60% of Spain's homes have digital TV

Iñaki Ferreras

Nine months before Spain's national analogue switchover 60% of the nation's homes already have a digital box according to Impulsa TDT, the not-for-profit association for the implementation and promotion of digital TV in Spain. But there are still anxieties over digital TV.

There are still some problems to be solved such as the fact that some shops are still selling TV sets without integrated digital tuners and that many neighbours are reluctant to adapt their collective antennas.

By law this conversion must be made by agreement of all the neighbours. If one home-owner refuses then the rest can't force him. But when the analogue switch over starts the adaptation will then be compulsory for everybody.

Impulsa TDT's president Eladio Gutiérrez thinks flexibility should be the rule. "Even an important country like the US has also put off its analogue switch off and nothing happened" he said.

Gutiérrez admitted that DTT implementation will entail profitability problems for local TV stations "because it may be that in an area of 40 or 50 inhabitants per square kilometre there are four local TV stations running and to make this situation profitable will be difficult." Spain has some 1,119 local TV stations.