How to install the Zimdigital decoder (for dummies)

So yes, the decades late migration of television and radio to digital is finally tangible to the average person in Zimbabwe. And yes, the decoders aka set top boxes are available and you can buy them through the Techzim WhatsApp bot. Old news but in selling these we have discovered that setting up and getting […] The post How to install the Zimdigital decoder (for dummies) appeared first on Techzim.

How to install the Zimdigital decoder (for dummies)
Digital decoder for HD TV in Zimbabwe

So yes, the decades late migration of television and radio to digital is finally tangible to the average person in Zimbabwe. And yes, the decoders aka set top boxes are available and you can buy them through the Techzim WhatsApp bot. Old news but in selling these we have discovered that setting up and getting going is not something to take for granted. Hope this assume-no-one-knows-anything level “manual” helps!

Step 1: Buy the kit and get it delivered

(We did say assume nothing…) Send the keyword decoder1 to WhatsApp number 0717 684 274 or use this click to chat link. You can pay in USD or ZiG at the official rate using Ecocash, Innbucks or Onemoney. If you have cash, don’t worry, you can also do cash on delivery.

Step 2: Take it out of the box…

Well nothing should be considered obvious. Reminder of what you get out of the box:

  • The decoder,
  • An indoor antenna and its cable,
  • Outdoor antenna and its cable,
  • An instruction manual on how to set up the antenna,
  • A remote control unit and a pack of batteries for the remote,
  • An HDMI cable to connect the decoder to your TV
  • A set of AV cables just in case your TV does not accept HDMI

Step 3: Set up the antenna or satellite dish

A few reminders first:

  1. For Harare and Bulawayo you can choose to have Techzim install for you when you buy. This service will be coming to more places in the near future.
  2. For most places you will need a satellite dish to access signal. The dish is sold separately. In select places you can access the signal via the antenna that comes with the box. We tell you whether or not you need a satellite dish at the point of purchase.

We highly recommend you ignore the indoor antenna and install the outdoor one but you can chance it with the indoor antenna if you want. In our experience it will not pick up signal reliably in a lot of places. Instructions on how to connect the antenna are clear in the manual in the box so we won’t go into those.

Outdoor antenna

We will also not go into any detail about setting up the satellite dish if you are in an area that needs this. Our recommendation is that you get help from folks who already offer satellite dish installation services. If you are a DIY freak then we will only say the dish must face North West. The same general direction that the Kwese dish used to face which is different from the DStv position so yea you cannot use your dish already installed for DStv.

Step 4: Connect the decoder to the TV

Use the HDMI cable supplied in the box to connect to the TV. If your TV does not support HDMI, connect using the AV cables also supplied. If you don’t know what these are, look below (no assumptions):

Step 5: Scan for channels

Before we proceed, make sure you have switched on the decoder. Trust me, someone needs this reminder. On your TV remote press the “Input” button or it might be called “Source” on your remote. Then select HDMI if you connected with HDMI or AV if that’s what you used. Your TV screen should show the below:

Go to where it says “DVB S2/T2” and select. Your screen should now look like the below:

Scroll to “Terrestrial” at the bottom and select. Your screen should show the below:

Go to “Manual Search” and select it. We prefer manual search for the reason explained below. Your screen should show the below:

So, we like manual search because it allows you to see if there is signal to start with. As you can see in the image above, there is no signal at all. This usually means that your antenna is not set up or positioned right. Make adjustments to your antenna while you check if there is any signal. Since this is a digital signal, as long as there is signal then you are OK, don’t worry too much about the strength of the signal (either you have it or you don’t). We recommend that you get a signal strength of at least 15%.

If you have signal, you can navigate to the correct frequency channel for your area. Please note that you will find the TV channels on two different frequency channels. So once you get the first set of channels on a particular channel frequency, navigate again to the next one so you can get the rest of them. For example, in Harare the first Frequency Channel is 618 and the second one is 682. Below are the different frequencies for the areas that have digital terrestrial signal at the moment. Remember if you are not in one of these areas, you will need a satellite dish:

That’s it! We hope we have made it as simple as it can be. If you have challenges, you can reach out to the Techzim Customer Care team whose contacts you would have received at the time of purchasing.

The post How to install the Zimdigital decoder (for dummies) appeared first on Techzim.

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