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Digital terrestrial television (DTTV or DTT) is a technological evolution of broadcast television and an advancement over analog television. DTTV broadcasts land-based (terrestrial) signals. The advantages of digital terrestrial television are similar to digital versus analog in platforms such as cable, satellite, and all telecommunications: the efficient use of spectrum and provision of more capacity than analog, better quality images, and lower operating costs for broadcast and transmission (after the initial upgrade costs). A terrestrial implementation of digital television (DTV) technology uses an aerial to broadcast to a conventional television antenna (or aerial) instead of a satellite dish or cable television connection.
DTTV is transmitted on radio frequencies through terrestrial space in the same way as standard analog television, with the primary difference being the use of multiplex transmitters to allow reception of multiple channels on a single frequency range (such as a UHF or VHF channel) known as subchannels.
The amount of data that can be transmitted (and therefore the number of channels) is directly affected by channel capacity and the modulation method of the channel. The modulation method in DVB-T is COFDM with either 64 or 16-state Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM). In general, a 64QAM channel is capable of transmitting a greater bit rate, but is more susceptible to interference. 16 and 64QAM constellations can be combined in a single multiplex, providing a controllable degradation for more important program streams. This is called hierarchical modulation.
New developments in video compression have resulted in the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard which enable three high-definition television services to be coded into a 24 Mbit/s European terrestrial transmission channel.
The DVB-T standard is not used for terrestrial digital television in North America. Instead, the ATSC standard calls for 8VSB modulation, which has similar characteristics to the vestigial sideband modulation used for analog television. This provides considerably more immunity to interference, but is not immune -- as DVB-T is -- to multipath distortion and also does not provide for single-frequency network operation (which is in any case not relevant in the United States).
Both systems use the MPEG transport stream and H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 video codec specified in MPEG-2; they differ significantly in how related services (such as multichannel audio, captions, and program guides) are encoded.
DTTV is received either via a digital set-top box (STB), TV gateway or integrated tuner included with television sets, that decodes the signal received via a standard television antenna. Some set-top-boxes and TV gateways include digital video recorder (DVR) functionality. However, due to frequency planning issues, an aerial capable of receiving a different channel group (usually a wideband) may be required if the DTTV multiplexes lie outside the reception capabilities of the originally installed aerial. This is quite common in the UK; see external links.
Indoor aerials are even more likely to be affected by these issues and possibly need replacing.
Afghanistan started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday, 31 August 2014. Afghanistan adopted DVB-T2 system for digital television.
India adopted DVB-T system for digital television in July 1999. The first DVB-T transmission was started on 26 January 2003 in the four major metropolitan cities by Doordarshan. Currently the terrestrial transmission is available in both digital and analog formats. 4 high power DVB-T transmitters were set up in the top 4 cities, which were later upgraded to DVB-T2 + MPEG4 and DVB-H standards. An additional 190 high power, and 400 low power DVB-T2 transmitters have been approved for Tier I, II and III cities of the country by 2017. The Indian telecom regulator, TRAI, had recommended the I&B to allow private broadcast companies to use the DTT technology, in 2005. So far, the Indian I&B ministry only permits private broadcast companies to use satellite, cable and IPTV based systems. The government's broadcasting organisation Doordarshan had started the free TV service over DVB - T2 to the mobile phone users from February 25 onwards and extended to cover 16 cities including the four metros from April 5, 2016.
Israel started digital transmissions in MPEG-4 on Sunday, August 2, 2009, and analogue transmissions ended on March 31, 2011. Israel was the first nation in the Middle East and the first non-European nation to shut down its analogue TV distribution system. The new service which is operated by The Second Authority for Television and Radio in Israel currently offers 6 SD TV channels and 30 national and regional (private) radio services. According to government decisions, the system will expand to include two additional multiplexes that will carry new channels and HD versions of the existing channels. There is a proposition by the Ministry of Finance to run a tender in order to hand over the maintenance of the system to a private company that, in return, will receive an extended license and will be able to offer pay TV channels. In this matter nothing has been decided upon until the end on 2012.
On March 20, 2013, it was announced that Thomson Broadcast had won a major contract with The Second Authority for Television and Radio for the extension of its nationwide DVB-T/DVB-T2 network. The Second Authority's order for new infrastructure includes two new multiplexes on thirty sites including three single frequency areas. This major deal incorporates a three-year service agreement for the global transmission system.
Sixty-three high- and medium- power transmitters from Thomson's GreenPower range have been ordered together with installation and commissioning services, in a deal which follows on from the company's earlier deployment of DVB-T multiplexes over thirty transmission and sixty-two repeater sites. Equipped with dualcast-ready digital exciters, the GreenPower range offers the ability to smoothly migrate from DVB-T to DVB-T2 and to easily offer additional HDTV content. Ranging from low- to high- power, the range covers all the power requirements of The Second Authority. Thomson will also deploy its user-friendly centralized Network Management System to control and monitor the overall transmission system from a single facility.
