Spain’s HD DTT ‘very poor’

TV makers have condemned the poor quality of the present HD TV that the commercial (private) DTT channels -Antena 3, Tele 5 and La Sexta- are offering inadequate bandwidth for the channels in their respective multiplexes.

The broadcasters are dedicating only 6 to 7 Megabits per second to their HD TV channels, out of the 20 Megabits they have in their multiplexes as none of them are willing to reduce the number of their DTT channels to the benefit of a real HD TV channel. By way of comparison it is half the capacity satellite operators are using for HD TV. It is also lower than the 8 to 10 Megabits public broadcasters, like RTVE, are using in their HD TV channels.

For electronic manufacturers, terrestrial broadcasters “are not broadcasting real HD TV”. Even the TV channels acknowledge that they have launched “HD without H”.

Despite of this, HD TV is likely to significantly grow over the next two years to 11.5 million HD TV sets sold in the market in 2011, according to consultancy firm GfK.

By the end of 2010, 6.6 million HD TV sets will have been sold with other 5.5 million in 2011. So far the HD TV devices already sold are estimated at around 3 to 3.5 million, 10 per cent of the market, so all the industry relies on the Christmas campaign to sell another 3 million.

GfK thinks that HD TV will be a success in Spain, despite the fact that HD DTT penetration only reaches 18.3 per cent of the country. Even worse around 12 million TV sets in the country, 46 per cent of the total market, are not ready for HDTV and other 11 million need a special STB to watch it, according to the Electronic Association Asimelec.

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