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Spain: Government Okays Plan for Terrestrial HD

Spain is fast-approaching the digital TV era with its analog switch-off scheduled for next spring, but it has only recently formulated any type of plan for the dissemination of HD content over DTT (digital terrestrial TV), except for some HD tests on public broadcaster TVE and others.

This month the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism & Commerce began mandating a series of technical plans designed to bringing HD to DTT with, among other things, the assignment of digital multiplexers. The new HD scheme will be used by companies that currently have a complete multiplexer operation allocated within the DTT plan—meaning that four digital channels per multiplexer will be permitted to transmit, once Spain's analog turn-off occurs on April 3, 2010.

Apart from regional service's RTVE with two complete multiplexers, another six private broadcasters will be able to count on one multiplexer each.

But more regulatory work is yet to be done. In order to legally commence HD transmissions terrestrially, an official authorization has to occur in accordance with new legislation that has not yet been sanctioned by Spanish Parliament.

Spain's HD DTT format will be 720p 16:9.