Italy will switch from the MPEG-2 coding in favour of MPEG-4 on the DVB-T standard from January 1st 2020.
This decision is included in the schedule for the release of the 700 MHz band, published by the Ministry of Economic Development.
The rationale for the adoption of the MPEG-4 format is to enable more efficient use of the spectrum in the transitional period. According to the Ministry, trials conducted in the last two years have demonstrated the validity of the format.
However, the use of the MPEG-4 AVC format, also known as H264, will mean that an estimated 10 million TV sets and digital boxes that are not compatible will have to be replaced. For their part, DTT network operators will need to update the multiplexes to allow the transmission of MPEG-4 content.
“The choice of the most technologically advanced format, is the first step towards the digital transformation of the TV sector that the Government intends to implement”, said the Ministry of Economic Development in a statement.