How is the rollout of DVB-T2 in Central and Eastern Europe progressing?
Certainly in the Czech Republic, there is now something to cheer about, with Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) having begun the first broadcasts in the standard on March 1. Employing two transmitters in Prague, they already reach over a quarter (26%) of the population and will soon be extended to other parts of the country.
Meanwhile in neighbouring Slovakia, the transition to DVB-T2 began in earnest last year, with the process focused on Plustelka, the pay-DTT platform operated by the transmission company Towercom. The first tangible signs of the transition have been an increase in the number of HD channels offered by the platform, which uses the fourth national multiplex.
In Poland, the public broadcaster TVP, working in partnership with Samsung and the national transmission company Emitel, began trialing DVB-T2 as far back as December 2012. Last month the regulator KRRiT stated in its strategic plan for the next six years that it would like to switch the country’s fifth multiplex to the new standard and then use the multiplex for the distribution of HD channels.
Russia, on the other hand, has very much led the way in the transition to DVB-T2. It began the process in March 2012 with a government decree and completed it in January 2015 when the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS) switched the final parts of the country – Moscow and Moscow region, Kursk and Kaliningrad – to the standard.
Elsewhere, the picture is mixed, though we have noted progress in a number of countries. In Romania, for instance, tests got under way in 2015 and by mid-2016 the national transmission company Radiocom had extended the reach of DVB-T2 to some 62% of the population and 58% of the country’s territory.
In Croatia, the regulator HAKOM indicated last year that DVB-T2 is unlikely to be implemented before 2019, while in Serbia Telekom Srbija has launched a pay-DTT service employing the DVB-T2 standard, with content protection provided by Conax.