From the bottom of my heart, I wish all my readers a happy and successful year 2014! Thanks for reading, you make the blog what it is.
It has certainly been an eventful Christmas as far as the Migration to Digital TV in Kenya is concerned. In my previous posts, I have covered topics such as why the migration; the benefits of digital TV; how to migrate and other FAQs. Today I will do an update to summarize where we are so far:
The International Telecommunications Union sets the date for the whole world to migrate to digital TV by 2015. The government of Kenya decides to do it earlier. CCK has set various deadlines over the years, but the players in the analog TV field together with the Consumer Federation of Kenya have gone to court and had the dates postponed. Time and again.
The State of Affairs in 2013
In order for digital TV to be broadcast, there have to be digital TV signal distributors who are licensed by CCK. At the moment there are two companies licensed to distribute digital signals in Kenya (not to be confused with Pay TV companies). These are Signet which is majorly owned by KBC and Pan Africa Group (PANG) which is a sister company to Star Times. The licensed Pay TV companies put together bouqets of channels to sell to customers, and give this bouquet to either Signet or PANG to distribute countrywide. The local media houses (KTN, NTV, Citizen TV) also wanted a license to distribute digital TV signals, after all.. they have invested in infrastructure for signal distribution countrywide. However, they made a mistake in their license bid and hence don’t have a license to date. That is why they are in court.
CCK went ahead and set the date for digital Migration which was to be done in phases: Nairobi and its environs 13th December 2013, followed by Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret on March 30 2014 and the rest of the country by June 30th 204. This was to enable Kenyans to start enjoying the benefits of Digital TV, we don’t always have to wait for the last minute, or do we?
2013 Deadline Postponed; and then Postponed Again
The local media houses went to court to hear their case against CCK (why they were denied a license) heard. A high court postponed the deadline from 13th December to 23rd December so the court could have time to decide the suit. The high court dismissed the suit on 23rd December and CCK set new dates for Nairobi switch off to 26th December.
Meanwhile as CCK set the new date, the media houses went to the court of appeal to well, appeal the high court decision. However, it would not make sense to let the digital migration continue while the case was still in court by the main players in Kenya’s TV industry. Therefore the court of appeal judge set the date of determination to February 6th 2014 when the ruling on the case will be made. Meanwhile, the analog signals are back on air till then.
So What Now?
Now we wait for the ruling by the court of appeal in February. However, it does not hurt to go digital as digital frequencies are already in the air.
Here is what to do:
Following the postponement of the switch to digital TV from December 13th to December 23rd when the ruling when will be made, Nairobians can now relax until then. The global deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union is June 2015. Guys, you don’t have to wait until then to switch to digital TV, you can do it now and enjoy high quality broadcasting, more choices of TV stations, as well as richer content such as ability to view program lineups.
GoTv Kenya is making it possible for guys to switch to digital TV by offering 3 plans:
1. GoTv Open
The cost for the first instalment is Sh3,399/- which includes a decoder and 2 months GOtv Plus subscription. The second instalment of Sh2,600/- is due at the end of the 2 months for those not able to continue with pay TV. No more monthly subscriptions. Below are the channels on GoTV Open:
2. GoTv with Monthly Subscription of Ksh. 599
he cost for the first instalment is Sh3,399/- which includes a decoder and 2 months GOtv Plus subscription. After that, a monthly fee of Ksh. 599 for 21 channels.
3. GoTv Plus
The cost for the first instalment is Sh3,399/- which includes a decoder and 2 months GOtv Plus subscription. After that, a monthly fee of Ksh. 849 for 32 channels.
The government’s plan to switch off Nairobi’s analog TV signals for digital broadcasting on December 13 has beenpostponed to December 23rd. The High Court has suspended the planned switch (to digital) to allow determination of a suit filed by media houses challenging the Government plan.
A digital set top box to cost about Ksh. 5,000
The planned migration was to start with Nairobi by December 13, 2013, followed by major towns (Mombasa, Malindi, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu, Webuye, Kisii, Nakuru and Eldoret) on March 30 next year, and finally the rest of the country by June 2014.
Digital migration will ensure that the country complies with the worldwide analogue switch off deadline of 17th June 2015.
Summary of the case
Laura Branigan’s Self Control blasts through the speakers on the wall. We nod our heads to the music. Mounted on the wall next to the speakers is a 21-inch screen showing some football highlights from the English Premier League. There are other screens on the walls all over the pub. Kenyans are obsessed with ‘their’ English teams. I look around the club, more of a pub really. There are two counters set to the left and right corners with a selection of the popular brands. It’s a Wednesday evening so it’s not crowded, but it has a fair number of people, most middle aged working class and business people. On one of the walls is painted: One Psys fits all. I smile when I get the pun. There are other Psys pubs in Nairobi: Westlands and another at T-Mall.
One Psys fits all
Welcome to the pub Psys in Nairobi’s town center. The atmosphere is middle aged: the lighting low but not too dim, the music ranges from 80’s hits (Self Control) to recent hits from Neyo and Fabulous’ hit You Make Me Better. The crowd is here to have one for the road, that evening drink to relax after work. You don’t come to Psys Nairobi for a wild, clubbing time; I haven’t seen a dance floor there!
