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What is DTT?

DTT stands for digital terrestrial television (or digital terrestrial transmission). It refers to the terrestrial broadcasting of television in a digital format. Currently, terrestrial television in Nigeria is broadcast in an analogue format. The country is in the process of planning and implementing migration from analogue to digital broadcasting.

What is the difference between analogue TV and digital TV?
Terrestrial television uses a network of transmission towers to relay the signal across the country. Each transmission towers has a specific area of coverage, and it is the network of coverage that provides television signals across the country. The broadcast signal is set to the various towers and if you are within the area covered by a tower, you will be able to receive the broadcast services via a terrestrial aerial – which is usually place on your roof or on your television set. In analogue, the signal is transmitted in the form of electromagnetic waves. This is not the most efficient way of transmitting TV signals. In digital, the signal is encoded and can be compressed – this will therefore allow for more channels to be broadcast. A minimum of eight new video channels can be provided in the same frequency as one analogue channel. Satellite television broadcasts, on the other hand, uses satellites in the sky to relay the signal to earth via a satellite dish.
Why are we migrating from analogue to digital?
The main reason for the world’s migration to digital, is to release valuable spectrum which can be used for other services. Spectrum is scarce, therefore more efficient use of the spectrum is necessary if more terrestrial telecommunications and broadcasting services are to be made available.
Has this migration been done elsewhere in the world?
Yes. Worldwide all countries will have to do the migration to ensure ongoing coordination and protection from interference. Examples of countries that are advanced in their migration process include the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, the United States, France and Mauritius.
Will I need a satellite dish to receive DTT?
No, you will not need a satellite dish to receive DTT. The satellite signal is not the same as the terrestrial signal, which is received using a terrestrial TV aerial.
Will I need a new aerial to receive DTT?
It is unlikely the most current viewers will require a new aerial to receive DTT. However, some viewers may require new aerials, or may need to upgrade existing aerials. In some instances aerials may have to be adjusted. At this stage it is unclear who will be affected by such adjustments, but the majority of viewers will not require any changes to their aerial installations.
Will I need any other additional equipment to receive DTT?
You will need to have a DTT Set Top Box. This Set Top Box is not the same as the Multichoice satellite box or the current MNet decoder.
What is a Set Top Box (STB)?
The Set Top Box is a receiver that will decode the digital signal to enable the channels to be displayed on your analogue television set. This Set Top Box will plug directly into your TV set.
Why do I need a Set Top Box?
You need a device that decodes the digital signal received via a standard aerial antenna and supplies the TV set with a video signal. Without the Set Top Box you will be unable to view the digital television services on your television set.
Do you need a Set Top Box to receive the DTT services if you have DSTV, GoTV, etc?
DSTV is a satellite service. The satellite signal is different from the DTT signal and the two systems are not compatible. DSTV subscribers will continue to receive the existing and some future free-to-air channels. However, if you wish to receive all the DTT free-to-air services you will have to purchase a DTT Set Top Box.
How is the Set Top Box installed?
The Set Top Box is a plug and play device. It is installed by connecting the cable from the TV aerial to the Set Top Box (normally RF IN at the back) and then follow the Set Top Box installation menu using the supplied manual. You could also get assistance for installation by a professional installer.
If I have five TV sets in the house, will I need five Set Top Boxes?
Yes, if you want each individual TV set to view a different channel. Other models of Set Top Boxes with functionality that allows you to connect more than one TV to a single Set Top Box may be developed and made available at a later stage. This STB will however be more expensive.
Will I need to buy a new television set to receive DTT?
No, you do not need to buy a new TV. All current analogue television sets will be able to receive DTT. You also do not need a high definition (HD) TV, LCD TV or Plasma TV to receive DTT. Note, that no television on the market will be able to receive the Digital TV channels without the STB. A TV that is ‘digital ready’ or ‘HD ready’ does not mean that it can receive the digital TV broadcasting without a STB.
You should also be cautious of buying old analogue technology products just because it is cheap. Analogue technology is being phased out around the world.
What are the benefits of digital TV?
Digital TV will give you access to more free-to-air channels, in addition to the current channels offered. Broadcasters intend to make a range of new services available on the additional channels, including interactive services such as games, weather and information services. Other benefits include better picture and sound quality, access to an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) in the television screen, enabling you to view your TV guide on the TV screen.
When the digital TV test signal is switched on. What will happen that day?
This will make the digital signal available to test DTT and STB technology. From this date, the broadcasters, manufacturers and Sentech began to test DTT services and technology. This trial is being conducted with a small sample of viewers. However, this does not mean that the public will be able to go out and buy a STB to receive the signal as yet. Once the services and technology have been tested adequately, and all other related processes are in place, STBs will be made available in retail stores. The actual date will be confirmed and communicated to the public as soon as all relevant logistical, legal, technical and policy issues have been addressed.
Why is the DTT launch to the public taking so long?
The digital migration process is extremely complex and requires the cooperation and agreement of several stakeholders in the industry. Significant progress on many key issues has been made, but there are still areas that need to be completed before a full DTT launch can take place. This includes the finalisation of DTT regulations and the issuing of licences to terrestrial broadcasters by ICASA, the finalisation of a frequency plan, the roll-out of the DTT technology by Pinnacle Broadcast, the technical specifications for STBs, the manufacturing of STBs, and the development of channel content by broadcasters.