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Digital television transition

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Title: Digital television transition  
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Subject: Digital television, RabbitEars, Digital television in the Netherlands, Digital television in the Philippines, Digital television in the United States
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Digital television transition

The digital television transition, also called the digital switchover or analogue switch-off, is the process in which analog television broadcasting is converted to and replaced by digital television. This primarily involves the conversion of analogue terrestrial television to digital terrestrial. However, it also involves analogue cable conversion to digital cable, as well as analogue to digital satellite.

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; in some countries it is being implemented in stages as in India and the United Kingdom, where each region has a separate date to switch off. In others, the whole country switches on one date, such as the Netherlands, which switched off all analog services on 11 December 2006. Some countries have different switch off dates for each channel, such as China where CCTV channels 1-5 will be switched off first.


  • Purpose of the transition 1
  • Timeline for the digital switchover 2
    • Other information 2.1
  • Digital switchover at a glance 3
  • Transitions around the world 4
    • Transitions completed 4.1
      • Europe 4.1.1
      • America 4.1.2
      • Africa 4.1.3
      • Asia 4.1.4
      • Oceania 4.1.5
    • Transitions in progress 4.2
      • Europe 4.2.1
      • Americas 4.2.2
      • Asia 4.2.3
    • Transitions not yet started 4.3
      • Americas 4.3.1
      • Africa 4.3.2
  • Digital-to-analog converters 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Purpose of the transition

Almost all analogue formats in current use were standardised between the 1940s and the 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 and with stereo sound, second audio program (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 analogue format.

However, during this time, the application and distribution of digital communications evolved. Digital television transmission more efficiently uses the available bandwidth and can easily integrate other digital services. While analog video and audio broadcasts can not efficiently include other digital services, they have the advantage of greater area coverage because a degraded signal can still be usable to a fringe user while a digital one will just drop off.

  • For the end-user, digital television has the potential for resolutions and sound fidelity far higher than those of analogue broadcasts. It is also possible to offer far more channels by way of digital multiplexing, and subchannels, distinct simulcast programming, from the same broadcaster. However, most free-to-air broadcasters do not have the finances to operate multiple channels with the same quality of content on all channels; also the more channels provided has the impact of decreasing the bandwidth available to the existing channel(s) meaning overall lower picture quality due to compression artifacts and non-proportional anamorphic widescreen digital scaling.
  • For government and industry, digital television reallocates the radio spectrum so that it can be auctioned off. In the subsequent auctions, telecommunications industries can introduce new services and products in mobile telephony, wi-fi Internet, and other nationwide telecommunications projects.
  • Impact on public-access television: decreased allocations available, expensive digital equipment cost replacement and lower broadcast area coverage due to digital drop-off.

