S. Africa delays STB scheme again

South Africa’s government is again facing problems of kick-starting is much-delayed digital terrestrial TV system. South Africa is starting its analogue to digital TV conversion process but the project has been badly affected by the lack of low-cost set-top boxes.

South Africa’s government had planned to produce 5 million inexpensive boxes and had budgeted R2.4 billion ($245 million) for their manufacture. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, in a mid-term budget statement, said the planned production of 2 million boxes this year but none had been produced between April and September.

Local reports say that the market needs 11 million new STBs in order to view digital TV. The government says it will subsidise up to 70 per cent of the cost of boxes for about 5 million low-earning homes, but the government’s plan did not take into account the cost of fixing antennas or installing

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