Digital television in Poland


Digital television in Poland

First efforts to introduce DVB-T in Poland was made in 1997 in Gdańsk on initiative of TVP (Polish public television broadcaster). First test DVB-T emission was carried in Warsaw at 9 November 2001.

At 2006 conference in Genève known as GE06 Poland received eight DVB-T multiplexes. Seven at UHF frequencies 470÷862 MHz (channels 21÷69) and one at VHF frequency 174÷230 MHz (channels 6÷12). Since some of these frequencies are currently used for analog PAL terrestrial television broadcasting, it is possible to run only two nationwide multiplexes (MUX1, MUX2) and one (MUX3) which covers part of country (58% of population). Introducing of all multiplexes will be possible after switching off analog broadcasting.

In “Country digitalization schedule” government document from January 2009 digital broadcast switch-on was planned to be made in three steps and analog broadcast switch-off in six steps.

First regular digital broadcast was started at 30 September 2010. Last was at 31 November 2010. Nearest digital broadcast switch-on is at 27 April 2011.

First analog broadcast switch-off will be done at 30 June 2011. Analog broadcasting will be definitely terminated at 31 July 2013.

Interval between digital broadcast switch-on and analog broadcast switch-off allow people to buy new integrated Digital TVs or set-top boxes.

Contents

Polish digital terrestrial television broadcast uses 25 Hz H.264/AVC HDTV video, MPEG-2 Layer 2 and E-AC-3 audio, for a Baseline IRD able to decode up to 1920 × 1080 interlaced 25 Hz video pictures or 1280 × 720 progressive 50 Hz video pictures.

During tests also MPEG-2 encoding for video was used.

Plan from January 2009 included three nationwide multiplexes with seven SDTV channels in each:

  • MUX1 – current free-to-air terrestrial analog channels: public (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info) and commercial (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls); after analog broadcast switch-off MUX3 will cover all country population and public channels will be moved to it; there will be competition for three freed channels;
  • MUX2 – open competition;
  • MUX3 – public broadcaster; after analog broadcast switch-off MUX3 will cover all country population and public channels will be moved to it from MUX1; there will be competition for three freed channels in MUX1.

In January 2010 new plan on introducing DVB-T was presented. Assignment of multiplexes was changed:

  • MUX1 – public broadcaster channels (including current analog TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info);
  • MUX2 – current terrestrial analog commercial free-to-air channels (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls) plus one additional from each broadcaster – total number of channels in this multiplex: 8.

In June 2010 another change in assignment of multiplexes was made:

  • MUX1 – four channels chosen in open competition and temporary three public broadcaster channels (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info); after analog broadcast switch-off MUX3 will cover all country population and public channels will be deleted from MUX1; there will be competition for three freed channels;
  • MUX2 – four current terrestrial analog commercial free-to-air channels (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls) plus one additional from each broadcaster (respectively: Polsat Sport News, TVN7, TV6, TV Puls 2);
  • MUX3 – five public broadcaster channels (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Info, TVP Culture, TVP History); after switch-off analog broadcast MUX3 will cover all country population and public broadcaster channels will be deleted from MUX1.

As of February 2011:

  • MUX1 not yet activated;
  • MUX2 covers ca. 43% of population and ca. 38% of area;
  • MUX3 covers ca. 28% of population and area.

Informing about analog broadcast switch-off in mass media.

Requiring from electronic equipment sellers to inform buyers that MPEG-2 TVs and STBs are not compatible with national standard which is MPEG-4 AVC.

Financial help for poor families and seniors to buy TV or STB – ca. 250 PLN per household, totally 475M PLN.


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