Digital television transition


Digital television transition

The digital television transition is the process in which analog television broadcasting is converted to and replaced by digital television. This primarily involves both TV stations and over-the-air viewers; however it also involves content providers like TV networks, and cable television conversion to digital cable.

In many countries, a simulcast service is operated where a broadcast is made available to viewers in both analog and digital at the same time. As digital becomes more popular, it is likely that the existing analogue services will be removed. In some cases this has already happened, where a broadcaster has offered incentives to viewers to encourage them to switch to digital. In other cases government policies have been introduced to encourage or force the switchover process, especially with regard to terrestrial broadcasts. Government intervention usually involves providing some funding for broadcasters and, in some cases monetary relief to viewers, to enable a switchover to happen by a given deadline.

The switchover for individual countries varies; it could either happen in small steps, such as with the United Kingdom where each region has a separate date to switch off, or the whole country could switch in one go, as did Finland on 1 September 2007. The most recent country to switch off all analogue services was Malta on 31 October 2011; the next country to switch off all analogue services will be France on 30 November 2011.

Contents

Purpose of the transition

Almost all analog formats in current use were standardised between the 1940s and 1950s and have had to be adapted to the technological innovations since then. Initially offering only black and white images with monophonic sound, the formats have had to be modified to broadcast in colour, stereo sound, SAP, captioning, and other information all while being backwards compatible with televisions unable to use the features. Additionally, engineers have had to implement these protocols within the limits of a set bandwidth and the tolerances of an inefficient analog format.

However during this time, the application and distribution of digital communications evolved. Digital television transmission is more efficient, easily integrating other digital processes. Analogue features have difficulty or cannot do the extra digital features.

  • For the end-user, digital television has potential for resolutions and sound fidelity comparable with blu-ray home video and with digital multiplexing, it is also possible to offer subchannels, distinct simulcast programming, from the same broadcaster.
  • For government and industry, digital television reallocates the radio spectrum so that it can be auctioned off by the government. In the subsequent auctions, telecommunications industries can introduce new services and products in mobile telephony, wi-fi internet, and other nationwide telecommunications projects.

Timeline for the digital switchover

Other information

The Geneva 2006 Agreement sets 17 June 2015 as the date after which countries may use those frequencies currently assigned for analogue television transmission for digital services, without being required to protect the analogue services of neighbouring countries against interference. This date is generally viewed as an internationally mandated analogue switch-off date, at least along national borders.[1] The European Commission has recommended that digital switchover should be completed by 1 January 2012 - Commission Recommendation 2009/848/EC, of 28.10.2009.[2]

Digital switchover at a glance

World map of digital television transition progress. Legend:
  Transition completed, all analog signals terminated
  Transition completed for full-power signals; some LPTV stations are still being broadcast in analog
  Transition in progress, broadcasting both analog and digital signals
  Transition not yet started, broadcasting analog signals only
  Does not intend to transition, broadcasting analog signals only
  No information available
Country First DTT broadcast Started switch-over Finished switch-over Ref
Andorra Andorra 02007-09-25 25 September 2007
Australia Australia 02001-01-01 1 January 2001 02013-12-31 31 December 2013 [3]
Belgium Belgium 02008-11-03 3 November 2008 02010-03-01 1 March 2010
Canada Canada 02003-03-01 1 March 2003 02012-08-31 31 August 2012
Croatia Croatia 02002-06-13 13 June 2002 02010-01-26 26 January 2010 02010-10-05 5 October 2010 [4]
Denmark Denmark 02003-03-01 1 March 2003 02009-11-01 1 November 2009
Estonia Estonia 02010-07-01 1 July 2010
Finland Finland 02001-08-21 21 August 2001 02007-09-01 1 September 2007
France France 02011-11-30 30 November 2011 [5]
Germany Germany 02002-11-01 1 November 2002 02008-11-25 25 November 2008
Guernsey Guernsey 02010-11-17 17 November 2010
India India 02012-03-31 31 March 2012 02015-03-31 31 March 2015 [6]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 02010-10-29 29 October 2010 02012-10-24 24 October 2012 [7]
Isle of Man Isle of Man 02009-07-16 16 July 2009
Japan Japan 02011-07-24 24 July 2011 02012-03-31 31 March 2012 [8]
Jersey Jersey 02010-11-17 17 November 2010
Latvia Latvia 02010-06-01 1 June 2010
Mexico Mexico 2011 2015 [9]
Netherlands Netherlands 02006-12-11 11 December 2006
New Zealand New Zealand 02007-05-02 2 May 2007 02012-09-30 30 September 2012 02013-12-01 1 December 2013 [10]
Norway Norway 02007-09-01 1 September 2007 02008-03-01 1 March 2008 02009-12-01 1 December 2009
Slovenia Slovenia 02011-06-30 30 June 2011
South Africa South Africa 02008-11-01 1 November 2008 02013-12-01 1 December 2013 [11]
Spain Spain 02005-11-30 30 November 2005 02010-04-03 3 April 2010
Sweden Sweden 1999 02005-09-19 19 September 2005 02007-09-29 29 September 2007
Switzerland Switzerland 02006-06-01 1 June 2006 02008-01-01 1 January 2008
Tunisia Tunisia 2015 [12]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 01998-10-01 1 October 1998 02007-10-17 17 October 2007 02012-10-24 24 October 2012 [13]
United States United States 02009-06-12 12 June 2009 02016-03-31 31 March 2016 [14]