The deal includes a new service level agreement providing The Second Authority with a high level of local services to keep its currently operating DTV transmission equipment running 24/7, 365 days a year.
The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and DPA (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting-Japan) jointly set the specification and announced a guideline for "simplified DTT tuners" with price under 5,000 Japanese yen on December 25, 2007. MIAC officially solicited manufactures to put it on the market by end of March 2010 (end of fiscal year 2009). MIAC is estimating that 14 million, at maximum, traditional non-digital TV sets remain and need the "simplified DTT tuner" to be adapted even after complete transition to DTT after July 2011; it is aiming to avoid the disposal of large numbers of useless TV sets without such a tuner at one time.
On December 20, 2007, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association published rules for Digital Rights Management for DTT broadcasting under the name "Dubbing 10". Despite the name, consumers were allowed to use Blu-ray Disc and other recorders to "dub" or copy the video and audio of entire TV programs up to 9 times, with 1 final "move" permitted.
Broadcasting with "Dubbing 10" was supposed to start at about 4:00 a.m. on June 2, 2008, but was postponed after lengthy talks with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers. It finally started about 4:00 a.m. on July 4, 2008. The manufacturers of DVD and DTT recorders were to make units conforming to the "Dubbing 10" rules, and some manufacturers announced plans for create firmware downloads to allow users to update their existing recorders.
On April 3, 2008, DPA announced that a total of 32.71 million of DTT (ISDB-T) TV sets capable of DTT reception (excepting 1seg receivers) had been installed in Japan as of the end of March 2008. On April 8, 2008 DPA also announced guidelines for manufacturers of DTT receiving, record and replay unit which operate with personal computers. These add-on units operate on USB or PCI BUS, and went on sale on a reservation basis from late April, appearing in retail store in mid-May 2008.
On May 8, 2008, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced that 43.7% of homes had DTT (ISDB-T) capable TVs and/or tuners with DVD recorder by end of March 2008.It had been 27.8% one year before, and the ministry was expecting 100% penetration by April 2011. On 27 April 2009, National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan (NAB) a new official mascot, Chidejika, to replace Tsuyoshi Kusanagi after he was arrested on suspicion of public indecency.
On September 3, 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced the procurement by tender of 5,000-8,000 sets of "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for the citywide test transition from analogue to digital in Suzu, Ishikawa. The sets should be delivered by end November 2009. The program is aiming to examine the transition problem at individuals' home in country wide such as senior and non-technical families. Based on this rehearsal plan, analog TV transmission was interrupted in Suzu and parts of Noto for 48 hours, between noon on 2010/01/22 and noon on 2010/01/24.
On September 4, 2009, ÆON announced the low cost "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T to sell at JUSCO from September 19, 2009. The tuner is produced by Pixela Corporation, and met the retail price of under 5,000 Japanese yen, which is the target price to industry by Dpa (The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting (? dejitaru housou suishin ky?kai)). The tuner connects to an old fashioned TV though an RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal functions.
On September 7, 2009, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications appointed two manufacturers I-O Data and Melco among 12 bids for minimal functioning "simplified DTT tuners" with remote control for ISDB-T of free supply to Japanese Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Tuner connects to old fashion TV though RCA connector with SDTV quality and some other minimal function. On July 24, 2010, at noon, analog TV transmission officially stopped in Suzu and parts of Noto (approximately 8,800 homes) as the rehearsal plan that took place one year ahead of the nationwide shutdown, which is scheduled on July 24, 2011. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications shall watch what type of problem arise in transition to DTT which might apply to the nationwide shutdown.
On April 20, 2011, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications confirmed, and made the resolution by the House of Councillors on June 8, 2011, that the analog terrestrial TV close down schedule on 24 July 2011 will be unchanged, with the exception being the close down having to be postponed by a maximum one year. Analog television shut down on March 31, 2012, in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which were heavily damaged in the 2011 T?hoku earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear accidents that followed it. Analog television stations are required to cease normal programming at noon and shut down their signals at midnight.
On June 11, 2010, National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines announced that the country will use the Japanese ISDB-T International standard. The first fully operational digital TV channel is Channel 49 of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo.
However, in October 2012, DZCE-TV (which occupies the channel) reopened the analog signal to relaunch as INC TV; therefore, channel 49 can only transmit digitally during off-air hours of the analog channel 49.
This was followed by state-owned television network PTV which conducted its test transmission on UHF Channel 48.
