Digital terrestrial television: Wikis


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DTT broadcasting systems by country.

Digital Terrestrial Television (DTTV or DTT) is the technological evolution and advance from analogue terrestrial television, which broadcasts land based (terrestrial) signals. The purpose of digital terrestrial television, similar to digital versus analogue in other platforms such as cable, satellite, telecoms, is characterised by reduced use of spectrum and more capacity than analogue, better-quality picture, and lower operating costs for broadcast and transmission after the initial upgrade costs. A terrestrial implementation of digital television technology uses aerial broadcasts to a conventional antenna (or aerial) instead of a satellite dish or cable connection.

Competing variants of digital terrestrial television technology are used around the world. Advanced Television Standards Committee ATSC is the one used in North America and South Korea, an evolution from the analogue National Television Standards Committee standard NTSC. ISDB-T is used in Japan, with a variation of it used in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile[1] and most recently Venezuela, while DVB-T is the most prevalent, covering Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Uruguay and some countries of Africa.DMB-T/H is China's own standard (including Hong Kong, though Hong Kong's cable operators use DVB); the rest of the world remains mostly undecided, many evaluating multiple standards. ISDB-T is very similar to DVB-T and can share front-end receiver and demodulator components. The United States of America has switched from Analogue to Digital terrestrial television, while Europe is hoping to have completed its switchover mostly by 2012.



DTTV is transmitted on radio frequencies through the airwaves that are similar to standard analogue television, with the primary difference being the use of multiplex transmitters to allow reception of multiple channels on a single frequency range (such as a UHF or VHF channel).

The amount of data that can be transmitted (and therefore the number of channels) is directly affected by the modulation method of the channel.[2] The modulation method in DVB-T is COFDM with either 64 or 16 state Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). In general a 64QAM channel is capable of transmitting a greater bitrate, but is more susceptible to interference. 16 and 64QAM constellations can be combined in a single multiplex, providing a controllable degradation for more important programme streams. This is called hierarchical modulation.ref

New developments in compression have resulted in the MPEG-4/AVC standard which enable three high definition services to be coded into a 24 Mbit/s European terrestrial transmission channel.[2]

The DVB-T standard is not used for terrestrial digital television in North America. Instead, the ATSC standard calls for 8VSB modulation, which has similar characteristics to the vestigial sideband modulation used for analogue television. This provides considerably more immunity to interference, but is not immune — as DVB-T is — to multipath distortion and also does not provide for single-frequency network operation (which is in any case not relevant in the United States).

Both systems use the MPEG transport stream and H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 video codec specified in MPEG-2; they differ significantly in how related services (such as multichannel audio, captions, and program guides) are encoded.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Digital reception tends to be better overall, particularly with a good signal. With a weaker signal there is little perceptible difference, in fact analogue can be better.[citation needed]
  • It is easier to obtain the optimum digital picture than the optimum analogue picture.
  • Many more channels can fit on the digital transmission.
  • Interactive (red button) services can be provided.


  • New equipment (Set-top box) may be required.
  • Increased electricity consumption by the digital receiving equipment.[citation needed]
  • An upgraded antenna installation may be required.
  • Analogue requires lower signal strength to get a viewable picture. By extension, digital does not degrade as gracefully as analogue. For example, with low signal strength an analogue picture gets fuzzy (but is still viewable) while a digital picture freezes and stops updating.
  • Switching channels is slower because of the time delays in decoding digital signals.


DTTV is received via a digital set-top box, or integrated receiving device, that decodes the signal received via a standard aerial antenna. However, due to frequency planning issues, an aerial with a different group (usually a wideband) may be required if the DTTV multiplexes lie outside the bandwidth of the originally installed aerial. This is quite common in the UK, see external links.

DTT Around the world



Argentine President Cristina Fernandez signed on August 28, 2009 an agreement to adopt the ISDB-Tb system, joining Brazil, which has already implemented the standard in its big cities.[3]


Is in the process of assessing all standards. It's expected to be chosen by the end of the year 2009.[5]


In Brazil, they chose a modified version of the Japanese ISDB-T standard, called ISDB-Tb (or SBTVD) in June, 2006. Digital broadcast started in 2 December 2007 in São Paulo and now it is under expansion all over the country. As of 15 September 2009, metro areas of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Goiânia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Campinas, Vitória, Florianópolis, Uberlândia, São José do Rio Preto, Teresina, Santos, Campo Grande, Fortaleza, Recife, João Pessoa, Sorocaba, Manaus, Belém, Aracaju, Ribeirão Preto, Boa Vista, Macapá, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, São Carlos, São José do Rio Preto, São Luís, Pirassununga, São José dos Campos, Taubaté, Ituiutaba, Araraquara, Feira de Santana, Itapetininga, Sorocaba, Presidente Prudente, Bauru, Campos dos Goytacazes, Londrina, Juiz de Fora, Campina Grande, Caxias do Sul, Franca, Rio Claro and Cuiabá have digital terrestrial broadcasting. By 2013 the digital signal will be available in the whole country. Analogue shut-off is scheduled for 29 June 2016.


