Lentswe, Klerksdorp - South Africans who are not subscribed to satellite TV and who want to continue watching SABC1, 2, 3 and eTV need a digital decoder from the government to access these channels once analogue broadcasts are switched off.
This is due to the country switching to digital terrestrial TV. The signal in the North West is due to be switched off this month.
The SABC recently started displaying a scrolling notice on broadcasts that still use its old analogue TV signals - viewed using an aerial - which informs viewers that they must register for a free digital terrestrial TV (DTT) decoder at their nearest Post Office.
“The main purpose of this message is to alert the public about the impending analogue switch off and the need to change to alternative digital technologies for television viewing,” the SABC said in a statement. It only appears on analogue television broadcasts and not on any of the SABC’s digital platforms (satellite, DTT, and streaming).
The government plans to switch South Africa to digital television broadcasts by April 2022. You will then need a set-top box to continue watching TV with your current television set.
The decoder supports much better picture quality and a bigger choice of television channels.
Only South African households that depend on SASSA social grants and those with a monthly income of less than R3 200 qualify for a free decoder.
They must also have a functioning TV set and a television lisence.
Households earning more than R3 200 per month are expected to purchase their own decoders.