The French media authority CSA has said that it is in favour of a pilot by the HD Forum to carry out Ultra HD (4K) test transmissions on digital terrestrial.
The test broadcasts will take place in Paris using DVB-T2 and HEVC. At the moment, the French digital terrestrial network called TNT is carrying both SD channels – still using MPEG-2 and DVB-T standards – as well as a number of 1080i HD channels – using MPEG-4 AVC (H.264).
The CSA has ruled that the MPEG-2 SD broadcasts should be phased out at the end of 2015, when MPEG-4 should become the norm. This would free up capacity to increase the number of HD channels across France from 11 to 21.
The full transition to DVB-T2 and HEVC should be completed by 2020. For a full overview of the CSA vision of the future of DTT, see the report issued by the CSA (available only in French).
The CSA expects the first regular Ultra HD broadcasts on DTT to take place from 2018 onwards.