In Canada, analogue switch-off is scheduled for 31 August 2011. Most network stations are already broadcasting high-definition digital signals in Toronto, with partial network digital coverage in Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.


In September 14, 2009, president Michelle Bachelet announced that the government had finally decided, after prolonged delays, on a digital television standard. Chile will be adopting the ISDB-T Japanese standard (with the custom modifications made by Brazil). Simulcasting is expected to begin in 2010, with a projected analog switch-off in 2017.[4]


Colombia has chosen the European DVB-T standard on 28 August 2008 It is expected that by year end 2009 some 42% of the Colombian population would be able to receive digital TV coverage.[5] Initially only the national public service broadcasters will use the DTT platform but the nations private channels are also expected to join in the next few months.[6]


Cuba has announced recently that it will decide on the norm to use, within the current year. According to official sources of the MIC (Ministry of Computer science and Telecommunications) the Caribbean island is deciding DMB-T/H format used by China. At the moment, Cuban specialists are performing tests in both formats but an "analogical blackout" is far away.


Ecuador is currently assessing which standard to use (2008–2009).[5]

El Salvador

In El Salvador chose the American ATSC standard on 11 March 2009.


In Mexico, digital signals are on-air in the largest markets, with more cities to be added in descending order of size until full national coverage is reached in 2021; at that point analogue broadcasts will end.


In Nicaragua will be chosen the Chinese standard DMB-T/H.


Panama has chosen the European DVB-T standard on 12 May 2009.[7]


Peru has chosen on 23 April 2009 the Brazilian modified version of the Japanese standard ISDB-T. Agreed with Japan to cooperate for resource exchange and technical transfer on 21 August 2009, plan On air from March 2010.[8]

United States

In the United States on 12 June 2009, all full power U.S. television broadcasts became exclusively digital, under the Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005.[9][10] Furthermore, from 1 March 2007, new television sets that receive signals over-the-air, including pocket sized portable televisions, include ATSC digital tuners for digital broadcasts.[11] Prior to 12 June, most U.S. broadcasters were transmitting in both analogue and digital formats; a few were digital-only. Most U.S. stations were not permitted to shut down their analogue transmissions prior to 16 February 2009, unless doing so was required in order to complete work on a station's permanent digital facilities.[12] In 2009, the FCC will finish auctioning channels 52–59 (the lower half of the 700 MHz band) for other communications services,[13] completing the reallocation of broadcast channels 52–69 that began in the late 1990s.

The analogue switch-off will render all non-digital televisions unable to receive most over-the-air television channels; however, low-power television stations and cable TV systems are not required to convert to digital until 2011 or later. Beginning 1 January 2008, consumers could request coupons to help cover most of the cost of these converters by calling a toll free number or via a website.[14] Some television stations have also been licensed to operate "nightlights", analogue signals which consist only of a brief repeated announcement advising remaining analogue viewers how to switch to digital reception.


Uruguay has chosen the European DVB-T standard.[15]


In Venezuela, tests are being performed with full deployment to start 2008-2009. DTT will coexist with analogue standard television for some time, until full deployment of the system on a nationwide level is accomplished. 30 September 2009, decided to employ Japanese ISDB-T system under cooperation with Japan, and officially be agreed with Japan in early October 2009.[16][17]

On October 6, 2009, Venezuela has officially adopted ISDB-T with Brazilian modifications. Transition from analog to digital is expected to take place in the next 10 years.[18][19]



Two Digital terrestrial television receiving antenna on the roof, upper highly installed antenna facing to Tokyo Tower through over neighbor high building and lower one to another Local Television Stations in Kantō Plain of Japan until Tokyo Sky Tree operates. Upper antenna direction shall be slightly changed to Tokyo Sky Tree thereafter. (For ISDB-T system)

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and DPA (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting-Japan) jointly set the specification and announced a guideline for "simplified DTT tuners" with price under 5,000 Japanese yen on 25 December 2007. MIAC officially solicited manufactures to put it on the market by end of March 2010 (end of fiscal year 2009). MIAC is estimating that 14 million, at maximum, traditional non-digital TV sets remain and need the "simplified DTT tuner" to be adapted even after complete transition to DTT after July 2011; it is aiming to avoid the disposal of large numbers of useless TV sets without such a tuner at one time.

