Italian public broadcaster RAI will discontinue DVB-T MPEG-2 broadcasts for nine of its thematic TV channels from October 20th.
The change will affect Rai 4, Rai 5, Rai Movie, Rai Yoyo, Rai Sport+ HD, Rai Storia, Rai Gulp, Rai Premium and Rai Scuola, which will all switch to DVB-T MPEG-4 encoding.
For the time being, there will be no changes to the three flagship channels (Rai 1, Rai 2 and Rai 3), along with news network Rainews 24, i.e. reception will still be possible with any DVB-T MPEG-2 compatible device.
The announced changes are part of legislation that foresees the transfer of the resources of the 700 MHz frequency band for 5G mobile connectivity.
A subsequent provision to be issued by the end of the year will define the date for the complete switch-off of DVB-T/MPEG-2 broadcasting at national level.
In order to be future-proof, Italian TV viewers will have to equip themselves with DVB-T2/HEVC compatible TV sets or decoders. They will be able to benefit from an incentive of up to €100 offered by the Italian government for the purchase the new equipment.