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SBC’s analogue TV service is ‘OFF’ | 31 July 2020

The Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has confirmed that its analogue TV system has been switched off.

The analogue service has been in operation since the introduction of public television in Seychelles in January 1983.

The system was officially confirmed to be OFF last month across Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

The switching-off of the analogue service was, however, unplanned and due largely to a gradual switching-off of the transmitters that have gone faulty.

Most of the analogue TV equipment had been in operation for over 25 years and had reached the end of their operating life span. It would not have been economical for the SBC to repair them, nor practical, as the corporation’s engineering and technology team’s focus is on the DTT system.

The analogue TV service catered for only one TV channel which was SBC1.

There has been no major audience impact following the analogue switch-off as the vast majority of the public had already moved to DTT to avail of the compelling bouquet of other TV channels, notably SBC2 and SBC3.

Alongside SBC1, SBC2 and SBC3, there are currently 9 additional Free-to-Air TV channels on SBC’s DTT Platform.

The SBC’s Paradise FM and Radyo Sesel radio outputs can also be received via the DTT service, along with RFI and BBC World.

 

DTT system update

Two years ago, when the SBC launched its Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service, (on June 28, 2018), it announced a period of dual illumination whereby the two services, analogue and DTT, will run alongside each other for at least six months to allow the audience to migrate smoothly to DTT.

However, the dual illumination continued after the six months period mainly because there was still some instability in the DTT service for the first few months after the launch.

During that time the SBC team had been working hard, in close collaboration with the DTT overseas contractor, to fix and maintain the system despite the numerous issues encountered.

The DTT system has now stabilised but the DTT setup is not being operated optimally due to an issue with the frequency allocation. The SBC has started to work with the overseas contractor who implemented the project to resolve this issue. The first phase involved troubleshooting to identify the problems and also performing a desktop frequency analysis.

The second phase of the work will involve deploying engineers on site to take the necessary measurements and propose the best solution to rectify the frequency allocation issue.

SBC is also liaising with the Department of Information Communication Technology (DICT) for this exercise.

 

DTT will remain Free-to-Air

In line with a strategic decision taken by its board of directors, the SBC DTT service will remain Free-to-Air (FTA). This means that the DTT service will NOT be encrypted, with all the channels remaining free to view, and will not be subject to paid subscription.

Consequently, the public are free to purchase their own FTA STBs from local or overseas suppliers. These must be of the DVB T2, HEVC H265 video standard.

SBC has also been recommending that all TV sets that enter the country supports the DVB-T2 and HEVC H265 standards.

Consumers who have these types of TV sets will not require a Set-Top-Box to receive SBC’s Free-to-Air channels.

Consumers are being invited to read about the recommended specifications for TV sets on SBC’s website.

The SBC had plans to purchase better STBs this year to complement its existing stock, but this will now not be possible due to budgetary and financial restrictions in place at the moment.

The SBC has also set up a free after-care service whereby technicians make home visits to assist consumers with resolving installation problems. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions these visits will be done only during working hours while observing the precautions dictated by the department of health.

Customers who are encountering issues can call the SBC DTT Helpline on 2829927 or email bouzdigital@sbc.sc for assistance.

 

Press release from SBC

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