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Digital terrestrial television

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Digital terrestrial television (DTTV, DTT, or DTTB) is a technology for terrestrial television where television stations broadcast television content in a digital format. DTTV is a major technological advance over analog television, and has largely replaced analog television broadcast, which had been in common use since the middle of the 20th century. Test broadcasts began in 1998 with the changeover to DTTV, also known as the Analog Switchoff (ASO) or Digital Switchover (DSO), which began in 2006 and is now complete in many countries. The advantages of digital terrestrial television are similar to those obtained by digitizing platforms such as cable TV, satellite, and telecommunications: more efficient use of radio spectrum bandwidth, provision of more television channels than analog, better quality images, and potentially lower operating costs for broadcasters.

Different countries have adopted different digital broadcasting standards; the major ones are:[1]

  • ATSC DTV – Advanced Television Standards Committee (System A)
  • ATSC-M/H – Advanced Television Systems Committee Mobile & Handheld
  • DTMB
  • DVB-H – Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld
  • DVB-T/DVB-T2 – Digital Video Broadcasting Terrestrial (System B)
  • ISDB-TIntegrated Services Digital Broadcasting Terrestrial (System C)
  • DMB-T/H
  • ISDB-Tsb – Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial Sound Broadcasting – (System F)
  • FLO – Forward Link Only (System M)

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  • TV Transmissions & its Types | How Television Broadcast Works?| Satellite & Digital Television Types
  • Digital Terrestrial Television Transmission



DTT transmitters located at Mount Zhentou in Tainan, Taiwan

DTT is transmitted using radio frequencies through terrestrial space in the same way as the former analog television systems, with the primary difference being the use of multiplex transmitters to allow reception of multiple services (TV, radio stations or data) on a single frequency (such as a UHF or VHF channel).

The amount of data that can be transmitted (and therefore the number of channels) is directly affected by channel capacity and the modulation method of the transmission.[2]

North America and South Korea use the ATSC standard with 8VSB modulation, which has similar characteristics to the vestigial sideband modulation used for analog television. This provides considerably more immunity to interference but is not immune to multipath distortion and also does not provide for single-frequency network operation (which is in any case not a requirement in the United States).[citation needed]

The modulation method in DVB-T is COFDM with either 64 or 16-state Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). In general, 64QAM is capable of transmitting at a greater bit rate but is more susceptible to interference. 16 and 64QAM constellations can be combined in a single multiplex, providing a controllable degradation for more important program streams. This is called hierarchical modulation. DVB-T (and even more so DVB-T2) are tolerant of multipath distortion and are designed to work in single-frequency networks.

Developments in video compression have resulted in improvements on the original discrete cosine transform (DCT) based H.262 MPEG-2 video coding format, which has been surpassed by H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and more recently H.265 HEVC. H.264 enables three high-definition television services to be coded into a 24 Mbit/s DVB-T European terrestrial transmission channel.[2] DVB-T2 increases this channel capacity to typically 40 Mbit/s, allowing even more services.


DTTV is received either via a digital set-top box (STB), TV gateway or more usually now an integrated tuner included with television sets, that decodes the signal received via a standard television antenna. These devices often now include digital video recorder (DVR) functionality.[3] However, due to frequency planning issues, an aerial capable of receiving a different channel group (usually a wideband) may be required if the DTTV multiplexes lie outside the reception capabilities of the originally installed aerial.[4] This is quite common in the UK; see external links.

Indoor aerials are even more likely to be affected by these issues and possibly need replacing.[5]

DTT around the world and digital television transition

DTT broadcasting systems by country



Afghanistan officially launched digital transmissions in Kabul using DVB-T2/MPEG-4 on Sunday, 31 August 2014.[6] Test transmissions had commenced on 4 UHF channels at the start of June 2014. Transmitters were provided by GatesAir.


Bangladesh had its first DTT service DVB-T2/MPEG-4 on 28 April 2016 launched by the GS Group. The service is called RealVU.

It was done in partnership with Beximco. GS Group acts as a supplier and integrator of its in-house hardware and software solutions for the operator's functioning in accordance with the modern standards of digital television. RealVu provides more than 100 TV channels in SD and HD quality.

The digital TV set-top boxes developed by GS Group offer such functions as PVR and time-shift, along with an EPG.


India adopted the DVB-T system for digital television in July 1999.[7] The first DVB-T transmission was started on 26 January 2003 in the four major metropolitan cities by Doordarshan.[8] Currently the terrestrial transmission is available in both digital and analog formats. Four high-power DVB-T transmitters were set up in the top 4 cities, which were later upgraded to DVB-T2 + MPEG-4 and DVB-H standards. An additional 190 high-power and 400 low-power DVB-T2 transmitters have been approved for Tier I, II, and III cities of the country by 2017. The Indian telecom regulator, TRAI, had recommended the I&B to allow private broadcast companies to use the DTT technology, in 2005.[9] So far, the Indian I&B ministry only permits private broadcast companies to use satellite, cable, and IPTV-based systems. The government's broadcasting organisation Doordarshan started the free TV service over DVB-T2 to mobile phone users from 25 February onwards and extended it to cover 16 cities including the four metros from 5 April 2016.[10]

DTT implementation time frame recommendation by TRAI[11]
Phases Analog Switch-off Date
Phase I (metro cities) 31 December 2019
Phase II (cities having more than 1 million population as per 2011 Census) 31 December 2021
Phase-III (rest of India) 31 December 2023


Israel started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday, 2 August 2009, and analogue transmissions ended on 31 March 2011. Israel was the first nation in the Middle East and the first non-European nation to shut down its analogue TV distribution system. The new service which is operated by The Second Authority for Television and Radio in Israel currently offers 6 SD TV channels, 2 HD TV channels from IPBC - Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan 11 and Makan 33) and 30 national and regional (private) radio services.

According to government decisions, the system will expand to include two additional multiplexes that will carry new channels and HD versions of the existing channels. There is a proposition by the Ministry of Finance to run a tender in order to hand over the maintenance of the system to a private company that, in return, will receive an extended license and will be able to offer pay TV channels. In this matter, nothing has been decided upon until the end of 2012. Eventually, there were no further moves in this direction (updated in August 2023).

On 20 March 2013, it was announced that Thomson Broadcast had won a major contract with The Second Authority for Television and Radio for the extension of its nationwide DVB-T/DVB-T2 network. The Second Authority's order for new infrastructure includes two new multiplexes on thirty sites including three single-frequency areas. This major deal incorporates a three-year service agreement for the global transmission system.

Sixty-three high and medium-power transmitters from Thomson's GreenPower range have been ordered together with installation and commissioning services, in a deal that follows on from the company's earlier deployment of DVB-T multiplexes over thirty transmission and sixty-two repeater sites. Equipped with dualcast-ready digital exciters, the GreenPower range offers the ability to smoothly migrate from DVB-T to DVB-T2 and to easily offer additional HDTV content. Ranging from low- to high-power, the range covers all the power requirements of The Second Authority. Thomson will also deploy its user-friendly centralized Network Management System to control and monitor the overall transmission system from a single facility.

The deal includes a new service level agreement providing The Second Authority with a high level of local services to keep its currently operating DTV transmission equipment running 24/7, 365 days a year.


Two digital terrestrial television receiving antenna on the roof, upper antenna facing Tokyo Tower and lower one to another Local Television Stations in Kantō Plain of Japan until Tokyo Skytree operates. (For ISDB-T system)
Simple and low cost ISDB-T Set-top box (tuner) with remote control

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and DPA (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting-Japan) jointly set the specification and announced a guideline for "simplified DTT tuners" with price under 5,000 Japanese yen on 25 December 2007. MIAC officially solicited manufacturers to put it on the market by the end of March 2010 (end of fiscal year 2009). MIAC is estimating that 14 million, at maximum, traditional non-digital TV sets remain and need the "simplified DTT tuner" to be adapted even after the complete transition to DTT after July 2011; it is aiming to avoid the disposal of large numbers of useless TV sets without such a tuner at one time.

On 20 December 2007, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association published rules for Digital Rights Management for DTT broadcasting under the name "Dubbing 10". Despite the name, consumers were allowed to use Blu-ray Disc and other recorders to "dub" or copy the video and audio of entire TV programs up to 9 times, with 1 final "move" permitted.

Broadcasting with "Dubbing 10" was supposed to start at about 4:00 a.m. on 2 June 2008, but was postponed after lengthy talks with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. It finally started about 4:00 a.m. on 4 July 2008. The manufacturers of DVD and DTT recorders were to make units conforming to the "Dubbing 10" rules, and some manufacturers announced plans for create firmware downloads to allow users to update their existing recorders.

