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Pay TV dealer DSTv has cut prices by nearly 68% in a one month long promotion they hope will get some of those who will be cut off by the June 17 deadline set by the regulator.

Charles Hamya, DSTV general manager said their intention is to support the endeavour of the regulator in the transition to digital migration.

Prices will fall from sh309,000 to just sh99,900 for a decoder, dish and one month subscription for the access bouquet that usually goes for sh30,000 excluding installation charges.

?We would like to see a smooth transition,? noted Hamya

UCC has set mid-June as the date in which Kampala and its surrounding townships will be switched off analogue broadcasting.

?The market is pretty much ready for the switch,? noted Hamya on Monday while announcing the price cut. Hamya said Multichoice is responding to a once in a lifetime opportunity that could see the broadcaster double its customer base.

There are estimated 1.7 million TV households in Uganda with just about 35% using digital broadcasting. This means the space for digital broadcasting remains enormous while its resultant benefits remains almost untapped.

DSTv Uganda has also pledged to support local content with the addition of more free to air channels on their wide network.

Uganda is the only country in EAC that has delayed to migrate with Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda having completed their transition.

According to information from Uganda Communications (UCC), signals in analogue broadcasting are transmitted as a continuous wave while for digital TV the signal is transmitted as a discrete wave. For digital TV, the signal is encoded and can be compressed to allow for more channels to be broadcast.

The benefits of digital transmission include better picture quality with sharper, brighter images and more TV programs can be hosted on a particular spectrum.

But top of the reason for this transition for Uganda is the need to create more local content thus opening up the possibility of a new economy which boosts job creation.

At the same time, more services like radio, teletext, interactive services, games, and support for visually-impaired and internet emerge.

Digital broadcasting also provide environmental benefits because infrastructure is shared using the signal distributor?s masts.

Jude Kalema DSTv sales manager said the promotion will be countrywide.

By David Mugabe, The New Vision

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