On February 11, 2015, the major TV network ABS-CBN commercially launched the digital TV box called ABS-CBN TV Plus also known as Mahiwagang Blackbox. Seven years before the commercial launch, the network initially applied for a license from NTC on digital free TV. The digital TV box was given away as a prize for the loyal viewers and listeners of ABS-CBN channel 2, DZMM (AM radio station of ABS-CBN) and DZMM TeleRadyo (TV-radio cable channel of ABS-CBN) after the initial application.
Digital television transition began on February 28, 2017, with ZOE Broadcasting Network's DZOZ-TV as the country's first station to permanently shut down analog terrestrial transmissions without any test simulcast with its digital signal, and is expected to be finished by 2023.
In 2005, the Ministry of Information announced their plan to digitalise nationwide free-to-air TV broadcasts led by MCOT Public Company Limited (MCOT). Trial broadcasts were undertaken, involving one thousand households in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area from December 2000 till May 2001. According to the then-Deputy Minister of Information, the trial received "very positive" feedback, i.e. "more than 60 percent said the quality of the signal ranged from good to very good. Over 88 percent said the picture quality improved, while 70 percent said the sound quality was better."
According to Information Minister, Sontaya Kunplome, MCOT is expected to fully complete its digitalization in 2012 as part of its three-year restructuring process. Each household, once equipped with the necessary equipment (set-top box or iDTV set) is expected to receive up to 19 channels, seven of which fall under MCOT and the rest for private broadcasters such as BEC-TERO which owns its channels such as TV3. Thus far, besides simulcasting Modernine TV and Television of Thailand, MCOT is test-airing MCOT 1, MCOT 2 and MCOT 3 exclusively on the digital TV platform, transmitted at UHF channel 44, modulated at 64QAM. MCOT was also expected to launch regional channels for each province and/or territory in Thailand, making it 80 MCOT television channels. BEC-TERO was expected to commence trials in March 2009.
Thailand and the rest of ASEAN countries (with the exception of the Philippines; see above) have selected DVB-T as the final DTV standard, and are expected to switch off analogue broadcasts completely by 2015. In June 2008, participants of the 6th ASEAN Digital Broadcast Meeting from seven south-east Asian countries (including Thailand) agreed to finalise the specifications of the DTV set-top box for use within ASEAN, and also set up an ASEAN HD Centre to provide training on HDTV content to broadcasters in the region.
Even though MCOT's trial was a success, the future of the digital terrestrial television transition has become uncertain, especially after the end of Somchai Wongsawat's tenure as the Prime Minister and the beginning of successor Abhisit Vejjajiva's reign in favor of his concept.
The Switch-off Date has Been Postponed from 2015 to 2020, BBTV Channel 7 Switch-off Date Continue in 2023
Digital TV was available in Malaysia in June 2015 by MYTV broadcasting. Malaysia government gives free MYTV set top box if your income is under RM3000 and below or under BR1M. There are nine channels to choose from.
They launch 13 Digital TV stations nationwide which covers up to 80% household. They planned to add more Digital TV stations and covers up to 99% household by end of 2017. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak officially launched myFreeview's free service in June 6, 2017.
By November 2016, MYTV set top box will be available for sale in electronics store nationwide.
They planned to switch off analog TV by June 1, 2018.
Australia uses DVB-T. The transition to digital television and the phaseout of analogue television was completed on 10 December 2013.
New Zealand uses DVB-T. The transition to digital television and the shutdown of analogue transmissions was completed on 1 December 2013
The EU recommended in May 2005 that its Member States cease all analogue television transmissions by January 1, 2012. Some EU member states decided to complete the transition as early as 2006 for Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and 2007 for Finland. Latvia stopped broadcasting analogue television from June 1, 2010. Poland completed the transition on 23 July 2013 and Bulgaria completed the transition on 30 September 2013. Malta switched on 1 November 2011. ASO was mostly completed in Europe in 2013 though small hilly underpopulated isolated terrain areas awaited DTT rollout beyond that date.
Many TV-viewers TV-equipment in Europe might experience TV-interference and blocking because of 800MHz broadband usage.
Bulgaria launched a free-to-air platform on Sofia region, starting in November 2004. Standards chosen are DVB-T and MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression format. DVB-T2 will not be used at this time. 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 officially completed the transition to digital broadcasting on Monday, 30 September 2013.
DTT had its technical launch in Denmark in March 2006 after some years of public trials. The official launch was at midnight on November 1, 2009 where the analogue broadcasts shut down nationwide.
Finland launched DTT in 2001, and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 1 September 2007. Finland has successfully launched a mixture of pay and free-to-air DTT services. Digita operates the DTT and Mobile Terrestrial networks and rents capacity to broadcasters on its network on a neutral market basis. Digita is owned by TDF (France). The pay-DTT service provider Boxer has acquired a majority stake in the leading Finnish pay DTT operator PlusTV which offers a number of commercial channels for a subscription. It started in October 2006. Boxer already provides pay-DTT services in Sweden and Denmark.
