This because on December 13, the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) will switch off analogue TV signals, thereby making it impossible for those with non-compliant TVs or Set Top boxes to be off air as they will not be able to receive digital TV signals.
The CCK made the announcement last week during the launch of the consumer awareness campaign to sensitize the public on the planned switch off of the analogue TV broadcasting in Nairobi and the surrounding areas.
According to the phased switch-off plan, residents of metropolitan Nairobi, from the Central Business District through its suburbs and outlaying satellite areas of Kiambu, Ngong, Ongata Rongai, Kitengela, Isinya, Kajiado, Athi River, parts of Machakos, Thika and Githunguri will be the first to switch over to digital TV broadcasting services.
Those who will not have purchased and connected their TV sets with compliant set top boxes will have to contend with blank TV screens come December 13.
After Nairobi, analogue signals will go off air in Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret on March 30 next year.
Afterwards, all the other areas across the country will be switched off on June 30, 2014 thereby completing the transition from analogue to digital TV broadcasting ahead of the global deadline on June 17, 2015.
The Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications and Technology (ICT), Dr Fred Matiang’i, launched the switch-off media campaign in Nairobi together with ministry and CCK officials, media owners, signal distributors, set top box vendors, content service providers and other stakeholders.
The media campaign to be rolled out on the print, digital, electronic and outdoor media is aimed at educating consumers on what they need to do to migrate to digital TV broadcasting. Lined up, too, are radio activations, talk shows and interviews, billboards and demonstration clinics to be held in select urban centres within metropolitan Nairobi.
The transition to digital TV broadcasting is aimed at ensuring that Kenya complies with international agreements on the digital migration arrived at during the Regional Radiocommunications Conference in 2006.
Digital migration will release spectrum for use in deployment of other ICT services including mobile broadband. The transition will also facilitate a wider choice of programmes, and allow for a diversity and plurality of content.
Dr Fred Matiang’i described Nairobi analogue switch off date of December 13, 2013 as ‘the test bed for migration’ saying that the lessons learnt here will be applied in the analogue.He appealed to the close to 700,000 households who require to be connected to DVB-T2 set top boxes in the area to purchase the gadgets ahead of the switch-off deadline. He said that there are almost 300,000 set top boxes in stock, and urged investors to ensure they offer affordable gadget in the market.