On 3 April 2008, DPA announced that a total of 32.71 million of DTT (ISDB-T) TV sets capable of DTT reception (excepting 1seg receivers) had been installed in Japan as of the end of March 2008. On 8 April 2008, DPA also announced guidelines for manufacturers of DTT receiving, record and replay unit which operate with personal computers. These add-on units operate on USB or PCI BUS, and went on sale on a reservation basis from late April, appearing in retail store in mid-May 2008.

On 8 May 2008, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced that 43.7% of homes had DTT (ISDB-T) capable TVs and/or tuners with DVD recorder by end of March 2008. It had been 27.8% one year before, and the ministry was expecting 100% penetration by April 2011. On 27 April 2009, National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) a new official mascot, Chidejika, to replace Tsuyoshi Kusanagi after he was arrested on suspicion of public indecency.

On 3 September 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced the procurement by tender of 5,000-8,000 sets of "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for the citywide test transition from analogue to digital in Suzu, Ishikawa. The sets should be delivered by end November 2009.[12] The program is aiming to examine the transition problem at individuals' home in country wide such as senior and non-technical families. Based on this rehearsal plan, analog TV transmission was interrupted in Suzu and parts of Noto for 48 hours, between noon on 2010/01/22 and noon on 2010/01/24.[13][14]

On 4 September 2009, ÆON announced the low cost "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T to sell at JUSCO from 19 September 2009. The tuner is produced by Pixela Corporation, and met the retail price of under 5,000 Japanese yen, which is the target price to industry by DPA (Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting [ja] (dejitaru housou suishin kyōkai)). The tuner connects to an old fashioned TV though an RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal functions.[15]

On 7 September 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications appointed two manufacturers I-O Data and Melco among 12 bids for minimal functioning "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T of free supply to Japanese Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tuner connects to old fashion TV though RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal function.[16] On 24 July 2010, at noon, analog TV transmission officially stopped in Suzu and parts of Noto (approximately 8,800 homes) as the rehearsal plan that took place one year ahead of the nationwide shutdown, which is scheduled on 24 July 2011. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications shall watch what type of problem arise in transition to DTT which might apply to the nationwide shutdown.

Analog television shut down in Japan at noon. All television stations broadcast a blue information screen that displayed one or more telephone numbers for digital television inquiries on the day of the shutdown until the transmitters shut off at midnight.

On 20 April 2011, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications confirmed, and made the resolution by the House of Councillors on 8 June 2011, that the analog terrestrial TV close down schedule on 24 July 2011 will be unchanged, with the exception being the close down having to be postponed by a maximum one year. Analog television shut down on 31 March 2012, in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were heavily damaged in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear accidents that followed it.[17][18] Analog television stations are required to cease normal programming at noon and shut down their signals at midnight.


Digital television in Malaysia was first rolled out in January 2014.[19][20] By June 2015, free digital television was provided by MYTV Broadcasting. In the first phase, there would be around 15 digital television stations nationwide with further stations will be added in the next phase.[21] By November 2016, MYTV set top box also available for sale in electronics store nationwide. Malaysia government officiated the launching of digital television in the country on 6 June 2017 with an estimate of 4.2 million digital television decoders freely distributed to the country citizens, including recipients of the government aid of 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M).[22][23]

The government has planned for a full shutdown of analogue television broadcasting by September 2019 with a full introduction of digital television will be available to public by October.[24][25][26] Langkawi become the first area of analogue television switch off that were executed on 21 July at 02:30 (UTC+8).[27] Further on 6 August, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Ministry released a complete list of transition date on the remaining areas with central and southern West Malaysia to be commenced on 19 August, northern West Malaysia on 2 September, eastern coast West Malaysia on 17 September and entire East Malaysia on 30 September.[28] The switch over in West Malaysia was fully completed on 16 October at 12:30 am (UTC+8),[29] while the final switch over in East Malaysia was completed on 31 October also at 12:30 am (UTC+8) as scheduled.[30][31][32][33]


The Maldives has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


On 11 June 2010, National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines announced that the country will use the Japanese ISDB-T International standard.[34][35] The first fully operational digital TV channel is Channel 49 of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo.

However, in October 2012, DZCE-TV (which occupies the channel) reopened the analog signal to relaunch as INC TV; therefore, channel 49 can only transmit digitally during off-air hours of the analog channel 49.

This was followed by the state-owned television network PTV which conducted its test transmission on UHF Channel 48.

On 11 February 2015, the major TV network ABS-CBN commercially launched the digital TV box called ABS-CBN TV Plus also known as Mahiwagang Blackbox. Seven years before the commercial launch, the network initially applied for a license from NTC on digital free TV. The digital TV box was given away as a prize for the loyal viewers and listeners of ABS-CBN channel 2, DZMM (AM radio station of ABS-CBN) and DZMM TeleRadyo (TV-radio cable channel of ABS-CBN) after the initial application.

Digital television transition began on 28 February 2017, with ZOE Broadcasting Network's DZOZ-TV as the country's first station to permanently shut down analog terrestrial transmissions[36] without any test simulcast with its digital signal, and is expected to be finished by 2023.[37]

On 25 May 2018, Solar Entertainment Corp began a new digital TV service called Easy TV where most of its channels are offered to consumers through Easy TV's proprietary set-top box.

In October 2020, with the 70th anniversary of GMA Network released their newest product GMA Affordabox, a digital TV box to engage the audience to switch to digital television viewing while watching GMA and GMA News TV. Before the launch of the said TV box, the network released two new sub-channels, the Heart of Asia Channel (launched in June 2020 featuring GMA's acquired Asian dramas and locally produced dramas) and Hallypop (which airs acquired programs from Jungo TV featuring Asian pop culture and international music events.)


Singapore adopted the DVB-T2 standard in 2012, with monopoly Free-to-air broadcaster Mediacorp offering all seven of its services via DTT in 2013. Mediacorp ended analogue television service shortly after midnight on 2 January 2019.[38][39][40]

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


In 2005, the Ministry of Information announced its plan to digitalise nationwide free-to-air TV broadcasts led by MCOT Public Company Limited (MCOT). Trial broadcasts were undertaken, involving one thousand households in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area from December 2000 until May 2001. According to the then-Deputy Minister of Information, the trial received "very positive" feedback, i.e. "more than 60 percent said the quality of the signal ranged from good to very good. Over 88 percent said the picture quality improved, while 70 percent said the sound quality was better."

According to Information Minister, Sontaya Kunplome, MCOT is expected to fully complete its digitalization in 2012 as part of its three-year restructuring process. Each household, once equipped with the necessary equipment (set-top box or iDTV set) is expected to receive up to 19 channels, seven of which fall under MCOT and the rest for private broadcasters such as BEC-TERO which owns its channels such as TV3. Thus far, besides simulcasting Modernine TV and Television of Thailand, MCOT is test-airing MCOT 1, MCOT 2 and MCOT 3 exclusively on the digital TV platform, transmitted at UHF channel 44, modulated at 64QAM. MCOT was also expected to launch regional channels for each province and/or territory in Thailand, making it 80 MCOT television channels. BEC-TERO was expected to commence trials in March 2009.

Thailand and the rest of ASEAN countries (with the exception of the Philippines; see above) have selected DVB-T as the final DTV standard, and are expected to switch off analogue broadcasts completely by 2015.[41] In June 2008, participants of the 6th ASEAN Digital Broadcast Meeting from seven south-east Asian countries (including Thailand) agreed to finalise the specifications of the DTV set-top box for use within ASEAN, and also set up an ASEAN HD Centre to provide training on HDTV content to broadcasters in the region.[42]

Even though MCOT's trial was a success, the future of the digital terrestrial television transition has become uncertain, especially after the end of Somchai Wongsawat's tenure as the prime minister and the beginning of successor Abhisit Vejjajiva's reign in favor of his concept.

In March 2011, MCOT announced that it is also possible that MCOT may be planning to switch to DVB-T2 some time in the future to replace DVB-T.

The Switch-off Date has been planned for 2020. (Only for Channel 3 (Thailand)) For now, five analogue channels has been off-air since 16 June 2018 (Thai Public Broadcasting Service and Channel 7 (Thailand)), 21 June (Channel 5 (Thailand)) and 16 July (Channel 9 MCOT HD and NBT)



Australia uses DVB-T. The transition to digital television and the phaseout of analogue television was completed on 10 December 2013.

