Digital television transition
The digital television transition, also called the digital switchover, the analog switch-off (ASO), or the analog shutdown, is the process, mainly begun in 2006 (for terrestrial broadcasting), in which older analog television broadcasting technology is converted to and replaced by digital television. Conducted by individual nations on different schedules, this primarily involves the conversion of analog terrestrial television broadcasting infrastructure to digital terrestrial. However, it also involves analog cable conversion to digital cable or internet protocol television, as well as analog to digital satellite television. Transition of land based broadcasting was begun by some countries around 2000. By contrast, transition of satellite television systems was well underway or completed in many counties by this time. It is an involved process because the existing analog television receivers owned by viewers cannot receive digital broadcasts; viewers must either purchase new digital TVs, or converter boxes which change the digital signal to an analog signal or some other form of a digital signal (i.e. HDMI) which can be received on the older TV.
In many countries, a simulcast service is operated where a broadcast is made available to viewers in both analog and digital at the same time. As digital becomes more popular, it is expected that the existing analog services will be removed. In most places this has already happened, where a broadcaster has offered incentives to viewers to encourage them to switch to digital. In other cases government policies have been introduced to encourage or force the switchover process, especially with regard to terrestrial broadcasts. Government intervention usually involves providing some funding for broadcasters and, in some cases, monetary relief to viewers, to enable a switchover to happen by a given deadline. Governments can also require all receiving equipment sold in a country to support the necessary digital reception 'tuner'.
The switchover process is being accomplished on different schedules in different countries; in some countries it is being implemented in stages as in Australia, Brazil, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, where each region has a separate date to switch off. In others, the whole country switches on one date, such as the Netherlands, which switched off its analog terrestrial services on 11 December 2006. On 3 August 2003, Berlin became the world's first city to switch off terrestrial analog signals. Luxembourg was the first country to complete its terrestrial switchover, in September 2006.
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- 2001: United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland (satellite services)
- 2002: Faroe Islands
- 2006: Luxembourg (terrestrial) (September), Netherlands (December)
- 2007: Finland (September 1), Andorra (September 25), Sweden (October), Switzerland (November)
- 2008: Germany, Belgium (Flanders)
- 2009: United States (full power stations) (June), Isle of Man (July), Denmark And Norway (December)
- 2010: Belgium (Wallonia), Croatia, Estonia, Guernsey, Jersey, Japan (northeastern Ishikawa Prefecture only), Latvia, Luxembourg (cable television and satellite), San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom (Wales)
- 2011: Austria, Canada (major markets), Cyprus, France, Israel, Japan (except earthquake-affected prefectures), Malta, Monaco, Turkey, United Kingdom (Scotland)
- 2012: Czech Republic, Gibraltar, Republic of Ireland (terrestrial), Italy, Japan (Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi Prefectures), Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Portugal, Slovakia, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom (England and Northern Ireland)
- 2013: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Poland, United Kingdom (cable television)
- 2014: Serbia, Iceland, Namibia, Algeria
- 2015: Belarus, Brunei, Greece, Iran, Morocco (UHF band), Mexico, Moldova, Romania (UHF band), Rwanda, Turkey, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Georgia, United States (class A low-power stations), Mongolia
- 2016: Bermuda, Brazil (Federal District and the city of Rio Verde, Goiás), Chile, China (CCTV), Burundi
- 2017: Brazil (a few metropolitan areas, such as São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, among others), Philippines (Light Network), Romania (phase 2), Germany Unitymedia, Kyrgyzstan, Brunei
- 2018: Brazil (major markets, including all markets in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo states), Romania (VHF band), Thailand (most channels), Ukraine (most channels), Uzbekistan, Philippines (RJ TV/2nd Avenue)
- 2019: Bolivia, Republic of Ireland (cable television), Russia, Singapore, India (phase one), Moldova (Transnistria), Peru (Lima and Callao), Costa Rica, South Africa, Malaysia (third quarter)
- 2020: Brazil (other markets), China (commercial stations), Morocco (VHF band), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand (Channel 3), Venezuela, Moldova (Other territory's), Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan
- 2021: Dominican Republic, United States (low-power stations), India (phase two), Colombia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Paraguay
- 2022: Canada (remaining markets), El Salvador
- 2023: Cambodia, Cuba, Philippines (remaining markets), India (last phase), Peru (rest of country)
- Unknown: Iran, Uruguay, Panama
The Geneva 2006 Agreement set 17 June 2015 as the date after which countries may use frequencies currently assigned for analog television transmission for digital services, without being required to protect the analog services of neighbouring countries against interference. This date was generally viewed as an internationally mandated analog switch-off date, at least along national borders. The European Commission has recommended that digital switchover should be completed by 1 January 2012 - Commission Recommendation 2009/848/EC, of 28 October 2009.
Satellite and CableEdit
Satellite broadcasting switched to digital much earlier than terrestrial broadcasting. The switchover process is much easier for satellite since only changes to the earth station equipment are needed on the transmission side and consumers are already used to having a set top box/decoder. In many places, the satellite switchover was complete before terrestrial switchover was even started. Cable on the other hand would switch off months, if not years after terrestrial did.
