Samoa is indeed following suit with the target completion timeframe of December 2019.
A regional radiocommunication Conference held in Geneva in 2006 adopted a document commonly referred to as the Geneva 2006 Agreement (Ge06), which spearheaded the switch by establishing that after 2015, there will be no more protection for analogue television transmission.
The Ge06 Agreement addresses the planning and implementation of the digital switch. The same mandate has also set the transition period from analogue to be fully completed next year, 2020 for most countries in Band III. It also describes the planning process and its outcome which should ensure that spectrum is available for digital terrestrial broadcasting over the next decades, covering a large area including 118 countries.
For Samoa, implementation of this process requires a progressive switching off, of the old analogue television signals across the nation, starting with pockets of geographical areas within the immediate township of Apia, with the rest of the country being switched off in stages.
This means that viewers need to go digital if they want to keep watching TV. Some simple guidelines for viewers and consumers to begin with can be :
- Check whether your current TV set has a built-in digital tuner or receiver
To check whether your TV set can receive over-the-air digital broadcast signals, take a look at your owner’s manual or look on the set for an indication that it has a built-in Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) tuner. You can also check the manufacturer’s website to check the capabilities by model number.
- Can an old tube television set receive digital TV?
Old tube TVs cannot receive digital TV signals as they were manufactured with analogue tuners. Needless to say, it may be time to invest in a modern television set capable of delivering the digital TV signals.
- Do all flatscreen TV sets have built-in digital tuners or receivers?
NOT all flatscreen TV’s have an in-built tuner or receiver. The Geneva mandate that sparked the digital switch was effective from June 2006. Flatscreen TV sets manufactured before 2007 are likely to require a converter box or digital tuner/set-top box to decode and enable digital tv viewing. Televison sets manufactured since 2007 are likely to have in-built digital tuners that enable viewing on a digital platform. It is worth noting that some flatscreen TV sets, with in-built digital tuners may still need a booster to get a clear signal, depending on the viewer’s geographical location.
- And the advantages of digital TV ?
The digital broadcast signal has numerous advantages over the analogue signal that will aid television broadcasts in the present and help them prepare for the future. One of the main advantages is that they are more efficient when it comes to bandwidth usage than analogue transmission. Furthermore, the crisp clear image quality delivered by digital signals is more efficient.
In fact, high definition (HD) televisions can only display images with the use of digital data. Indeed there will come a time when your television set will also double-up as your flatscreen digital radio frequency(audio) receiver.
These advantages outweigh the inconveniences of converter boxes and new TV sets, making it well worth the switch.
- And the cost of getting a converter box? Will it be affordable?
“Our aim is to simplify the transition process and making it as affordable as possible by keeping the costs down. We envisage the one-off cost of purchasing a converter box to be less than $100SAT”, says Afamasaga Rico Tupai at a recent meeting with Loabay NewsLine .There is of course plenty of time before the completion of the transition period however, Samoa’s Office of the Regulator (OOTR), tasked with bringing this project to fruition are encouraging viewers to plan to go digital.
Awareness programmes being rolled out by The Office of the Regulator involves working with various government agencies to ensure the project is effectively delivered to the public.
According to the Office of the Regulator, “the workshop initiative is to ensure everyone is confident with the new platform and the new changes. The idea is to present what is expected especially the changes that will happen to those of the population who are well versed with these technologies so they can help their families in the villages or within their own homes with the implementation”
Fotua’iga o suiga o fesootaiga tau televise mo Samoa
O lo o faagasolo pea i le taimi nei a’oa’oga o loo faafoeina e le Ofisa o le Pule Faatonu, mo tulaga tau fesootaiga.
O nei a’oa’oga o lo o faamatogi mai ai e le Ofisa o le Pule Faatonu, suiga uma o lo o ua agai atu iai Samoa, aemaise i tulaga tau ile maimoaina o ala ata televise.
I le taimi nei, o lo o ua amata le fa’atinoina o nei aoaoga i nisi o Matagaluega o le Malo faatasi ai ma le fa’anaunautaiga o le Ofisa o le Pule Faatonu, o i latou o loo auai mai ma fai ma sui o Matagaluega o le Malo ua oo atu iai le vala’aulia mo nei aoaoga; ina ia avea i latou e tauala atu ai le fa’amalamalamaina o nei suiga i afioaga tau mamao faatasi ai ma so o se tasi i totonu o latou aiga, afioaga ma ekalesia, o lo o fia iloa atili nei suiga.
O le fesuiaiga mai i le maimoaina o ala ata televise mai le fesootaiga analoki (analogue) agai i le tekonolosi faanei-ona po (digital broadcasting technology) o lo o ua amata atu i nisi o afioaga i totonu o le taulaga faatau i Apia faapea ma ona tala fatai ma alalafaga tu-tuaoi, ma ua fuafua e faamae’a ma faasopolia ai Upolu ma Savaii ile masina o Tesema 2019.
O le faaiuga foi o le tausaga nei o lo o ua fuafua e tapēina ai ma faamutalia le fesootaiga analoki, ae fa’aaoga na o le tekonolosi faanei-ona po.
E ao ona silafia a’afiaga o nei suiga ona e ono le toe mafai ona fa’aogaina televise tuai po o TV mafiafia po o TV patupatu (Tube analogue TV’s) sa fausiaina ma mafai ona maimoaina ai na o ata televise sa pu’eina mai i fesootaiga analoki, ona o fesootaiga nei o lea o le a tapēina ma faamutalia.
E o’o foi i nisi o TV mafolafola (flatscreen TV) sa fausia i luma atu o le tausaga 2007, e ono le toe mafai ona maimoaina ai ata televise ile fesuiaiga fou ua amatalia, e aunoa ma se pusa faaliliu (converter box), e faapipii i le TV.
I se talanoaga talu ai nei a le Loabay NewsLine ma le alii Minisitā o Fesoota’iga ma Fa’amatalaga Fa’atekonolosi, afioga ia Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i , sa ia ta’ua ai o lo o fuafua lava le Matagaluega ina ia faafaigofie lenei fesuiaiga aemaise ina ia fa’amama avega i le atunuu ina ia le tele se tupe e fa’aalu e aiga taitasi, i tulaga e pei o le fa’atauina mai o se pusa faaliliu (converter box) po o le faatau foi o se TV fou, ina ia mautinoa o lo o mafai ona fa’aauau ona maimoa e aiga taitasi ia ala ata televise, i lalo o le fesuiaiga fou.
By : Hannah Sila
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