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In 2023 all DTT channels in Spain will be HD. When will 4K arrive?

In full swing of 8K, and it is normal to buy a 4K Smart TV to enjoy the content available on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney + platforms, DTT in Spain continues to offer too many channels in SD quality.

Luckily, it seems that this 2022 things are going to change. In this way, as of January 1, 2023, all DTT channels in Spain will offer HD quality. They really should be enabled by December 31, 2022 at the latest, so that’s excellent news.

DTT in Spain will be seen in HD

The National Technical Plan for Digital Terrestrial Television published on June 21, 2019 in the BOE states the following in article 7:

2. All television channels, whatever their scope of coverage, must upgrade their broadcasts to high definition before January 1, 2023.

3. By order of the person in charge of the Ministry of Economy and Business, the number of television channels that integrates each digital multiple may be modified based on the improvement in compression and coding techniques, the available binary regime capacity or technological development. future. The adoption of this measure and the technological improvements that allow greater use of the public domain for audiovisual communication, in accordance with the provisions of article 24.2 of Law 7/2010, of March 31, General Audiovisual Communication, they will not enable to exceed the conditions established in the licenses or, in particular, to enjoy a greater number of paid or open channels whose broadcast had been enabled.

4. The remaining transmission capacity of the digital multiplex may be used, as a measure to promote the Information Society and to foster innovation in information and communication technologies, so that communication service license holders audiovisual digital terrestrial television can provide related or interactive services other than television broadcasting, such as electronic programming guide, teletext, transmission of data files and applications, software updates for equipment, among others.

The holders of licenses for the digital terrestrial television audiovisual communication service, whatever their scope of coverage, that are broadcasting television channels in standard definition may continue issuing with this resolution until January 1, 2023. At any time before this date, said owners may evolve the broadcast of these channels to high definition prior notification to the administrative authority that granted the enabling title for the provision of the service and consequent cessation of the broadcast in standard definition.

On the other hand, the arrival of the new DVB-T2 standard is being prepared, which will bring the long-awaited Ultra High Definition to our country so that we can enjoy 4K DTT channels in Spain.

All digital terrestrial television receivers that are placed on the Spanish market after a period of nine months from the date of entry into force of this royal decree, in addition to being prepared to tune in to digital terrestrial television broadcasts, must incorporate the tuner for broadcasts in high definition, with the technical specifications indicated in article 9. They must also incorporate the ability to receive broadcasts with signal transmission technology in accordance with standard EN 302 755 (DVB-T2).

In this way, 2022 will be the last year that we see channels in SD resolution to make the leap to HD. Let us remember that almost half of the most watched DTT channels in Spain offer SD resolution. And the arrival of 4K? As we were saying, now they are going to implement the new DVB-T2 standard, so you will have to have a lot of patience.

New satellites to improve DTT coverage in Spain

retune DTT

On the other hand, SES has ordered two new Ku-band geostationary satellites (GEO) that will work in the main orbital position 19.2º E, which will help the main channels of Germany, Spain and France so that they can broadcast in maximum quality.

These two replacement satellites ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q will be launched in 2024, although there is no exact date. Regarding the ASTRA 1Q satellite, it is a new generation digital satellite with the capacity to carry out DTH operations like the Astra 1P. AND

«Our main orbital position 19.2ºE is one of our most valuable assets and one of the keys to why European broadcasters have seen their audience grow over the last 30 years. The two new satellites will have the resiliency and reliability our video customers need, delivering premium services continuously from launch well into 2040.” said Steve Collar, CEO of SES. “In addition, new satellite technology allows us to invest in being future-proof and inject high levels of flexibility into ASTRA 1Q. In this way, we ensure that we meet the changing needs of the markets in which we work«.

«This contract reflects Thales Alenia Space’s willingness to meet complementary needs in terms of capacity and flexibility. We are proud to offer SES our all-electric line, Spacebus NEO, proven in flight to answer the ASTRA 1P order. We will also incorporate our innovative Space Inspire software-based solution, which will give the ASTRA 1Q satellite full flexibility in orbit, required in an evolving market.“, reported Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space.

Now we just have to wait a year for all the DTT channels to be in HD and wait for these two new satellites to help achieve 4K resolution once and for all.

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