Outside on the verandah, men and women sit huddled around tables on the pavement and talk over drinks, as some light up (cigarettes). The music from inside drifts out, and the wind ruffles a few, but it doesn’t disturb. You can go there for a date because you don’t have to shout for conversation. You don’t go home with a headache and feeling slightly woozy from the vibration your internal organs go through in a club with loud speakers the size of a small mountain.
Psys sits in a relatively quiet street- Kaunda Street and one may pass it. On this particular day, I wanted to hang out with a friend but did not want to go to a coffee house; because I didn’t want coffee and the humdrum of chitchat that reverberates the crowded Javas and Savannahs in the town center. We decided to have a drink at Psys and since then, it’s been our ‘local’. The pricing of the drinks is decent, most brands are available; but mostly the atmosphere is a relaxed one for an evening drink after a long day at work. The music might be high when inside but it’s not loud, and there are no teenagers or hyper young people causing trouble. Sure I might be in my mid-twenties, but I think the crowded clubbing atmosphere with thumping music and grinding bodies does not appeal to me anymore. I prefer to hang out with people whose company and conversations I enjoy without the distractions of loud music and the hype.
Next time you are in town and looking for a pub for one for the road, at pocket-friendly rates, try Psys on Kaunda Street. You might just make it your ‘local’.
Definition of Local
‘Local’ Definition: In Kenya, a ‘local’ is well, your local bar near your home where you spend most evenings when you are broke. When you have money, you go to a fancier place. You know you are at a local when: (courtesy of Stephen Musyoka and friends):
Samsung launched the Jaza Keja (fill up your home) promotion a while back. Samsung is an electronics giants and they not only offer smartphones, but other home appliances such as TVs, fridges etc.
For the promotion, all one has to do is buy a Samsung item, for example a mobile phone or tablet. The customer then sends the IEMI number to 22585 for a chance to win some cool prices (Samsung merchandise, obviously). or all other Samsung electronic products a customer will get an entry card, with and SMS to 22585. Registration also activates a two-year warranty support for Samsung products won in the promotion.
The promotion has been running from September 23 to December 12 2013 and will reward customers with over Kshs. 50 million worth of prizes ranging from Samsung LED TV’s, Fridges, Microwaves, Samsung phones, Tablets, Camera’s, Vacuum cleaners, Washing machines, Laptops; with the ultimate grand prize of a fully loaded Double cab Nissan pickup with Samsung products.
So far, more than 250 customers have won prizes ranging from Samsung LED TV’s, Fridges, Microwaves, Samsung phones, Tablets, Camera’s, Vacuum
cleaners, Washing machines, Laptops. 8 winners have been awarded with a pickup loaded with Samsung devices. The pickup comes with:
Man, wish someone would give me a loaded pick up . If you believe you are lucky, go out, buy a genuine Samsung product, follow the procedure for entering the draw and jaza keja yako na Samsung.
For Nairobi residents, the government deadline to switch from analog to digital TV is December 13th. I don’t think many (residents) are aware, and for those in the know, they hoping that the court will post pone the deadline yet again. The hearing for the case starts on December 6th (tomorrow) so I will keep my ears and eyes open on how it all goes.
Which is the Best Digital TV Provider?
In terms of channel offering, DSTv has everything. Movies, music, sports, documentaries, cartoons etc. But it is costly to the average Kenyan.
Which why Multichoice introduced GoTv. Offering all (major) local channels (KBC, K24, NTv, KTN, Citizen TV), some Supersport select channels, and a reasonable host of other digital channels, installation and monthly subscriptions are affordable. In total, there are 35 channels on offer.
Here are the two plans for GoTv:
To view the full list of channels available on those two plans (pay TV and Free TV), check out the listing on their website.
With GoTv, you don’t need a satellite dish, your ordinary aerial will do. What you need is just the decoder and you are ready to go.
The average cost of a digital decoder (or set top box as they are commonly referred to) is Ksh. 5,000 so the GoTv offer of Ksh. 3,999 is not a bad deal. Further, GoTv has teamed up with K24 to offer viewers 3 decoders every day so tune in to K24 and hopefully it could be your lucky day.
You can get GoTv agents at the following locations:
Located on Westlands off Karuna Road.
Located on Langata/Mbagathi Road, at T-Mall Ground Floor, next to Tusky’s Supermarket.
Located at Donholm, next to Tusky’s Supermarket.
Self-Services Tel: +254 711 066 555, +254 204 236 555
There have been a number of smart watch prototypes – I am calling them prototypes because none of them have made it to the mass market – and so the Galaxy Gear is the first wearable smart watch. You can see more wearables here. It has a sizable, responsive and functional screen; a 2MP camera you can use for discreet photos/filming (makes me feel like a spy ), a speaker and microphone for making phone calls, a sexy design that makes people notice your it (and you) and the overall cool factor when showing its functionality to friends, colleagues and family alike.
Veeery close, don’t you think?
So it connects to your phone via bluetooth meaning you have to be in the range of 25 meters to use it for making calls, and receiving notifications etc. At the moment, it can only connect with The Galaxy Note 3 (which I will review in a later post)although some other phones may work as well.
However, after the initial pairing, it can be used as a stand-alone gadget to:
Weather Forecast for the week:
The gear with the weather update
Photo taken by the Gear
The notifications and logs are also stored in the watch so you can check them from there. However, only messages can be read on the device.
The Cool Stuff
The Galaxy Gear colours
This smart watch should cost you about Ksh. 25,000. On the higher side? yes, but if you can afford a Note III, this is the perfect complimentary gadget