On 20 December 2007, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association set rules for Dirgital Rights Management for DTT broadcasting, allowing consumers up to 10 time of dubbing of entire TV program with video and audio into Blu-ray Disc recorder etc. by naming "Dubbing 10"(ja:ダビング10) (actually up to 9 times of copy, then 1 time or last time of move). The broadcasting with "Dubbing 10" was supposed to start at about 4:00 a.m. on 2 June 2008, but was postponed after long talks with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, then confirmed to start about 4:00 a.m. on 4 July 2008. The manufacturers of DVD recorders and associated DTT recorders will make unit conforming to the "Dubbing 10" rule, and some manufacturers will create firmware downloads to update their recorders' internal software for existing users.

On 3 April 2008, DPA (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting-Japan) announced that a total of 32.71 million of DTT (ISDB-T) receiving TV sets (except 1seg receiver) are installed in Japan as of the end of March 2008. DPA also announced a guideline for manufacturers who make the DTT receive, record and replay unit which operate with Personal computers on 8 April 2008 . This add-on unit operates on USB or PCI BUS, and started to sell on reservation basis from late April and put on retail store in mid. May 2008.

On 8 May 2008, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced that 43.7% of homes have DTT (ISDB-T) receiving TV and/or Tuner with DVD recorder by end of March 2008, which was 27.8% in one year before, and expecting 100% by April 2011.

On 27 April 2009, National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) revealed its official mascot, Chidejika, to replace Tsuyoshi Kusanagi as the face of NAB after he was arrested on suspicion of public indecency.

On 3 September 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced the procurement under bidding 5,000-8,000 sets of "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control to apply "Analog to digital transition rehearsal program" in Suzu, Ishikawa, citywide transition practice. The set should be delivered until 30 November 2009.[20]. The program is aiming to examine the transition problem at individuals home in countrywide such as senior and non-technical families.

On 4 September 2009, ÆON announced the low cost "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T to sell at JUSCO from 19 September 2009. Tuner is produced by Pixela and the first one meeting retail price under 5,000 Japanese yen which is solicited target price to industry by Dpa (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting (デジタル放送推進協会 dejitaru housou suishin kyōkai?). Tuner connects to old fashion TV though RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal function.[21]

On 7 September 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications appointed two manufacture I-O Data and Melco among 12 bidder for minimal functioning "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T of free supply to Japanese Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tuner connects to old fashion TV though RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal function.[22]

January 22 noon, 2010 to 24 noon, analog wave broadcasting ceased as rehearsal to approximately 7,000 homes in Suzu and part of Noto town 48 hours based on the plan on September 3, 2009.[23][24]



Bulgaria launched a free-to-air platform on Sofia region, starting in November 2004. Standards chosen are DVB-T/DVB-T2 and MPEG4/H.264 compression format. The Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) has said that it received 6 bids for the licence to build and operate Bulgaria’s two nationwide DTT networks. A second licence tender for the operation of 3 DTT multiplexes was open until 27 May 2009.[25][26] Following the closing of this process, Hannu Pro, part of Silicon Group, and with Baltic Operations has secured the license to operate three DTT multiplexes in Bulgaria by the country’s Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC)Bulgaria is aiming to complete the transition to digital broadcasting in December 2012.[27]

European Union

The EU recommended in May 2005[28] that its Member States cease all analogue television transmissions by Jan 01, 2012. Some EU member states decided to complete the transition as early as 2006 for Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and 2007 for Finland.[29] Latvia is planning to stop broadcasting analog television from 2012. While Poland and Bulgaria had been looking towards 2015, Poland has now decided for June 2013 and Bulgaria 2012. See section on Poland above. It looks likely that ASO will be completed in Europe in 2013 though small hilly underpopulated isolated terrain areas will be awaiting DTT rollout beyond that date.[30][31]


Finland launched DTT in 2001, and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 1 September 2007. Finland has successfully launched a mixture of pay and free-to-air DTT services. Digita operates the DTT and Mobile Terrestrial networks and rents capacity to broadcasters on its network on a neutral market basis. Digita is owned by TDF (France).[32][33] The pay-DTT service provider Boxer has acquired a majority stake in the leading Finnish pay DTT operator PlusTV which offers a number of commercial channels for a subscription. It started in October 2006. Boxer already provides pay-DTT services in Sweden and Denmark.[34]


