The new talk in town is digital switch over and Nigeria has blow the first gun by rolling it out first in the city of Jos, plateau state. With the successful switch on of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), viewers in Jos with set up boxes would now be able to access 15 high quality video and audio channels free of charge. Even a total of 200,000 setup boxes for television users in the state were given free to residents. What benefits do you think the digital switch over popularly known as DSO bring to the Nigerian telecommunication industry as well as other stakeholders not forgetting you the viewers. Here, your award winning blog we x-ray such and give you a detail research on something you may have never come across before.
The digital Television transition refers to the shift from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting. Many countries of the world have recognized the huge benefit which digital broadcasting offers and are making a huge effort to shift from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting. The transition from analog to digital broadcasting involves many changing the transmission signals as well as making sure that members of the public buy high definition television sets and get rid of standard definition television sets. In the United States of America, February17 2009 was set as a date when broadcasting in analog will be stopped and the whole country will commerce digital broadcasting. Television transition is the technological evolution and advance from analogue terrestrial television, which broadcasts land based (terrestrial) signals. The purpose of digital terrestrial television, similar to digital versus analogue in other platforms such as cable, satellite, telecoms, is characterized by reduced use of spectrum and more capacity than analogue, better-quality picture, and lower operating costs for broadcast and transmission after the initial upgrade costs.
A total of 119 countries belong to the ITU (International telecommunication union). Data from ITU shows that only four African countries — Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Rwanda — completed the switch over to digital terrestrial broadcasting. While 32 other African countries, including Nigeria, have begun the process, 12 countries have not started at all. Observers, nonetheless, note that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has put in place new timelines for achieving the 2017 ECOWAS Deadline for Digital Switch-Over (DSO). You will be needing a kind of set up box to be able to watch television programmes when Nigeria finally complete it switch over by June of 2017. But many problems may arise. For instance, questions as to where to buy the Set-Top-Box and how to operate the box are likely to crop up.
For a country like Nigeria, an extension of the June 17 2015, Switchover deadline might have been a desirable lifeline, even though the government said it would complete switchover by January next year. However, For Nigeria and many other countries that might be looking for this opportunity, the ITU Secretary General, Hamadoun Toure recently dashed the hope by ruling out any deadline extension for countries that will fail to meet the June 17, 2015 transition. Toure at a recent visit to Kenya had noted that the June 2015 deadline was agreed on by all the 193 members of the organizations, which consists of governments as well as 70 private sector members.
I want you to note that the digital transition is just one example of the factors that make developing countries recipients of technology that advanced countries no longer need Digitization programme in Nigeria commenced in Abuja on June 3, 2008, following a meeting of stake holders in the broadcast industry where forum under scored the need for Nigeria to embrace the new technology, so that the country would not be turned into a dumping ground for obsolete analog equipment reports shows that Nigeria has set June, 17,2010 as the switch- over date from the current mode of broadcasting to the ultramodern digital terrestrial broadcasting the date is three years before the June 17, 2015 deadline for the entire world set by the international telecommunication union (ITU) after its congress in Geneva, Switzerland in 2006. However the country officially stated the digitization of its broadcast industry in December 2007, following late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s approval, directing the national Broadcasting commission (NBC), the industry’s regulator to set motion and pilot the programme towards the target date (Adeniyi 2009).
Transmission of Digital Television Signals
Just as Kombol (2008:14-15) stated, “Digitals television usually has three elements in its services.” He goes further to identify these elements: the physical path, the assembly and the return path. The physical is responsible for the signal reaching the television screen and to assembly has to do with the presentation of programs to views. Thus, the return path is concerned with the ability f viewers of channel feed back in various forms back to the broadcaster. Digital broadcasting is different in many ways from analog broadcasting of the major differences is in the transmission of the signal. The UK cabinet office in kombol (2008,p,6) states the signal for digital television is transmitted in four different ways.
These are as follows:
• Digital terrestrial television
• Telephone connection (DSL)
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA
Having read the need for the digital switch over and the many advantages it have over the analogue version of broadcasting, I feel the need to state to you the benefits as I have earlier promise. The benefits of Nigeria switching to digital broadcasting include the following below;
* Progressive scanning, as explained below, is a more demanding technical format than the current “interlaced scanning” that will allow for a smoother sequencing of video picture frames and interactivity between computers and television sets.
* Square pixels, or the most basic element of video image data, facilitate the interoperability of the new video standard with other imaging and information systems, including computers. With 1,920 pixels per line displayed on 1,080 lines per frame, the resolution of HDTV images is much sharper than that of the current NTSC format.
* Increased frame rates allow a smoother simulation of motion in television signals; the more frames per second, the more realistic the portrayal of motion. The ACATS proposal allowed three different frame rates—24, 30, and 60 frames per second.
* Additional lines per frame allow video images to be sharper in resolution. The current NTSC format provides for 525 horizontal lines of picture data; the HDTV standards provide for either 720 or 1080 horizontal lines.
* Different aspect ratios give viewers a wider field of view, so that the viewing experience is more encompassing, in the manner of a film. In the existing NTSC format, the aspect ratio, or relation of the width to the height of the screen, is 4-to-3. In HDTV, the aspect ratio is a wider, more rectangular 16 to 9 aspect ratio, which is the same dimension as 35-millimeter film.
* Sound is more vivid in digital television, too, because there are five discrete channels of CD- quality audio, along with a sub-woofer channel for deeper sounds. Over time, DTV programming is likely to exploit these new capabilities.
From the foregoing discussion it can be concluded that digital television broadcasting when commenced will help to improve accessibility, sharp picture quality, good and efficient programming, and so on. However, there are also some numbers of problems such as technical know-how, inadequate skilled labour, and lack of equipment, lack of income, incessant government regulations, and censorship and so on. It is recommended therefore that government and other stakeholders should ensure that the problems identified above should be properly handled before the agree deadline of June 2017.