Dataxis’ latest research sheds light on the importance that DVB-T2, the extension of the television standard DVB-T, will acquire in the upcoming years. This system was devised to enable a better signal compression to broadcast digital television. It became the widespread standard of all recent DTT deployment and is currently being rolled out to replace DVB-T in many parts of the world. Even though the freed-up spectrum can allow to broadcast UHD content or additional channels for instance, the necessity of these improvements remains questionable in several European countries.

In 2017, 12 countries still use hybrid networks, with the two standards being used on different multiplexes. Dataxis forecasts that this number will decrease to 8 in 2022, provided that national authorities do not put the switchover on hold as it was witnessed in some countries (e.g. Belgium, Sweden).

Consequently, Dataxis’ forecasts emphasise on the growth in DVB-T2 implementation in Europe: while in 2017, 30% of households receive DTT using the DVB-T2 standard, this figure will grow to 72% by 2022.

This increase is primarily due to the switchover planned in several European countries such as Italy and Spain, which are expected to reach 25,8 million DVB-T2 households (i.e. 57% of all DVB-T2 households).

The question remains as to whether the investments required by DVB-T2 will be worth it for the remaining countries, which managed to implement HDTV via DTT by conducting a shift from MPEG 2 to MPEG 4. Moreover, the growth will mainly be driven by free-to-air (FTA) reception, which will remain the primary way of receiving DTT to 91% of all DTT households. DVB-T2 will also prevail in Pay DTT, since in some countries the switchover carries with it the disappearing of FTA DTT.

Nonetheless, this development raises questions on the equipment needs that countries will have to cope with in a few years if the infrastructure change doesn’t go along with a significant renewal of enabled devices.

By Sa Eva Nébié