The transition to the DVB-T2 standard is gathering pace in some of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading TV markets.
In the Czech Republic, it was completed on October 29, when the national transmission company CRa closed down the last DVB-T tower and deployed DVB-T2 Multiplex 23. This came barely a month after Digital Broadcasting, another operator, switched on its new DVB-T2 Multiplex 24.
Although the transition was delayed by a few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it ran relatively smoothly and will undoubtedly benefit Czech viewers, who will ultimately be able to watch more channels free of charge and in HD. However, the market is changing, with terrestrial TV, though still highly popular, gradually losing ground to pay-TV services. Pay-DTT, once a distant prospect, is also now a reality following the launch of Skylink’s Antena+ at the beginning of October.
Meanwhile, in Croatia the final transition to DVB-T2 began on October 27 and will be completed on November 12. Also delayed from earlier this year, it is being undertaken on a region-by-region basis, starting in the north east and ending in the far south of the country. As in the case of the Czech Republic, the main selling point for viewers is that they will be able to watch more channels in HD. DVB-T2 will offer a stronger signal and better coverage for 99% of the population.
In Hungary, the national transmission company Antenna Hungária (AH) announced earlier this year that the transition to DVB-T2 would take place in 10 steps between March and August. The process was completed in early September and since then AH has announced a major revamp of its basic and premium terrestrial TV offer.
Elsewhere, the Polish public broadcaster TVP and national transmission company Emitel began a three-month DVB-T2 trial in September. Initially covering 6 million people in the south of the country, it will in due course be extended to cover the cities of Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan.
According to Emitel, the actual transition to the DVB-T2 standard will take place on a region-by-region basis between March-June 2022 and the country will have a total of four national multiplexes.
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