Terrestrial Digital switchover at a glanceEdit
|Digital switchover by country|
|Albania||1 September 2019|
|Algeria||10 November 2014|
|Andorra||25 September 2007|
|Argentina||9 September 2008|
|Armenia||10 July 2015|
|Australia||1 January 2001||30 June 2010||10 December 2013|
|Austria||7 June 2011|
|Azerbaijan||17 June 2015|
|Belgium||16 July 2002 (RTBF)
31 May 2004 (VRT)
|3 November 2008||1 March 2010 (RTBF) |
3 November 2008 (VRT)
|Brazil||2 December 2007||15 February 2016||31 December 2023|
|Brunei||2014||31 July 2017||31 December 2017|
|Bulgaria||1 January 2009||1 March 2013||30 September 2013|
|Cambodia||9 November 2010||2023|
|Canada||1 March 2003||31 August 2011||14 January 2022|
|China||11 January 2008||31 January 2014 (CCTV)
2016 (private broadcasters)
|14 May 2016 (CCTV) |
2020 (private broadcasters)
|Colombia||31 December 2019|
|Costa Rica||15 August 2019|
|Côte d’Ivoire||8 February 2019||TBD||June 2020|
|Croatia||13 June 2002||26 January 2010||5 October 2010|
|Cyprus||1 July 2011|
|Czech Republic||October 2005||September 2007||12 February 2012|
|Denmark||1 March 2003||1 November 2009|
|Dominican Republic||9 August 2021|
|El Salvador||22 April 2009||21 December 2018||2022|
|Estonia||1 July 2010|
|Finland||16 September 2000 (test)
27 August 2001 (properly)
|1 September 2007|
|France||31 March 2005||2 February 2010||29 November 2011|
|Gabon||17 June 2016|
|Georgia||1 July 2015|
|Germany||1 November 2002||25 November 2008|
|Greece||20 March 2006||24 September 2009||6 February 2015|
|Guernsey||17 November 2010||17 November 2010|
|Hungary||October 2001||31 July 2013||31 October 2013|
|Iceland||2 February 2015|
|HongKong||31 December 2007||30 November 2020||30 November 2020|
|India||26 January 2003||31 October 2012||31 December 2019 (metro cities)
31 December 2021 (+1M cities)
31 December 2023 (Everywhere else)
|Indonesia||13 August 2008 (as DVB-T)
16 October 2012 (as DVB-T2)
|17 February 2020||12 June 2020|
|Ireland||29 October 2010||24 October 2012|
|Isle of Man||18 June 2009||24 July 2009|
|Israel||2 August 2009||31 March 2011|
|Italy||1 December 2003||15 October 2008||4 July 2012|
|Japan||1 December 2003||24 July 2010 (Northeastern Ishikawa)||24 July 2011 (Rest of Ishikawa and 43 other prefectures) |
31 March 2012 (Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima prefectures)
|Jersey||17 November 2010||17 November 2010|
|Kazakhstan||2010||1 December 2018||1 July 2021|
|North Korea||19 January 2015||TBD||TBD|
|South Korea||26 October 2001||1 September 2010||31 December 2012|
|Kyrgyzstan||November 2008||15 May 2017|
|Latvia||1 June 2010|
|Lithuania||March 2001||29 October 2012|
|North Macedonia||4 May 2004||1 January 2010||1 June 2013|
|Malaysia||January 2014||6 June 2017||October 2019|
|Malta||31 October 2011|
|Mauritius||17 June 2014|
|Mexico||2 July 2004||18 July 2013||31 December 2015|
|Monaco||24 May 2011|
|Mongolia||July 2014||2 March 2015||2015|
|Montenegro||17 June 2015|
|Morocco||February 2007||17 June 2015||17 June 2020|
|Myanmar||15 October 2013||2020|
|Namibia||13 September 2014|
|Netherlands||11 December 2006|
|New Zealand||2 May 2007||30 September 2012||1 December 2013|
|Norway||1 September 2007||1 March 2008||1 December 2009|
|Paraguay||15 August 2011||2021|
|Peru||30 March 2010||28 July 2020||3 January 2023|
|Philippines||14 February 2017||28 February 2017||30 April 2023|
|Poland||30 September 2010||7 November 2012||23 July 2013|
|Portugal||29 April 2009||12 January 2012||26 April 2012|
|Qatar||1 January 2001||13 February 2012|
|Romania||1 December 2005||17 June 2015||1 May 2018|
|Russia||24 June 2009||3 December 2018||3 June 2019 (Far Eastern Federal District) |
14 October 2019 (Other Federal Districts)
|Rwanda||31 July 2014|
|San Marino||2 December 2010|
|Saudi Arabia||1 January 2001||13 February 2012|
|Serbia||2005||2014||7 June 2015|
|Singapore||1 January 2007||16 December 2013||1 January 2019|
|Slovakia||22 December 2009||28 October 2010||31 December 2012|
|Slovenia||1 December 2010||30 June 2011|
|South Africa||1 February 2016||28 October 2016||June 2019|
|Spain||15 November 1999||5 April 2008||3 April 2010|
|Sweden||April 1999||19 September 2005||15 October 2007|
|Switzerland||24 July 2006||26 November 2007|
|Taiwan||1 January 2004||7 May 2012||30 June 2012|
|Thailand||1 April 2014||1 December 2015||25 March 2020|
|Tunisia||2012||6 March 2015||3 April 2015|
|United Arab Emirates||1 January 2001||13 February 2012|
|United Kingdom||15 November 1998||17 October 2007||21 March 2010 (Wales) |
22 June 2011 (Scotland)
26 September 2012 (England)
24 October 2012 (Northern Ireland)
|United States||1998||8 September 2008||12 June 2009 (full power stations) |
1 September 2015 (Class-A low power stations)
13 July 2021 (Remaining low power stations)
|Ukraine||18 August 2011||1 August 2018||1 September 2018 (Most other territories) |
1 January 2020 (Russian-bordering regions; local channels without digital license)
|Uzbekistan||2010||15 January 2018||5 December 2018|
|Vietnam||1997||May 28, 2014||2020||Zambia||31 December 2014|
Transitions around the worldEdit
- Algeria: Digital broadcasting started in 2009, analog signals were switched off on 10 November 2014.
- Gabon had turned off all analog signals on 17 June 2016.
- Ghana: Analog switch-off occurred in June 2015, switching to DVB-T.
- Kenya: Analog switch off was supposed to take place in 2013, however media houses challenged the move in court and the switch off has since been moved to 31 December 2014 for the metropolitan areas and their surroundings while in the rest of the country switched to DVB-T2 in March 2015.
- Mauritius: Analog shut off on 17 June 2014. Switched to DVB-T.
