Part 2 – Digital Decoder Migration Acronyms explained


This is a continuation of the post Kenyan Digital Migration Acronyms explained – what do they mean. I left of the other article with some acronyms that are usually found on the decoders packaging like the box and manual. If you didn’t know then the world migrated to the digital Platform on June 1st 2015 with Kenya successfully shutting down all the analogue transmitters. But sadly not all areas are covered with the digital terrestrial signal. The only provider to offer a hundred percent coverage is Startimes which is hosted by SES5 satellite. So here are the terms, techies know them all but if you don’t know some of them then keep reading.

RF stands for Radio Frequency. Its usually a port at the back of the decoder that connects directly to the TV aerial port. For more details read How to use RF out on your Decoder.

RCA stands for Royal College of accountancy. 😂 Anyway sometimes referred as AV jacks,  they are used to connect your decoder to your TV using the yellow, white and red cables.

HD/SD.  Respectively the two terms stand for High definition and standard definition. HD gives you morr vivid and clearer pictures than SD,  that’s why when buying a TV the showroom guys usually feed the TVs with HD content. Trust me if they displayed SD content, you would want nothing to do with those expensive TVs. Kiss TV was the first free to air channel to embrace HD programming in Kenya

HDMI is a cable for connecting a decoder to a HDTV. The term stands for high definition multimedia interface. Note that it’s  not possible to enjoy the clarity of HD channels while using RCA cables. On an additional note some decoders like the Openbox will upscale SD content to HD.

EPG stands for Electronic Program Guide which is basically what shows you what you are watching, what is next and at what time. EPG is used to set the decoder for PVR functions.

TTX stands for teletext which is additional information like weather and traffic updates that broadcasters send along with normal TV programs. In Kenya this feature is not used.

PVR stands for personal video recorder which is a feature that allows you to record programs while away.

PPV is a feature that is not yet available in Kenya. It stands for pay per view which is pay TV but not paid for a whole month but a specific period like 2 or 3 hours. Broadcasters in the US use it to receive payments for special programming that does not last for long. A perfect example was the Manny vs Pacquiao boxing fight. Our local dstv has not yet understood the power of PPV,  if I was on that board I would make dstv subscribers pay for all final football matches as PPV events on top of the monthly subscription fees.

USB who doesn’t  know about HDD/flash disks and playing music and movies on a decoder.

HDD stands for Hard disk drive which is a mass storage device and usually a portable external item in this case. They are used for PVR or watching external movies or listening to music. This unit will literary kill the DVD player because its cheaper for most of you to buy movies on a HDD than a normal dvd disc. There are alot of fake HDD in the market today. Don’t be conned visit here to get original HDD.

RS232 is a port used to feed software to a decoder from a computer. You must be an expert with the software and on top of that own the RS232 cable. The RS232 port is a male connector that mistakenly looks like a VGA port.

Conax is a scrambling system used on pay TV channels. Did you know that it would be easier for consumers to buy a decoder or Digital TV (with PCMCIA port) of their choice and a Conax smart card from either GOtv or Startimes. But marketing made it a must you buy multiple sub standard and cheap decoders in order to enjoy services from different providers.

DC/AC is the form of electricity used to power a decoder. If you plug in a decoder directly to the mains then it uses Alternating Current (AC) but if your decoder uses a power adapter then it uses Direct Current (DC). Some decoders use 5 Volts DC while others use 12 Volts. Connect the appropriate adapter to the right decoder.


Anything I missed? Tell me in the comments below.