are being recruited in Soweto.