Spain: Antenna conversion the major issue

Iñaki Ferreras

The 'antennization' of Spain's TV market is the main problem facing digital-terrestrial, according to Impulsa TDT's president Eladio Gutiérrez. Coverting all shared antennas to digital is a challenge as not all neighbours are willing to pay for conversion.

A large number of shared antenna users are expected to wait until the last minute to make a decision, presenting installers with a problem, making them rush or reach analogue switch off with the work not done. Analogue switch off is set for April 3, 2010.

Eladio Gutiérrez said the conversion of antennas was “the main handicap for DTT implementation and it could be the main reason Spain won't reach analogue switch-off on time".

Meanwhile, the country's broadcasters have again called for a road map to help ease the doubts on what the next television model will be like after analogue switch off. Spain's broadcasters, who are members of Impulsa TDT, consider the road map "essential" to clarify the problem of the multiplexes. At present, one mux must be shared by different broadcasters and the idea is in the future each of them manages its own mux.

Eladio Gutiérrez also highlighted that 55% of Spain's homes are already adapted to digital reception. Among them, 67.3% are already watching DTT. Cataluña, Madrid and the Canary Islands, in that order, have the highest DTT penetration in the country.