Transitions around the world

Transitions completed

  •  Netherlands moved to digital broadcasting on Monday, 11 December 2006. The switch-off was helped greatly by the fact that about 90% of the households subscribe to cable systems which continue to use analog distribution, thus their old tuners continued to be useful.
Analogue closedown warning broadcast in Finland.
  •  Finland ceased analog terrestrial transmissions nationwide at 04:00, Saturday, September 1, 2007[15] (switch-off was previously planned for the midnight after August 31 but a few extra hours were added for technical reasons). This was controversial as the cost of a digital TV set in Finland was heavily criticised and saw a substantial decrease in how much pay the television license. Cable TV viewers continued to receive analogue broadcasts until the end of February 2008.
  •  Andorra completed its switch-off on Tuesday, September 25, 2007.[16]
  •  Sweden: The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial network progressed region–by–region. It started on the island of Gotland on Tuesday, September 19, 2005, and was completed on Monday, October 29, 2007, when the last analogue SVT1 transmitters in Blekinge and western Scania were shut down.[17] Cable distributors are allowed to continue broadcasting analogue television.
  •  Switzerland began with the switch-off on Monday, July 24, 2006 in Ticino and continued with Engadin on Monday, November 13, 2006. The switch-off was completed on Monday, November 26, 2007.
  •  Germany started the switch-off in the Berlin area, beginning on Friday, November 1, 2002 and completing on Monday, August 4, 2003. "Simulcast" digital transmissions started in other parts of the country in an effort to prepare for a full switchover. The switch-off of terrestrial analogue transmitters was completed on Tuesday, November 25, 2008, except one main transmitter in Bad Mergentheim which was shut down in June 2009. Analogue cable and satellite broadcasts remain available for the time being; the public broadcasters announced to switch off those services in 2012.
  •  Isle of Man switched off all analog services on Thursday, July 16, 2009.[18]
  •  Denmark switched off all analog services at midnight on Sunday, November 1, 2009.[19]
  •  Norway: The switch-off of the analogue transmissions started in March 2008 and was completed on Tuesday, December 1, 2009. Norway started its DTT service on the Saturday, September 1, 2007.[20]
  •  Belgium: Media regulations are under regional legislation. Flanders switched off analogue television on Monday, November 3, 2008, while in Wallonia, all analogue services were switched off on Monday, March 1, 2010, making Belgium completely full digital nationwide.
Analogue closedown warning broadcast in Spain.
  •  Spain: The switch-off of the analogue transmissions was completed on Saturday, April 3, 2010. Spain started its DTT service on Wednesday, November 30, 2005.[21]
  •  Latvia's analogue television completely converted to digital broadcasting on Tuesday, June 1, 2010.
  •  Estonia's analogue television was switched off completely on Thursday, 1 July 2010.
  •  Jersey and  Guernsey switched off their analogue signals on Wednesday, 17 November 2010.
  •  Slovenia: the switch-off on main transmitters was completed on Wednesday, 1 December 2010. The last local analogue transmitters were switched off on 30 June 2011.
  •  Luxembourg shut down their last analog transmitter on UHF Channel 21 on Friday, 31 December 2010.
  •  Israel started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday, 2 August 2009 and analogue transmissions ended on 31 March 2011. Israel is the first nation in Asia to shut down analogue signals.
  •  Wales: The vast majority of transmitters stopped broadcasting just after midnight on 1 April 2010.[22] However analogue transmissions were still broadcast from the New Radnor and Garth Hill transmitters in Wales, until 20 April 2011.[23]
  •  Monaco switched off their analog TV broadcasts on 24 May 2011.
  •  Austria: Began analogue switch-off on Monday, 5 March 2007, progressing from the west to the east.[24] The analog broadcast was shut down nationwide at the end of 2010 regarding the main transmitters.[25] The last analog translators were switched off on 7 June 2011.
  •  Scotland ended its analogue broadcasts on 22 June 2011.[26]
  •  Cyprus terminated all analog transmissions on 30 June 2011 and moved to only digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on 1 July 2011.
  •  Malta terminated all analogue services on Monday, 31 October 2011. The switchoff was originally planned for 1 June 2011 but got delayed for unknown reasons.[27]