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 stations, not yet completed for low power stations
  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 DTT transmission
Andorra 25 September 2007
Australia[3] 1 January 2001 30 June 2010 10 December 2013
Belgium 3 November 2008 1 March 2010
Brazil[4] 2 December 2007 29 November 2015 [5] 25 November 2018
Bulgaria 1 January 2009 1 March 2013 30 September 2013
Canada 1 March 2003 31 August 2011
Croatia[6] 13 June 2002 26 January 2010 5 October 2010
Czech Republic[7] October 2005 September 2007 12 February 2012
Denmark 1 March 2003 1 November 2009
El Salvador 22 April 2009 1 March 2018 1 January 2019
Estonia 1 July 2010
Finland 21 August 2001 1 September 2007
France[8] 31 March 2005 2 February 2010 29 November 2011
Germany 1 November 2002 25 November 2008
Greece 20 March 2006 24 September 2009 19 December 2014
Guernsey 17 November 2010
Hungary[9][10] October 2001 31 July 2013 31 October 2013
India[11][12] 26 January 2003 31 October 2012 31 March 2015
Ireland[13] 29 October 2010 24 October 2012
Isle of Man 24 July 2009
Italy 2003 15 October 2008 4 July 2012
Japan[14] 1 December 2003 24 July 2011 31 March 2012
Jersey 17 November 2010
Latvia 1 June 2010
Lithuania March 2001 29 October 2012
Macedonia 4 May 2004 1 January 2010 1 June 2013
Mexico[15] July 2, 2004 18 July 2013 31 December 2015
Netherlands 11 December 2006
New Zealand[16] 2 May 2007 30 September 2012 1 December 2013
Norway 1 September 2007 1 March 2008 1 December 2009
Peru 30 March 2010 28 July 2020 3 January 2023
Poland 30 September 2010 7 November 2012 23 July 2013
Portugal 29 April 2009 12 January 2012 26 April 2012
Philippines October 2008 31 May 2015 31 December 2015
 Qatar 1 January 2002 13 February 2012
 Saudi Arabia 1 January 2003 13 February 2012
Slovakia[17][18][19] 22 December 2009 28 October 2010 31 December 2012
Slovenia 30 June 2011
South Korea 26 October 2001 1 September 2010 31 December 2012
Spain[20][21] 15 November 1999 5 April 2008 3 April 2010
Sweden 1999 19 September 2005 29 October 2007
Switzerland 1 June 2006 1 January 2008
Thailand 1 April 2014 2015 2020
Taiwan 1 January 2004 7 May 2012 30 June 2012
 Tunisia[22] 2012 6 March 2015 3 April 2015
United Kingdom[23] 1998 17 October 2007 24 October 2012
United States[24] 1998 2007 12 June 2009 (Full power stations)
1 September 2015 (Low power stations)

