DTT SD disappears in Spain in 1 month

Coincidentally, DTT and Valentine's Day are united in the calendar: the February 14, 2024 is the deadline to end broadcasts of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in standard definition (standard definition, SD). Exactly within a month. Therefore, from that same day, all broadcasts in Spain will be in high definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Some television networks have already announced that they will bring forward the elimination of SD a few days before, such as Televisión Española (TVE) and will take advantage, at the same time, to begin broadcasting in UHD 4K from the Wednesday February 7th.

Digital terrestrial television, which in turn replaced the old analogue television (also terrestrial), will undergo a great change in just thirty days. If until now you could tune in to all channels, both in high definition (HD) and standard (SD), that will change in a few days.

Wednesday, February 14, will be when DTT will transmit only on HD channels, to the detriment of standard quality channels, which will disappear. Therefore, if you want to continue watching television, it is necessary to have a television or receiver compatible with HD, something that most modern devices have built-in, but which could affect older ones.

This historical date comes quite late, as detailed in the Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Service. The reason was not small: the exceptional situation created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Initially scheduled for January 1, 2023, it was finally postponed to Valentine's Day, one month and fourteen days later.

DTT of the future tests

In this way, the disappearance of SD channels will save bandwidth and will be of great help for the transmission of 4K content, favoring the expansion of 5G networks throughout the country. as stated in royal decree 391/2019 of June 21.

This, regardless of their scope of coverage (local, regional or state), forces all television channels to transfer their broadcasts to high definition within 30 days. A measure that has generated a diversity of opinions on social networks, despite the fact that 98% of devices and devices are already compatible with HD broadcasting.

DTT in high definition is not always HD

Done the law done the snare. We already partially talked about this a few months ago in this other AVPasion report. The fact that since February 14 it is mandatory to broadcast in 1920 x 1080 pixels does not mean that the content that is broadcast has that resolution. We are very afraid that several channels will inflate their broadcasts from 576 or 720 pixels to those 1080 that are requested in the Official State Gazette. A very sad practice that we hope will soon disappear to avoid misleading viewers.


Taking the above into account, we will have to see how the increase in resolution will affect the image quality. These channels will also use the new codec, in principle more efficient. As a result, all SD channels that also broadcast duplicates in HD will be left free of bandwidth when use ceases.

Knowing all this, it is important to review the following elements so as not to be left without DTT service. This is especially relevant for older people and televisions in second homes.

– HD compatible television. For many years they have been for the most part and there should be no problems with the most recent devices, because they can already receive and display signals in HD and 4K. The main obstacle could be with older devices, so you should consider purchasing a decoder with HD capability or upgrading to a new television.

– HD TDT decoder or tuner. This device will be essential to connect older televisions that do not have HD. To do this, they have to connect to the antenna cable and the television to be able to receive the DTT signal in high definition.

– DTT antenna. It is necessary, in order to correctly receive the DTT signal, to have the appropriate antenna and its corresponding updated amplification modules. Any maintenance company can inspect and install these elements.

– Quality wiring. Something similar to the above. If the path from the antenna to the television runs along a visible facade (it is outdoors) or has several splices with barrels that join several sections of the coaxial cable, our DTT signal will reach the receiver very weak and will make it difficult to tune into the HD channels. This month, it's time to improve that wiring.

– Channel configuration and search. To get rid of the memories of the extinct SD channels, the ideal is to do an automatic search from our television. Once you have found all the available HDs, we can organize them by hand according to our preferences.

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