Transitions in progress

  •  Argentina: Digital television broadcasts started on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 in Buenos Aires. The analogue network will be terminated on Sunday, 1 September 2019.
  •  Australia: Digital television commenced in Australia's five most populous cities on Monday, January 1, 2001. Digital switchover will be complete by Tuesday, 31 December 2013 with Mildura being the first region to terminate its analogue network on 30 June 2010. Until the switchoff in the respective area, free-to-air stations will be simulcast, along with digital-only channels like ABC2. Cable television networks began simulcasting in 2004 and analogue cable services were switched off in April 2007. The switchover is being co-ordinated by the Digital Switchover Taskforce operating under the federal Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.[3]
  •  Azerbaijan: Began analogue switch-off on 17 October 2010, is expected to complete by 2012.[28]
  •  Bolivia: Started on Tuesday, 20 July 2010, is expected to complete by 2012.
  •  Brazil: Began free-to-air HD digital transmissions, after a period of test broadcasts, on Sunday, 2 December 2007 in São Paulo, expanding in January 2008 to Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte.[29] Digital broadcasts will be phased into the other 23 state capitals by the end of 2009, and to the remaining cities by December 31, 2013.[30] Analogue and digital simulcasts will continue until Wednesday, 29 June 2016, when analogue will be discontinued. The main broadcasters (Globo, Record, Band, SBT and RedeTV!) are simulcasting in analogue and digital broadcast, in standard definition and 1080i high definition.
  •  Bulgaria will complete its analog switch-off on Friday, 21 December 2012.
  •  Canada: Canada's DTV transition was complete in mandatory markets on Wednesday, 31 August 2011. Some CBC analog transmitters in mandatory markets have been permitted to operate until 31 August 2012, though CBC does not have plans to convert these transmitters to digital and in fact plans on seeking further extensions.[31] Also on 31 August 2011, all full power TV transmitters had to vacate channels 52 to 69. Low-power analog transmitters and analog transmitters not in the CRTC's mandatory markets are allowed to continue operations.
  •  Croatia: Analogue television broadcasts were switched off for all national TV channels on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 12:35. Local services continue to operate in analogue.[32]
  •  Czech Republic started the switch-off in September 2007 and has plans to finish by November 2011 (some regions June 2012). The areas of Domažlice, West Bohemia, Prague, Central Bohemia, and South Bohemia have already switched off analog broadcasting of ČT2.
  •  France will have completed the switch-off on Wednesday, 30 November 2011.[5]
  •  Gibraltar: Gibraltar will cease analogue in December 2012. A concrete date will be announced in June or July 2012.
  •  Greece: There has been no confirmation when exactly analogue will terminate, but this document confirms that 2012 is a possible date.
  •  Hong Kong's analogue broadcasting was planned to be switched off by 2012.[33] However, it has been postponed to end 2015.[34]
  •  Hungary was originally going to switch off analogue broadcasting on 1 January 2012, but was delayed to 1 January 2015.[35] This change was left out of the official English translation of the Hungarian Media Act.[36]
  •  Iceland will cease all analog broadcasting in 2013.[37]
  •  Iran commenced broadcasting digital TV in 2009 choosing DVB-T MPEG-4 standard, with 40% of population having had access to digital TV by mid 2011. The switch over to digital TV will be completed by 2015 and all analogue signals will be pulled from air.[38][39][40]
  •  Ireland's broadcaster RTÉ made its digital television service Saorview available to most of the population on 29 October 2010; the first channels available to terrestrial only in digital form were RTÉ Two HD and RTÉ News Now followed shortly afterwards by 3e.[2] Analogue terrestrial will stop on 24 October 2012.[7] There has been no confirmation on when analogue cable will stop, and many major cable companies (i.e. UPC Ireland) are still actively offering analogue. Analogue satellite was discontinued on 27 September 2001.
  •  Italy previously scheduled its blackout to occur in late 2006 but was delayed to Wednesday, 12 December 2012, as enacted by Italian law ("Legge 29 novembre 2007, n. 222").
  •  Japan shut down all analogue satellite and most of the analogue terrestrial television on Sunday, July 24, 2011, except for 3 prefectures destroyed or heavily damaged by 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which will stop analog broadcasting on 31 March 2012. Analogue high-definition television broadcast ended on Sunday, September 30, 2007.[41] Many television stations across the country have already begun broadcasting simultaneously in digital.
