Although the regulatory authority says the change from analogue to digital broadcasting will be smooth, many people complain about technical problems they experience with decoders to view digital broadcasting.
A resident of Mabibo in Dar es Salaam Anderson Joel told The Guardian on Sunday that since buying decoder from Star Times last month but he is yet to enjoy television programmes because the equipment “has a lot of technical problems.”
Last December the Tanzania Communication and Regulatory Authority (TCRA) switched off analogue to adopt digital broadcasting in Dar es Salaam, and later in Dodoma and Tanga regions.
Joel said emissions hardly last half an hour before going off air, adding that sometimes they are forced to switch off their television sets. “I bought a Star Time decoder but it is like I have lost my money.”
He complained, saying: “When I approached them and asked what happened, they said the problem could be with the antenna…I changed the antenna and bought one from them but the problem persists.”
He called on TCRA to ensure there is a decoder that works all cards to allow TV owners to buy a single decoder and change cards similar to sim cards on mobile phones.
Another Mabibo resident Aziza Suleiman said since buying her decoder a few months ago she has experienced emission problems. “Sometimes voice reception is poor and pictured blurred. On reporting the matter I was told to buy a bigger antenna, but even then the hitch remained," she said.
Contacted, Eric Cyprian, Star Times Media Manager, Marketing, told The on Guardian Sunday that the hitch is due to lack of understanding among some people in the use of decoders.
“This technology is new …some people don’t understand the guidelines because they don’t even read the manual that should help them connect it (decoder) to their TV sets,” he said
However, he said they have started providing door- to-door services whenever possible to show people how to solve similar problems when they arise.
TCRA Communication Manager Innocent Mungi was not available for comment. On 31 December last year Dar es Salaam became the first place to start digital broadcasting, followed by Dodoma and Tanga last month.
The analogue broadcasting system will shut down in Mwanza on February 28, while Moshi and Arusha will follow on March 31. On April 30, the analogue system will switch off in Mbeya Region.
The digital broadcasting infrastructure has been introduced in regions which will be the first to enter into digital broadcasting system, while others have to wait until infrastructures are ready.