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eTV takes Communications Minister to court

The television company has launched a bid to bar the minister from going ahead with an unencrypted DTT system.

FILE. eTV is taking Minister Faith Muthambi to court in an application to stop her from going ahead with a DTT system that will not be encrypted. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Television company eTV is taking Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to court this morning in an application to stop her from going ahead with a Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) system that will not be encrypted.

Muthambi earlier this year said the new television set-top boxes will not have an encryption system within them.

The DTT migration project has been delayed by several years, and a United Nations deadline to implement the new system runs out next month.

eTV says it's going to court because with an encryption system it will not be able to convince television companies to sell it high definition programmes, because they would be easy to pirate.

It also says the minister is going back on an earlier promise that she would properly consult with them before making a decision.

However the Communications Department says it doesn't have to use the encryption and that it believes it will be easier for new channels to start under its system.