Transitions around the world

Transitions completed


  •  Netherlands moved to digital-only broadcasting on Monday, 11 December 2006, being the first country to do so. The switch-off was helped greatly by the fact that about 80% of Dutch households subscribe to cable systems, which continued to use analog distribution, and thus their old tuners continued to be useful. Like Germany, Sweden and Japan, the Netherlands still has a high number of analogue cable viewers and therefore a switchover to Digital broadcasting is unlikely to happen in the near future.
Analogue closedown warning broadcast in Finland.
  •  Finland ceased analog terrestrial transmissions nationwide at 04:00, Saturday, 1 September 2007[25] (the switch-off was previously planned for midnight on September 1 but a few extra hours were added for technical reasons). This was controversial, as the cost of a digital TV set in Finland at the time was heavily criticised and saw a substantial decrease in how much the television license cost. Cable TV viewers continued to receive analogue broadcasts until the end of February 2008.
  •  Andorra completed its switch-off on Tuesday 25 September 2007.[26]
  •  Sweden: The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial network progressed region–by–region. It started on the island of Gotland on Monday, 19 September 2005, and was completed on Monday, 29 October 2007, when the last analogue SVT1 transmitters in Blekinge and western Scania were shut down.[27] Like the Netherlands, Germany and Japan, cable distributors continued broadcasting analogue television. Cable broadcasters continue to broadcast in analogue (like the Netherlands and Germany), so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future.
  •   Switzerland began with the switch-off on Monday 24 July 2006 in Ticino and continued with Engadin on Monday 13 November 2006. The switch-off was completed on Monday 26 November 2007. A very high percentage of Swiss viewers receive their signals via cable distributors. By 2012 40% of cable viewers have switched to digital. The government plans to shut off analogue cable by 2015.[28]
  •  Germany started the switch-off in the Berlin area, beginning on Friday, 1 November 2002 and completing on Monday 4 August 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 25 November 2008, except one main transmitter in Bad Mergentheim, which was shut down in June 2009. Analogue satellite receivers were still used by 6% of households in 2010 - the highest in Europe. The analogue satellite transmissions were switched off on Monday 30 April 2012, being the last in Europe. However, analogue cable is still used by about 30% of the population and 55% of all cable broadcasts, so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future.
  •  Isle of Man switched off all analogue services on Thursday 16 July 2009.[29]
  •  Denmark switched off all analog services at midnight on Sunday 1 November 2009.[30]
  •  Norway: The switch-off of the analogue transmissions started in March 2008 and was completed on Tuesday 1 December 2009. Norway started its DTT service on the Saturday 1 September 2007.[31]
  •  Belgium: Media regulations are under regional legislation. Flanders switched off analogue television on Monday 3 November 2008, while in Wallonia, all analogue services were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2010, making Belgium a country completely serviced by a digital signal. However, analogue cable is still used by many cable subscribers, so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future.
Analogue closedown warning broadcast in Spain.
  •  Spain: The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial transmissions was completed on Saturday 3 April 2010. The switch-off was successful, as about 70% of Spanish television transmissions are terrestrial, so it was easy for people to just switch to the digital signal. Spain started its DTT service on Wednesday 30 November 2005.[32]
  •  Latvia's analogue television completely converted to digital broadcasting on Tuesday 1 June 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.
  •  Croatia: Analogue television broadcasts were switched off for all national TV channels on Tuesday 5 October 2010 at 12:35 and for local TV channels on Saturday 20 November 2010.[33]
  •  Slovenia: the switch-off on main transmitters was completed on Wednesday 1 December 2010. The last local analogue transmitters were switched off on Thursday 30 June 2011.
  •  San Marino completed its switch-off on Thursday 2 December 2010.
  •  Luxembourg shut down their last analog transmitter on UHF Channel 21 on Friday 31 December 2010.
  •  Monaco switched off their analog TV broadcasts on Tuesday 24 May 2011.
  •  Austria: Began analogue switch-off on Monday, 5 March 2007, progressing from the west to the east.[34] The analog broadcast was shut down nationwide at the end of 2010 regarding the main transmitters.[35] The last analog translators were switched off on 7 June 2011.
