Archive for August, 2013

Digital (Free-To-Air) TV now available in Uganda

Finally, Digital TV broadcasting has started in Uganda. Below is a list of channels I was able to scan for the Kampala area. See my previous post on how to scan for these channels.

service = UBC TV (UCC)
service = UBC STAR TV (UCC)
service = East AFRICA TV (UCC)
service = ITV (UCC)
service = CITIZEN TV (UCC)
service = WBS TV (UCC)
service = BUKEDDE TV 1 (UCC)
service = BUKEDDE TV 2 (UCC)
service = URBAN TV (UCC)
service = RECORD TV (UCC)
service = TOP TV (UCC)
service = NTV (UCC)
service = UBC TV (UCC)
service = LIGHT TV (UCC)
service = MIRACLE TV (UCC)
service = CCTV (UCC)
service = NBS (UCC)
service = CAPITAL TV (UCC)
service = BOUQUET SERVER 1 (UCC)
service = BOUQUET SERVER 2 (UCC)
service = RTV (UCC)
service = KBC (UCC)
service = TBC 1 (UCC)
service = BBC WORLD (UCC)

Of these, only six (TV: UBC, EATV, ITV, WBS, BUKEDDE-1, and NTV) are currently broadcasting via DVB-T.

And the fun part for the Linux people out there – How to play these channels.

If using VLC, create a channels.conf file (i.e. scan using Xine format). When done, simply run:

#> vlc .xine/channels.conf

All the channels will be populated as a playlist. Then select your favorite channel to watch.

NOTE: If you are playing using a remote SSH session i.e. embedded device: something like this will work:

vlc -I dummy -V xv -f --width 1024 --height 768 dvb-t:// :dvb-caching=300 :dvb-frequency=474000000 :dvb-inversion=-1 :dvb-bandwidth=8 :dvb-a-fec=2/3 :dvb-transmission=8 :dvb-b-modulation=QPSK :dvb-guard=1/4 :dvb-hierarchy :program=ENTER_PROGRAM_NUMBER_HERE e.g. for UBC enter 1 (see channels.conf file)

Initial observations: Audio quality is a bit off for some channels like NTV – I guess this will improve over time as the broadcasters get their act together.

Uganda’s Digital Free-to-Air TV is almost here

With testing for digital TV transmission for the greater Kampala area under way, Uganda’s migration to digital TV is back on.

For the open source geeks out there, I have re-published a script I wrote some years back to scan for DVB-T channels. If you live in the greater Kampala area; feel free to check it out from my GitHub repositories.

To use this tool, you will need a DVB-T2 tuner – USB dongle or PCI-based card.

So far, Broadcasting is currently on the frequency 674000000; in addition to the already existing pay tv frequencies of 490000000 , 498000000 , 522000000, 538000000, 546000000, 570000000, 586000000, 634000000, and 690000000.

We are really in the initial stages, as most broadcasters are not yet on at this time. Also analogue TV users should expect to be temporarily switched off this week as transmission masts are re-fitted with new panels.

Happy testing