- Namibia: Analog signals were terminated on 13 September 2014.
- Rwanda: Shut off the last of its analog signals in March 2014. Switched to DVB-T, with plans to upgrade to DVB-T2 in the future.
- Tanzania: Shut off the last of its analog signals in July 2014. Switched to DVB-T2
- Zambia: Analog shut off on 31 December 2014. Switched to DVB-T2.
- Bermuda: The Bermuda Broadcasting Company terminated terrestrial NTSC-M broadcasts in March 2016. ZFB-TV (analog channel 7) and ZBM-TV (analog channel 9), the two television stations in Bermuda, have now switched to digital channels 20.1 and 20.2, respectively. Like its parent nation (the United Kingdom) and unlike the United States, Canada and the Bahamas (which have been transitioning to ATSC), Bermuda switched over to DVB-T.
- Mexico: Digital broadcasts started in 2000, with the first being Tijuana's XETV – an English-language television station that primarily served San Diego, California between the 1960s and the early 2010s. Analog shutdown was originally scheduled to occur in 2012, but on Thursday, 2 September 2010, Mexican government advanced the analog shutdown from 2012 to 2015. From 2013, areas began to be switched over regionally depending on the presence of digital terrestrial stations and a campaign headed by the SCT to distribute free television converters to households on the government welfare rolls. The first digital switchover was to begin on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 in Tijuana, but was postponed to 18 July due to the 2013 Baja California state elections. The switchover was completed nationwide on 31 December 2015, when all remaining analog television stations left the air. Mexico then instituted a nationwide remapping of network stations in late 2015 requiring most of them to map to the channel number in either Mexico City, or for regional networks, the main metro area served by the network's flagship station.
- Bahrain: The analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated on Monday, 13 February 2012 and was replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analog cable by 31 March 2023. Bahrain was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday, 26 August 2012. Bahrain adopted DVB-T2 in March 2013. Analog satellite transmission were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2004. Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Arab world on Thursday, 20 September 2007 (known as Nilesat).
- Brunei: The country selected the standard of DVB-T2 with first launch in 2014. Full transition to digital terrestrial television broadcasting were completed on 31 December 2017.
- China (CCTV): China Central Television, the country's state broadcaster, began its conversion from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting on all of its channels in 2014. Analog broadcasts of CCTV-1, CCTV-2, CCTV-3, CCTV-4, CCTV-5, and CCTV-5+ were terminated on 31 January 2014, while analog broadcasts of CCTV-6, CCTV-7, CCTV-8, CCTV-9, and CCTV-10 were terminated on 22 November 2014. On 12 July 2015 analog broadcasts of CCTV-11, CCTV-12, CCTV-13, CCTV-14, and CCTV-15 were terminated. Analog broadcasts finished when CCTV-News, CCTV-F, CCTV-E, CCTV International Arabic, and CCTV International Russian ended on 14 May 2016.
- Israel: started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday 2 August 2009 and analog transmissions ended on Thursday 31 March 2011.
- Japan: The analog shutdown began on 24 July 2010 in Suzu, Ishikawa as a pilot experiment. Analog terrestrial television transmissions in the remainder of Ishikawa Prefecture and 43 other prefectures, as well as analog Broadcast Satellite and Wowow services, ended at noon on Sunday 24 July 2011, along with the analog satellite services; three remaining prefectures (Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi) that were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 11 March 2011 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake and its related nuclear accidents stopped analog broadcasting at noon on Saturday, 31 March 2012. In both of those cases, the analog transmitters themselves were switched off at midnight on the same day. Analog high-definition television broadcasting ended on Sunday, 30 September 2007. Like Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, an analog cable service (known as Dejiana since 1 July 2011) continued to be broadcast, but starting on 1 April 2012, all cable providers in Japan were required to convert from analog to digital services. Most analog cable services were terminated between 24 July 2011 and April 2015. All television stations across the country are now broadcasting only in digital, ending an analog-digital simulcast period that began on Monday 1 December 2003 in the Kantō region (which expanded to all other prefectures over the next four years) and ended between 24 July 2011 and 31 March 2012 (when all analog transmissions were shut down).
- Mongolia: The country selected the standard of DVB-T2 with first launch in 2014. Full transition to digital terrestrial television broadcasting were completed in 2015.
- South Korea: Digital switchover progressed region–by–region, with the first analog transmitters in Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province ending transmissions on Wednesday, 1 September 2010. Analog broadcasting official officially ended Monday 31 December 2012 at 04:00 KST when the analog cable television and analog transmitters in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Incheon ended transmissions. A few border analog transmitters targeting North Korea were switched off in June 2015.
- Qatar: The analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated on Monday, 13 February 2012 and was replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analog cable by 31 March 2023. Qatar was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday, 26 August 2012. Qatar adopted DVB-T2 in February 2013. Analog satellite transmission were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2004. Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Arab world on Monday, 1 January 2001 (known as Nilesat).
- Saudi Arabia: The analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated on Monday, 13 February 2012 and was replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analog cable by 31 March 2023. Saudi Arabia was transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday, 26 August 2012. Saudi Arabia adopted DVB-T2 in March 2013. Analog satellite transmission were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2004. Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Arab world on Monday, 1 January 2001 (known as Nilesat).
- Singapore: Digital terrestrial television was launched by Mediacorp in June 2006 (DVB-T) and December 2013 (DVB-T2). The country announced that free-to-air broadcaster Mediacorp will transmit all its free-to-air channels digitally in DVB-T2. In 2016, it was announced that analogue TV channels would cease its broadcast by the end of 2017 and Mediacorp TV channels will be broadcast in digital only. On 6 November 2017, IMDA announced that it had further extended their analogue broadcasting until 31 December 2018 (extended from the intended date of 19 February 2018), in order to facilitate more time for Singapore households to switch to digital TV as soon as possible. On the same day, an "Analogue" watermark was placed on the bottom of the channel logos (and later since 17 September 2018, reduced screen sizes with information on switching digital television) to differentiate televisions using analogue broadcasts. On 21 December 2018, the broadcast was extended by one day. At 00:00 on 2 January 2019, the digital transition was completed and normal programming on all analogue television signals was replaced by an information screen; the analogue signals ceased transmitting altogether on 6 January 2019.
