How is the transition to DVB-T2 in Central and Eastern Europe progressing?
A look at some of the region’s main markets provides us with an uneven, though largely positive, picture. In Russia, for instance, the process was completed at the beginning of 2015, when the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS) introduced the standard in Moscow, Moscow region, Kursk and Kaliningrad.
It had effectively begun three years earlier, following the issue of a government decree, and was undertaken in stages, paid for entirely by RTRS. Following the transition, management of the network was placed in the hands of DataMiner.
Serbia, too, completed the transition in 2015, having started the process five years earlier. Rohde & Schwarz played an important role, providing high and medium powered transmitters, as well as gap fillers.
Elsewhere, as we have reported in Broadband TV News, Croatia is working on a strategy for the transition to DVB-T2. However, the process is unlikely to be completed before 2019.
The picture is less clear in Poland, where the public broadcaster TVP began DVB-T2 trials as far back as 2012. Three years later, it undertook a 4k DVB-T2 test over the internet.
However, it remains unclear as to when the country will actually move to the new standard.
On the other hand, things have been gradually crystallising in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the former, the national transmission company CRa has most recently been undertaking a DVB-T2 HEVC trial in Prague and environs. This has included Funbox 4K, an UHD channel operated by SPI International.
The Czech government is set to finalise its strategy in the next few days, with the transition to DVB-T2 likely to start in earnest later this year.
In Slovakia, that process has already got under way, with Plustelka, the country’s pay-DTT platform, beginning the switch at the end of June.
The national transmission company Towercom has made clear that the transition, at least in its initial stages, will be very much focused on the platform, which currently has around 15,000-16,000 subscribers.