From the end of March to the end of June, the process of changing the digital terrestrial television standard was underway in Poland. MUX-1, MUX-2 and MUX-4 have switched to DVB-T2 / HEVC, which allows you to stream more TV channels or improve the quality of their images. MUX-3 was to be changed, but In March, Mariusz Kaminsky, Minister of the Interior and Administration, asked the head of the Office of Electronic Communications, Jacek Oko, to postpone this operation in connection with the war in Ukraine. The multiplexing with the main channels of Telewizja Polska accompanies the regional alert system. The UKE chief has approved the release of MUX-3 with the old standard by the end of 2023.
MUX-8, where Metro, Nowa TV, TVP Women, TVP Kultura, WP TV, Zoom TV and most recently a version of TVP ABC air, hasn’t been changed to the standard at all. Its stations are still broadcast in Standard Definition (SD), while commercial channels that switched to DVB-T2 / HEVC in recent months can be watched all over Poland in HD. These are TVN, TVN7, TTV, Polsat, Super Polsat, TV4, TV6, TV Trwam, TV Puls, Puls 2, Stopklatka, TVP ABC, Fokus TV, Polo TV, Eska TV.
“There are no pending proceedings in this case.”
It seems that MUX-8 ground stations will not improve quality soon with the switch to DVB-T2 / HEVC. – Valid reservation content for Emitel and MUX8 companies can be found on the website (https://bip.uke.gov.pl/rezerwacje-czestotliwosci/rezerwacje-telewzyjne-tresci/174-230-mhz, 2. Programming language). According to its provisions, until the end of its term, the binding broadcasting standard is DVB-T. There are no ongoing procedures to change this aspect Wirtualnemedia.pl informs Witold Tomaszewski, acting UKE spokesperson. The aforementioned booking decision was issued by UKE Chief Magdalena Gaj on 2 October 2015 and is valid from the date of handover for a period of 15 years. Thus, its application ceases only at the end of 2030.
Of course, the UKE can change the reservation and allow broadcasting in DVB-T2 / HEVC. For this, however, we need an agreement between the regulators, all broadcasters from multiplex and Emitel. – In accordance with the order of the Head of the Office of Electronic Communications dated January 17, 2020 on the Frequency Management Plan for the band 470-790 MHz “- all changes related to the band 470-790 MHz (UHF bands) in connection with the release of the 700 MHz band. Therefore, the change in the broadcast standard It relates only to the UHF bands (i.e. the above frequencies).In the UHF band, the MUX-1,2,3,4 is broadcast.MUX-8 is broadcast in the VHF band and is not affected by changes. Responsibility for decisions regarding the future of the MUX-8 rests with the relevant offices and broadcasters that broadcast programs in this multiplier. At the moment, we are not aware of any decisions regarding further development of MUX-8 – Reveals Wirtualnemedia.pl Agnieszka Sobucka, Director of Communications and Public Relations and Spokesperson for Emitel.
Opportunity to transfer MUX-8 content to the UHF band
Most broadcasters do not want to disclose their intentions regarding the transition of MUX-8 to the DVB-T2 / HEVC standard. – The change of the standard was associated with changing the frequency band of the radio band, the so-called rearmament of the 700 MHz band. MUX-8 operates under 470MHz, so it is not subject to these operations, reports the TVP Information Center. Although MUX-8 did not have to free up the bandwidth of mobile operators, broadcasting in an old standard does not allow all multicast stations to be broadcast in HD. Converting to DVB-T2 / HEVC will allow this.
What is the earliest time for such changes to occur? – Redistribution can cover channels on the eighth multiplex only when the MUX-8 broadcast band changes (from VHF to UHF), and all MUX-8 stations will switch to a new national television multiplex MUX-5 or MUX-6. But at the moment, these are only theoretical considerations – the representative of one of the commercial stations of MUX-8, who wishes to remain anonymous, keeps in an interview with Wirtualnemedia.pl.
At the end of 2021, the head of the National Broadcasting Council, Witold Kołodziejski, approached the head of the UKE with a proposal to transfer the MUX-8 to the UHF band. Then the band currently occupied by the eighth multiplexer will go to radio digitization needs. The VHF band often requires a more extensive antenna installation on the part of the recipients. Emitel also had to make multi-million dollar investments in antenna systems intended for this range. Channels with MUX-8 struggled from the start with a smaller range than those offered on MUX-1, MUX-2 and MUX-3 in the UHF band.
Critics of Kołodziejski’s idea point out that it’s already next year At an international conference in Geneva, a decision may be made to transfer more UHF frequencies to telecommunications in the next decade. After 2030, some complexes may run out of space. TePanel data shows that less than 5 percent. Poles have DAB + radio receivers. Every third receiver in Poland uses digital terrestrial television, so keeping a multiplexer in the VHF range may be a better solution. Although more than six months have passed since Kołodziejski’s proposal, no decisions have been taken on the matter yet. The National Broadcasting Council did not answer our questions about MUX-8 emission in the DVB-T2/HEVC standard.
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