- Taiwan: Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Taiwan on Friday, 2 July 2004. Analog terrestrial television ended transmission on Saturday, 30 June 2012. The shut down of analog cable television is in progress.
- United Arab Emirates: The analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated on Monday, 13 February 2012 and was replaced by a multiplex for Nilesat. The government plans to shut off analog cable by 31 March 2023. United Arab Emirates were transitioning from using MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 for its terrestrial broadcasts, a process which began on Sunday, 26 August 2012. United Arab Emirates adopted DVB-T2 in February 2013. Analog satellite transmission were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2004. Digital television launched terrestrially throughout Arab world on Monday, 1 January 2001 (known as Nilesat).
- Uzbekistan: The launch of digital broadcasting began on 15 January 2018. The first regions to turn off their analogue broadcasts were Andijan, Fergana, Namangam and Tashkent region. On 15 July 2018, the switchoff was completed on the city of Tashkent, and on 5 December 2018, the shutdown of analog television in Uzbekistan was completed.
- Andorra completed its switch-off on Tuesday 25 September 2007.
- Armenia: Has shut down analog signals on 10 July 2015.
- Austria: Began analog switch-off on Monday, 5 March 2007, progressing from the west to the east. The analog broadcast was shut down nationwide at the end of 2010 regarding the main transmitters. The last analog translators were switched off on 7 June 2011.
- Azerbaijan: Began analog switch-off on Sunday, 17 October 2010, completed on 17 June 2015.
- Belarus: Analogue broadcasting was disabled 15 May 2015 in the UHF band and 16 June 2015 in the VHF band (channels 6-12). The final analogue switch-off occurred at 31 December 2015.
- Belgium: Media regulations are under regional legislation. Flanders switched off analog television on Monday 3 November 2008, while in Wallonia, all analog services were switched off on Monday, 1 March 2010, making the country completely serviced by digital signal. However, analog cable is still used by many cable subscribers, so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future.
- Bulgaria: Bulgaria launched a free-to-air platform in the Sofia region, starting in November 2004. The Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) has said that it received 6 bids for the licence to build and operate Bulgaria's two nationwide DTT networks. A second licence tender for the operation of 3 DTT multiplexes was open until 27 May 2009. Following the closing of this process, Hannu Pro, part of Silicon Group, and with Baltic Operations has secured the license to operate three DTT multiplexes in Bulgaria by the country's Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) Bulgaria completed the transition to digital broadcasting in September 2013.
- Croatia: Analog television broadcasts were switched off for all national TV channels on Tuesday 5 October 2010 at 12:35 and for local TV channels on Saturday 20 November 2010.
- Cyprus terminated all analog transmissions on Thursday 30 June 2011 and moved to digital-only transmissions in MPEG-4 on Friday 1 July 2011.
- Czech Republic: The last analog retransmitters in the south-east Moravia and the northern Moravia - Silesia were switched off on Saturday, 30 June 2012.
- Denmark switched off all terrestrial analog services at midnight on Sunday 1 November 2009. Analogue cable was switched off on 9 February 2016.
- Estonia's analog television was switched off completely on Thursday, 1 July 2010.
- Finland ceased analog terrestrial transmissions nationwide at 04:00, Saturday, 1 September 2007 (the switch-off was previously planned for midnight but a few extra hours were added for technical reasons). This was controversial, as the cost of a digital TV set in Finland at the time was heavily criticised and saw a substantial decrease in how much the television license cost. Cable TV viewers continued to receive analog broadcasts until the end of February 2008.
- France switched off all analog services (terrestrial, satellite and cable) on Tuesday, 29 November 2011. This included overseas departments and territories such as Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Wallis and Futuna.
- Germany started the switch-off in the Berlin area, beginning on Friday, 1 November 2002 and completing on Monday 4 August 2003 becoming the first city to do so. "Simulcast" digital transmissions started in other parts of the country in an effort to prepare for a full switchover. The switch-off of terrestrial analog transmitters was completed on Tuesday 25 November 2007, except one main transmitter in Bad Mergentheim, which was shut down in June 2009. Analog satellite receivers were still used by 6% of households in 2010 - the highest in Europe. The analog satellite transmissions were switched off on Monday 30 April 2012, being the last in Europe. However, analog cable is still used by about 30% of the population and 55% of all cable broadcasts, so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future. The cable TV provider Unitymedia switched off analog cable on 27 June 2017.
- Georgia: Analog broadcasts should have been switched off 17 June 2015, but due to the flooding in Tbilisi, which occurred on the night of 13 to 14 June 2015 analogue switch-off happened on 1 July 2015.
- Greece: The analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated on Friday, 6 February 2015.
- Hungary: Hungarian analog terrestrial transmissions stopped on Thursday, 31 October 2013, after completing two phases that ended on 31 July and 31 October, respectively.
- Iceland: All analog terrestrial transmissions were switched off on Monday, 2 February 2015.
- Ireland: Digital television was launched in Ireland as Saorview on Friday 29 October 2010. At launch it had 5 standard-definition channels and 1 high-definition channel. The analog service was terminated on Wednesday 24 October 2012 and was replaced by a second multiplex for Saorview. A small number of low power independent analog re-broadcast systems remained licensed until the Monday 31 December 2012. Analogue cable was shut down on 8 April 2019. Analogue satellite was discontinued on Thursday 27 September 2001, making the UK and Ireland the first countries in Europe with digital-only satellite.
- Italy: The conversion to digital television progressed region–by–region. It started in Sardinia on Wednesday 15 October 2008, and was completed on Wednesday 4 July 2012, when the last analog transmitters in the Province of Palermo were shut down.
