It will be this Wednesday, February 14, coinciding with Valentine’s Day, when what is known as ‘the DTT blackout’, which will mean goodbye to the channels broadcast in standard quality (SD) to make way for the consolidation of high definition (HD). Until then, Users must adapt to this new modality by installing a decoder that works with a quality equal to or higher than that mentioned or, also, by purchasing a new HD television.
In short, DTT will transmit only in HD As a result of a change proposed by the Ministry for Digital Transformation during the pandemic, this blackout was initially scheduled for January 1, 2023, but was finally postponed to February of this year. And what is your objective? This is a measure that will improve the image quality of the channels and, in addition, those that do not offer a minimum of quality will be eliminated forever, that is, all the channels that do not broadcast in HD.
In addition, This rule was announced by the Official State Gazette (BOE, for its acronym) in January 2023, indicating that “each digital multiplex, regardless of its scope of coverage, must evolve its broadcasts to high definition (HD) before February 14, 2024.” That is, if the channels want to continue being available on DTT, They must update their quality to avoid their disappearance.
What will have to be done to continue watching the channels?
If you can already watch HD channels, your television is compatible and you will only have to reorder the channelsand in some cases retune because when the services in standard definition disappear, the number of channels and their position in the list may change.
However, on some televisions, tuning is done automatically, but if you do not know how to do it, you can consult the manual of the electronic device. While it is true that although the steps may vary depending on the model, in general terms you can follow these steps detailed in the indicative guide for Digital Terrestrial Television:
- Press “Menu” on the remote control.
- Scroll until you find an option called “Settings.”
- Then “Search Channels” or “Auto Tuning”.
- This automatic search process takes several minutes and then you will have to sort the channels you want.
What devices will be compatible?
According to the Ministry for Digital Transformation and Public Serviceto watch DTT in HD, the essential elements to adapt to this technological phase are:
- HD compatible TV: The first step is to check if the TV supports high definition. Newer televisions typically have the ability to receive and display HD signals. However, older televisions may lack this capability, so you should consider purchasing a new television that is compatible with HD technology or a decoder or tuner with HD capability.
- HD TDT decoder or tuner: If your television is not compatible with HD broadcasting, it will be necessary to have an HD DTT decoder or tuner. These devices connect to the antenna cable and the television and allow you to receive the DTT signal in high definition format.
- DTT antenna: The antenna plays a crucial role in receiving the DTT signal. It is important to ensure that you have a suitable antenna in good condition to receive HD broadcasts. It may need to be adjusted to optimize signal reception. In the case of neighborhood communities, it may be necessary to install additional modules or update existing ones, so the community of owners should contact an authorized installer.
- Quality wiring: The wiring used to connect the antenna to the TV or set-top box can also affect signal quality. It is advisable to use good quality cables and ensure that they are in good condition to avoid interference and loss of signal quality.
- Settings and channel search: Once you have all the necessary elements, you will have to search for channels on the television or decoder. This process will allow you to tune in and save the DTT channels available in your area.
How do I keep my old TV working?
The end of DTT means that users with old televisions, which do not accept HD quality, will no longer be able to watch televised content unless they take action. Luckily, there is a solution besides buying a new TV that consists of connecting an external decoder for DTT in HD with a scart connector or via HDMI.
It is also necessary have an adapted DTT antenna in your home or neighborhood community. You may already have completed this step because it was necessary for SD channels.
If you search ‘DTT HD decoder’ on Amazon or other e-commerce platforms, you will find endless options for between 20 and 40 euros. That price is much lower than what a new television can cost, which, according to idealo.es, costs 948 euros on average. For this reason, many Spaniards whose TV still works prefer to spend the money on that small device rather than opting for a current model.