Spain: DTT box sales up

Iñaki Ferreras

In spite of the economic crisis Spaniards are now snapping up DTT boxes, probably due to the fact they are becoming more aware of national analogue switch off in April 2010. According to Impulsa TDT, in March alone some 623,000 new DTT receivers were sold.

Accumulated sales since the beginning of the DTT process is a little over 17.5 million units )the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla not included).

The good figures come at a time when Impulsa TDT is worried by the confusion of the general population over the different types of boxes and the latest news over plans for high definition TV on the future pay-DTT platform.

Impulsa TDT's latest report assures the final goal of Spaniards when buying a new DTT decoder is to adapt their TV set and so continue wtaching on their old equipment. However the association wants to transmit the message that the main function of these receivers is to decode the digital signal so that digital contents can be watched and that all equipment sold is valid for this purpose. HD and pay-DTT might confuse this message at a delicate time.

Also included in the report is that DTT signal coverage is at 94.83% meaning some 43.8 million people already have access to the DTT signal. So this figure means the coverage stands above the National DTT Plan's stipulation.

As for the adaptation of the collective antennas, that grew 3.6 percentage points in the first quarter of this year. The total percentage of buildings ready for the new audiovisual technology stands at 69.2% of the total according to the National Federation of Installers (FENITEL). In absolute numbers a total of 38,000 new collective adaptations have been made so far. But there are still to be adapted some 380,000 buildings meaning 30.8% of those buildings with three or more apartments.

As for the number of homes totally adapted that has now reached 57.3%, meaning more than 9.5 million homes.