||[ Monday, 10 Oct 05 | 06:06 ]
On the 30th of July, 2005 the Spanish Cabinet approved the Decree for the National Technical Plan for digital television, (Televisón Digital Terrestre (TDT)), which establishes the conditions for the transition to digital television and the structure of different networks, as well as the launch of a new analog channel covering 70% of the population of Spain.
The objective of the plan is to ensure a smooth transition to digital television and the switch-off of analog services in April of 2010 as well as increasing the availablity of channels while ensuring provision for the Comunidades Autonomas throughout Spain.
The TDT Technical Plan allows for the launch of a free-to-air TDT platform by the end of 2005. Viewers will be able to access 21 television program services on the national platform in addition to regional and local services.
Prior to analog switch-off, public broadcaster RTVE will operate 6 TDT television program service slots while current commercial broadcasters on the analog terrestrial platform (Antena 3, Telecinco and Canal Plus) will each operate 3 TDT television program service slots. Digital operators Net TV and Veo TV as well as the new analog terrestrial channel will each operate 2 TDT television programme service slots.
Analog switch-off has been moved forward from 2012 to 3 April 2010.
RTVE will be allowed a multiplex containing four thematic channels of programs with regional variations as well as another SFN multiplex covering the whole of Spain.
The plan targets public coverage from RTVE as 80% of the population by December 31, 2005, 90% by 2008 and 98% at switch-off in 2010.
Private operators also have the same targets although the coverage at switch off in 2010 is limited to 95%.
In the US, Canada, México, and South Korea ATSC, the Advanced Television Systems Committee sets the standard for TDT. Except for Japan (ISDB-T), the rest of the world uses the DVB or Digital Video Broadcasting standard. Here is a map that shows worldwide standards adoption.
The US uses 8VSB (8-level Vestigial Sideband) for signal transmission. Here in Spain the transmission system is based on COFDM (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing) and QPSK, 16 QAM and 64 QAM modulation. It is the most sophisticated and flexible digital terrestrial transmission system available today. It allows service providers to match, and even improve on, analog coverage—at a fraction of the transmission power. It extends the scope of digital terrestrial television in the mobile field, which was simply not possible before, or with other digital systems.
My set up
I purchased a Televés TDT receiver. Here is a list of TDT channels that I currently receive here in El Masnou:
- TVE-1 (La primera)
- TVE-2 (La dos)
- Antena 3
- Tele 5
- Canal +
- K3/El 33
- Canal Pilot
- City TV
- Veo TV
- Net TV
Allocation of TDT licences in Catalunya
The Generalitat has allocated 37 TDT licences to local broadcasters. The remaining 59 licences will be allocated to private broadcasters.
The licences will be made available to local broadcasters by 31 December 2005 while private broadcasters will have to wait until early 2006.
TDT licence holders will be obliged to promote the Catalan culture. However, the percentage of time given to the Catalan language has not been specified.
The Catalan government hopes to switch-off its analog terrestrial signal in 2008. Analog switch-off in Spain is set for 3 April 2010.
Telecinco announces TDT services
Commercial broadcaster Tele 5 has announced its television programme services to be launched on the TDT platform.
Tele 5 is likely to receive two TDT licences, in addition to a TDT licence to simulcast its analog terrestrial service on the TDT platform.
One service, Telecinco Sport, will be dedicated to sports coverage. The second service, Telecinco Estrellas, will be dedicated to fiction programmes. The broadcaster is planning to survey its viewers to determine which fiction series and sports programmes they would most like to watch.