New Zealand

New Zealand uses DVB-T. The transition to digital television and the shutdown of analogue transmissions was completed on 1 December 2013


European Union

As of 2001, two countries had introduced DTT: Sweden and Spain. Their total TV viewership market shares were 2.3%, and 3.5% respectively.[43]

The EU recommended in May 2005[44] that its Member States cease all analogue television transmissions by 1 January 2012. Some EU member states decided to complete the transition as early as 2006 for Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and 2007 for Finland.[45] Latvia stopped broadcasting analogue television from 1 June 2010. Poland completed the transition on 23 July 2013 and Bulgaria completed the transition on 30 September 2013. Malta switched on 1 November 2011. ASO was mostly completed in Europe in 2013 though small hilly underpopulated isolated terrain areas awaited DTT rollout beyond that date.[46][47]

Many television viewers' equipment in Europe might experience interference and blocking because of 800 MHz broadband usage.

As of 2018, DTT is the main TV reception for 27.7 percent of the EU27 countries. Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Spain all have DTT penetration over 50 percent of total TV reception.[48]


Bulgaria launched a free-to-air platform in the Sofia region starting in November 2004. The standards chosen are DVB-T and MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression format. DVB-T2 will not be used at this time. The Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) has said that it received 6 bids for the licence to build and operate Bulgaria's two nationwide DTT networks. A second licence tender for the operation of 3 DTT multiplexes was open until 27 May 2009.[49][50] Following the closing of this process, Hannu Pro, part of Silicon Group, and with Baltic Operations has secured the license to operate three DTT multiplexes in Bulgaria by the country's Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) Bulgaria officially completed the transition to digital broadcasting on Monday, 30 September 2013.[51]


Flanders has no free-to-air television, as Dutch-language public broadcaster VRT shut off its DVB-T service on 1 December 2018 citing minimal usage.[52] VRT cited that only 1 percent of Flemish households made use of the terrestrial signal and that it was not worth the €1 million to upgrade to DVB-T2.[53] After some outcry over the loss of terrestrial coverage, VRT's channels were added to TV Vlaanderen's subscription DVB-T2 package called Antenne TV alongside all major Dutch-language commercial channels.[54]

French-language public broadcaster RTBF remains available in Brussels and Wallonia via DVB-T transmissions.

95 percent of Belgium is covered by cable, well above the EU28 average of 45.1 percent, which can explain the low terrestrial usage in the country.[55]


DTT had its technical launch in Denmark in March 2006 after some years of public trials. The official launch was at midnight on 1 November 2009 when the analogue broadcasts shut down nationwide.

As of June 2020, five national multiplexes are available, broadcasting several channels in both SD and HD via DVB-T2, all using the MPEG-4 codec.

MUX 1 is Free-to-air and operated by I/S DIGI-TV, a joint-venture between DR and TV 2.

MUX 2, 3, 4, and 5 are operated by Boxer, and are for pay television only.


Finland launched DTT in 2001 and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 1 September 2007. Finland has successfully launched a mixture of pay and free-to-air DTT services. Digita operates the DTT and Mobile Terrestrial networks and rents capacity to broadcasters on its network on a neutral market basis. Digita is owned by TDF (France).[56][57] The pay-DTT service provider Boxer has acquired a majority stake in the leading Finnish pay DTT operator PlusTV which offers several commercial channels for a subscription. It started in October 2006. Boxer already provides pay-DTT services in Sweden and Denmark.[58]

Three nationwide multiplexes are granted to DNA and Anvia for DVB-T2 for high-definition and standard-definition channel (MPEG4).


France's télévision numérique terrestre (TNT) offers 26 free national channels and 9 pay channels, plus up to 4 local free channels. An 89% DTT penetration rate is expected by December 2008. Free-to-view satellite services offering the same DTT offer were made available in June 2007. Since 12 December 2012, TNT has delivered ten free HD channels (TF1 HD, France2 HD, M6 HD, Arte HD, HD1, L'Équipe 21, 6ter, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte HD, Chérie 25) and one pay TNT HD channel (Canal+ HD) using the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression format. French consumer technology magazine Les Numériques gave the picture quality of TNT's previous 1440x1080i service a score of 8/10, compared to 10/10 for Blu-ray 1080p.[59]


  • free TNT channels are broadcast 720×576 MPEG-2 with a VBR of 3.9 Mbits (2.1 to 6.8 as measured) or a CBR of 4.6 Mbits
  • pay TNT channels are broadcast 720×576 MPEG4 AVC/H.264 with a VBR of 3.0 Mbits (1.1 to 6.0 as measured)
  • free TNT-HD and pay TNT-HD are broadcast 1920×1080 (1080i50) MPEG4 AVC/H.264 with a VBR of 7.6 Mbits (3 to max 15M), but were previously broadcast at the lower definition of 1440×1080

For the audio part AC3 and AAC are used in 192 kbits for 2.0 and 384 kbits for 5.1. Typically up to four audio part can be used:
French 5.1
VO (original language) 5.1
French 2.0
Audivision 5.1

Prime Minister François Fillon confirmed that the final analogue switch-off date would be 30 November 2011.[60] DTT coverage had to reach 91% of a given département before analogue transmissions could be switched off. CSA announced a call to tender for more local DTT licences on 15 June 2009 and 66 new DTT sites went up since May 2009 to expand coverage to cover low population areas.[61][62]

Freesat began broadcasts from the Eutelsat Atlantic Bird 3 satellite from June 2009 as Fransat, providing for those unable to receive DTT signals for terrain reasons in preparation for ASO in 2011. Eighteen channels were broadcast initially and although free to watch, viewers needed to buy a set-top box with a smart card for €99 according to article.[63]

The end dates of analogue shutdown were: 2 February 2010: Alsace, 9 March 2010: Lower Normandy, 18 May 2010: Pays de la Loire, 8 June 2010: Bretagne, 28 September 2010: Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne, 19 October 2010: Poitou-Charentes and the middle of the country, November 2010: Franche-Comté and Bourgogne, 7 December 2010: North of the country, First quarter 2011: Picardie and Haute-Normandie, Île-de-France, Aquitaine and Limousin, Auvergne, Côte d'Azur and Corsica, Rhône, Second quarter 2011 (before 30 November): Provence, Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon.[64][65]


Germany launched a free-to-air platform region-by-region, starting in Berlin in November 2002. The analogue broadcasts were planned to cease soon after digital transmissions were started. Berlin became completely digital on 4 August 2003 with other regions completing between then and 2008. Digital switchover has been completed throughout Germany as of 2 December 2008 and services are now available to 100% of the population following the update of infill for the remaining 10% of transmitters by Media Broadcast who set up broadcast antennas at 79 transmission sites and installed 283 new transmitter stations. More services are to be launched on DTT and some pay DTT channels are or have been launched in various areas such as Stuttgart and soon Leipzig.[66]


The following switch-offs are in cooperation with Digea, so the dates are the same.


Digital Union:

  • 27 March 2010: The first digital broadcasting of Digital Union consisting of Regional television stations Time Channel, TV Thessaloniki, TV Chalkidiki, in Thessaloniki / Central Macedonia.
  • 27 August 2010: Digital transmission of Regional television stations New Television of Chania and 4 U TV, in Iraklion - Crete Isl.
  • 6 November 2010: Digital broadcasting began in Patra, for the Regional Channels Lepanto TV, Best TV, ORT and Ionian TV.
  • 19 March 2011: Digital broadcasting began in Alexandroupoli - South West Thrace from the transmitting site of Plaka, for the Regional Channels Thraki NET, Delta TV, Home Shop and Rodopi TV.
  • 27 May 2011: Digital broadcasting began in Central Thessaly from the transmitting site of Dovroutsi, for the Regional Channels Thessalia TV, Trikala TV 10, TRT and Astra TV.

ERT - NOVA (pay TV platform):

  • 22 July 2011: Broadcasting consisting of television stations NovaCinema1, NovaSports1 and two more satellite TV channels, that ERT will decide in the future, commenced in Attica (Hymettus): 22 UHF.
  • Autumn 2011: Broadcasting will commence in Thessaloniki - Central Macedonia.
  • January 2012: Broadcasting will commence in 21 more areas.
  • 11 July 2014: Platform's DTT ceases to exist.

TV1 Syros started its first pilot broadcasts on 1 November 2008 in Cyclades (Syros): 60 UHF.

As of 6 February 2015, Greece has completed its transition to digital TV.


Experimental DTT broadcast has started in December 2008. The program of Duna Televízió was broadcast during the trials. Originally analog television was planned to be shut down on 1 January 2012, but this deadline was first pushed out to 2014 and then brought forward to 2013. Analogue broadcast was terminated at 12:30 pm, on 31 July 2013 in the central part of Hungary, and October 2013 in the rest of the country. M1, M2, Duna TV, Duna World, RTL Klub, TV2 and Euronews are available as free-view. M1, M2, and Duna TV are also available in HD.