  •  Kenya became the second African country after South Africa to start digital broadcasting on Wednesday, 9 December 2009. The analog network is set to be switched off in June 2012.[42]
  •  Lithuania: The government aims to switch off all analogue television broadcasting on Monday, 29 October 2012.
  •  Macedonia: The switch-off will be completed in 2015.
  •  Mexico: Analogue shutdown was originally scheduled to occur in 2021, but on 2 September 2010, Mexican president Felipe Calderón, in its Fourth Report of the Government, advanced the analog shutdown from 2021 to 2015, with transition beginning in 2011.[43] Some digital signals are already on-air, the first being Tijuana's XETV – an English-language affiliate of The CW serving primarily San Diego, California. Groups of cities which are required to simulcast digitally are added in descending order of size, with full coverage of the smallest centers required by 2015.
  •  New Zealand: The New Zealand government is planning to switch to digital-only by the end of 2013. Trackside was the first channel to switch off its nationwide analogue transmissions on 31 July 2011. The first regions to switch off will be Hawke's Bay and West Coast on 30 September 2012. The remainder of the South Island will follow on 28 April 2013; the Lower North Island and East Cape on 29 September 2013; and finally the Upper North Island on 1 December 2013.[44]
  •  Poland: Analogue broadcasts will stop on Wednesday, 31 July 2013. (DVB-T in Poland)
  •  Portugal's government aims to complete the digital switchover by 2012; digital broadcasts started on Wednesday, April 29, 2009. Portugal's government hopes to cover 80% of the territory with DTV by the end of 2009, and simulcasts will remain until Thursday, April 26, 2012, when the analogue broadcasting ends.
  •  Philippines: The Philippine Government will terminate all analogue transmissions by Thursday, December 31, 2015. Although, according to the National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines, they will introduce first DTV to the country's main cities Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao. Some transmissions are currently in test broadcast, just like in the government-owned station National Broadcasting Network which is transmitting signal coming from its analog broadcast. The first fully operational DTV Station in the country is the Christian Era Broadcasting Service or GEM TV.
  •  Romania is scheduled to switch off analogue broadcasting on Sunday, 1 January 2012.
  •  Russia has announced that the switch-off is to be completed in 2015.[45]
  •  Serbia launched its first DTT transmissions in 2005. The first DTT-only channel was made available in 2008. Analogue will be removed from air on 4 April 2012.[46]
  •  Slovakia: The government aims to complete the digital switchover by 2012.
  •  South Korea's analogue transmissions will terminate at 04:00 on Monday, 31 December 2012. Until that time, major broadcasters like MBC, SBS or other affiliated networks, KBS will broadcast both analog and digital TV in most major cities.
  •  Taiwan: Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Taiwan on Friday, 2 July 2004. Currently, there are simulcasts of analogue and digital television. Analogue television will stop working by the end of June 2012.
  •  Thailand launched DVB-T2 on January 25, 2011, transition will start in 2012 and finish on Thursday, 9 April 2015.[47]
  •  United Kingdom: The transition started on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 with Whitehaven in Cumbria,[48] and is proceeding to a transmitter switchover timetable, implemented by region. The last transmitters will be switched over during 2012; these will be London, Meridian, Tyne Tees and Ulster.[49] All analogue broadcasting will finish on 24 October 2012.[50] However, this only applies to the terrestrial network; analogue cable is still allowed to broadcast for now, however Virgin Media has plans to shut down its analogue service by January 2012. Analogue satellite was discontinued on 27 September 2001.
  •  United States: Most full-power analogue translators were shut down on or by 12 June 2009, with the exception of "nightlight" analog stations (which broadcasted a video on how to set up a digital TV). These were shut down on 26 June 2009. Low-power analogue stations are still allowed to broadcast for now, but analogue stations that use channels 52 to 69 will be forced to shut down by 31 December 2011 and the remaining analogue stations will be forced to shut down by 31 March 2016.[14]

