Set Top Boxes (STBs) or mini-decoders, which television set owners require to enable them watch local TV stations as part of the migration process to digital from analogue transmission, are now available in the country and selling at K25, 500 per box.
The STBs are being sold through Malawi Post Offices at Mzuzu, Luwinga, Capital City, Lilongwe Old Town, Limbe, Blantyre and will also soon be available at Zomba Post Office. They can also be bought from Luso and Timveni television stations in Lilongwe.
Ministry of Information’s digital migration coordinator Denis Chirwa confirmed yesterday that about 15,000 boxes are currently on the market and that these are enough to cater for 55 percent of the country’s population which is within the network coverage areas.
He said more boxes will be arriving in the country at a rate of 4,000 per month until the targeted figure of 400,000 is reached. Queried on the affordability of the boxes considering the high price of K25, 500, Chirwa was optimistic that the prices will come down once supply increases on the market.
“Like in any new thing, we believe that the price will go down as the market of STBs stabilises on the market,” he said.
Chirwa also said the installed network is covering 55 percent of the Malawi population which is above the analogue penetration which stands at 48 percent. He also said that tremendous advancement in enriching the network has been made.
“At the launch of the network there were two channels, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and Luso Televisions, but currently the network has nine channels which include MBC, Times TV, Luso, Timveni, Goodnews Broadcasting System (GBS), Zodiak, Luntha, Cavarly and CAN Televisions,” said Chirwa.
In addition to television, the network also has some radio broadcasts from MBC, Zodiak, Beyond FM and Radio Alinafe, according to Chirwa.