Investigations conducted by the US News have revealed that some TV dealers continue to import into the Ghanaian market, brand new and used LCD and LED televisions which do not conform to the adopted standard by the Ministry of Communications for the digital migration of television broadcasting. The culprits include some exclusive manufacturers' representatives and dealers of brands thought to be among the market leaders.
Extensive primary and desk research conducted by this paper revealed for instance that a digital television model ( name and number withheld) sold by one leading company is of the DVB-T standard, a standard that is not in conformity with the second generation Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-T2) adopted by the government of Ghana transmission standard for the digital migration.
By this revelation, US News can confirm that these supposed digital television sets sold by these dealers to customers will cease to receive digital signals as soon as a nationwide rollout of digital transmission begins. In the worse case, all these DVB-T digital TVs being sold today by these companies would receive no signal after the global 2015 deadline for digital migration.
Comparatively, it has been revealed that some dealers including a new entrant, that imports brand new digital TVs, are conforming to the DVB-T2 STANADARD by the Government of Ghana. Reliable information on one particular dealer indicated that the digital TV models LHDN32K15TUK and LTDN4OK28T qualified for THE ADOPTED GHANA TRANMISSION standard and for that matter, these TV sets will survive when the digital roll out exercise begins.
It would be recalled that in 2011, the Ministry of Communications in its public announcements published all the accepted standards for all equipment necessary for digital television in Ghana of which DVB-T2 was adopted as the transmission standard.
“The government of Ghana has accepted the recommendations of the Digital Broadcasting Migration Committee (DBMC) to adopt the second generation Digital Video Broadcasting(DVB) standard, ETSI EN 302 755, popularly called, DVB-T2 for digital terrestrial television in Ghana”, the release stated.
Regardless of this release, these dealers are importing digital television sets below this accepted standard and are blurting advertisements purporting to be selling digital TVs thus exploiting the ignorance of poor Ghanaians. It is therefore interesting that these notable dealers of hitherto respected brands would continue to shortchange Ghanaians by importing a different transmission standard for the Ghanaian market knowing very well the future implications on users
Though the Ministry's release was particularly directed for the compliance of adopted national standards on the importation of set top boxes and decoders, it was also incumbent on all importers to know and understand the accepted standards of broadcasting before importing TV sets.
When the digital migration is completed, users of analogue TVs would have to purchase and attach to their TV sets, set-top boxes in order to have television signals.
A technical expert in the Ghana digital migration programme has therefore advised that buyers be more vigilant in the purchase of imported digital televisions by carrying out checks on the models and specifications.
According to him, the onus lies on buyers to do more research on digital TV's to avoid deceit and to ensure that the sets are compatible with the adopted DVB-T2 standard by the government of Ghana. “It is therefore incumbent on the buyers to read carefully, all the specifications of supposed digital TV sets before payment” he added.
The NCA will begin its digital roll out this year leaving the buyers of these television sets a very short time to enjoy their TV signals.
After 2014, when Ghana would have gone digital, these supposed digital television sets will be as good as the old analogue television sets and would thus require set top boxes in order to receive digital signals.