France's TNT (Télévision Numérique Terrestre) offers 18 free and 11 pay channels + up to 4 local free channels. An 89% DTT penetration rate is expected by December 2008. Free-to-view satellite services offering the same DTT offer were made available in June 2007.
Since 30-10-2008 France has four free HD channel (TF1 HD,France2 HD, Arte HD,M6 HD) and one pay TNT HD channel (Canal+ HD) on TNT using the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression format. French video website which rate 10/10 the bluRay image, rated 8/10 the TNT HD image.

Typically :
free TNT channels are broadcast 720*576 MPEG-2 with a VBR of 3.9 Mbits (2.1 to 6.8 as measured)or a CBR of 4.6 Mbits
pay TNT channels are broadcast 720*576 MPEG4 AVC/H.264 with a VBR of 3.0 Mbits (1.1 to 6.0 as measured)
free TNT-HD and pay TNT-HD are broadcast 1440*1080 (1080i50) MPEG4 AVC/H.264 with a VBR of 7.6Mbits (3 to max 15M).

For the audio part AC3 and AAC are used in 192kbits for 2.0 and 384kbits for 5.1. Typically up to four audio part can be used:
French 5.1
VO 5.1
French 2.0
Audivision 5.1

The Prime Minister François Fillon has confirmed that the final analogue switch-off date will be 30 November 2011.[35] DTT coverage must reach 91% of a given department before analogue transmissions can be switched off. CSA announced a call to tender for more local DTT licences on 15 June 2009 and 66 new DTT sites went up since May 2009 to expand coverage to cover low population areas.[36][37]

Freesat began broadcasts from the Eutelsat Atlantic Bird 3 satellite from June 2009 as Fransat, providing for those unable to receive DTT signals for terrain reasons in preparation for ASO in 2011. Eighteen channels will be broadcast initially and although free to watch, viewers will need to buy an Set top box with smart card for €99 euros according to article.[38]


Germany launched a free-to-air platform region-by-region, starting in Berlin in November 2002. The analogue broadcasts are planned to cease soon after digital transmissions are started. Berlin became completely digital on 4 August 2003 with other regions completing between then and 2008. Digital switchover has been completed throughout Germany as of 2 December 2008 and services are now available to 100% of the population following the update of infill for the remaining 10% of transmitters by Media Broadcast who set up broadcast antennas at 79 transmission sites and installed 283 new transmitter stations. More services are to be launched on DTT and some pay DTT channels are or have been launched in various areas such as Stuttgart and soon Leipzig.[39]

Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland has been somewhat problematic. Responsibility for DTT following from the plans of Radio Telífis Éireann was divided between two government Departments with differing views on its running. This delayed the project, took away its momentum and the economic situation deteriorated so that the opportunity to launch in good conditions was lost. When legislation finally arrived after two years to enable DTT to proceed a private sector model was envisaged similar to the UK. It's TV was the sole applicant for a digital terrestrial television license under the provisions of the Irish Broadcasting Act 2001 which also established Telífís na Gaeilge, now TG4. It proposed a triple play deployment with Broadband, TV and Digital Radio services. RTÉ was to have a minority stake in its network and sell its majority share. Legislative delays and economic changes however made it financially difficult for RTÉ to get a good price for the network stake and for It's TV to raise the necessary funding to proceed the license. Other DTT deployments, most particularly in the neighbouring UK and in Spain and Portugal in operation around that time also went bust. It's TV failed to get its license conditions varied or to get a time extension to securing funding and its license was eventually withdrawn for non performance.

Under subsequent legislation in May 2007, RTÉ and the spectrum regulator (ComReg)and the broadcasting regulator BCI (now BAI) were mandated to invite applications during 2008 under the Broadcasting (Amendment) Act 2007and RTÉ and the BCI received licenses from ComReg for spectrum to establish DTT. The BAI, then BCI advertised and invited multiplex submissions by 2 May 2008. RTÉ Networks was required to broadcast in digital terrestrial TV (aerial TV) under the that and the more recent Broadcasting Act 2009 and received an automatic license through the RTÉ Authority. It has been expanding its upgrading its transmission network to digital terrestrial during 2009 which will culimate in 98% coverage by 31st of December 2011 with ASO to begin in Summer 2012 in concert with Northern Ireland under the MOU signed with the UK & Irish Governments [40].