On both of the 2013 shutoff dates, all analog channels ceased normal programming at 12:30 pm and showed a silent ASO information screen that had a phone number to call for help. It was kept on for a few days, after which the analog transmitters were permanently shut down.


In Ireland, DTT has been somewhat problematic. Responsibility for DTT, based on plans of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, was divided between two government Departments with differing views on its running. This delayed the project, took away its momentum and the economic situation deteriorated so that the opportunity to launch in good conditions was lost. When legislation finally arrived after two years to enable DTT to proceed, a private sector model was envisaged similar to the UK. A company trading as "It's TV" was the sole applicant for a digital terrestrial television license under the provisions of the Irish Broadcasting Act 2001. The "It's TV" proposed a triple play deployment with Broadband, TV, and Digital Radio services, but the on-air return channel (DVB-RCT system) for "interactive" use while tens of Mbps per mast, would per user only have been 300 to 2400bit/s at peak times, they never got approval to run an Internet service. RTÉ was to have a minority stake in its network and sell its majority share. However legislative delays and economic changes made it financially difficult for RTÉ to get a good price for the network stake. "It's TV" plans raise the necessary funding failed due to the lack of approval for Internet aspect and infeasible Internet access model. Other DTT deployments in operation around that time also went bust, most particularly in the UK, Spain, and Portugal. "It's TV" failed to get its license conditions varied or to get a time extension for securing funding. Its license was either never awarded (as they could not demonstrate a viable business plan & funding) or was eventually withdrawn for non-performance.

Under subsequent legislation in May 2007, RTÉ, the spectrum regulator (ComReg) and the broadcasting regulator BCI (now BAI), were mandated to invite applications during 2008 under the Broadcasting (Amendment) Act 2007. RTÉ and the BCI received licenses from ComReg for spectrum to establish DTT. The BAI advertised and invited multiplex submissions by 2 May 2008. RTÉ Networks was required to broadcast in digital terrestrial TV (aerial TV) and received an automatic license through the RTÉ Authority. It expanded and upgraded its transmission network to digital terrestrial during 2009 which culminated in 98% coverage by 31 December 2011 with analog switchover beginning in Summer 2012 in concert with Northern Ireland, under the MOU signed with the UK and Irish Governments.[68]

It also planned on making this network available to the commercial multiplex winner for rental of capacity once negotiations had concluded, rental agreed and a security bond received.[69] It was testing the BAI multiplexes from November 2009 across the network, which is publicly receivable with the correct DTT receivers. 1 Mux (a group of broadcast channels) would have provided the services of the public service broadcaster and have had 98% population coverage by 31 December 2011. The other three multiplexes would have had between 90% and 92% population coverage. Following Analogue Switchover one additional PSB mux and one or more commercial muxes was made available for DTT, mobile television, broadband, and other services.

The BCI (now BAI) received three conditional applications to operate the three muxes which were presented to the public on 12 May 2008. It decided in principle to allocate the license to Boxer DTT Ltd, a consortium made up of the Swedish pay-DTT operator Boxer and the media group Communicorp at its board meeting on 21 July 2008.[70]

On 20 April 2009, the BCI revealed that Boxer had withdrawn their license, and it was instead given to the runner-up applicant OneVision.[71] At the end of April 2010 the negotiations with Onevision ended and they also decided to return the license. On 29 April 2010, the contract was offered to the only remaining applicant, Easy TV.[72][73] The Easy TV consortium informed the BAI on 12 May 2010 that it was declining their offer to pursue negotiations regarding the Commercial DTT Multiplex Licence.[74]

A Houses of the Oireachtas Channel (reportedly shelved in December 2008) and the Irish Film Channel (whose status is unclear though a company was formed to provide the channel)[75] were enabled for establishment as public service broadcasters on Irish DTT.[76][77]

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland replaced the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, and the RTÉ Authority. The BAI includes Awards and Advisory Committees under statutory instrument 389 that gave effect to the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 2009. This legislation dissolved the BCI, vesting it and new responsibilities, assets, and liabilities in a new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on 1 October 2009.[78] This Act also dealt with analogue switchover.

A DTT Information Campaign was announced by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, to launch in March 2009 ahead of the September 2009 launch of Irish DTT.[79][80] The Information Campaign was undertaken by the BAI, with the support of the department.

On 30 October 2010, FTA DTT, which is known as Saorview, was launched[81] following a direction from the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, to RTÉ and the signing of the RTÉ (National Television Multiplex) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 85 of 2010) on 26 February 2010.[82] The rollout of FTA Saorview DTT then proceeded, and a commercial DTT competition was deferred.[83]

On 1 July 2010, RTÉ announced that Mary Curtis, RTÉ's deputy head of TV programming, would take on the role of Director of Digital Switchover (DSO).[84]

In May 2011, RTÉ launched Saorview, which was officially opened by Minister Rabbitte.[85]

On 14 October 2011, Minister Rabbitte announced that analogue terrestrial television broadcast would be switched off on 24 October 2012. This date was chosen in consultation with the UK on its Northern Ireland analogue switchover date so that both jurisdictions on the island would switch over at roughly the same time. This was done to make it straightforward for citizens on both sides of the border,[86] referring citizens to both Saorview's website[87] and the Department's Digital Switchover Website.[88]

On 24 October 2012, all analogue television transmission in Ireland ended, leaving Saorview as the primary source of broadcast television in Ireland.


The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial network progressed region–by–region. It started on Wednesday 15 October 2008, and was completed on Wednesday 4 July 2012. The selected broadcasting standard is DVB-T with MPEG2 video for SD and H.264 video for HD, audio is usually MPEG1. The whole frequency spectrum has been allocated with SFN in mind. Along the original analog free to air channels that switched to digital, a few new pay per view platforms came around with the advent of DTT. Worth mentioning is the addition of an experimental free to air HD 1080i channel from RAI which is set to broadcast important sport events like the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.


Luxembourg launched DTT services in April 2006. The national service launched in June 2006. On 1 September 2006, Luxembourg became the first European country to transition completely to DTT. Luxe TV, a niche theme based station, soon began broadcasting on the Luxembourg DTT platform, transmitted from the Dudelange transmitter. The aim was to reach audiences in some parts of Germany as well as in Luxembourg.[89][90]


The Netherlands launched its DTT service 23 April 2003, and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 11 December 2006. KPN owns Digitenne which provides a mix of FTA public channels and paid DTT services.[91] KPN started to switch its digital terrestrial television platform Digitenne to the DVB-T2 HEVC standard in October 2018,[92] this transition completed on 9 July 2019.[93]


DTT launch in Poland was scheduled for Autumn 2009. Regulatory disagreements delayed its tender and approach until resolved and the multiplexes available for DTT were reduced to 3 and the 2nd was licensed in the Autumn of 2009. The reduction from 5 to 3 enabled mobile TV and broadband to get more spectrum allocation. Muxes 2 and 3 therefore had limited coverage until ASO. Polsat, TVN, TV4, and TV Puls have officially applied to reserve space on the country's first multiplex set to start in September. Wirtualne Media is given as the source of the story. The public broadcaster's three main channels TVP1, TVP2, and TVP Info had already been allocated capacity on the multiplex.

Poland ended its television broadcast in analogue on 23 July 2013. A mobile TV license has also been awarded in Poland to Info TV FM to use DVB-H standard.[94]


Portugal launched its DTT service on 29 April 2009, available to around 20% of the Portuguese population and Portugal Telecom expected to reach 80% of the population by the end of 2009. Airplus TV Portugal which was set up to compete for a licence to manage Portugal's pay-TV DTT multiplexes, dissolved as it did not get the license and a Portuguese court ruled not to suspend the process for the awarding of a licence to Portugal Telecom, based on a complaint submitted by Airplus TV Portugal. After Airplus TV Portugal was dissolved, Portugal Telecom informed that will not honour the pay-TV DTT multiplexes licence obligations. ANACOM, the Portuguese communications authority, accepted. Portugal thus has only one active multiplexer.[95]


In Romania, broadcasting regulations have been amended so that DTT service providers have only a single licence rather than the two previously required by the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). DTT services were launched in December 2009 using the MPEG-4 (H.264 AVC) compression format[96] following the Ministry of Communications publication of a strategic plan for the transition to digital broadcasting. According to Media Express, it envisaged a maximum of five national UHF multiplexes, a national VHF multiplex and a multiplex allocated to regional and local services, all in accordance with the ITU Geneva Conference RRC-06 reports BroadbandTVNews.

