Spain's DTT implementation goes well

Iñaki Ferreras

Just one year before Spain's digital switch-over, scheduled for April 3, 2010, digital-terrestrial association Impulsa TDT presented to the media the second edition of its DTT yearbook.

In the presentation Eladio Gutiérrez, the association's president said that digital-terrestrial signals now cover 92% of the population.

June 30 will see the first phase of the analogue switch-off process, corresponding to the first phase of the DTT National Transition Plan. This phase will affect 1,286 towns and cities reaching some 5 million people. Then, on December 31, some 9 million people will be affected by the second phase of the plan.

"In these moments what's important is that three months before the first phase, nearly 12% of the country's population will cease to watch analogue television to turn to digital and in-the-clear," Gutiérrez said.

Impulsa TDT's president highlighted the process was going at a "good pace". He added: "We can already talk about normalization in the use of digital technology because there are already more than 12.3 million users for whom DTT is in daily use."

According to Impulsa's DTT Observatory, penetration is now up to 50%, the audience averages 27.35% of total television comsuption and nearly 17 million boxes have been sold so far, of which 45% have been bought over the last year.

Other figures presented was the share of thematic channels, that averages between 15% and 19% in homes where digital television is the only way to watch television.

José Antonio Quintela, the Transition to the DTT Bureau's general-director, announced in the next three months the Spanish goverment would carry out a great deal of activity to promote DTT in order to successfully complete the first phase of analogue switch-off. There will be an advertising campaign plus information points in the streets of the towns and cities affected.

Asked about who will manage the muxes when every broadcaster has at least one complete mux to use -starting from the moment of analogue switch off - Eladio Gutiérrez said: "I hope it's the broadcasters who manage their own mux totally independently."