It is also making this network available to the commercial multiplex winner for rental of capacity once negotiations are concluded, rental agreed and a security bond received. <[41].It has been testing the BAI multiplexes since November 2009 across the network which is publicly receivable with the correct DTT receivers. 1 Mux (group of channel radio wave space) will provide the services of the public service broadcaster and have a 98% population coverage by 31st of December 2011. The other three multiplexes will have between 90% and 92% population coverage. Following Analogue Switchover 1 addition PSB mux and 1 or more commercial muxes will be made available for DTT, mobile television, broadband and other services.

The BCI (now BAI) received 3 conditional applications to operate the 3 muxes which were presented in public on 12 May 2008. It decided in principle to allocate the license to Boxer DTT Ltd, a consortium made up of the Swedish pay-DTT operator Boxer and the media group Communicorp at its board meeting on 21 July 2008.[42] On 20 April 2009, the BCI revealed that OneVision had been the second placed applicant and that following Boxer's withdrawal and return of the draft license and was offered the license for the BCI DTT multiplexes subject to contract.[43]

A Houses of the Oireachtas Channel (reportedly shelved in December 2008) and the Irish Film Channel (status unclear though company formed for channel) [44] are enabled for establishment as public service broadcasters on Irish DTT.[45][46]

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland replaced the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the RTÉ Authority and include Awards and Advisory Committees under statutory instrument 389 that gave effect to the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 2009 which dissolved the BCI vesting it and new responsibilities, assets & liabilities and so forth in a new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on October 1, 2009.[47] That act deals with Analogue switchover.

In the 2008 perspective Boxer DTT Ireland, tentative start date was January in 2009 in Ireland which was considered unrealistic. At the moment the likely launch date is in 2010 but this is by no means certain and depends on how things go with the current consortium in finalisig contracts [48] Standards chosen are MPEG4/H.264 and DVB-T. Boxer TV Access had a 50% holding in Boxer Ireland.

It remains to be seen if Onevision will conclude negotiations successfully and take up the pay DTT contract with the BAI that would also facilitate joint co-ordinated DTT Free-to-air and commercial DTT launching at the same time.[49] A DTT Information Campaign was announced by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Irish Government Department to launch in March 2009 ahead of the September 2009 launch of Irish DTT.[50] AS of December 2009, the information campaign has not launched and has been postponed until matters clarify for the BAI, given RTÉ's preference for jumping together with the commercial DTT operator and the financial benefits of combined advertisements of both [51]. The Information Campaign is to be undertaken by the BAI, with support of the Department. OneVision has been offered the opportunity to operate the pay-service pay DTT. It is far from clear as of December 2009 if a DTT service will launch in 2010 depending on whether negotiations conclude successfully between Onevision, the BCI and Onevision & RTÉ Networks Ltd[52]

A late 2010 FTA DTT launch is now on target following a direction from the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, to RTÉ and signing of the RTÉ (National Television Multiplex) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 85 of 2010) on February 26th, 2010. [53].


Luxembourg launched DTT services in April 2006. The national service launched in June 2006. On 1 September 2006, Luxembourg became the first European country to transition completely to DTT. Luxe TV, a niche theme based station, will soon begin broadcasting on the Luxembourg DTT platform, transmitted from the Dudelange transmitter.The aim is to reach audiences in some parts of Germany as well as in Luxembourg.[54][55]


DTT was successfully launched in November, 2009. It uses MPEG-2 for SD and MPEG-4 for HD. The service was launched by ONE, and the platform is called BoomTV. It offers 42 channels including all national networks and it serves 95% of the Macedonian population.[56]

The Netherlands

The Netherlands launched its DTT service 23 April 2003, and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 11 December 2006. KPN own Digitenne which provides pay DTT services. DTT is now proving to be an able competitor to cable in a highly cable dominated country.[57] It also provides a mobile broadcast DVB-H service as well as an IPTV service, with DTT the most popular of its products.[58]


DTT launch in Poland is scheduled for Autumn 2009. Regulatory disagreements delayed its tender and approach until resolved recently and the multiplexs available for DTT were reduced to 3 and the 2nd is to licensed in the Autumn of 2009. The reduction from 5 to 3 enable mobile TV and broadband to get more spectrum allocation. Muxes 2 and 3 may therefore have limited coverage until ASO. Polsat, TVN, TV4 and TV Puls have officially applied to reserve space on the countries first multiplex set to start in September. Wirtualne Media is given as the source of the story. The public broadcaster’s three main channels TVP1, TVP2 and TVP Info have already been allocated capacity on the multiplex.

