[Additional Reading in Samoan : Digital TV : $18,000 e totogi e ala-ata televise; $55 le au maimoa TV]
At the table was the Prime Minister, office of the Regulator, Owner of SDCL, key Government agencies and all TV Broadcasting Operators.
The new rate, effective as from December 2019, is on a trial basis for 6 months after which the rate will be reviewed.
With BYU resigning from the digital platform, the remaining six TV Operators will each have to pay $18,000. a month to SDCL for the next 6 months.
A counter offer by SDCL for it to be granted a license to also operate a television broadcasting channel was declined. According to the Regulator having SDCL manage the digital platform and operate a broadcasting service at the same time is a conflict of interest.
In a media statement circulated on Wednesday, it mentioned that the TV Operators appreciate the new reduced rate hoping it would remain for an extended period of time to ensure Samoa has in place an effective mass media industry.
An update issued by Samoa Digital Communications Ltd (SDCL) last Friday extended a word of welcome to; Upumana (TV4), Good News TV (TV7), and Kingdom TV who are already active broadcasters on the digital network.
TV1, EFKS TV (TV2), TV3 are currently in the process of integrating and are expected to complete the switch by 1 Dec 2019, at the latest.
Seventy percent (70%) of Upolu and Savaii Residents amongst the first recipients of digital TV service : The Office of the Regulator (OOTR) in October, announced the areas and villages who will be the first to enjoy the crisp clear quality that digital television broadcasting has to offer.
This includes the east-side of Upolu from the inner Apia central business district (CBD) and outskirt suburbs up to Solosolo.
On the west-side, the residential as well as commercial consumers and occupants from downtown Apia up to Mulifanua, and from there to Falelatai, Samatau, Lefaga and Siumu have been named to be amongst the first to savour the digital experience.
For Savaii, the residential and commercial consumers of television from Salelologa to Fagamalo as well Salelologa to Taga on the south-west side will be amongst the first recipients.
An added reception boost is expected to be provided by an outside antenna, which consumers have been advised to install on a horizontally aligned position
The cost to individual and commercial consumers is yet to be revealed by Samoa Digital Communications Ltd (SDCL).
Whereas the recurring monthly tariff for televison broadcasters has now been established at $18,000SAT per month at least for the first 6 months; the cost for commercial consumers such as hotels and resorts with multiple television sets is yet to be announced.
It is also not known yet as to whether commercial consumers will be allowed the usage of a splitter device to split the signal to multiple TV sets within the same commercial dwelling from one set-top outlet.
For the individual residential television fanatics without an inbuilt DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting — Second Generation Terrestrial) digital tuner on their existing TV set, digital reception can only be made possible by the connection of a set-top box (STB) converter which SDCL has advertised the retail price of $55SAT; for a Mai Viu set-top box.Consumers with CRT (cathode-ray tube) sets, commonly referred to as ‘tube’ TV sets (TV patupatu) will be required to purchase a converter set-top box to be able to receive digital transmission.Bluebird Lumber and Hardware Vaitele, Saleufi and Salelologa as well as Comptech Xtra – Samoa and SSAB; are the retailers currently selling the merchandise.By : Hannah Sila Additional Reading on Digital TV switch.
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