L’8 march we witnessed the first phase of the switch off of digital terrestrial. Yes, “first phase” because the process will be quite long and will probably also take a good part of 2023. Now, however, we have put in place the first piece, that of the transition from Mpeg-2 to Mpeg-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) encoding .
What does it mean?
Basically the new standard allowed to make a small change: now the national channels in HD correspond to numbers 1, 2, 3 and so on of the digital terrestrial while the SD (standard definition) ones have been moved from channel 501 onwards.
The transition, however, was not entirely painless.
Digital terrestrial: the problems after the switch off on 8 March
Most Italians did not encounter major difficulties. Re-tuning was successful in most cases, with a maximum of 2-3 attempts in cases of missing channels.
However, there was no lack of problems.
First of all some users have difficulty in receiving audio from Mediaset channels, which took advantage of this first phase of the switch off to implement new technologies such as Dolby Digital +. According to what has been reported, cheaper set-top boxes and TVs seem partially incompatible. A problem that could be solved either with a software update – which is not expected to arrive – or with the purchase of a suitable decoder.
The audio problem is present though also on some Sky decoders, with subscribers who are now waiting for the issue to be resolved.
In some cases finally the local TV channels are gone. The problem, however, is not linked to compatibility with the new encoding but to the refarming of the frequencies. The switch off of digital terrestrial in fact was designed to free up the 700 MHz band, which will be used for 5G. During the passage of 8 March some local broadcasters in Lombardy and Piemente took the opportunity to pass its two unused frequencies. Too bad that not all condominium condominium systems, therefore equipped with filters that should improve the TV signal that arrives in the individual apartments, have adapted in time. The only possibility now is to contact the antenna technician to modify the system.