  •  Cyprus terminated all analog transmissions on Thursday 30 June 2011 and moved to digital-only transmissions in MPEG-4 on Friday 1 July 2011.
  •  Malta terminated all analogue services on Monday, 31 October 2011. The switch-off was originally planned for Wednesday 1 June 2011 but was delayed for unknown reasons.[36]
  •  France switched off all analogue services (terrestrial, satellite and cable) on Tuesday, 29 November 2011. This included overseas departments and territories such as Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna.
  •  Portugal: Digital broadcasts started on Wednesday 29 April 2009. Portugal's government hoped to cover 80% of the territory with DTV by the end of 2009, and simulcasts remained until Thursday 26 April 2012, when the analogue broadcasting ended. The switchover began on Thursday 12 January 2012.
  •  Czech Republic: The last analogue retransmitters in the south-east Moravia and the northern Moravia - Silesia were switched off on Saturday, 30 June 2012.
  •  Italy: The conversion to digital television progressed region–by–region. It started in Sardinia on Wednesday 15 October 2008, and was completed on Wednesday 4 July 2012, when the last analogue transmitters in the Province of Palermo were shut down.
  •  United Kingdom: Digital terrestrial broadcasting began in the UK on Sunday 15 November 1998 with the launch of the ONdigital, later renamed ITV Digital and now Freeview. The transition from analogue and digital to digital-only terrestrial signals started on Wednesday 17 October 2007 with the Whitehaven transmitter in Cumbria,[37] and followed a transmitter switchover timetable, implemented by region. The first constituent country to switch off all its analogue signals was Wales on Wednesday 31 March 2010[23] and the last region to switch off its analogue signals was Northern Ireland on Wednesday 24 October 2012.[38] Analogue cable broadcasts ended in January 2012, with Milton Keynes still relying on analogue cable, which the town will not get an analogue switch-off. Analogue satellite was discontinued on Thursday 27 September 2001, making the UK and Ireland the first countries in Europe with digital-only satellite.
  •  Ireland: Digital television was launched in Ireland as Saorview on Friday 29 October 2010.[13] At launch it had 5 standard-definition channels and 1 high-definition channel. The analogue service was terminated on Wednesday 24 October 2012 [39] and will be replaced by a second multiplex for Saorview. A small number of low power independent analogue re-broadcast systems (often termed 'deflectors') on UHF are still on air in parts of Ireland and six remain licensed until the Monday 31 December 2012.[40] There has been no date released for the shutdown of analogue cable, and many major cable companies (e.g. UPC Ireland) are still actively offering analogue. Analogue satellite was discontinued on Thursday 27 September 2001, making the UK and Ireland the first countries in Europe with digital-only satellite.
  •  Lithuania: The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial transmissions was completed on Monday, 29 October 2012.
  •  Slovakia: Slovakia finished analogue transmission broadcasts on Monday, 31 December 2012.
  •  Gibraltar Analogue transmissions ceased in December 2012.
  •  Macedonia: Analogue transmission terminated on Saturday, 1 June 2013.[41]
  •  Poland: The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial transmissions was completed on Tuesday, 23 July 2013.
  •  Bulgaria: The analogue signal was officially terminated on Monday, 30 September 2013.[42]
  •  Hungary: Hungarian analogue terrestrial transmissions stopped on Thursday, 31 October 2013, after completing two phases that ended on 31 July and 31 October, respectively.
  •  Iceland ceased analog broadcasting on 10 November 2014.[43]
  •  Greece will complete analogue broadcasting switch off by December 19, 2014.[44]
  •  Albania: Analog broadcasts will be switched off on January 1, 2015.
  •  Armenia: Will shutdown analogue signals on January 1, 2015.
  •  Azerbaijan: Began analogue switch-off on Sunday, 17 October 2010, is expected to complete on January 1, 2015.[45][46]
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina: Will shutdown analogue signals on January 1, 2015.
  •  Georgia: Analog broadcasts will be switched off on January 1, 2015.
  •  Moldova: Will shut down analogue signals on January 1, 2015.
  •  Montenegro: Will shutdown analogue signals on January 1, 2015.
  •  Republic of Kosovo (partially recognized state): Will shutdown analogue signals in January 1, 2015.
  •  Romania plans to switch off analogue broadcasting on January 1, 2015. It began phasing out the analogue transmission on 30 April 2014, with 5 licences awarded for the DTT multiplexes.[47]
  •  Turkey launched trial digital transmissions in 2006 and originally planned to gradually handle the switchover, with a scheduled completion date of 2015. It will be completed on 1 January 2015.[48][49]


