News / USA

Cameroon’s Plan for Digital Broadcasting Mired in Controversy

Stockpile of analogue televisions in Douala, CameroonStockpile of analogue televisions in Douala, Cameroon
x
Stockpile of analogue televisions in Douala, Cameroon
Stockpile of analogue televisions in Douala, Cameroon
Ntaryike Divine Jr.
The era of analog audiovisual broadcasting is nearing an end in Cameroon.   
 
The government of the Central African nation has begun implementing a schedule to adopt digital broadcasting in 2015.
 
But the plan, introduced with a ban on imports of analog television and radio sets is stirring unease and reproach among the country’s mostly cash-strapped residents.
 
The embargo on the importation of analog broadcast and reception equipment took effect on New Year’s Eve. 
 
The decree  -- signed by Prime Minister Philemon Yang -- did not end there.  It adds that sales of analog TV and radio receivers will be outlawed in July.  A complete digital switchover is planned for June.  The effort is in keeping with a global deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union in 2006.
 
There are now over a hundred public and private audiovisual media in the country using analog systems.  They’ve been warned to discontinue analog transmissions within one year -- or be fined.
 
Digital broadcasting is the transmission of audio and video using numerically processed signals which -- unlike analogue -- can be combined into one signal.
 
Experts welcome it as the most important development in television technology since color TV in the 1950s. 
 
Amadou Vamoulke, the Managing Director of the government-owned Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV,  says digital broadcasting enables the delivery of more channels with enhanced picture and sound quality.
 
"The new technology allows for one given transmitter to emit sounds and images directed to various channels," he explained.  You have the possibility to have ten channels. Those who are inspired would produce as much as they can."
 
And that’s not all. 
 
Digital signals are free from the interference and static common to analog reception, which is caused by weather, landscape and moving objects, like trains. 
 
Videos are available on demand, viewers can record TV shows without videotape as well as access interactive services.   Following the switchover, the current spectrum used for analog TV can be converted for other uses like high definition television and high-speed mobile broadband, thereby generating revenue.
 
But, not everyone is happy.
 
Traders and the general public across Cameroon are voicing discontent with the decisions they consider top-down and dictatorial.
 
Analog TV and radio sets are still on display in city shops.  In one of them, vendor Evelyne Ngobbo, says she is selling them at giveaway rates before a sales ban comes into force.
 
"I was informed by boss two weeks ago," she says.  "He has taken measures to liquidate the stocks we have.  We are avoiding any blockage when the ministry takes on repressive measures."
 
Close by, Nancy Kwemo, an importer of brand new and used electronics appliances says the digital flat screens are far beyond the reach of average Cameroonians. 
 
She says very few people buy the digital sets selling as from about $200 USD for sets with 22-inch screens.  According to her, the absence of repair shops for defective flat screens is detering many from buying them.
 
Businessmen want import duties reduced so they can sell the digital devices at affordable rates.  However, ecologists worry about the potential damage to the environment as millions of analog receivers are dumped.
 
The government has yet to respond to such concerns.  

Listen to report on digital broadcasting in Cameroon
Listen to report on digital broadcasting in Camerooni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid