Malawi switches to digital TV: Broadcasters challenged to produce ‘quality local programmes’

Malawi has switched from analogue to digital terrestrial television with Vice-President Khumbo Kachali challenging broadcasters to produce adequate and high quality programmes for their audiences.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has set a global deadline of 15 June 2015 for the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television  (DTT) broadcasting. However, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), of which Malawi is a member, has set an earlier deadline of 31 December 2013 for the transition to digital.

Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) chairperson Martha Kwataine described the roll out of DDT as a milestone.

Vice President Khumbo Kachali Switching on from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting. pic by Felix Washon. MANA.

Vice President Khumbo Kachali Switching on from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting. pic by Felix Washon. MANA.

“This will extend the signal coverage to areas within the country that were not previously covered so that more people can share same programmes,” Kwataine said in Lilongwe during the official switch-on.

In his remarks, Vice President Kachali said digital migration will transform viewing experience to a new level.

“Without high quality and local programming, our viewers will not appreciate value and quality of digital broadcasting, [thereby making] the migration meaningless,” he said.

Kachali added: “The success of the digital television will heavily depend on the quality of the programming by the broadcasters. The current analogue system requires that broadcasters produce and transmit more local content, but most of them have failed to meet that requirement. The digital broadcasting era will place a greater demand on broadcasters to produce even more and high quality local content.”

National Coordinator for Digital Migration in the Ministry of Information Denis Chirwa explaining ti Vice President how the monititoring of the channels will work. pic by Felix Washon. MANA

National Coordinator for Digital Migration in the Ministry of Information Denis Chirwa explaining ti Vice President how the monititoring of the channels will work. pic by Felix Washon. MANA

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