- Latvia's analog television completely converted to digital broadcasting on Tuesday 1 June 2010.
- Lithuania: The switch-off of the analog terrestrial transmissions was completed on Monday, 29 October 2012.
- Luxembourg shut down their last analog transmitter on UHF Channel 21 on Friday 31 December 2010.
- North Macedonia: Analog transmissions were terminated on Saturday, 1 June 2013.
- Malta terminated all analog services on Monday, 31 October 2011. The switch-off was originally planned for Wednesday 1 June 2011 but was delayed for unknown reasons.
- Monaco switched off their analog TV broadcasts on Tuesday 24 May 2011.
- Montenegro: Has shut down analog signals on 17 June 2015.
- Netherlands moved to digital-only terrestrial broadcasting on Monday, 11 December 2006, being the second country to do so. The switch-off was noticed by few, since the overwhelming majority receive TV via cable and only around 74,000 households relied on terrestrial over-the-air broadcasts. The switch-off was helped greatly as cable continued to use analog distribution, and thus consumers' old tuners continued to be useful. In March 2018, major cable provider Ziggo has announced that it will gradually phase out analogue cable TV transmissions in the next two years.
- Norway: The switch-off of the analog transmissions started in March 2008 and was completed on Tuesday 1 December 2009. Norway started its DTT service on the Saturday 1 September 2007.
- Poland: Terrestrial television in Poland is broadcast using a digital DVB-T system. First test DVB-T emission was carried in Warsaw at 9 November 2001. In April 2004, first DVB-T transmitter near Rzeszów started operation, and local TVP division started to market set-top boxes allowing to receive it. The shutdown of analog broadcasts took place in 7 steps from 7 November 2012 to 23 July 2013 when analog terrestrial transmissions were completely terminated.
- Portugal: Digital terrestrial broadcasts started on Wednesday 29 April 2009. Portugal's government hoped to cover 80% of the territory with digital terrestrial TV by the end of 2009, and simulcasts remained until Thursday 26 April 2012, when the analog broadcasting ended. This switchover began on Thursday 12 January 2012. Analog cable is still available from all pay-TV providers (including fiber), for homes with multiple televisions. There are no plans in place to switch-off analog cable. The digital versions of all channels have traditionally been encrypted and could only be accessed with a proprietary set-top-box, which subscribers had to pay for with a monthly fee. Starting in October 2017, cable provider NOS unencrypted the digital versions of its base channels, enabling them to be tuned directly by televisions with support for MPEG-4 (or digital terrestrial) or any freely available digital tuner. Channels belonging to subscription packs, as well as premium channels, still require a proprietary set top box to be viewed. Other pay-TV providers - Vodafone, NOWO and Meo - similarly no longer encrypt the digital versions of their base channels.
- Romania has one of the highest pay-TV penetration rates in Europe, with over 98% of homes receiving cable or satellite TV services. Also over 90% of population is covered with DVB-T2 digital terrestrial television signal. The last analog transmitters were switched off on 1 May 2018 when TVR decided to order the shut down due to low demand and high operating costs.
- San Marino completed its switch-off on Thursday 2 December 2010.
- Serbia launched its first DTT transmissions in 2005. The first DTT-only channel was made available in 2008. As of 2013, the DVB-T2 network covers Belgrade and much of Vojvodina, several cities in Šumadija and Western Serbia and the southern city of Niš. Digital TV switchover for 98% of citizens started on 1 September 2014. Transition progressed in six stages. First switchoff took place in Vršac on 15 April 2015. Last switchoff took place on 7 June 2015.
- Slovakia: Slovakia finished analog transmission broadcasts on Monday, 31 December 2012.
- Slovenia: The switch-off of main transmitters was completed on Wednesday 1 December 2010. The last local analog transmitters were switched off on Thursday 30 June 2011.
- Spain: The switch-off of the analog terrestrial transmissions was completed on Saturday 3 April 2010. The switch-off was successful, as about 70% of Spanish television transmissions are terrestrial, so it was easy for people to just switch to the digital signal. Spain started its DTT service on Wednesday 30 November 2005.
- Sweden: The switch-off of the analog terrestrial network progressed region–by–region. It started on the island of Gotland on Monday, 19 September 2005, and was completed on Monday 15 October 2007, when the last analog SVT1 transmitters in Blekinge and western Scania were shut down. Like the Netherlands, Germany and Japan, cable distributors continued broadcasting analog television. Cable broadcasters continue to broadcast in analog (like the Netherlands and Germany), so therefore a cable switchover is unlikely to happen in the near future.
- Switzerland began with the switch-off on Monday 24 July 2006 in Ticino and continued with Engadin on Monday 13 November 2006. The switch-off was completed on Monday 26 November 2007. A very high percentage of Swiss viewers receive their signals via cable distributors. By 2012 40% of cable viewers had switched to digital. Analog cable was switched off on 1 January 2017.
- United Kingdom: Digital terrestrial broadcasting began in the UK on Sunday 15 November 1998 with the launch of the ONdigital, later renamed ITV Digital and now Freeview. The transition from analogue and digital to digital-only terrestrial signals started on Wednesday 17 October 2007 with the Whitehaven transmitter in Cumberland, and followed a transmitter switchover timetable, implemented by region. The first constituent country to switch off all its analogue signals was Wales on Wednesday 31 March 2010 and the last region to switch off its analogue signals was Northern Ireland on Wednesday 24 October 2012. Analogue cable broadcasts eventually ended and fully ceased, on 28 November 2013, when Milton Keynes finally saw their service terminate, after a settling of a cable ownership dispute between BT Group and Virgin Media. Analogue satellite was discontinued on Thursday 27 September 2001, making the UK and Ireland the first countries in Europe with digital-only satellite. Analogue transmissions ceased in Gibraltar in December 2012, Isle of Man switched off all analogue services on Thursday 16 July 2009, while Jersey and Guernsey switched off their analogue signals on Wednesday 17 November 2010.