Poland is to switch off analogue transmissions by 31 July 2013. A mobile TV license has also been awarded in Poland to Info TV FM to use DVB-H standard.[59]


Portugal launched its DTT service on 29 April 2009 available to around 20% of the Portuguese population and Portugal Telecom expects to reach 80% of the population by the end of the 2009. Airplus TV Portugal that was set up to compete for a licence to manage Portugal’s pay-TV DTT multiplexes, will dissolve as it didn't get the license and a Portuguese court ruled not to suspend the process for the awarding of a licence to Portugal Telecom, based on a complaint submitted by Airplus TV Portugal. The start of the pay-TV multiplexes will take place later in the year.[60]


In Romania, broadcasting regulations have been amended so that DTT service providers have only a single licence rather than the two previously required by the National Audiovisual Council (CNA).DTT services are set to launch in December 2009 using the MPEG-4 (H.264 AVC) compression format[61] following the Ministry of Communications publication of a strategic plan for the transition to digital broadcasting. According to Media Express, it envisages a maximum of five national UHF multiplexes, a national VHF multiplex and a multiplex allocated to regional and local services, all in accordance with the ITU Geneva Conference RRC-06 reports BroadbandTVNews.

The Ministry of Communications (MCSI) estimates that 49% of Romania’s 7.5 million households get TV from cable and 27% from DTH services in Romania while terrestrial TV is used by 18% of the TV households. 6% are reported as not able to receive TV transmissions. Subsidies may be offered for those below a certain income to assist switchover for them.[62] Switchover is scheduled for January 2012.[63]

Romkatel, the local representative of Kathrein, have since been awarded the commercial Romanian DTT services license.ZF reports that Romkatel has signed a 12-month contract worth €710,420, having beaten off a challenge from France’s TDF. The tender was organised by Romania’s National Society for Radiocommunications (SNR).[64] Meanwhile the National Audiovisual Council, in charge of the public service broadcasting sector has awarded digital licences to the public channels TVR1 and TVR2.

According to Media Express, this followed a short debate at the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) about whether to also award licences to the nine remaining public channels, one of which transmits in HD and five are regional.

Romania’s first DTT multiplex is likely to have the five leading commercial channels – Pro TV, Antena 1, Prima TV, Kanal D and Realitatea – as well as TVR1 and TVR2.

The National Audiovisula Council (ANCOM), will most probably award the transmission network contract for this to the national transmission company Radiocommunicatii.[65]


In Spain most multiplexes closed after the failure of Quiero TV, the country's original pay DTT platform. DTT was relaunched on 30 November 2005, with 20 free-to-air national TV services as well as numerous regional and local services. Nearly 11 million DTT receivers had been sold as of July 2008. Positive approval for pay DTT services have reportedly been given by Spain’s Ministry of Industry in a surprise move on 17 June of the Advisory Council on Telecommunications and the Information Society (Catsi). IT will now be included in a Royal Decree. A number of leading Spanish media players including Sogecable, Telefónica, Ono, Orange and Vodafone have apparently criticised that as according to Prisa, Sogecable’s owner, “it caps a series of policy changes that benefits only a few audiovisual operators, those of terrestrial TV, to the detriment of satellite operators, cable and DSL.” There may be appeals lodged against the government’s decision.[66]


In Sweden, DTT was launched in 1999 solely as a paid service. Today (2007) there are 38 channels in 5 MUXs. 11 of those are free-to-air channels from a number of different broadcasters. Switch-off of the analogue TV service started on 19 September 2005 and finished on 29 October 2007. Boxer began the deployment of MPEG-4 receivers to new subscribers. Over the next six years from 2008 Sweden will gradually migrate from MPEG-2 visual coding to using MPEG-4, H.264. The Swedish Radio and TV Authority (RTVV) recently announced eight new national channels that will broadcast in the MPEG-4 format. From 1 April 2008 Boxer is also responsible for approving devices to use on the network, will no longer accept MPEG-2 receivers for test and approval. Set Top Boxes must be backward compatible so that they can decode both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 coded transmissions.[67]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (1998), Sweden (1999) and Spain (2000) were the first to launch DTT with platforms heavily reliant on pay television. All platforms experienced many starter problems, in particular the British and Spanish platforms which failed financially. Nevertheless, Boxer, the Swedish pay platform which started in October 1999, proved to be very successful.

