CCK pleads for cheaper set-top boxes

July 26, 2012
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 26 – The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) has called on the Ministry of Information and Communications, to ensure that digital to analogue TV signal converters – set-top boxes – become more affordable for faster digital TV migration.

CCK acting Director General Francis Wangusi said on Thursday that many Kenyans were ready to migrate to digital TV but they could not afford the devices.

“A free-to-air digital decoder is still too expensive. And if I can only afford to buy a black and while TV at a cost of Sh4,000 and they are required to buy a set-top box at Sh8,000, then you can see where my worry is coming from,” he explained.

Wangusi was speaking during the launch of StarTimes Media; a China based company, which will sell the free-to-air digital set top boxes at Sh2, 999 with an option for subscription based pay TV services.

“We welcome you to Kenya, but make sure that all your equipment is type-approved by CCK, “Wangusi told the investors. “We have to work together and ensure that every Kenyan is in this great move in our communication sector.”

Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, on his part, called for cooperation from all stakeholders promising to address the price issue and ensure smooth digital TV migration.

“I think if we put our minds together we can do it, maybe having a massive supply of this equipment to our people so that we can be on the same level, “said Poghisio.

The Media Owner Association chairman Kiprono Kittony said there is need for CCK to put much effort in creating awareness adding that most Kenyans do not even understand the whole concept of digital migration.

“We are finished with our house keeping issues and we are now ready to undertake the task,“ said Kiprono.

StarTimes media chairman Pang Xinxing clarified that customers who had bought the Startimes DVB-T1decoders before May 2011 which are currently not working will be given a replacement with a DVB-T2 at no cost.

The company announced plans to settle it African headquarters in Nairobi.

“Currently Startimes is in over seven countries across Africa including Guinea, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Central Africa and now in Kenya, “said Pang.

Startimes will get its digital signal from one of the licensed providers Pan African Networks.

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