The prescribed minimum technical specifications for set-top boxes used in Kenya mandate compliance with the DVB-T2 platform, although both DVB-T and DVB-T2 will operate concurrently in Nairobi during the simulcast period. Initially, retailers in the country were permitted to import DVB-T set-top boxes before the government intervened and required adherence to the DVB-T2 platform. Consequently, vendors must import only approved DVB-T2 set-top boxes to meet the new technology standards.

Additionally, vendors must obtain approval from the Communications Commission of Kenya for the appropriate type of set-top boxes intended for the Kenyan market. Furthermore, they are obligated to display these devices at the point of sale, along with the authorization certificate issued by the Communications Commission of Kenya.

Outlined below are the minimum specifications for DVB-T2 digital set-top boxes in the Kenyan market:

RF Tuner and DVB-T2 Channel
The set-top box should comply with the ETSI EN 302 755V1.1.1 (2009-09) standard for modulation-COFDM, including QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM, and 256QAM. It should support guard intervals of 1/128, 1/32, 1/16, 19/256, 1/8, 19/128, and 1/4. The transmission stream should adhere to MPG-2 ISO/IEC 13818, and the frame frequency should be 25Hz (PAL).

Scanning Function
The set-top box must possess a frequency scanning function to detect available signals on DVB-T. Additionally, it should be capable of listing the content provided by terrestrial bouquet through the reading of PSI/SI streams. The program memory should remain intact in the event of a power outage.

The set-top box must support the following functionalities:

  • Auto/manual tuning
  • Multiple language support
  • Display and withdrawal of subtitles
  • Capable of receiving mail
  • Inbuilt 24-hour clock
  • Teletext and Subtitles
Teletext should be displayed in OSD (On-Screen Display) or through the insertion of teletext data in the VBI (Vertical Blanking Interval).

The set-top box should have the ability to read a smart card or include a DVB-CI slot, typically for a conditional access module.

The set-top box should have a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 80,000 hours, ensuring a high level of reliability.

By adhering to these specifications, vendors can ensure that their set-top boxes meet the necessary requirements for the Kenyan market, enabling consumers to access digital TV broadcasts seamlessly.