Private broadcasters discuss digital shift

KIGALI  - Private broadcasters yesterday met in Kigali to chart a way forward ahead of the shift from analogue to digital transmission.
Albert Rudatsimburwa of Contact FM (L)  and Tele 10's Eugene Nyagahene at the private broadcasters' meeting yesterday (Photo J Mbanda).
Albert Rudatsimburwa of Contact FM (L) and Tele 10's Eugene Nyagahene at the private broadcasters' meeting yesterday (Photo J Mbanda).

KIGALI  - Private broadcasters yesterday met in Kigali to chart a way forward ahead of the shift from analogue to digital transmission.

Rwanda is preparing to switch from analogue terrestrial broadcasting system to digital broadcasting by 2012, three years ahead of a deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) member states.

Rwanda Information Office (ORINFOR), the signal distributor of all the public and private broadcasters, said it was ready for digital transmission.

“The transmission is not simply a technical changeover but an opportunity to provide better broadcasting for Rwandan citizens,” said Eugene Nyagahene, the CEO of Tele10 Group Rwanda, during the meeting.

He added that digital TV signals produce higher-quality image and audio, and are less susceptible to interference that results in picture and sound distortion.

The CEO of Contact FM, Albert Rudatsimburwa, noted that broadcasters can embed additional information in digital TV signals, allowing viewers to see on-screen programme information.

“The world is moving towards a digital revolution and therefore this is a step forward for our country in a direction that gives us more opportunities,” he noted.

Rudatsimburwa added, that in the analogue system, opportunities were few and it was expensive while in the digital world, things are lighter and smoother.

Louis Kamanzi of Flash FM, said that, though it is a worldwide shift from analogue to digital, most consumers in the country are unprepared for this change, but because they did not take change seriously or simply cannot afford to set up digital reception.

“It’s our duty as private stakeholders to support the consumers to get digital content,” he said.

According to Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, the Executive Assistant to the Director General of Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA), they are preparing a comprehensive programme to inform the general public on the migration.

“We want to enable the public to quickly adapt to the digital system.”

The transition deadline of 2015 from analog to digital broadcasting was agreed by ITU members in 2006.

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