Transitions not yet started

  •  Albania: The Albanian Parliament passed legislation to switch off analogue broadcasting by end of 2012. According to KKRT, such a commitment is unattainable, thus Albania is seeking to postpone the transition to 2015.
  •  Cambodia: DVB-T became available to a small community in 2011. Analogue was planned to be ceased in 2015 but got cancelled for unknown reasons.
  •  Chile: The switchoff is due to happen sometime in 2017.
  •  Colombia: The government has plans to close down analogue on Sunday, 1 January 2017.
  •  Costa Rica: Will shut down analogue permanently in December 2018.
  •  Cuba began to propose DVB-T in May 2009, and the analogue switchoff will take place approximately 15 years later, most likely in 2024.[51]
  •  El Salvador: The target date is Tuesday, 1 January 2019.[52]
  •  India: The Cabinet has given the go ahead to switch off analogue television. On cable and terrestrial, it will have four phases, in a 3-year transition starting on 31 March 2012 and finishing on 31 March 2015. There has been no confirmation that analogue satellite will be discontinued yet. For more information go to this website.
  •  Indonesia's analogue television will be phased out starting in 2014. It will take four years before it's switched off nationwide, which is scheduled for 2018.
  •  Laos: The initial plan for transition was announced in May 2007 to start in 2011 and complete in 2015. The government announced in 2010 that they were going to delay this to finish in 2042. In 2011, plans were modified again to being phased out in the 2030s. However, since digital television has still not been launched it is likely that they have delayed the start time to later in the decade.[disputed ]
  •  Malaysia: Information Ministry was planning to shut down the country's analogue television system in phases beginning from 2012 and finishing with the country exclusively broadcasting in DVB-T in 2015. However, it was shelved after the rise of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak following the deposition of former Abdullah Badawi.[53] It was soon revealed that ASEAN's commitment to the digital switchover will take effect between 2015 and 2020.
  •  Peru plans to close down analogue on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. On air with ISDB-T from March 2010.[54]
  •  Singapore plans to complete the switchover to digital broadcasting in line with ASEAN's commitment to the digital switchover, which, similarly to Malaysia, will take effect between 2015 and 2020. Once analogue switchoff is completed, all of MediaCorp's free-to-air TV channels will be broadcast fully in digital.[55]
  •  South Africa started simultaneous digital and analogue broadcasting in November 2008 in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Switch-off was originally scheduled to be completed by 1 November 2011, but for unknown reasons it has now been pushed back to an expected completion date of 1 December 2013. However, transmitters can choose to switch off analogue before this date, but no analogue transmitters have switched off so far.[56]
  •  Tunisia will stop analogue transmittions sometime in 2015.[57]
  •  Ukraine's analogue transmissions will be terminated on Friday, 17 July 2015. Launch of a full-fledged digital TV network capable to replace the existing analog transmissions will occur in 2011 or 2012. The DVB-T2 standard will be used for both SD and HD.
  •  Venezuela plans to close down analogue on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.[citation needed]
  •  Vietnam officially launched DVB-T in 2010 exclusively to the northern part of Vietnam, with analogue being terminated in 2020 in that area. The southern part of Vietnam will launch DVB-T at some point in the 2010s, but no official switchover date has been announced in that area.
  •  Zimbabwe will terminate analogue on 1 December 2013.

