Changes in the terrestrial television network in a nutshell


FREQUENCY CHANGES


What will change?

The purpose of use for some of the frequencies in the terrestrial television will be switched from television broadcasting to wireless broadband. Consequently, frequencies of television transmitters will be changed.

When?

Frequency changes will be carried throughout Finland in Digita's UHF network one main transmitter area at a time. The total number of the areas is approximately 30. Information on the order in which the changes are carried out will be published before they commence. The changes will be carried out between the spring of 2015 and the end of 2016. Southern Finland is the last area where the changes are carried out.

What do the changes require?

Detached houses

After the frequencies have been changed in the area, households must redo the channel search for the television receiver. There is no need to modify the antenna if it is still working.

Real estate buildings with a joint antenna system
(housing companies with a central antenna)

Antenna amplifiers in real estate buildings must be retuned. In some cases, the old amplifier has to be replaced with a new amplifier. This requires, in any case, that an antenna contractor visits the installation site. After the changes have been carried out in the antenna system, the channel search for the television set must be redone.

Real estate buildings with a joint antenna system must take into account that the must-carry obligation applies to them, too. This means that a housing company, a real estate company, or any similar administrator of a joint antenna system must ensure that certain programmes and services are available to the users unmodified and simultaneously with the original broadcast. Television programmes subject to the must-carry obligations are the public service programmes of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, as well as the channels MTV3 and Nelonen. Further information on the must-carry obligation is available on FICORA's website.

What is the purpose of frequency changes?

Because of increased demand, the frequencies that are no longer used for television broadcasting will be reserved for wireless broadband. The change concerning the purpose of use for the frequencies has been outlined in the Communications Policy Programme for Electronic Media, issued in 2012 by the Government as a report to the Parliament of Finland.


CHANGE OF BROADCASTING TECHNOLOGY


What will change?

The terrestrial television will migrate fully to the new broadcasting technology (DVB-T2) by 31 March 2020. The new technology enables HD quality transmission (HDTV).

The change concerns neither television broadcasts in the cable or satellite network nor IPTV broadcasts.


When?

TV operators have agreed on adopting the DVB-T2 technology simultaneously in freely available terrestrial TV channels. SD broadcasting in its current form will stop entirely on 31 March 2020. Parallel broadcasts in SD and HD will become available roughly one year before that. Pay-TV channels will adopt the new technology even earlier.


What does the change require?

To receive broadcasts that are in accordance with the new technology in the terrestrial television network, a receiver (digital set-top box or television set) equipped with a DVB-T2 tuner must be used. The Antenna Ready HD label indicates that the device has been tested in Finland and guarantees that the device functions in the terrestrial TV network.

HD broadcasts has been provided in the cable television network for a long time. The reception of these broadcasts also requires a suitable device, although the broadcasting network remains unchanged. The Cable Ready HD label indicates that the device has been tested in Finland and guarantees that the device functions in the cable TV network.

A list of digital set-top boxes and television receivers is available at: www.testatutlaitteet.fi (in Finnish)


Why does the broadcasting technology change?

Thanks to the new broadcasting technology, the frequency use is more efficient as the number of frequencies drops along with the frequency changes. The new broadcasting technology also offers the possibility to broadcast television programmes in high definition (HDTV) and more television programmes in standard quality (SDTV).

The new broadcasting technology is already in use in DNA's VHF network and in two multiplexes in Digita's UHF network. After the changes, the new broadcasting technology will be used for all broadcasts of the terrestrial television network.


Key words: Spectrum, Television, Cable, Terrestrial


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