New year, old uncertainties: whether the complete switch-off to the new technology of DTT (DVB-T2) should have already happened a year ago, the 2024 it should (indeed it could) be the decisive one to carry out this step which up to now has caused numerous delays in the roadmap.
What are “Mux”
The new technology in technical jargon is called Multiplex (abbreviation Mux) of digital terrestrial. What is it about? The word serves to indicate the technique used to transmit the signals (both television and radio) of the new digital. The current one is DVB-T1 but, as mentioned, we are in the transition era towards DVB-T2. Compared to the past, technological advances will allow for less use of frequencies compared to the current ones and the creation of “packages”, therefore more channels and different transmissions within the same Multiplex. For ordinary users it may seem like a small thing but for operators in the sector it is an important progress.
There is at least the entire first part of the year to get up to speed with new TVs or decoders before no longer seeing, free-to-air, some Rai channels which will be the first to be affected by this transition. According to what was recently stated by Stefano Ciccotti, director of technologies at Viale Mazzini, the date to mark on the calendar is that of September 1st when the three main public TV channels, namely Rai 1, Rai 2 and Rai 3, will switch to the new standard. As mentioned, however, if it is true that the three “flagship” channels of Italian TV will start in September, the dates for the other steps are not yet known.
TVs to change
And who doesn’t have a compatible decoder or TV? Only at first will you not notice this transition because the three channels will be maintained, free-to-air, also on the “old” digital terrestrial, the one currently present (DVB-T1). The slowness of the operations is determined above all by one factor: there are still relatively few Italian televisions compatible with the new digital terrestrial and still relatively few families who have purchased a decoder to allow them to watch the channels even with the old TV.
In fact, out of almost 28 million TVs ready for the switch, the half (about 14 million) of them will be unusable if one of the two methods just described is not used. Almost three years ago, the MISE (Ministry of Economic Development) issued a note explaining that the activation of DVB-T2 would be “prepared starting from 1 January 2023, deeming a longer period necessary for the full implementation of the new standard“. Here are the reasons for the delay and procrastination on the part of the ministry: at present there are only indiscretions, and no certain dates, for the gradual transition of television channels to the new digital.