  •  Canada: Canada's DTV transition was completed in 28 mandatory markets on Wednesday, 31 August 2011. Some CBC analog transmitters in mandatory markets were permitted to operate for another year, and transmitters outside mandatory markets were given the option of converting to digital, or remaining in analog. The CBC decided to shut down all (more than 600) of its remaining analog transmitters on Tuesday, 31 July 2012, without replacing them.[50] Also on 31 August 2011, all full-power TV transmitters had to vacate channels 52 to 69. There does however remain a very small number of community-based transmitters; see Digital television in Canada


  •  Namibia: Shut down analogue signals on 13 September 2014.
  •  Algeria: Digital broadcasting started in 2009, analog signals were switched off on 10 November 2014.[51]


  •  Israel started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday 2 August 2009 and analogue transmissions ended on Thursday 31 March 2011. Israel was the first nation in the Middle East and the first Non-European nation to shut down their analogue signals.
  •  Saudi Arabia started digital transmissions in MPEG-2 on 1 January 2003. Analogue satellite transmissions were switched off on Thursday 2 July 2009. The Analogue PAL was terminated on Monday 13 February 2012 and will be replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analogue cable by 31 March 2018. Saudi Arabia was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday 26 August 2012. Saudi Arabia adopted DVB-T2 on March 2013.
Example of analog broadcast termination notice screen in Japan.
  •  Japan shut down all analog satellite and the analog terrestrial television in 44 prefectures at noon on Sunday 24 July 2011, while three remaining prefectures (Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi) that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 11 March 2011 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and its related nuclear accidents stopped analog broadcasting at noon on Saturday 31 March 2012.[52] Analog high-definition television broadcasting ended on Sunday, 30 September 2007.[53] Like Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, analog cable continues to broadcast with a high demand too (25% of all viewings, which is known as Dejiana), but the service is scheduled to be terminated on 31 March 2015. Many television stations across the country have already begun broadcasting simultaneously in digital, beginning on Monday 1 December 2003 in the Kanto region and spreading to the other six regions by the end of analog high-definition television broadcasting.
  •  Qatar started digital transmissions in MPEG-2 on Tuesday 1 January 2002. Analogue satellite transmissions were switched off on Thursday 2 July 2009. The Analogue PAL was terminated on Monday 13 February 2012 and will be replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analogue cable by 31 March 2018. Qatar was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday 26 August 2012. Qatar adopted DVB-T2 on January 2013.
  •  Taiwan: Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Taiwan on Friday, 2 July 2004. Analogue television ended transmission on Saturday 30 June 2012. However, the process will be completed in 2014, when the analogue cable television will be phased out.
  •  South Korea: Digital switchover progressed region–by–region, with the first analogue transmitters in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province ending transmissions on Wednesday, September 1, 2010.[54] Digital switchover was completed on Monday, December 31, 2012, when the last analogue transmitters in Gyeonggi Province and Seoul ended transmissions. However, the South Korean government still maintains a few border analogue transmitters which target North Korea; however it will be switched off on June 2015.[55]
  •  United Arab Emirates started digital transmissions in MPEG-2 on Thursday 20 January 2005. Analogue satellite transmissions were switched off on Thursday 2 July 2009. The Analogue PAL was terminated on Monday 13 February 2012 and will be replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analogue cable by 31 March 2018. United Arab Emirates was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday 26 August 2012. United Arab Emirates adopted DVB-T2 on February 2013.
  •  Vietnam: The country launched DVB-T unofficially in 1997, and shut down all analogue signals for good on 28 May 2014.
  •  India: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting set 31 December 2014 as the deadline for digital switchover. Digitization, on cable and terrestrial, will have four phases, in a 3-year transition starting from 1 November 2012, and finished on 10 November 2014.
  •  Iran commenced broadcasting digital TV in 2009, using the DVB-T MPEG-4 standard, with 40% of population having access to digital TV by mid-2011. The switch over to digital TV will be completed on 19 December 2014, when all analogue signals will be terminated.[56][57][58]
  •  Brunei: The country will switch off analogue TV on 1 January 2015.
  •  Cambodia launched DVB-T2 on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, transition will start in 2012 and finish on January 1, 2015. [59]


  •  New Zealand: digital terrestrial television broadcasts began officially in April 2008. Analogue PAL switchoff started on 30 September 2012 with the North Island's Hawke's Bay region and the South Island's West Coast region and finished with the Upper North Island which was switched off 1 December 2013.[60]
  •  Australia: Digital television commenced in Australia's five most populous cities on Monday 1 January 2001. The Mildura region was the first to terminate its analogue network, on Wednesday 30 June 2010. Digital switchover was originally expected to be complete by Tuesday 31 December 2013, however the last regions to switch over (Melbourne and Remote Eastern/Central Australia) did so slightly earlier, on Tuesday 10 December 2013 at 9:00 am.[3] Until the switch-off in the respective areas, free-to-air stations were 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 was co-ordinated by the Digital Switchover Taskforce operating under the federal Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Transitions in progress


  •  Belarus: Analog broadcasts will be switched off on Friday, May 15, 2015. Phased analogue switch-off began August 1, 2013.
  •  Russia The deadline for analogue switch-off signal in all areas is 2016.[61]
  •  Serbia launched its first DTT transmissions in 2005. The first DTT-only channel was made available in 2008. The deadline for the transition to digital has been moved from April 4, 2012 to June 17, 2015.[62] As of 2013, the initial DVB-T2 network covers Belgrade and much of Vojvodina, several cities in Šumadija and Western Serbia and the southern city of Niš.[63] Digital TV switchover for 98% of citizens starts on September 1, 2014. Transition will progress in three stages of analog switchoff.
  •  Ukraine's analogue transmissions will be terminated in 2016. 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.


