Italy completes MPEG-4 switchover
December 20, 2022
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italy will complete the switchover from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 with AVC encoding for DTT broadcasting on December 21st.
Most of the national TV channels had already switched to MPEG-4 AVC encoding since March 8th, but smaller broadcasters were given more time to adjust to the new regime.
The switch was necessary in order to free up frequencies in the 700 MHz band, previously used for TV broadcasting, for the rollout of 5G mobile telephony services.
Major broadcasters, such as RAI and Mediaset, have also increased image resolution from 576i to 1080i and switched to HD for their channels in recent months, although there will be no generalised switch from SD to HD for the time being.
Another important change is the activation of the DVB-T2 standard on a national level. According to research conducted by the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, as of June 2022 there were more than 30 million TV sets (out of a total of about 47 million) capable of receiving DVB-T2 in Italy.