Cape Town TV Datacast Hackathon

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Please join us at the Wikimania Hackathon


As part of preparing for terrestrial TV digitalisation, CTV and Wikimedia wish to make possible the updating of Kiwix offline digital libraries hosted in set-top boxes (STBs) by means of a datacast using the broadcaster's "engineering channel" - a low-bandwidth signal provided to enable updating of STB operating systems etc.

The developers of Kiwix have requested to have the code developed at this hackathon shared with them since they are in touch with a large number of offline Kiwix installations worldwide, many of which could potentially be rendered "live" thereby since the same TV standard (DVB-T2) is used in many countries, and other digital TV standards offer similar possibilities.


Wikimedia-ZA is providing R10 000, with the understanding that R2 500 will be an honorarium for the Networking For Development (Net4D) working group of the University of Cape Town (UCT), to be used in Net4D's community projects. In return, Net4D has undertaken to create a simulated datacast signal in the vicinity of the hackathon, since CTV is not yet capable of doing so.


Our prototype device is a Raspberry Pi 3B fitted with a TV Hat. We are exploring options for an actual or simulated datacast conforming to the DVB-T2 standard specification for a carousel list of files which are broadcast continuously and repeatedly - and in this case they will be South African language Wikipedias.

CTV has requested Sentech (the parastatal which provides most broadcast signals) to provide technical assistance in creating the datacast.

Background reading can be found in the ITU's Handbook for Digital Television (free download at Chapter 9



As hinted above, existing Kiwix installations (offline libraries including but not limited to Wikipedias) could benefit since with only the addition of a small receiver dongle and an aerial, the software we are developing could enable them to be updated if a local broadcaster is willing to transmit such updates. In addition, new installations will be enabled specifically in South Africa which is very late in its digital migration, so many households are yet to acquire the STBs to make their old TVs continue functioning.


Add yourself here!

--YaguraStation (talk) 18:57, 24 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
--Sitando (talk) 07:13, 25 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
--Buntu Sithole
--Discott (talk) 12:39, 28 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
--Dagelf 22:24, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
-- Matt Tait


--Michaelgraaf (talk) 05:45, 24 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]