DTT in the United Kingdom was launched in November 1998 as a primarily subscription service branded as ONdigital, a joint venture between Granada Television and Carlton Communications, with only a few channels being available free to air. ONdigital soon ran into financial difficulties with subscriber numbers below expectations, and in order to attempt to reverse their fortunes, it was decided that the ITV and ONdigital brands should align, and the service was rebranded ITV Digital in 2001. Despite an expensive advertising campaign, ITV Digital struggled to attract sufficient new subscribers and in 2002 closed the service. After commercial failure of the Pay TV proposition it was relaunched as the free-to-air Freeview platform in 2002. Top Up TV, a lite pay DTT service, became available in 2004.

DSO has begun in some areas of the UK and will begin soon in others, spanning over the next few years and reaching completion by the end of 2012. One multiplex for public service broadcasters has been freed up and given over to HD on DTT and some areas will be able to receive Freeview HD in advance of digital switchover using the new 2nd generation DVB-T2 and MPEG4 set top boxes according to Freeview.[68][69]

Analogue to digital transition by country

The broadcasting of digital terrestrial transmissions has led to many countries planning to phase out existing analogue broadcasts. This table shows the launches of DTT and the closing down of analogue television in several countries.

  • Official launch: The official launch date of digital terrestrial television in the country, not the start for trial broadcasts.
  • Start of closedown: The date for the first major closedown of analogue transmitters.
  • End of closedown: The date when analogue television is definitely closed down.
  • System: Transmission system, e. g. DVB-T, ATSC or ISDB-T.
  • Interactive: System used for interactive services, such as MHP and MHEG-5.
  • Compression: Video compression standard used. Most systems use MPEG-2, but the more efficient H.264/MPEG-4 AVC has become increasingly popular among networks launching later on. Some countries use both MPEG-2 and H.264, for example France which uses MPEG-2 for standard definition free content but MPEG-4 for HD broadcasts and pay services.
Official launch
Start of
End of
Albania 2004-07-15 2012 DVB-T MPEG-2 [70]
Andorra 2007-09-25 DVB-T MHP MPEG-2 [71]
Australia 2001-01-01 Regional ASO starts 2010 2013[72] DVB-T (7 MHz channels 6~12 VHF
              and 29~69 UHF)
MHP MPEG-2, H.264[73] [74][75][76][77][78][79][80]
Austria 2006-10-26 2007-03-05[81] DVB-T MHP MPEG-2 [82]
Belgium 2002/2003 2008-11-03 (Flemish Community) 2011 (Francophone Community) DVB-T None MPEG-2 [83]
Brazil 2007-12-03 2016-06-29 ISDB-T Ginga H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [84]
Bulgaria 2004-11 2009-03 end 2012[27] DVB-T[85] MHP MPEG-4 [86]
Canada 2011-08-31 ATSC MPEG-2,H.264(ATSC 2.0) [87]
China 2006 2006 2015 (SARFT reported August 2005) DMB-T/H[88] MPEG-2 [89]
Croatia 2002-07-09 2002-07-09 2011-01-01[90] DVB-T MPEG-2 [91]
Czech Republic 2005-10-21 2005-10-21 2010-10 DVB-T MHP MPEG-2 [92]
Denmark 2006-03-31 2009-02-01 2009-11-01 DVB-T MHP MPEG-2, H.264 [93][94][95]
El Salvador 2009-03-11 2012-12-31 2014-01-01 ATSC MPEG-2,H.264(ATSC 2.0)
Estonia 2006-12-15 2008-03-31 (Ruhnu island) 2010-07-01 DVB-T MHP planned H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [96][97][98]
Faroe Islands 2002-12 2002-12 2003 DVB-T None MPEG-2 [99]
Finland 2001-08-27 2007-09-01[100] 2007-09-01 DVB-T MHP (abandoned) MPEG-2 [101]
