Delay in digitalization process hits the wallets of viewers


Monday, 22nd August 2011


Media - Television


TV Puls

On July 15th President of Poland signed the Broadcasting Act on the implementation of digital terrestrial television. It is hightime Poles learn about DTT and not just those who track news.

Thinking about them, mid-July, a nationwide information campaign was launched.  With nine spots - currently we can see the first one - we will be encouraged firstly to digital television, and then informed about the switch-off of analog transmitters. The campaign is expected to last 2 years, that is until turning off of the analog transmitters and the transition to terrestrial digital TV signal, which is to take place no later than 31st July 2013.

Delays in the implementation of DTT in our country are big and  they hit wallets of viewers and broadcasters alike. But most of all the group which uses the cheapest paytv packages. Free offer of several Polish channels in digital, high picture and sound quality will certainly constitute a serious competition.  Viewers will be faced with a choice - pay a monthly rate or have a portfolio of free channels, in individual cases bearing one-off expenditure to adapt older TV set to receive DTT.

On the other hand, the existing Broadcasting Act does not protect the interests of broadcasters with new DT channels (it only favors only those who already had analog).  Broadcasting license of FTA channel  (free-to-air meaning unencrypted, no subscription, form of broadcasting) and signal transfer costs dearly, but the same Act does not impose obligation to retransmit the signal by other carriers, the so-called 'must-carry"  for new DTT channels.  And still the question of position in the offer of other carriers lingers ...

Impetus for change may be next year's Euro 2012. Until the start of the championships MUX1 is to be launched.  TVP President has already announced that during the Euro 2012, TVP will want to give live coverage, in high definition, via MUX1, so there is a chance that by next year, football fans will know exactly what digitization is all about.

According to research conducted by PBS DGA in 2009, the maximum benefit from the process of digitization is seen by people aged 17-24 years. Those are mainly males, for whom the possibility of receiving a better quality picture and sound is more important than for women. This should not surprise anyone, because youths are usually fastest to to test tech novelties.  Probably they will not remain indifferent to the benefits which digitization brings.  Image and sound quality for many people - even today - is an important factor in deciding the form of signal reception. Just recently launched campaign should convince a  wider group, both viewers and advertisers, that it is worthwhile to avail of the DTT.

Klaudiusz Gomerski, channel manager Puls 2, Telewizja Puls

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