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e.tv challenges encryption rule

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e.tv has headed to court to challenge a South African government decision on encryption for set top boxes, writes GARETH VAN ZYL of Fin24.

The broadcaster says it filed an application in the Gauteng High Court on Tuesday to “review aspects of the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy finalised by the Minister of Communications”.

Set top boxes (STB) will decode digital television signals for analogue TV sets. The government plans to subsidise boxes for five million poorer households when South Africa makes its switchover to digital television signals.

Last month, the Department of Communications made amendments to the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy. Amendments to the policy outlined that a STB control system for free-to-air DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) boxes will not have capabilities to encrypt broadcast signals for subsidised boxes. A second amendment to the policy also included that the STB control system will be non-mandatory.

In its statement, e.tv has asked that the first provision be set aside and the second provision be amended.

“In one provision, the Minister (Faith Muthambi) purports to allow broadcasters the right to make their own decisions on the question of encryption,” said e.tv’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Rosin in a statement.

“But in another adjacent provision, the Minister renders this right entirely nugatory and meaningless by stating that the five million government subsidised STBs shall not have the capability to encrypt,” added Rosin.

e.tv in its statement has further said it wants to encrypt its signal to “prevent non-compliant STBs from receiving digital broadcast signals, thereby ensuring a uniform and reliable viewer experience”.

The company also said that “without a fully conformant platform, broadcasters such as e.tv would in the future likely be unable to provide broadcasts in high definition”.

Political party the Democratic Alliance said last month that Muthambi’s decision could be the “death knell” of free-to-air broadcasters. DA Shadow Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services, Marian Shinn, told Fin24 last month that the set-top-box encryption could protect free-to-air broadcasters from having their content illegally pirated.

This could prevent free-to-air broadcasters from adding high quality programming to their viewing selection.

Shinn also told Fin24 that encryption could ensure that devices would stop receiving signals if they are stolen.

* Source Fin24

http://www.fin24.com/Tech/News/etv-to-challenge-set-top-box-decision-in-court-20150414

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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