1.5 million homes affected by the move to DTT

As the analogue television shutdown date approaches, concern for users who depend on these broadcasts to receive the TV signal grows. According to Anacom, 1.5 million homes only receive open channel television and will have to prepare for the change of technology to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

The regulator of the telecommunications market had already set the date to switch off analog broadcasts, in a progressive calendar that starts in January 2012 in the coastal areas and is completed on April 26 of the same year. The final plan was approved last Thursday and was published today on the Anacom website.

Considering the total number of families in Portugal and the number of subscribers to pay television services, and after listening to the operators, the regulator calculates that the number of houses that only receive free TV is 1.5 million, a value quite significant, given that if each family has at least three people it refers to a universe of more than 4 million people.

Anacom recalls that despite the upcoming change, there is equipment that can be maintained, such as most antennas and even old televisions, as long as using a set-top box for DTT. In the case of new televisions, it is essential that they support the DVB-T standard and MPEG-4 / H.264 video decoding in order to be able to tune digital broadcasts without resorting to decoders.

TeK has been publishing a series of articles on Digital Terrestrial Television, namely a set of frequently asked questions about the new technology that replaces analogue broadcasts in 2012.

Now Anacom comes to answer one more question about the use of antennas. According to the market regulator, the current outdoor and indoor antennas can tune to DTT, just needing to be reoriented. Among the compatible equipment are the “bacalhau antennas”, Yagi type outdoor antenna, or the flat interior antennas, as shown in the images below.

DTT antennas

This year, Anacom will start a campaign to raise awareness of the move to DTT. Portugal Telecom, the operator that won the license, should also do the same, with the obligation to provide users with less economic resources cheaper solutions for the transition from analogue to digital.