The Ministry of Communications (MCSI) estimated that 49% of Romania's 7.5 million households got TV from cable and 27% from DTH services in Romania while terrestrial TV was used by 18% of the TV households. 6% are reported as not able to receive TV transmissions. Subsidies were offered for those below a certain income to assist switchover for them.[97] Switchover was scheduled for January 2012.[98]

Romkatel, the local representative of Kathrein, has since been awarded the commercial Romanian DTT services license. ZF reported that Romkatel has signed a 12-month contract worth €710,420, having beaten off a challenge from France's TDF. The tender was organised by Romania's National Society for Radiocommunications (SNR).[99] Meanwhile, the National Audiovisual Council, in charge of the public service broadcasting sector has awarded digital licences to the public channels TVR1 and TVR2.

According to Media Express, this followed a short debate at the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) about whether to also award licences to the nine remaining public channels, one of which transmits in HD and five are regional.

The National Authority in Communications (ANCOM), will most probably award the transmission network contract for this to the national transmission company Radiocommunicatii.[100]

In June 2013, the Romanian Government issued a Strategy to shift from analogue terrestrial to digital terrestrial that pushes ahead the until the date stopped the process. According to the Strategy one of the five planned digital terrestrial multiplexes will be de facto granted to Radiocom, the state company involved in terrestrial carrying the public television signals, way before a selection for the muxes operators will be organized by ANCOM, selection with the deadline of 17 June 2015. The government is describing the Radiocom multiplex with the terms "pilot project" and "experiment". The minimum technical requirements for this project are: broadcast standard DVB-T2, ensuring the coverage of up to 40% of the population until 1 July 2014, and 70% of the population up to 17 June 2015, and the possibility of using the broadcasting premises that belongs to Radiocom.[101]

On 17 June 2015, Romania shut down analog broadcasting and started broadcasting with DVB-T2 technology, but with very low coverage, and a very reduced number of broadcasts available. Because of low coverage, Romania stopped broadcasting TVR 1 in analog format on VHF on 31 December 2015. However, since the analog shut down, many people who were receiving TV on terrestrial changed to a cable or DTH provider. On December 31, 2016, Romania has successfully switched to DVB-T2. After 2016, the channels received on DVB-T2 continued getting lower and lower after people switched to cable or satellite since DVB-T was delayed a lot of times before. Kanal D left terrestrial platform on 2 July 2015, and Antena 3 as well. Only Antena 1 was the only Antena Group channel to be available on terrestrial but only until around 2010. However, people still use terrestrial TV for foreign channels. Although many TV sellers are marking their TV as being compatible with digital terrestrial television in Romania, by highlighting this feature with a sticker on the TV, buyers are mainly interested if the TV has DVB-C or DVB-C, however, TV sets without DVB-T2 continue to be sold with only DVB-T/C and sometimes S2, as cable and satellite compatibility presents most of interest.

As of 2022, only TVR channels still broadcast in DVB-T, as every other channel in Romania has switched to DVB-C or DVB-S.


In Spain most multiplexes closed after the failure of Quiero TV, the country's original pay DTT platform. DTT was relaunched on 30 November 2005, with 20 free-to-air national TV services as well as numerous regional and local services. Nearly 11 million DTT receivers had been sold as of July 2008. Positive approval for pay DTT services have reportedly been given by Spain's Ministry of Industry in a surprise move on 17 June of the Advisory Council on Telecommunications and the Information Society (Catsi). IT will now be included in a Royal Decree. A number of leading Spanish media players including Sogecable, Telefónica, Ono, Orange and Vodafone have apparently criticised that as according to Prisa, Sogecable's owner, "it caps a series of policy changes that benefits only a few audiovisual operators, those of terrestrial TV, to the detriment of satellite operators, cable and DSL." There may be appeals lodged against the government's decision.[102]


In Sweden, DTT was launched in 1999 solely as a paid service. As of 2007, there are 38 channels in 5 MUXs. 11 of those are free-to-air channels from a number of different broadcasters. Switch-off of the analogue TV service started on 19 September 2005 and finished on 29 October 2007. Boxer began the deployment of MPEG-4 receivers to new subscribers. Over the next six years from 2008, Sweden will gradually migrate from MPEG-2 visual coding to using MPEG-4, H.264. The Swedish Radio and TV Authority (RTVV) recently announced eight new national channels that will broadcast in the MPEG-4 format. From 1 April 2008, Boxer is also responsible for approving devices to use on the network, will no longer accept MPEG-2 receivers for test and approval. Set Top Boxes must be backward compatible so that they can decode both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 coded transmissions.[103]


Switzerland introduced DTT in 2007. Switzerland later become the first country to eliminate broadcast terrestrial television entirely when public broadcaster SRG SSR, which runs the country's only terrestrial channels, shut down its DVB-T transmitter network in June 2019. SRG SSR estimated that less than two percent of households relied on its DVB-T network, the large majority of which used it only for reception on secondary devices, making continued operation not economically viable.[104] Its programing will remain on IPTV services, cable, and free-to-air satellite.[105] SRG SSR recommended consumers to switch to satellite.[48] As the satellite signals are free but encrypted to restrict reception to Swiss residents, there is now one privately owned DVB-T transmitter on Hoher Kasten in Appenzell to feed the channels of SRF to cable systems in Vorarlberg, Austria.[106]

North Macedonia

DTT was successfully launched in November 2009. It uses MPEG-2 for 4K UHD and MPEG-4 for HD. The service was launched by ONE, and the platform is called BoomTV. It offers 42 channels including all national networks and it is available to 95% of the population.[107]


In Russia, digital television appeared in the summer of 2009. The first multiplex consisted of the following channels: Channel One Russia, Russia-1, Russia-2 (now Match-TV), NTV, Petersburg 5th channel, Russia-Culture, Russia-24, Bibigon (later - Carousel). In the spring of 2013, two more channels were added to the first multiplex: OTR and TV-Center.

On 19 March 2012, DVB-T was replaced in favor of DVB-T2.

On 14 December 2012, a second DTV multiplex begun airing. REN TV, TV Center (from 2013 - Spas), STS, Domashniy, Sport (from 2013 - TV-3), NTV Plus Sport Plus (from 2015 onwards - Pyatnica!), Zvezda, Mir, TNT and Muz-TV were in that multiplex.

In 2014, the third and fourth multiplex appeared in the Crimea. They were created after the annexation of Crimea into Russia.

On 15 January 2015, a third multiplex went live in Moscow and the Moscow region, broadcasting some satellite-only channels (for example, on 22 channel 2х2 at 12 am and in the 11:59 am, My planet (Moya Planeta) in the noon-6 pm, and in the 6 pm-12 am - Science 2.0 (Nauka 2.0).

On 30 November 2018, the Ministry of digital development, communications and mass communications of the Russian Federation proposed turning off analog broadcasting in four stages (on 11 February, 15 April, 3 June and 14 October).

On 3 December 2018, the first region completed its switch from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting.

On 14 October 2019, Russia has entirely switched from analog television to digital television. Some channels are still being aired as analog TV. (Namely, Che)

On 22 October 2020, aired channel list on the second multiplex was changed. Channels aired in the multiplex now are Che, STS Love, STS Kids, TNT4, TNT Music, 2x2, Super, U, Channel Disney, and Match Strana.


DTT was trialed in Turkey in 2006 using DVB-T, but the public rollout did not occur, only the analogue transmission was switched off in favour of HD satellite broadcast. In 2011 preparations were made for the introduction of DTT, with channel licenses later allocated. However, in 2014 the allocations were voided by the Supreme Court citing irregularities in awarding the licenses. The uncertainty led to reluctance of broadcasters to invest in a DTT network, particularly with satellite TV having a dominant penetration.[108] The DTT project was revived in 2016 with the construction of a multi-purpose 100 m transmitter in Çanakkale[109] DVB-T2 test broadcasts commenced with the opening of Çamlıca Tower. Broadcasting license only given to state owned TRT in Marmara region.[110][111]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (1998), Sweden (1999), and Spain (2000) were the first to launch DTT with platforms heavily reliant on pay television. All platforms experienced many starter problems, in particular the British and Spanish platforms which failed financially (mainly due to their encryption being compromised). Nevertheless, Boxer, the Swedish pay platform which started in October 1999, proved to be very successful.

