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Inside view Digital terrestrial television in Portugal (Portuguese: Televisão Digital Terrestre, or TDT) started on 29 April 2009 with 4 free-to-air (FTA) channels, including a HighDefinition test channel. In the Azores and Madeira Islands, the respective regional channel (RTP Acores or RTP Madeira) is also available. In June 2010 TDT coverage reached 83% of the population and was expected to reach 100%. The analog switch-off took place in 2012. The four existing analog FTA channels are currently simulcasting in DVB-T, MPEG4 (digital), and PAL (analog). The TDT process was broken into two different licenses: one for the management of the FTA network and frequencies, and one for the management and distribution of pay TV channels and content. Both licenses were won by Portugal Telecom (PT). PT acquired also the transmitter network of Televisão Independente (TVI), thus becoming the sole broadcaster of analog television signals. ANACOM's objective was to have 5 TDT FTA channels (including a new 5th FTA channel) and a paid TV offer of around 40 channels. The plan for a paid TV offer was abandoned when PT announced that they were returning the paid TV license to ANACOM, which returned the €2.5 million paid by PT for the license. The creation of the 5th TV channel has been criticized by the main private broadcasters, TVI and Sociedade Independente de Comunicação (SIC). They argued that the television advertising market is already saturated and a new broadcaster would be detrimental to the existing channels. Broadcast television systems are encoding or formatting standards for the transmission and reception of terrestrial television signals. There are three main analog television systems in current use around the world: NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. These systems have several components, including a set of technical parameters for the broadcasting signal, an encoder system for encoding color, and possibly a system

21 YEARS OF GENEROUS PUBLICATIONS

Digital Terrestrial Television In Portugal

for encoding multichannel television sound (MTS). In digital television (DTV), all of these elements are combined in a single digital transmission system. All but one analog television system began as black-and-white systems. Each country, faced with local political, technical, and economic issues, adopted a color television system which was grafted onto an existing monochrome system, using gaps in the video spectrum (explained below) to allow color transmission information to fit in the existing channels allotted. The grafting of the color transmission standards onto existing monochrome systems permitted existing monochrome television receivers predating the changeover to color television to continue to be operated as monochrome television.

T h e H i g h l y C i r c u l a t e d S a t e l l i t e M a g a z i n e

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