Digital-to-analog converters

After the switch from analog to digital broadcasts is complete, analog TVs will be incapable of receiving over-the-air broadcasts without the addition of a set-top converter box. Consequently, a digital converter box – an electronic device that connects to an analog television – must be used in order to allow the television to receive digital broadcasts.[58] In the United States, the government is subsidizing the purchase of such boxes via their coupon-eligible converter box program, funded by a small part of the billions of dollars brought in by the spectrum auction of 12 of the upper UHF channels. The program is managed by the Department of Commerce through its National Telecommunications and Information Administration.[59]

European deployment

United Kingdom

Digital switchover in the United Kingdom
  Switchover has not yet started
  Switchover in progress; BBC2 has been removed
  Switchover complete and all channels have been removed

The initial plan for transition announced in 1999 was to start in 2006 and finish in 2010 but after ITC was replaced by Ofcom it changed the plan to a 5-year transition between 2007 and 2012. The transition started on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 with Whitehaven in Cumbria, and is proceeding to a transmitter switchover timetable, implemented by region. The last transmitters will be switched over during 2012; these will be London, Meridian, Tyne Tees and Ulster. The process is managed by Digital UK, and viewers that are aged over 75 and/or live in a care home will be able to apply to Digital Switchover Help Scheme until March 2013.

All analogue broadcasting will finish on 24 October 2012; the specific date for England is 26 September 2012. Analogue switchoff in Northern Ireland has not yet started but will finish on 24 October 2012. However, this only applies to the terrestrial network; analogue cable is still allowed to broadcast for now, however Virgin Media has plans to shut down its analogue service by January 2012. Analogue satellite was discontinued on 27 September 2001. The old analogue service has been replaced by a stronger digital service and high-definition (HD) channels in regions which have finished the switchover.

Republic of Ireland

Digital television was launched in the Republic of Ireland as Saorview on 29 October 2010. At launch it had 5 standard-definition channels and 1 high-definition channel. The analogue service is set to terminate on 24 October 2012 and will be replaced by a second multiplex for Saorview.

North American deployment

United States

All US full-power analog TV broadcasts came to an end on 12 June 2009.[60] New television devices that receive signals over-the-air, including pocket sized portable televisions, personal computer video capture card tuners and DVD recorders, have been required to include ATSC digital tuners since March 1, 2007.[61]

On 8 September 2008, Wilmington, North Carolina became the first city in the United States to fully switch over from analog to digital broadcasts. All analog signals were terminated at noon. This switchover was a test by FCC to make further improvements to the transition process before the whole nation was switched over to digital.[62] Hawaii followed on 15 January 2009. By midnight on 17 February 2009, the original cut-off date set by the Congress, 641 stations representing 36 percent of U.S. full-power broadcasters were transmitting exclusively in digital.[63] After that, most of the remaining full-power U.S. broadcasters were beaming their signals in both analog and digital formats.

In a January 2009 study, 70% of over-the-air viewers expected to get a DTV converter box, 10% would switch to pay TV services, and 20% would abandon TV altogether.[64] Based on this survey and considering that 13–15% of TV viewers depend on over-the-air TV,[65][66] 3% of the overall TV viewership might be lost due to the DTV conversion. Potential negative impacts on TV stations include reduced TV advertising and pledge drive revenue.

Cable TV systems are not required to convert, but must-carry rules will require local stations to be carried in analog for at least three years after the over-the-air cutoff, until early 2012. Must-carry rules requiring digital-only subchannels to be carried have been a source of contention.

Australian deployment

Digital television commenced in Australia's five most populous cities on Monday, January 1, 2001. Digital switchover was originally intended to be complete by 2008, but got delayed to an expected completion date of Tuesday, 31 December 2013 with Mildura being the first region to terminate its analogue network on 30 June 2010. The second region to terminate its analogue network was Riverland and Broken Hill on 15 December 2010. Regional centers will switchoff between 2011 and 2012, while the main capitals will cease the analogue network in 2013. Until that time, free-to-air stations will be simulcast, along with digital-only channels like ABC2. Since 1999, legislation has required all locally made free-to-air television transmissions to be in 16:9 widescreen format. Cable television networks began simulcasting in 2004 and analogue cable services were switched off in April 2007. The switchover is being co-ordinated by the Digital Switchover Taskforce operating under the federal Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Switchover table

Oceania deployment

New Zealand

New Zealand officially began broadcasting digital terrestrial television using DVB-T MPEG-4 under the name Freeview in 2007. Analogue began to be phased out on 31 July 2011 when Trackside was removed from analogue. The first region to lose all of its analogue channels will be Hawke's Bay and West Coast on 30 September 2012. The remainder of the South Island will follow on 28 April 2013; the Lower North Island and East Cape on 29 September 2013; and finally the Upper North Island on 1 December 2013.

See also

References

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