100 days before Spain's switch over begins

There are now under 100 days before Spain's main big switch off set for June 30. On that day a total of 1,286 towns and cities included within the Phase I of the National Plan for the Transition to DTT will only get digital terrestrial TV.

So approximately 11,6% of Spain's population will not be able to watch analogue television any longer. All homes, buildings and television sets of these cities will have to be adapted to the new television system in some three months from now.

According to Impulsa TDT - the public association for the promotion and extension of new television - the transition process is being carried out "at a good pace since the latest figures allow us to talk of a normalization in the use of the digital technology in television".

The reality is that there are already more than twelve million users watching DTT contents in this country regularly and its implementation in the homes nears 50%.

"Besides DTT's coverage is already guaranteed for more than 92% of the population,” said Andrés Armas Impulsa TDT's general director.

However there are still some zones where the situation is not so good as official sources claim. Even Impulsa TDT recognizes in the Phase I there are still a lot of buildings to be adapted so the time for this adaptation before next June 30 is already within the limit.

The Phase I switch over will switch the broadcasting of those technical projects affecting a population below 500,000 inhabitants and which have a high percentage of DTT coverage. Those areas will switch to digital on June 30 and include important cities such as Zaragoza, Oviedo or Santiago de Compostela among others. All autonomous regions have towns or cities affected by this Phase including the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

As for phases II and III they will take place on December 31, 2009 and April 3, 2010, respectively and they will mean 8 million viewers first and 100% of population next will switch totally to digital.