- Australia: Digital television commenced in Australia's five most populous cities on Monday 1 January 2001. The Mildura region was the first to terminate its analog network, on Wednesday 30 June 2010. Digital switchover was originally expected to be complete by Tuesday 31 December 2013, however, the last regions to switch over (Melbourne and Remote Eastern/Central Australia) did so slightly earlier, on Tuesday 10 December 2013 at 9:00 am. Until the switch-off in the respective areas, free-to-air stations were simulcast, along with digital-only channels like ABC2. Cable television networks began simulcasting in 2004 and analog cable services were switched off in April 2007. The switchover was co-ordinated by the Digital Switchover Taskforce operating under the federal Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
- Micronesia:FSMTC (FSM Telecommunications Company) provides a subscription based digital over the air (DVB-T) service to Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap. This provides various international television channels and a local information channel. No local television broadcasters operate in FSM.
- New Zealand: Digital terrestrial television broadcasts began officially in April 2008. analog PAL switchoff started on 30 September 2012 with the North Island's Hawke's Bay region and the South Island's West Coast region and finished with the Upper North Island which was switched off 1 December 2013.
Transitions in progressEdit
- Botswana began digital broadcasts in 2008, using ISDB-T.
- Ethiopia in 2016 begun its digital switch-over to DVB-T2 with help from American digital transmitter manufacturer GatesAir and funded by JPMorgan Chase and Export Development Canada. According to the government this might finish between 2021 and 2026.
- Ivory Coast Launched its DTV service from the Centre Émetteur D'Abobo site in Abidjan on 8 February 2019. Côte d'Ivoire has committed to complete the migration to DTT by June 2020.
- Libya 7 multiplexes of DVB-T2 were available in Tripoli in 2012. Analog television will be turned off on 13 February 2020.
- Morocco: Analogue transmitters on UHF band were switched off on 17 June 2015. Only Al Aoula will stay on analog signal. However, analogue channels in the VHF band are still on air, with an eventual switch off date scheduled for 17 June 2020.
- Mozambique began transitioning to DVB-T2 in 2013.
- South Africa The Northern Cape became the first province to switch fully to digital in December 2018. Analogue should switch off on June 2019.
- Sudan is broadcasting a number of multiplexes in DVB-T2 (SD & HD) from the nationwide of Sudan TV since late 2015. A single analogue UHF channel remains. Analog television will be turned off on 13 February 2020.
- Tunisia began digital broadcasts in 2003, using DVB-T, then since 2015, using DVB-T2. Analog television will be turned off on 13 February 2021.
- Argentina: Digital television broadcasts started on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 in Buenos Aires. The analog network was to be terminated on 1 January 2019, but it was further postponed until 2021.
- Bolivia: The President of the Authority for the Regulation and Control of Telecommunications and Transport (ATT), Roy Méndez, said that in November 2019, the analogue switch-off will take place in La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
- Brazil: Began free-to-air HD digital transmissions, after a period of test broadcasts, on Sunday, 2 December 2007 in São Paulo, expanding in 2008 to Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Digital broadcasts were phased into the other 23 state capitals in the following years, and to the remaining cities by Tuesday 31 December 2013. The country started on 1 March 2016 in Rio Verde, Goiás as a pilot experiment, followed by the Federal District and main cities and metropolitan regions from 17 November 2016 to 2020, when it is expected the ending of all analog television broadcasting.
- Canada: Canada's DTV transition was completed in 28 mandatory markets on Wednesday, 31 August 2011. Some CBC analog transmitters in mandatory markets were permitted to operate for another year, and transmitters outside mandatory markets were given the option of converting to digital, or remaining in analog. The CBC decided to shut down all (more than 600) of its remaining analog transmitters on Tuesday, 31 July 2012, without replacing them. Also on 31 August 2011, all full-power TV transmitters had to vacate channels 52 to 69. There are a very small number of community-based transmitters broadcasting in analogue, which will be shut down no later than 2022; see Digital television in Canada.
- Chile: The transition to digital started in 2012, and will be switched off in 2020.
- Colombia: Digital television broadcasts started on Monday, 20 September 2010. The government planned to close down analog broadcast on 31 December 2019, but it was postponed until 2021
- Costa Rica: The country was scheduled to shut down analog signals permanently in December 2018 but this was postponed to 15 August 2019.
- Cuba began to propose DVB-T in May 2009. However, Cuba opted for the Chinese DMB-T standard and began tests in 2013, with new digital transmitters being rolled out and a shutoff date in 2021.
- Dominican Republic: The Dominican Government once set a final analog shut down date of all analog transmissions on 24 September 2015. However, INDOTEL, a telecommunications department of the Dominican Government, postponed it to 9 August 2021.
- El Salvador: Began on 21 December 2018, and it will be completed by 2022.
- Honduras: First phase began on 31 December 2016, second phase will be completed on 31 December 2019.
- Panama: Analog TV sets may no longer be sold effective 11 June 2018. From this date, existing stocks may be sold only if provided with a free DVB-T setup box. Starting 11 December 2018, no analog TV sets may be sold. Switchover date is Unknown.
- Paraguay: The transmission of digital television broadcasts started in August 2011, by TV Pública (which belongs to the Paraguayan government) with an initial coverage area of 25 kilometres (about 16 miles) from Asuncion downtown. The analog television system switch-off was taking place in 2020 however in 22 January 2019 La nacion reported the country pushed it back to 2021.
- Peru: Digital television broadcasts started in Lima and Callao (Territory 1) in March 2010, and analog broadcasts are scheduled to be terminated on 20 June 2020; Arequipa, Cusco, Trujillo, Piura y Huancayo (territory 2) has a date due to start digital transition somewhere between April and June 2018 and analog broadcasts are scheduled to be terminated on 3 January 2023.