DTT in the United Kingdom was launched in November 1998 as a primarily subscription service branded as ONdigital, a joint venture between Granada Television and Carlton Communications, with only a few channels being available free to air. ONdigital soon ran into financial difficulties with subscriber numbers below expectations, and in order to attempt to reverse their fortunes, it was decided that the ITV and ONdigital brands should align, and the service was rebranded ITV Digital in 2001. Despite an expensive advertising campaign, ITV Digital struggled to attract sufficient new subscribers and in 2002 closed the service. After commercial failure of the Pay TV proposition it was relaunched as the free-to-air Freeview platform in 2002. Top Up TV, a lite pay DTT service, became available in 2004 when Inview launched the first DTT (Freeview) EPG service.[112]

On 30 March 2005, the older analogue signals began to be phased out on a region-by-region basis (a process known as the Digital switchover, or DSO), beginning with a technical trial at the Ferryside television relay station. The first full transmitter to switch to digital-only transmission was the Whitehaven transmitter in Cumbria, which completed its transition on Wednesday 17 October 2007. The switchover to digital-only broadcasting was completed on 24 October 2012 when the transmitters in Northern Ireland turned off their analogue broadcasts (which coincided with the transition in the Republic of Ireland).

The additional transmission frequencies freed up by the shutdown of analogue signals have (among other things, such as the introduction of 4G mobile internet) allowed for the creation of a single DVB-T2 multiplex used to carry high-definition programming.[113][114] There are also plans to use one frequency to launch local television services.

North America


On 14 December 2011, national public broadcaster ZNS-TV announced it would be upgrading to ATSC digital television with mobile DTV capabilities, in line with its neighbours, the United States and Puerto Rico.[115]


Bermuda has plans to convert its three broadcast stations to ATSC digital terrestrial television in the future.


In Canada, analogue switch-off was mandated by regulatory authorities for all provincial capital cities and all multi-station markets. Analogue would continue in single-station markets and remote areas. With an exception, analogue switch-off in the mandated areas took place on 31 August 2011. The CBC was granted an exception in many smaller multi-station markets, due to the cost of conversion, otherwise the CBC services would have gone dark in many such markets. Most network stations are already broadcasting high-definition digital signals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, and Vancouver. Most networks had been concerned about the August 2011 deadline as not all parts of the country were equipped to receive DTTV by the scheduled date.


In Mexico, the digital transition is completed. Digital signals are available in all cities, thus providing national coverage. Analog transmission were turned off based on population size. Tijuana was the first city to turn off analog signals and the nationwide turn-off was completed on 31 December 2015.[116] On 27 October 2016, Mexico relocated all of its channels. This made Azteca 13 (now Azteca Uno) on virtual channel 1.1 nationwide, Canal de Las Estrellas (now Las Estrellas) on virtual channel 2.1 and Imagen Television on virtual channel 3.1. Border cities were not affected due signal issues across the United States. For example, in the Tijuana-San Diego area, channel 2.1's signal comes from KCBS-TV, a CBS owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, and can affect television users in portions of San Diego County. Thus, Las Estrellas is on virtual channel 19.1.

United States

In the United States on 12 June 2009, all full-power U.S. television broadcasts became exclusively digital, under the Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005.[117][118] Furthermore, since 1 March 2007, new television sets that receive signals over the air, including pocket-sized portable televisions, must include ATSC digital tuners for digital broadcasts.[119] Prior to 12 June 2009, most U.S. broadcasters were transmitting in both analog and digital formats; a few were digital only. Most U.S. stations were not permitted to shut down their analog transmissions prior to 16 February 2009 unless doing so was required in order to complete work on a station's permanent digital facilities.[120] In 2009, the FCC finished auctioning channels 52–59 (the lower half of the 700 MHz band) for other communications services,[121] completing the reallocation of broadcast channels 52–69 that began in the late 1990s.

The analog switch-off rendered all non-digital television sets unable to receive most over-the-air television channels without an external converter box; however, low-power television stations and cable TV systems were not required to convert to digital until 1 September 2015. Beginning 1 January 2008, consumers could request coupons to help cover most of the cost of these converters by calling a toll-free number or via a website.[122] Some television stations had also been licensed to operate "nightlights", analog signals which consisted only of a brief repeated announcement advising remaining analog viewers how to switch to digital reception.

Central America and the Caribbean

Costa Rica

Costa Rica chose Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-T as 7th country on 25 May 2010,[123] and started trial transmissions by Channel 13 from Irazú Volcano on 19 March 2012.[124]


Cuba announced on 19 March 2013 that it is "prepared" to perform a digital television test using the Chinese DTMB system.[citation needed]

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic chose ATSC standards for DTT on 10 August 2010.[125]

El Salvador

El Salvador has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb in 2017. The Digital Switchover began on 21 December 2018, and by 1 December 2024 it will be completed.[126]


Guatemala has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


Honduras has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


Jamaica chose ATSC standards for DTT in December 2021.[127]


Nicaragua has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


Panama chose the European DVB-T standard on 12 May 2009.[128]

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago chose ATSC standards for DTT on 18 January 2023.[129]

South America


Argentine President Cristina Fernández signed on 28 August 2009 an agreement to adopt the ISDB-Tb system, joining Brazil, which has already implemented the standard in its big cities.[130] On air service started from 28 April 2010.[131]


On 5 July 2010, the Bolivian chancellor signed an agreement with the Japanese ambassador to Bolivia, choosing the Japanese system with the Brazilian modifications ISDB-T (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting Terrestrial).[132][133]


In Brazil, the government chose a modified version of the Japanese ISDB-T standard, called ISDB-Tb (or SBTVD) in June 2006. Digital broadcasts started on 2 December 2007 in São Paulo and now it is under expansion all over the country. As of 15 September 2009, metro areas of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Goiânia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Campinas, Vitória, Florianópolis, Uberlândia, São José do Rio Preto, Teresina, Santos, Campo Grande, Fortaleza, Recife, João Pessoa, Sorocaba, Manaus, Belém, Aracaju, Ribeirão Preto, Boa Vista, Macapá, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, São Carlos, São José do Rio Preto, São Luís, Pirassununga, São José dos Campos, Taubaté, Ituiutaba, Araraquara, Feira de Santana, Itapetininga, Sorocaba, Presidente Prudente, Bauru, Campos dos Goytacazes, Londrina, Juiz de Fora, Campina Grande, Caxias do Sul, Franca, Rio Claro and Cuiabá have digital terrestrial broadcasting. By 2013 the digital signal was available in the whole country. Analogue shutdown is scheduled for 2023.


On 14 September 2009, President Michelle Bachelet announced that the government had finally decided on a digital television standard. Chile adopted the ISDB-T Japanese standard (with the custom modifications made by Brazil). Simulcasting began in 2010, with a projected analog switch-off in 2017.[134]


Colombia has chosen the European DVB-T standard on 28 August 2008. However, in 2012, Colombia adopted DVB-T2 as the national standard for terrestrial television, replacing DVB-T, the previously selected standard for digital TV.

On 28 December 2010, private networks Caracol TV and RCN TV officially started digital broadcasts[135] for Bogotá, Medellín and surrounding areas on channels 14 and 15 UHF,[136] respectively. State-run Señal Colombia and Canal Institucional had started test digital broadcasts earlier in 2010.[135]

The current coverage of DVB-T2 can be consulted on the website of the organization "Tdt para Todos" which is the entity responsible for facilitating its adoption.[137]


Ecuador chose Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-T as 6th country on 26 March 2010.[138][139][140]


Paraguay chose Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-T on 1 June 2010.[141][142]


On 23 April 2009, Peru chose the Brazilian variant of the Japanese digital television standard ISDB-T. The Peruvian government signed an agreement with its Japanese counterpart in order for the latter to fund the implementation of the DTT platform in the country. The first network to be launched on digital terrestrial television was TV Perú on 30 March 2010, using the ISDB-Tb standard.[143][144][145] Currently, all the major stations in Lima are broadcasting on DTT in high-definition. ATV was the first television channel in the country to do digital test broadcasts on 19 June 2007 using either ATSC, DVB-T and ISDB-T in order to see which of them was better. Eventually, ATV chose ISDB-Tb and officially started broadcasting in HD; its first live TV show to be aired in high-definition was Magaly TV on 30 August 2010. Frecuencia Latina also began broadcasting on DTT on 14 September 2010 with a match of the Peru women's national volleyball team in the 2010 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship. Shortly after these events, América Televisión started broadcasting on DTT.