France 2005-03-31 FTA/2006/03/01 Pay DTT[102][103] 2009-02-04 2 February 2010: Alsace, 9 March 2010: Lower Normandy, 18 May 2010: Pays de la Loire, 8 June 2010: Bretagne, 28 September 2010: Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne, 19 October 2010: Poitou-Charentes and the middle of the country, November 2010: Franche-Comté and Bourgogne, 7 December 2010: North of the country, First quarter 2011: Picardie and Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-France, Aquitaine and Limousin, Auvergne, Côte d’Azur and Corsica, Rhône, Second quarter 2011 (before November 30): Provence, Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon.[104][105] DVB-T MHP[106] MPEG-2, H.264[107] [108][109]
Germany 2003-03 2003-03 Regional rollout 2008-12-02 completed DVB-T MPEG-2 / H.264 (Stuttgart for non public channels) [110]
Greece 2006-01-16 Tests[111] 2008-11-01[111] 2015[112] DVB-T MPEG-2(ERT 2008), MPEG-4 AVC (DIGEA Summer/Autumn 2009)[113] [114][115]
Hong Kong 2007-12-31 2012 DMB-T/H MHEG-5 (TVB) MPEG-2, H.264 [116][117]
Hungary 2008-12-01 2011-12-31 DVB-T H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [118]
Indonesia 2014 for large cities and 2018 for nation wide DVB-T MPEG-2 [119]
Ireland 1999-2002 Licensing abandoned (downturn);2006-2008 Trial; DTT launch (coordinate with potential Pay DTT operator[120]31st October 2010 (90%), December 31st 2011(98%)[121]  Network testing, publicly receivable with MPEG4 compatible equipment pre October 31st 2010. 2011-12-31-coincide with NI[122] By Q4 2012 likely co-timed with NI(MOU)[123] DVB-T RCT abandoned, MHEG5, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [45][46][124][125][126][127][128][129][130][131][132][133][134]
Israel 2009-08-02[135] 2010-12-31 DVB-T H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, AAC+ V2 [136][137][138][139]
Italy 2004-01-01 2012-12-31 DVB-T MHP MPEG-2, H.264 [140]
Japan 2003-12-01 2011-07-24 ISDB-T BML MPEG-2 [141][142]
Lithuania 2006 Now expanded nationwide at January 2009 2012-10-29[143] DVB-T MPEG-4 [144]
Luxembourg 2006-04-04 2006-04-04 2006-09-01 DVB-T None MPEG-2 [145]
Macedonia 2004-05-04 2010-01-01 May 2012 DVB-T MHP H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [146]
Malaysia 2006-09 (trials) 2010 2015[147] DVB-T MHEG-5 H.264 [148]
Mexico 2004-07-05[149] 2022-01-01 ATSC MPEG-2,H.264(ATSC 2.0) [150]
Morocco 2007-06-01 2007-03-05[151] 2015[152] DVB-T [153][154]
Netherlands 2003 2003-11 2006-12-11 DVB-T MPEG-2 [155]
New Zealand April 2008 75% digital penetration or 2012, whichever comes first. 1 year after start DVB-T MHEG-5 H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [156][157]
Norway 2007-09[158] 2008-03[159] 2009-12-01 DVB-T MHP H.264/MPEG-4 AVC[160] [161]
Philippines 2009 2010 2015-12-31[162] DVB-T MHP MPEG-2, H.264 [163]
Poland 2004 (trials)
2009-09-20 DTT Launch
2013-07-31[164] DVB-T H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [165][166][167]
Portugal 2009-04-29[168] 2011 2012-04-26[169] DVB-T H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [170]
Romania 2005-12-01, Full:2009-12[61] 2012-12-31 (planned) DVB-T MPEG-4 [65][171][172][173][174]
Russia 2010 2015 DVB-T MPEG-4 H.264.AVC)[175] [176]
Slovakia 1999–2004,2005–2009 2010[177] 2012[178] DVB-T MHEG-5 MPEG-2, H.264 [179]
Slovenia 2007 2010 2011 DVB-T H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [180]
South Africa 2006-03 2008-11-01 2011-11-01[181] DVB-T MHEG-5 (Future use planned) H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [182]
South Korea 2001 2012-12-31[183] ATSC MPEG-2,H.264(ATSC 2.0) [184]
Spain 2000-2005 (Previous and relaunch) 2009 2010-04-03[185] DVB-T MHP MPEG-2, H.264 [186]
Sweden 1999-04-01[187] 2005-09-19 2007-10-29 DVB-T MHP MPEG-2/H.264[188] [189]
Switzerland 2001 2002-03 2008-02-25[190] DVB-T [191]
Taiwan 2002[192] 2008 2010-12[192] DVB-T MHP MPEG-2, H.264[192] [193]
Turkey 2006-02 (trial services) 2007[194] DVB-T [195]
Ukraine 2009-04-01 2012 2015 DVB-T none MPEG-4 [196]
United Kingdom 1998-11-15 2007 (Whitehaven) 2012 DVB-T MHEG-5 MPEG-2, H.264 [197]
United States 1998-10-29 2007 2009-06-12 ATSC MPEG-2,H.264(ATSC 2.0) [198][199]

See also


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External links


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