Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development has presented a roadmap in which it proposes the postponement of the DTT switchover from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 from September 1st 2021 to the September 1st 2022.
The decision comes after both the Italian government and broadcasters realized that it is not possible to meet the initial deadlines.
According to the roadmap, the switchover will not begin before October 15th, but this will be voluntary as the obligation will be set down in a subsequent measure, to be issued by the end of 2021.
Broadcasters association Confindustria Radio TV is mooting a January-March 2022 time frame for the transition to MPEG-4.
Public broadcaster RAI has said it intends to switch its thematic TV channels to MPEG-4 on October 15t, while the remaining channels will continue broadcasting in MPEG-2 for the foreseen future.
The postponement of MPEG-4 will also lead to a delay in the substitution of DVB-T for the DVB-T2 transmission systems, originally scheduled for June 30th 2022.
According to the Ministry’s plans, this deadline would be postponed by at least six months, or from January 1st 2023.
The only confirmation is the transfer of the 700 MHz band, currently used for TV broadcasting, to mobile telephony, set for July 1st 2022. In turn, this could force broadcasters to reduce the number of channels distributed on DTT or drastically reduce the video quality.