TV station ends ZBC monopoly


INDEPENDENT channel 1st TV was launched yesterday amid complaints by residents of Bulawayo, who said they had failed to access the channel.

Pamela Mhlanga

The channel is being broadcast via a free-to-air signal, accessed using Wiztech and Philibao decoders.
The Southern Eye switchboard was inundated by hundreds of callers who wanted to know how they could access the channel.

1st TV was launched on Friday evening seeking to fill the vacuum created by the encryption of SABC signal by Sentech, which has seen viewers losing access to South African channels.

In separate interviews, disgruntled viewers said they had failed to view the new channel, as they did not know the settings.
“I have no idea and I am confused about the settings needed to tune to 1st TV. I failed to view it yesterday (Friday),” Joseph Ncube said.

Another resident, who owns a Wiztech decoder, said he had read in the newspapers about 1st TV, but had no idea how to access it, as his friends had given him different settings and codes.

A non-governmental organisation, Free and Fair Zimbabwe published the satellite frequencies for the TV station on their Facebook page, leading to a number of people commenting that they were still failing to access the station while others said they were seeing pictures only without any sound.

“I have gone through with all steps and have seen 1st TV, but there are pictures and no sound,” Mbuso Ncube commented.
Meanwhile, other reports said 1st TV failed to launch last night after the South African parastatal, Sentech that carries the SABC signal, refused to host the station’s transmission.

The station has since dimissed those reports, describing them as fictitious.