Cabinet on Wednesday considered the latest and final version of the road map for the transition of television broadcasting from analog to digital. Head of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS) Dr. Roger Luncheon yesterday reported that the transition by Guyana complemented an international phenomenon that saw analog TV broadcasting on its way out and being replaced by digital TV broadcasting.
To that end, the HPS explained, Guyana and the international telecommunications union had collaborated in acquiring consultancy to develop a road map for Guyana’s transition. The final version of the road map has been presented to Cabinet for endorsement and acceptance by the Government.
The presentation of the final report to Cabinet members and the national road map oversight body concentrated on several aspects. This included the timeline, particularly when analog TV broadcasting would end, and when digital TV broadcasting would begin, the HPS said.
He noted that the road map also contributed to factors to be addressed by government and stakeholders in the conversions. This included the technology, the application of standards, the arrangement for the transition, and the cost of the transition.
Dr. Luncheon stated that expectations include more public consultations, particularly involving broadcasters who would have a significant role and would be impacted by this transition from analog to digital TV broadcasting.
The report, once and if endorsed by government, would present a road map which would lay out the task of Guyana, the government and stakeholders to implement over the life of the period of transition. “That would be developed and information to that effect would be provided to the public,” Dr. Luncheon stated.
In November 2012, the HPS had stated that Guyana along with countries in Europe, Middle-East and Africa have until June 17, 2015 to complete the transition from analog to digital.
Digital terrestrial television offers many advantages such as better quality signal and affords tremendous benefits in terms of spectrum usage. When television broadcasters switch from analog platforms to digital only platforms, part of the electromagnetic spectrum that has been used for broadcasting will be freed up because digital television needs less spectrum than analog television.
This worldwide transition releases valuable spectrum which can be used to provide mobile broadband services among others. The release spectrum is referred to as the digital dividend. The location and size of digital dividend vary among countries due to the factors including geographical position and penetration of satellite/cable services.
With the analog to digital television broadcast transition, there are many issues that Guyana will have to address. These include the technical, regulatory, economic and business related issues.
Notably, in Guyana, the transition has already started with the acquisition of flat screen televisions where analog and digital formats are both installed.
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