Suriname is currently transitioning from analogue NTSC broadcasts to digital ATSC and DVB-T broadcasts. Channel ATV started with ATSC broadcasts in the Paramaribo area in June 2014, which was followed by ATSC broadcasts from stations in Brokopondo, Wageningen and Albina. The stations in Brokopondo, Wageningen and Albina broadcast both the channels of ATV (i.e. ATV and TV2) and STVS, while the station in Paramaribo currently only broadcasts the ATV channels.[146] The Telecommunication Authority of Suriname was originally aiming at a full digital transition by June 2015,[146][147] but this was criticized by broadcasters as being unfeasible.[148] However, the ITU has documented both DVB-T and ATSC are in use.[149]


Uruguay chose the European DVB-T standard in August 2007,[150] however disproved it and decided to adopt ISDB-T on 27 December 2010 to follow neighbouring countries.[151][152][153]


In Venezuela, tests are being performed with full deployment to start 2008–2009. DTT will coexist with analogue standard television for some time until full deployment of the system on a nationwide level is accomplished. 30 September 2009, decided to employ Japanese ISDB-T system under cooperation with Japan, and officially be agreed with Japan in early October 2009.[154][155]

On 6 October 2009, Venezuela officially adopted ISDB-T with Brazilian modifications. Transition from analog to digital is expected to take place in the next 10 years.[citation needed][needs update]

In March 2012, Venezuela signed a $50M agreement to purchase 300,000 decoders from Argentina to implement TDT in Caracas and later this year in some of the most important cities, but only in the Government-controlled TV Stations. NTSC and TDT will coexist. The Government hopes to reach TDT the whole country's population in 2 years.[156] As of 2019, due to the Venezuelan crisis, the digital television transition is paralysed and DTT development has been frozen.


The majority of countries in Africa have adopted the DVB-T2 standard, including Algeria, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.[157][158]


Angola has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


Botswana has chosen the Japanese-Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb.


In March 2015, Inview Technology (a UK digital switch-off company based in Cheshire and with local operations in Nigeria) was appointed by Nigeria's government-run National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to enable digital switchover from analogue[159] throughout the country and provide a Conditional Access System, set-top box software and services including full EPG, Push Video-On-Demand, a range of broadcasting applications such as news, public service information and audience measurement services over the digital terrestrial and satellite networks in Nigeria.[160]

Inview Nigeria and NCB will:

  1. create a free digital TV service called FreeTV (based on Freeview in the UK), rather than pay TV subscriptions
  2. subsidise the FreeTV STB down to an affordable retail price of N1500 ($7.50)
  3. fund subsidies and digital infrastructure costs through the sale of spectrum and the introduction of a BBC style licence fee (called 'digital access fee') of N1000 ($5) pa which is payable on all digital STBs including pay TV operators. The Nigerian Government will receive a digital dividend of c.$1 billion from the sale of spectrum, ensuring that the whole DSO programme is self-funding

FreeTV will carry up to 30 free channels: the best of Nigeria TV and international channels across news, movies, kids, music and general entertainment genres.

A national standard set-top box specification has been set which incorporates a common operating system created by Inview. All boxes will require this specification to view the channels and access value-added services such as interactive news, programme recording, internet applications, and video on demand.

As of March 2016, FreeTV is being operated by Inview and is an open platform that enables any content or pay TV provider to broadcast their content so that Nigerian consumers only have to buy one box to view all the content. Only manufacturers licensed in Nigeria will receive the Inview operating system required to access the channels and services, which will protect domestic manufacturers and consumers from illegal grey imports.


To follow the transition from analog to digital in the field of terrestrial television broadcasting, and to keep pace with these technological international innovations, Tunisia through the Office of National Broadcasting has planned the following phases to digitize its terrestrial broadcasting networks:

First phase

Deployment, since 2001, of an experimental digital TV broadcasting unit using DVB-T system, and MPEG-2 compression, implemented in Boukornine site, to insure the coverage of Great Tunis (25% of population). This experimental project highlighted the benefits of digitization which are : -Better quality of Video and audio signals, -Increasing the capacity of distribution networks through the transmission of a digital TV package (bouquet): a layer of digital distribution network enables the transmission of 4 to 6 programs TV instead of a single TV program in the case of an analog network -The economics of radio spectrum and the energy consumption. -Introduction of new multimedia services. In the preparatory phase, ONT has prepared the frequency plan for digital terrestrial TV networks of and has signed the final acts of the Regional Radio Communication Conference 2006 in Geneva organized by the International Telecommunication Union, which recommends to switch off analog broadcasting services around 2015 and their replacement by digital broadcasting systems.

Second phase

This phase includes the completion of the two following projects:

1- First part: Digitization of the transmission network between production studios and different broadcasting stations. The network consists of 41 transmission stations spread throughout the country. This step represents the first part of the Digital Terrestrial TV network, and its deployment is completed during the period 2008–2009. The cost of this project is 27 million dinars TTC.

2- Second part: National digital terrestrial TV broadcasting Network to viewers, which consists of 17 DTTV stations spread throughout the country and will be conducted under a contract including a vendor financing agreement with the Thomson Grass Valley (France) company. The project came into force in August 2009 and will be conducted during 2009–2010. Its cost is 13 million dinars TTC.

South Africa

On 14 January 2011, the South African Department of Communications chose the European standard DVB-T2 as the digital television standard in South Africa, following the trend in this direction of several African nations.

Department of Communication has decided to switch off analogue to digital migration date on 31 July 2023 by Sentech Tower migration to Go Digital Terrestrial Television.

The two-step approach puts forward 31 July 2023 as the date for switching off all analogue broadcasting services above 694 MHz, with 31 December 2024 as the end of the dual-illumination period and the switch-off of the remaining analogue services below 694 MHz.

Analogue to digital transition by countries

World map of digital television transition progress.
  Transition completed, all analog signals terminated
  Transition completed for full-power signals only; LPTV stations still being broadcast in analog
  Transition in progress, broadcasting both analog and digital signals
  Transition not yet started, broadcasting analog signals only
  No information available

The broadcasting of digital terrestrial transmissions has led to many countries planning to phase out existing analogue broadcasts. This table shows the launches of DTT and the closing down of analogue television in several countries.