- United States: On Monday, 8 September 2008, Wilmington, North Carolina became the first city in the United States to fully switch over from analog to digital broadcasts. All analog signals were terminated at noon. This switchover was a test by FCC to make further improvements to the transition process before the whole nation was switched over to digital. Having moved the deadline from 17 February 2009 (some stations still chose to shut down on that date), all VHF transmissions (stations 2–13) and most full-power UHF analog transmitters were shut down on 12 June 2009, with the exception of low-power stations, and "nightlight" stations which broadcast PSAs on the transition until 12 July 2009. Television transmission on channels 52 to 69 was required to cease by Saturday, 31 December 2011, to allow the FCC to commence with the first phase of spectrum reallocation for other services. Class A low-power stations were required to transition by 1 September 2015. The deadline for low-power and translator stations was suspended on 24 April 2015, due to concerns that the then-upcoming spectrum auction could "potentially displace a significant number of LPTV and TV translator stations", and would "[require] analog stations to incur the costs of transitioning to digital before completion of the auction and repacking process". After the auction's completion in 2017, the FCC announced 13 July 2021 as the new analog low-power shutoff date.
- Uruguay: Began broadcasting digital television in 2010. The analogue switch-off was planned for 21 November 2015, but was postponed indefinitely.
- Venezuela: Digital television transmition began in 2007 for the broadcasting of 2007 Copa América. Later in 20 February 2013 transmissions began nationalwide. Analogue is set to be terminated in 2020 
- Afghanistan: 4 channels of DVB-T2 were launched in Kabul in June 2014. ASO has however been repeatedly delayed. There is no date for the switchover.
- Cambodia: DVB-T2 was launched on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, however as at 23 December 2017 the only FTA DVB-T channels appear to be pay TV channels that the provider has erroneously neglected to encrypt. The incumbent FTA channels have thus far not provided DVB-T broadcasts. The Cambodian government have pushing ahead its co-operation with China for the digital transition from analogue with China's DTMB system. Full digital transition is estimated by the government to fully commenced by 2023.
- China (private networks): After CCTV completely turned off analogue, commercially owned private broadcasters also began converting to digital; they will be switched off no later than 2020.
- Hong Kong: The original digital switchover plan was supposed to take place in 2012. After postponing several times, the government confirmed to terminate analogue television broadcast at 1 December 2020 00:00 HKT.
- India: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has set the deadlines for the completion of Phase I (Metro cities) by 31 December 2019, Phase II (cities having a population of more than one million) by 31 December 2021, and Phase III (the rest of India) by 31 December 2023.
- Indonesia: Analog switch-off took place in 20 stages. The first phase of analog switch-off will be started on 17 February 2020. Analog broadcasting official completely turned off 12 June 2020. Digital terrestrial television was launched on 21 December 2010 (DVB-T) and 20 November 2013 (DVB-T2). After the auction's completion in 2020, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (KOMINFO) announced 1 September 2025 as the new analog cable shutoff date. Starting in October 2019, 15 national TV stations and many local TV stations will be launching Digital Terrestrial TV (Free To Air).
- Iran: First digital television broadcasting were commenced in 2009, using the DVB-T MPEG-4 standard, with 40% of population having access to digital TV by mid-2011. There is no deadline yet for converting analog signals to digital.
- Kazakhstan: The shutdown of analog broadcasting began on 1 December 2018, the first two regions turned off: Jambyl and Mangystau Regions, On 1 July 2019, four more regions will be disconnected: South Kazakhstan, Atyrau, Kyzylorda and Almaty Regions together with five more regions will be disconnected: East Kazakhstan, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan, Kostanay and Karaganda Regions. And on 1 July 2021 (the final stage), the last five regions will be disconnected: West Kazakhstan, Akmola, Aktobe Regions, Nur-Sultan and Almaty.
- Laos: Lao National Television joined China's Yunnan Digital TV Company to establish Lao Digital TV with DTMB system in 2007. Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry further state that their country was making every effort to fully switch from the analogue television system to DTMB by 2020.
- Malaysia: The first DTTB services were rolled out in January 2014, starting in a few test areas, while full nationwide coverage to an estimated 98% populated areas is slated by the end of the analogue-digital simulcast period. The official launch of digital broadcasts was officiated on 6 June 2017 by the country Prime Minister with an estimate of 4.2 million digital television decoders are given free to citizens, including recipients of the government aid of 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M). The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Ministry further state that analogue broadcasting throughout Malaysia will be completely turned off in September 2019 with digital television broadcasting fully available to public by October. Langkawi become the first area of analogue television switch off that were executed on 21 July at 02:30 AM (UTC+8). Further on 6 August 2019, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Ministry released a complete list of transition date on the remaining areas with central and southern West Malaysia to be commenced on 19 August, northern West Malaysia on 2 September, eastern coast West Malaysia on 17 September and entire East Malaysia on 30 September.
- Pakistan: In 2015, Pakistan inaugurated the adoption of the DTMB standard for the country digital television broadcasts in an event jointly officiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The first DTMB services were then rolled out with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pakistani Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and China's National Development and Reform Commission.
- Philippines: In June 2010, the National Telecommunications Commission set a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on 31 December 2015 for the discontinuation of analog television. However, since the last quarter of 2014, the digitization deadline has been postponed to 2019 and should be expected that all analog broadcasts will be shut off in 2023. ZOE Broadcasting Network's DZOZ-TV became the first station in the country to permanently cease analog terrestrial operations on 28 February 2017, signaling the start of the country's transition to digital-only broadcasting. Digital television in the Philippines uses the Japanese ISDB standards for its terrestrial broadcast.
- Thailand: The Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and broadcasters conducted a field trial for digital terrestrial transmission of DVB-T2 in Bangkok area in 2013. The following year, digital terrestrial television began to be launched. Analogue signals switch off will start in 2017 for some channels before the rest which will be fully completed in 2020. By 2018, rural areas in Thailand sees the transition from analogue to digital. As of September 2018, Channel 3 remains the only broadcaster to offer analogue services; it is scheduled to broadcast exclusively in digital from late 2019.
