Telewizja Polska and Emitel test DVB-T2 terrestrial television broadcasting. The first stage has been initially planned for 3 months. The signal is broadcast by Emitel facilities in Krakow and Katowice. The channel 27 of the SFN (Single Frequency Network) broadcasts TVP Kultura HD, TVP Polonia HD and TVP Rozrywka programmes. The signal is available for more than 6 million residents of Silesia and Lesser Poland regions. Tests of the new standard enable viewers to check whether they can receive the broadcast correctly, while allowing Emitel to prepare for the migration to the new standard.

For more than 10 years now, digital terrestrial television broadcasts have been available to viewers in Poland in DVB-T standard. In 2022, we are going to switch the terrestrial television broadcasting standard to newer and more efficient DVB-T2/HEVC.

DVB-T2 offers better bandwidth use efficiency, which enables broadcasting all digital terrestrial television programmes in HD quality, thus offering the opportunity to present new television programmes available free of charge to all viewers. The standard has already been employed in many European countries, including Germany, Czechia and the United Kingdom.

“The objective of the tests launched by Telewizja Polska is primarily to check whether the TV sets available in Polish homes are ready to receive TV broadcast in the new standard. We started with two locations, we already have permits for more transmitters in Warsaw, Poznań and the Tricity. In the upcoming months, we are planning to expand the scope of our tests to cover more locations, aiming to eventually cover the area close in size to the entire country, enabling every TVP viewer in Poland to check the technical capabilities of their receiver. We are also planning to use the new frequencies to familiarise viewers with the unique offer of TVP, which was not available on digital terrestrial television due to the insufficient number of multiplexes – said Marcin Klepacki, Director of the Distribution Office of Telewizja Polska S.A.

These tests will help us get prepared for the migration to the new standard. What is more, they will offer all the viewers, who are in range of the broadcast a chance to check whether they can receive the signal with their existing TV sets. The tests will require changes in broadcasting parameters, which may require the viewers with older TV sets, interested in watching programmes in the DVB-T2/HEVC standard, to scan the band for programmes again – said Piotr Guziewicz – Director of the Office of Network Planning and Service Development at Emitel S.A.

To date, terrestrial television in Poland and in Europe has used frequencies in the range of 470 – 790 MHz for terrestrial broadcasting. The change of the broadcasting standard is connected with the need to free up the 700 MHz band for the needs of building 5G networks by mobile operators, following the decision of the European Commission. This means that the broadcasting network has to be rebuilt and the broadcasting of terrestrial television programmes in Poland has to be moved to other frequencies. The project has been divided into a number of stages – the first two were already carried out by Emitel in the first half of 2020. The next switchovers and digital terrestrial television broadcasting standard change will take place in 2022.

According to the Regulation of the Minister of Digital Affairs on technical and operational requirements for digital receivers”, all newly marketed digital TV sets (after 1 December 2019) should support the DVB-T2/HEVC standard.

Further tests are planned in the future in Warsaw, Gdańsk and Poznań, as well as other cities.