  •  Argentina: Digital television broadcasts started on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 in Buenos Aires. The analogue network will be terminated on 1 September 2017.
  •  Bolivia: Started on Tuesday, 20 July 2010, it will be completed on 1 September 2017.
  •  Brazil: Began free-to-air HD digital transmissions, after a period of test broadcasts, on Sunday, 2 December 2007 in São Paulo, expanding in 2008 to Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte.[64] Digital broadcasts were phased into the other 23 state capitals in the following years, and to the remaining cities by Tuesday 31 December 2013.[65] Analogue and digital simulcasts were scheduled to continue until Wednesday, 29 June 2016, supposedly to coincide with the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, when analogue would be discontinued. The main broadcasters (Globo, Record, Band, SBT and RedeTV!) are simulcasting in analogue and digital, in standard definition and 1080i high definition. However, in 2013, the government announced that analogue broadcasts will end in 2018 instead of 2016.[66] In July 10, 2014, the Brazilian Ministry of Communications released a timetable for phasing out analog TV signals, starting in November 29, 2015 in Rio Verde, Goiás as a pilot experiment, followed by state capitals, the Federal District and main cities and regions from April 3, 2016 to November 25, 2018, when it is expected the ending of all analog television broadcasting.[67]
  •  Chile: The transition to digital started in 2012, and the switch-off is scheduled for 31 December 2016.
  •  Mexico: Digital broadcasts commenced in 2000, with the first being Tijuana's XETV - an English-language affiliate of The CW serving primarily San Diego, California. Analogue shutdown was originally scheduled to occur in 2021, but on Thursday, September 2, 2010, Mexican president Felipe Calderón, in its Fourth Report of the Government, advanced the analog shutdown from 2021 to 2015.[68] 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. The digital switchover, which will progress region–by–region, was to begin on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Tijuana, but was postponed to July 18 due to the 2013 Baja California state elections.[69] Switchover is scheduled to be completed on December 31, 2015.[15]
  •  Paraguay: The transmission of digital television broadcasts started on August 2011, by TV Pública (which belongs to the Paraguayan government) with an initial coverage area of 25 kilometres (about 16 miles) from Asuncion downtown. The analogue television system switch-off is estimated to be completed on Tuesday, 1 September 2017.
  •  Peru: Digital television broadcasts started in Lima in March 2010, and analogue broadcasts are scheduled to be terminated on 1 September 2017.
  •  United States: On Monday, 8 September 2008, Wilmington, North Carolina became the first city in the United States to fully switch over from analogue to digital broadcasts. All analogue 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.[70] Having moved the deadline from Tuesday, 17 February 2009 (some stations still chose to shutdown on that date), all VHF transmissions (stations 2–13) and most full-power UHF analog transmitters were shut down on Friday, 12 June 2009, with the exception of "nightlight" analog stations (which broadcast a video on how to set up a digital TV or purchase a DTV set-top box) and LPTV transmissions. "Nightlight" broadcasts were shut down on Friday, 26 June 2009. Television transmission on channels 52 to 69 was required to cease by Saturday, 31 December 2011, to allow FCC to commence with the first phase of VHF/UHF TV spectrum allotment for other services. LPTV transmitters (primarily low-powered (LP), and Class-A low-powered (-CA) stations, and also broadcast translator (TX) translator/repeaters in rural communities) will be forced to convert to digital by Tuesday, 1 September 2015.[24]


