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Home Tech High cost of set top boxes still a hindrance for switchover in most Kenyan households

High cost of set top boxes still a hindrance for switchover in most Kenyan households

by Susan Mwenesi
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CC image courtesy of Pvidija flickr

CC image courtesy of Pvidija flickr

Kenya’s switch from analogue to digital transmission has suffered many setbacks the main one being court cases but as they drama unfolds among broadcasters, some households are still using analogue transmission citing the high cost of set top boxes.

In a survey done by Geopoll’s media service it was revealed that the average price of set top boxes was Ksh.5,000 Kenya shillings, or about $55.

We asked respondents who had not yet made the switch what factors were impacting their switch, finding that the high expense was the most popular response (43%), followed by “don’t know how” (15%),” read part of the survey.

“Examining when these respondents were planning to switch from analogue to digital, we found that 29% plan to switch in the next month, and 21% plan to switch in the next two to three months, in line with the government’s deadline of June 2015. However, 18% said they will wait a year to switch, and 14% indicated they would never switch, demonstrating some resistance to the change, “read another part.

During the suvery, the 400 respondents were also asked about their knowledge of the switch and benefits of digital.

“We found that 75% of respondents are aware of the requirement to have all TV signals switched from analogue to digital, and a higher percentage, 88%, knows that they will need a set-top box to receive TV stations after the digital transition. In Nairobi, 81% were aware of the requirement to have all TV signals switched,” read the survey.

These results could indicate that public messaging has been mixed around the transition: while many are aware they will need a set-top-box, some do not know why it will be required.

When asked about how respondents got their information regarding the switch 54% said that they trusted TV as the best source on information.

77% of respondents knew of the benefits to digital and clarity of pictures and the additional stations were the two main benefits that came up.

As for access to digital signals, less than half of the sample (45.5%) is currently able to access digital signals. In Nairobi, where most channels have already stopped transmitting analogue signals, 60% of the sample can currently access digital signals.

The respondents who indicated they can access digital signal were asked how their TV accesses digital channels, finding that 58% have a pay-TV digital decoder, which has a monthly fee, and 21% have a set-top-box which receives basic stations for free. In Nairobi, 68% have a Pay-TV digital decoder.

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