- Timor-Leste: On 11 December 2018, the Timor-Leste cabinet has given Secretary of State for Social Communication Merício Juvenal dos Reis permission to sign a Sino-Timor-Leste agreement for the introduction of Chinese digital television format of DTMB into the country. On 18 June 2019, the groundbreaking ceremony for the China-aided demonstration project of the DTMB was held at the China Radio and Television Station in Timor-Leste. The work subsequently began on 21 June.
- Vietnam: The country launched DVB-T unofficially in 1997, and shut down all analogue signals on 28 May 2014. However, full migration into digital television may be expected by 2020 or later.
- Albania: Analog channels were first shut off on 10 September 2018 in the areas of Durrës and Tirana, but they were restored the following day because the supply of decoders wasn't enough to cover the demand. The date of the switch off was first pushed to 15 January 2019 and now to 1 September 2019. Channels are available in both analog and digital, but there are still some local channels who broadcast only in analog.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina : There was a DVB-T service service launched in 2015 but it wasn't available on all parts of the country until now. Digital television started to happen. First stage of the transition to digital broadcasting which covered Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka was completed on 14 October 2016. The second and third phase will cover six remaining areas for completing MUX-A in the whole territory of the country in the future but for now there's no date for that.
- Moldova: Launched its first DTT service in November 2016. Analog broadcasts were expected to be discontinued from 1 March 2020.
- Transnistria Analog broadcasts for Transnistria will shut down on 1 January 2019
- Russia: On 22 December 2018, Russia completed the creation of the world's largest digital television broadcasting system, with 10,080 transmitters operating at 5,040 sites throughout the country. On 3 December 2018, analog transmissions were switched off in Tver Region (including the city of Tver). Analog transmissions in Ryazan Region, Tula Region, Yaroslavl Region, Ulyanovsk Region, Penza Region, Magadan Region, and Chechnya ended on 11 February 2019, while those in 20 other regions (including Moscow and the Moscow Region) were switched off on 15 April 2019. On 3 June 2019, analog transmissions in 36 regions were discontinued (including the oblasts of Vladimir, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk and Oryol Oblasts). Switchover in the remaining 21 regions will occur on 14 October 2019 (including St. Petersburg, the Leningrad Region, the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol); channels that are not offered as multiplex services (i.e. federal and regional channels) will only be available on cable and satellite television services after that date.
- Ukraine: All privately owned networks' analog broadcasts were switched off on 1 August 2018 in the Kiev region, on 1 September 2018 in most parts of the country. The channels of UA:PBC were switched off in September 2018 - January 2019 in most parts of the country. Meanwhile, all the channels at Russia-bordering regions, and some local channels (nationwide) that didn't yet get the license for digital broadcasting, will still broadcast in analog until 31 December 2019, after which they will be discontinuing analog broadcasts. However, in some areas, there are also some commercial channels staying in analog.
Transitions not yet startedEdit
- South Sudan The state broadcaster SSBC has expressed interest in DVB-T2, but no budget has been allocated for the project.
- Togo Transition in Togo is being planned. Broadcasting equipment manufacturer Harris Corporation is helping to transition Togo to DVB-T2.
- Trinidad and Tobago estimated to be completed by 2020 but as of 31 July 2017 no terrestrial TV station has switched to digital broadcasting yet. ATSC is currently being considered.
- North Korea: On 19 January 2015, Korean Central Television, the country's state broadcaster, began broadcasting via digital satellite. However, there is no deadline yet for when the analog terrestrial network will switch over to digital.
- Sri Lanka: Television industry in Sri Lanka has been preparing to digitalise itself for more than half a decade but government policy of uncertainties have confused broadcasters and caused many delays. A 2014 television digitalisation deal between Sri Lankan previous government and Japan are delayed up until present. In 2018, a Sri Lankan company named Television and Radio Network (TRN) offering to launch nationwide free digital television switch using the DVB-T2 system in contrast to Japanese proposal of ISDB-T system.
- Kosovo (partially recognized state): There is no plan for a switchover in Kosovo.
- Turkey launched trial digital transmissions in 2006 and originally planned to gradually handle the switchover, with a completion date of March 2015. In 2013 the broadcasting regulator awarded a license to a firm; the award was voided in 2014 after the country's constitutional court upheld a complaint against the process. New licenses have been proposed, but as of 2018, Turkey still has no DTT network, and it is still unclear if it would ever be rolled out with satellite having an 80% penetration.
No information availableEdit
- American Samoa Complied with the FCC transition to digital on 12 June 2009 on all full-power stations.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Ascension Island
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Republic of the Congo
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cook Islands
- Easter Island
- Equatorial Guinea
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Guam Complied with the FCC transition to digital on 12 June 2009 on all full-power stations.
- Marshall Islands
- New Caledonia
- Northern Cyprus
- Northern Mariana Islands Complied with the FCC transition to digital on 12 June 2009 on all full-power stations.
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Puerto Rico Complied with the FCC transition to digital on 12 June 2009 on all full-power stations.
- Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Helena
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Martin
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Sint Maarten
- Solomon Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- South Ossetia
- Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Vatican City
- U.S. Virgin Islands Complied with the FCC transition to digital television on 12 June 2009 on full-power stations.
Analog only TVs are incapable of receiving over-the-air broadcasts without the addition of a set-top converter box. Consequently, a digital converter box – an electronic device that connects to an analog television – must be used in order to allow the television to receive digital broadcasts. In the United States, the government subsidized the purchase of such boxes for consumers via their coupon-eligible converter box program in 2009, funded by a small part of the billions of dollars brought in by a spectrum auction. The program was managed by the Department of Commerce through its National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Televisions with integrated digital tuners have been available for a considerable time. This means that the need for a set-top box is usually no longer necessary.
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