Digital Broadcasting: Why 200,000 Nigerian homes will get free TV Set-Top boxes
The Federal Government says about 200,000 television households in Jos will receive free Set-Top Boxes (STBs) under a plan to assess the effectiveness of digital broadcasting pilot underway in Jos, Plateau State.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, announced the free offer in Jos when he led members of the Ministerial Task Force on DSO on a courtesy visit to the Plateau State Governor, Mr. Simon Lalong.[quote font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” bgcolor=”#” color=”#” bcolor=”#” arrow=”yes”]According to the Minister, “these boxes will be fixed to their televisions and when they switch on their televisions on that date, they will be able to view free of charge 15 channels as opposed to 4 or 5 that you see today. I am talking about the average Jos man who relies on terrestrial television.”[/quote]
According to the Minister, about 200,000 television households who will be able to get their Set-Top Boxes are targeted in Jos alone, the site for Pilot Scheme of the Digital Switch Over (DSO) by April 30th 2016.
According to the Minister, “these boxes will be fixed to their televisions and when they switch on their televisions on that date, they will be able to view free of charge 15 channels as opposed to 4 or 5 that you see today. I am talking about the average Jos man who relies on terrestrial television.”
The gesture would provide options for the viewing public, in addition to jobs to be created in the areas of content and software development while also providing platform for film producers and musicians to release their productions directly to households, according to the Minister.
According to him, the collation of data on television households in Jos has started to map out the distribution network for the limited STBs.
While seeking the support of the Plateau State Government to ensure a seamless distribution, he adds that. “we have started advertising, we have developed jingles. In addition, by Monday, we are going to come out with bulk SMS to owners of televisions to give us their location and addresses to collect their Set-Top Boxes.”
While restating the support of Plateau State for the actualization of the DSO, the State Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonnie Tyoden, said a committee will soon be set up under the chairmanship of the Commissioner for Information to liaise with the Task Force on DSO to ensure the overall success of the Pilot Scheme.
The Governor, who described the DSO as a milestone in broadcasting, said it has revolutionized access to information.
“I am intrigued by the project particularly the aspect that emphasizes what I may call the demystification of the access to media and information.
The fact that it is now giving an opportunity to those who do not have the wherewithal to have DSTV or other sources that give them the large expanse of access to information. I think that seems to have been handled,” he says.