  • Official launch: The official launch date of digital terrestrial television in the country, not the start for trial broadcasts.
  • Start of closedown: The date for the first major closedown of analogue transmitters.
  • End of closedown: The date when analogue television is definitely closed down.
  • System: Transmission system, e. g. DVB-T, ATSC or ISDB-T.
  • Interactive: System used for interactive services, such as MHP and MHEG-5.
  • Compression: Video compression standard used. Most systems use MPEG-2, but the more efficient H.264/MPEG-4 AVC has become increasingly popular among networks launching later on. Some countries use both MPEG-2 and H.264, for example France which uses MPEG-2 for standard definition free content but MPEG-4 for HD broadcasts and pay services.
Country Officially launched Analog closedown
Analog closedown
DTT transmission Interaction AV standard
 Afghanistan May 2014 31 August 2014 DVB-T2 None H.264
 Albania[161] 15 July 2004[162] 1 October 2019[163] DVB-T H.262
 Algeria 2008 10 November 2014 DVB-T
 Andorra[164] 25 September 2007 DVB-T None (MHP abandoned) H.262
 Argentina (details) 28 April 2010 30 June 2025 ISDB-Tb Ginga H.264
 Australia (details)[165][166][167][168][169][170][171] 1 January 2001 30 June 2010 (Mildura and Sunraysia) 10 December 2013 (Melbourne)[172] DVB-T (7 MHz channels 6~12 VHF
and 28~69 UHF)
MHEG-5 (EPG only) H.262[173]
 Austria[174] 26 October 2006 5 March 2003[175] 2 September 2010[176] DVB-T None (MHP abandoned)[177] H.262
 Belgium[178] 2002 3 November 2008 (Flemish Community) 2010 (Francophone Community) DVB-T None H.262
 Botswana 26 February 2013 2020 (small areas)
2024 (all other areas)
 Brazil[2] 3 December 2007 15 February 2016 (Rio Verde) 2020 (major areas)
2023 (all other areas)
2025 (remaining areas)
ISDB-Tb Ginga H.264
 Brunei 2014[179] 31 July 2017 (Belait and Tutong Districts)[180][181] 31 December 2017[180] DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264
 Bulgaria[182] November 2004 March 2013 30 September 2013[183] DVB-T[184] MHP H.264
 Cambodia[185] 4 February 2013 2015 2023 DVB-T2 MHP H.264
 Canada (details)[186] January 2003 31 August 2011 December 2022 ATSC H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)
 China[187] 2006 2014 31 March 2021[a] DMB-T/H[188] AVS+
 Colombia[189] 28 August 2008 2016 2021 DVB-T (6 MHz) MHP H.264
 Costa Rica 4 May 2010 2018 15 August 2019 ISDB-Tb Ginga H.264
 Croatia[190] 9 July 2002 1 January 2011[191] DVB-T H.262, H.264
 Czech Republic[192] 21 October 2005 30 June 2012 DVB-T MHP H.262
 Denmark[193][194][195] 31 March 2006 1 February 2009 1 November 2009 DVB-T MHP H.262, H.264
 El Salvador (details)[196] 22 April 2009 21 December 2018 1 December 2024 ISDB-Tb Ginga H.262, H.264
 Estonia[197][198][199] 15 December 2006 31 March 2008 (Ruhnu) 1 July 2010 DVB-T MHP (planned) H.264
 Faroe Islands (details)[200] December 2002 December 2002 2003 DVB-T None H.262
 Finland (details)[201] 27 August 2001 1 September 2007[202] 1 September 2007 DVB-T None (MHP abandoned) H.262
 France[203][204] 31 March 2005 (FTA)
1 March 2006 (Pay DTT)[205][206]
4 February 2009 2011 (before 30 November)[64][65] DVB-T2 MHP[207] H.262, H.264[208]
 Germany (details)[209] March 2003 March 2003 (Regional rollout) 2 December 2008 (completed) DVB-T H.262/H.264 (Stuttgart for non public channels)
 Greece (details) 16 January 2006 (tests)[67] 1 November 2008[67] 6 February 2015[210] DVB-T H.262 (ERT)
H.264 (ERT, DIGEA)
 Hong Kong (details)[211][212] 31 December 2007 1 December 2020[213] DMB-T/H MHEG-5 (TVB) H.264
 Hungary[214][215] 1 December 2008 31 July 2013 31 October 2013 DVB-T H.264
 Indonesia (details)[216] 13 August 2008 (trial)
20 May 2009 (official)[217]
5 September 2022 (Jakarta and surrounding areas)[218] 17 August 2023 (all services areas in Indonesia)[219] DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264
 Iran[220][221][222] 2009 19 December 2014 DVB-T
H.265 (HEVC)
1999–2002 (Licensing abandoned)
2006–2008 (trial)
31 October 2010 (90%)[234]
26 May 2011 (DTT launch)
December 2011 (98%)[235]
Network testing, publicly receivable
24 October 2012 with NI[236] 24 October 2012 with NI[237][238] DVB-T RCT abandoned, MHEG5 H.264
 Israel[239][240][241][242] 2 August 2009[243] June 2011 DVB-T H.264, AAC+ V2
 Italy (details)[244] 1 January 2004 15 October 2008 4 July 2012 DVB-T MHP H.262, H.264
 Japan (details)[245][246] 1 December 2003 24 September 2010 (Northeastern areas of Ishikawa) 24 July 2011 (all cities except Morioka, Sendai, and Fukushima)[17]
31 March 2012 (Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima)[b]
 Lithuania[247] 2006 2009 (Now expanded nationwide) 29 October 2012[248] DVB-T H.264
 Luxembourg[249] 4 April 2006 4 April 2006 1 September 2006 DVB-T None H.262
 Macau 15 July 2008 30 June 2023 DMB-T/H H.264
 Macedonia (details)[107] 4 May 2004 1 January 2010 1 June 2013 DVB-T MHP H.264
 Malaysia (details) 6 June 2017[250] 21 July 2019 (Langkawi)[27] 14 October 2019 (West Malaysia)[29]
31 October 2019 (Sabah and Sarawak)[30][31][32][33]
DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264
 Mexico (details) 2 July 2004 18 July 2013 (Tijuana) 31 December 2015 ATSC H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)
 Moldova April 2016 (Transnistria)
November 2016 (Moldova)
2019 (Transnistria)
1 March 2020 (Moldova)
DVB-T2 H.264
 Mongolia 1 July 2014[251][252] 2015[253][254] 2015[252] DVB-T2
 Morocco[255][256][257] 1 June 2007 5 March 2007 2015 (UHF)
2020 (VHF)
 Myanmar October 2013[258] 2016 December 2020 DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264
 Netherlands (details)[259] 18 June 1996 (test) December 2003 11 December 2006 DVB-T H.262
 New Zealand[260][261][262] April 2008 30 September 2012 1 December 2013 DVB-T MHEG-5 (EPG only) H.264/HE-AAC
 North Korea 2012[263] 2012 DVB-T2
 Norway (details)[264] September 2007[265] March 2008[266] 1 December 2009 DVB-T MHP H.264[267]
 Peru[268] 30 March 2010 2020 1 March 2023 ISDB-Tb Ginga H.264
 Philippines (details) October 2008 (trials)
14 February 2017 (DTT launch)
28 February 2017[36] 31 December 2023[37] ISDB-T BML H.262, H.264
 Poland (details)[269][270][271] 9 November 2001 (test)
2004 (trials)
20 September 2009 (DTT launch)
May 2011 23 July 2013[272] DVB-T H.264
 Portugal (details)[273] 29 April 2009[274] 2011 26 April 2012[275] DVB-T H.264
 Qatar[276] 11 December 2013 13 February 2015 DVB-T2 H.264
1 December 2005 17 June 2015 (planned)
1 May 2018 (completion)
DVB-T2 H.264
 Russia[283] 24 June 2009 3 December 2018 14 October 2019
19 August 2025 (remaining channels)
DVB-T2 H.264[284]
 Saudi Arabia 11 June 2006 13 February 2015 DVB-T/DVB-T2 H.264
 Singapore (details) 22 December 2006 16 December 2013 2 January 2019 DVB-T2 H.264
 Slovakia[285] 1999–2004, 2005–2009 2010[286] 31 December 2012[287] DVB-T MHEG-5 H.262, H.264
 Slovenia[288] 2007 1 December 2010 30 June 2011 DVB-T H.264
 South Africa (details)[289][290] March 2006 28 October 2016[291] July 2020[292][293] DVB-T2 MHEG-5 (Future use planned) H.264
 South Korea (details)[294] 2001 1 September 2010 14:00[295] (Uljin) 31 December 2012[296] ATSC H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)
 Spain (details)[297] 2000–2005 (Previous and relaunch) 2009 3 April 2010[298] DVB-T None (MHP abandoned) H.262 SD, H.264 HD
 Sri Lanka[299][300] 7 September 2014 1 January 2015 2020 ISDB-T BML H.264 HD
 Sweden (details)[301] 1 April 1999[302] 19 September 2005 29 October 2007 DVB-T, DVB-T2 (HD) MHP H.262 SD, H.264 HD[303]
  Switzerland (details)[304] 2001 March 2002 25 February 2008[305] DVB-T
 Taiwan (details)[306] January 2004[307] July 2010 (Pinglin) June 2012[307] DVB-T MHP H.262, H.264[307]
 Thailand (details)[308] 25 January 2013 (official)
1 April 2014 (all trials)
1 June 2014 (all official plan)
1 December 2015[309][c] 25 March 2020 (planned)[309]
26 March 2020 (Switch-off Completed by Channel 3)[310]
DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264
 Turkey (details)[311] 1 December 2003 October 2020 DVB-T2 (expected) MHP H.265
 Ukraine[312] 1 April 2009 31 July 2018 31 August 2018 (Most transmitters) DVB-T2 None H.264
 United Kingdom (details)[313] 15 November 1998 17 October 2007 (Whitehaven) 24 October 2012 (parts of England and most of Northern Ireland) DVB-T, DVB-T2 (HDTV) MHEG-5 H.262 SD, H.264 HD
 United States (details)[314][315] 29 October 1998 8 September 2008 (Wilmington) 12 June 2009 (Full-power TV stations)
April 2022 (Low-power TV stations, planned)[d]
ATSC H.262
 Vietnam 2002 (tests)[316]
30 June 2020 (21 Provinces)[317] 28 December 2020[318] DVB-T2 MHEG-5 H.264

See also


  1. ^ Originally was to be shutdown on 30 June 2020, but postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak
  2. ^ On 20 April 2011, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications confirmed, and made the resolution by the House of Councillors on 8 June 2011, that the analog terrestrial TV closedown schedule on 24 July 2011 would remain unchanged, with the only exception being that the shutdown will be postponed for maximum one year in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. These prefectures were heavily damaged by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear accidents that followed it.
  3. ^ ThaiPBS will be first to come as digital than other terrestrial television stations in the country. From 1 December 2015, the areas received the first digital broadcasting are Fang in Chiang Mai Province and Ko Samui in Surat Thani Province.
  4. ^ Originally was to be shutdown on 13 July 2021, but postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak in Florida and New York states


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