KIGALI - The public broadcasting body, ORINFOR, will soon supply 800 Set Top Boxes (STBs) countrywide to facilitate access to digital images of Rwanda Television.
In an interview with The Newtimes. the broadcaster’s acting Director General, Willy Rukundo, announced that the entire exercise would cost an estimated Rwf 19 m.
“We will supply the STBs to every sector headquarters in two or three week’s time so that citizens can watch television using our new digital communication,” Rukundo said.
He said that in the meantime, they have issued tender notices to engage a network service provider to supply the STBs and digital television sets on a larger scale.
The introduction of the new gadgets is in line with the broadcaster’s quest to migrate from analogue to digital transmission.
Rukundo stressed that ORINFOR is finalising the shift from analogue to digital, saying that the 14th and final transmitter is nearing completion at the Karisimbi site.
He further noted that individuals with personal STBs can now watch ORINFOR’s content digitally.
The gadgets cost between US$30 and US40 on the international market, though they are not yet available locally.
A regular decoder that costs Frw30,000 can also be used to watch digital content, according to Rukundo.
In future, a service provider will set separate conditions legally, including subscription, and most probably contract international stations to increase the diversity of channels.
The service provider will be obliged to hire ORINFOR’s infrastructure.
The shift from analogue to digital, to be complete by 2015, was agreed upon by members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), that includes Rwanda.
With digital TV, viewers are able to watch clearer images and access more channels.