Spain rules on HDTV
February 14, 2011
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The Spanish Government has approved a new piece of legislation to regulate HDTV content and the use of the multiplex capacity on DTT. The new rule obliges broadcasters to inform viewers about HDTV broadcasts that must meet at least 720 active lines under 16:9 format in the production process. The new rule aims to avoid confusion amongst viewers about what HDTV is or not and oblige broadcasters to meet minimum HDTV requisites.
Also, the new law has lifted the limit imposed on broadcasters of two DTT services in each multiplex.
Electronic manufacturers have been complaining about the poor quality of the present HD TV that the commercial (private) TV channels -Antena 3, Tele 5 and La Sexta- are offering for lack of enough bandwidth in their respective multiplex with a capacity of up to 4 TV channels.
The broadcasters, so far, have been 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. As a way of comparison, it is half the capacity satellite operators are using for HD TV. It is also much less 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 aknowledge that they have launched “HD without H”.