DVB World 2010 – Lisbon: Russia’s four-stage plan to switch to all digital broadcasting is well underway, with new regional networks currently being deployed in Kursk, Moscow and region, St. Petersburg and region and Kaliningrad. Analogue switch off is scheduled to complete in 2015.
The objective, explained Dmitry Tkachenko, head of research and development, Mighty Apparatus for Radio Broadcasting and (MART), is to provide between 20 and 24 FTA DVB-T channels across the country. At present, while people in Russia’s major cities sometimes receive as many as 20 channels, those in rural areas can be lucky to pick up a single channel. Three million people have just one channel and one million none at all.
Analogue switch off has been complicated by the integration of pilot networks in Hanty-Mancijsky, Kurgan, Sverdlovsky, Tatarstan and Mordovia into the national infrastructure. “There are some problems in some of the networks where consumers have already purchased MPEG-2 equipment, but according to the most recent decision MPEG-4 will be used so it will be necessary to make changes,” explained Tkachenko.
Funding for the development of digital television has now shifted to regional from national governments. Regional budgets will also fund the provision of digital receivers for the disadvantaged.