  •  China: Analogue in CCTV1 to CCTV5 was terminated on 31 January 2014 at 12:00 AM. Analogue services on CCTV6-CCTV10 were terminated on 22 November 2014. Other channels that will terminate analogue broadcasts will follow this schedule: 12 July 2015 (CCTV11-CCTV16), 14 May 2016 (CCTV17-CCTV21), 17 August 2016 (CCTV22-CCTV27), 31 December 2016 (CCTV28-CCTV32), 25 May 2017 (CCTV33-CCTV36), and 1 January 2018 (CCTV37-CCTV45). The last date will mark the switchover to digital broadcast.
  •  Hong Kong's analogue broadcasting was planned to be switched off by 2012.[71] However, it has been postponed until the end of 2015.[72]
  •  Indonesia: Digital switchover has been postponed to 2021.
  •  Malaysia: The first roll-out of DTTB services were rolled out on 16 January 2014, for a start in a few test areas, while full nationwide coverage to an estimated 98% populated areas is slated by the end of the analogue-digital simulcast period.[73] It is expected that Malaysia will terminate analogue signal in 2017.
  •  Philippines: In June 2010, the National Telecommunications Commission set a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on 31 December 2015 for the discontinuation of analog television. Digital television in the Philippines will use the Japanese ISDB standards.
  •  Singapore launched digital terrestrial television under MediaCorp in January 2009. The rest of the analog signals will be switched off in 2018.[74] Analogue broadcasting through StarHub was discontinued on Tuesday, 30 June 2009.
  •  Thailand launched digital terrestrial television in May 2014 after postponed for 12 years. Analog signals will be switched off in 2020.

Transitions not yet started


  •  Colombia: The government has plans to close down analogue broadcast on Sunday, 1 January 2017.
  •  Costa Rica: Will shut down analogue signals 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.[75]
  •  Dominican Republic: Will shut down analogue signals in September 2015.
  •  El Salvador: The target date is Tuesday, 1 January 2019.[76]


The rest of Africa will switch off all analogue signals on 3 April 2015.

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.[77] In the United States, the government subsidized the purchase of such boxes for consumers via their coupon-eligible converter box program in 2009, funded by a small part of the billions of dollars brought in by a spectrum auction. The program was managed by the Department of Commerce through its National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

See also


  1. ^ "DigiTAG Analogue Switch Off Handbook". 2008. 
  2. ^ "Official Journal of the European Union". October 28, 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Digital TV Switchover Australia: Digital TV timetable by region". Australian Government Digital Switchover Taskforce. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-11-29. 
  4. ^ "Transição para rádio e TV digitais começa em 2015 | INFO". Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  5. ^ "TV Digital no Brasil - cronograma de desligamento". TELECO. Retrieved 2014-07-15. 
  6. ^ "Dobrodošli u digitalno doba! / Vijesti / Digitalna televizija / Aktualne teme / Aktualne teme i projekti / Vlada Republike Hrvatske - službeni web portal" (in Hrvatski). Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  7. ^ "Analogové vysílání televize skončí v Česku 12. 2. 2012. Konečně vypíná i Nova" (in Česky). Retrieved 2012-09-13. 
  8. ^ "Page introuvable / Accueil" (in Français). Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  9. ^ (Hungarian)"A new era in the Hungarian television - Start of the residential phase of digital switchover". 2013-03-11. 
  10. ^ "Hungary set for digital switchover". Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Questions raised over I&B ministry's digitisation numbers". Business Standard. October 29, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Home - Going Digital". 2012-06-04. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  14. ^ "[Dpa] 社団法人 デジタル放送推進協会". 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  15. ^ a b "Posible, concluir apagón analógico en 2015: Cofetel" (in Spanish). El Economista. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-06-11. 
  16. ^ "When is my area". Going Digital. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  17. ^ "DVB-T je realitou už aj na Slovensku". Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
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Further reading

  • Hart, Jeffrey A., Television, technology, and competition : HDTV and digital TV in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, New York : Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-521-82624-1

External links

  • Digital Switchover UK
  • EU Switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting
  • Digital UK
  • DigiTAG
  • DigiTAG Handbook on ASO
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