Monday, 29 June 2015

Are you aware that when you watch TV channels in Nigeria, you could either be receiving your signals from a digital cable or satellite TV provider, a digital terrestrial transmitter or the popular analog TV transmitter? This last option is still providing TV signals for over 70% of Nigerians who cannot afford the more luxurious, efficient but costlier digital TV entertainment systems. The analog TV signal receivers which present mostly unclear TV pictures are presently being worked upon for a complete switch-over to digital TV transmission technology by the Government of Nigeria.

From diverse public reaction to this move by the Nigerian government, I realized that the larger Nigerian populace are yet to understand this concept of analog to digital TV signal transmission. This is why I am writing this blog post to explain these things about analog to digital TV signal transmission switch-over. After reading this post, you will appreciate more the need to support the switch-over of all TV signal broadcasters and receivers including yours from the present analog to digital technology.

Under the present analog TV signal transmission, towering transmission masts are used to raise and transmit TV signals from broadcasting houses to your TV sets captured by your ariel antenna. These signals present one channel per frequency and are most times not clear. However, one can usually receive these TV signals over long distances even though the reception may be wavy, unclear or faded. Most TVs in Nigeria are engineered to support this kind of analog TV signals. TV systems like the PAL, NTSC and SECAM are some TV formats that are compatible to analog signals. Overtime, AUTO or MULTI system TVs overtook other formats because the new system TVs embraced all other previous individual TV systems.

Now that the world has gone digital, there came the need to flow with the tide. The digital TV signal transmission technology have so many benefits which by all standards, outweigh its demerits and when compared to the analog. So many countries of the world have already switched over and now transmit fully digitized TV signals. Nigeria is about to experience her TV signal transmission technology switch-over for the first time ever.

Under the digital TV signal transmission technology, everyone gets to receive near-perfect picture and audio quality on your TV screens. Both widescreen and normal TV screen sizes are fully supported under the digital TV transmission. More conspicuous is the effective use of the TV signal bandwidth which makes it possible to add extra digital services into the existing transmission stream. Extra services like user-broadcaster interactions which include but not limited to subtitling of TV programs, parental control, on-screen games etc. Flexibility of TV signals are made possible as mobile devices could then capture these TV signals as well. So by then, you could also watch your favourite local TV channel on your mobile phones.

With the digitization of TV signal transmission, many more distinct TV channels can be created as the transmission bandwidth is freed up to accommodate them. This technology is called digital multiplexing. The radio frequencies are easily separated and the Government can benefit from it by totally auctioning them out. More so, the setup boxes which you require to receive the digitized TV signals are very cheap to purchase. Broadcasting outfits also stand to benefit as the cost of digital TV signal transmission is very economically friendly. Let me add here that at this first time switch-over for Nigeria, the cost of analog to digital transmission may be high but this shall be only for this first time. Subsequently, all stakeholders will smile financially.

Lastly, the digital TV signal transmission has one set back. Due to the drop-off phenomena, signals coming from far sources are completely cut off. It is either you receive very clear channels or nothing at all. Remember that under the analog transmission system, you could still see blurred images and unclear audio when watching channels transmitted from far distances.

Generally, Nigeria has got everything to gain by the analog to digital TV signal switch-over. I know you would have got a clearer picture of what is to come in the digital change-over of TV signal broadcast in Nigeria. I welcome your comments on this issue and encourage you to share this piece of information with friends and family on the social media.

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