Three nationwide multiplexes are granted to DNA and Anvia for DVB-T2 for High Definition and Standard Definition channel (MPEG4).
France's TNT (Télévision Numérique Terrestre) offers 25 free national channels and 9 pay channels, plus up to 4 local free channels. An 89% DTT penetration rate is expected by December 2008. Free-to-view satellite services offering the same DTT offer were made available in June 2007. Since 12 December 2012, TNT has delivered ten free HD channels (TF1 HD, France2 HD, M6 HD, Arte HD, HD1, L'Equipe 21, 6ter, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte HD, Chérie 25) and one pay TNT HD channel (Canal+ HD) using the MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression format. French consumer technology magazine Les Numériques gave the picture quality of TNT's previous 1440x1080i service a score of 8/10, compared to 10/10 for Blu-ray 1080p.
For the audio part AC3 and AAC are used in 192 kbits for 2.0 and 384 kbits for 5.1. Typically up to four audio part can be used:
VO (original language) 5.1
The Prime Minister François Fillon confirmed that the final analogue switch-off date would be 30 November 2011. DTT coverage had to reach 91% of a given département before analogue transmissions could be switched off. CSA announced a call to tender for more local DTT licences on 15 June 2009 and 66 new DTT sites went up since May 2009 to expand coverage to cover low population areas.
Freesat began broadcasts from the Eutelsat Atlantic Bird 3 satellite from June 2009 as Fransat, providing for those unable to receive DTT signals for terrain reasons in preparation for ASO in 2011. Eighteen channels were broadcast initially and although free to watch, viewers needed to buy a set top box with smart card for EUR99 according to DVB.org article.
The end dates of analogue shutdown were: 2 February 2010: Alsace, 9 March 2010: Lower Normandy, 18 May 2010: Pays de la Loire, 8 June 2010: Bretagne, 28 September 2010: Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne, 19 October 2010: Poitou-Charentes and the middle of the country, November 2010: Franche-Comté and Bourgogne, 7 December 2010: North of the country, First quarter 2011: Picardie and Haute-Normandie, Île-de-France, Aquitaine and Limousin, Auvergne, Côte d'Azur and Corsica, Rhône, Second quarter 2011 (before November 30): Provence, Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon.
Germany launched a free-to-air platform region-by-region, starting in Berlin in November 2002. The analogue broadcasts were planned to cease soon after digital transmissions are started. Berlin became completely digital on 4 August 2003 with other regions completing between then and 2008. Digital switchover has been completed throughout Germany as of 2 December 2008 and services are now available to 100% of the population following the update of infill for the remaining 10% of transmitters by Media Broadcast who set up broadcast antennas at 79 transmission sites and installed 283 new transmitter stations. More services are to be launched on DTT and some pay DTT channels are or have been launched in various areas such as Stuttgart and soon Leipzig.
The following switch-offs are in cooperation with Digea, so the dates are the same.
Experimental DTT broadcast has started in December 2008. The program of Duna Televízió was broadcast during the trials. Originally analog television was planned to be shut down on 1 January 2012, but this deadline was first pushed out to 2014 then brought forward to 2013. Analogue broadcast was terminated at 12:30pm, on 31 July 2013 in the central part of Hungary, and October 2013 in the rest of the country. M1, M2, Duna TV, Duna World, RTL Klub, TV2 and Euronews are available as free-view. M1, M2 and Duna TV are also available in HD.
On both of the 2013 shutoff dates, all analog channels ceased normal programming at 12:30pm and showed a silent ASO information screen that has a phone number to call for help. It was kept on for a few days, after which the analog transmitters are permanently shut down.
In Ireland DTT has been somewhat problematic. Responsibility for DTT, based on plans of Raidió Teilifís Éireann, was divided between two government Departments with differing views on its running. This delayed the project, took away its momentum and the economic situation deteriorated so that the opportunity to launch in good conditions was lost. When legislation finally arrived after two years to enable DTT to proceed, a private sector model was envisaged similar to the UK. A company trading as "It's TV" was the sole applicant for a digital terrestrial television license under the provisions of the Irish Broadcasting Act 2001. The "It's TV" proposed a triple play deployment with Broadband, TV and Digital Radio services, but the on air return channel (DVB-RCT system) for "interactive" use while 10s of Mbps per mast, would per user only have been 300 to 2400bit/s at peak times, they never got approval to run an Internet service. RTÉ was to have a minority stake in its network and sell its majority share. However legislative delays and economic changes made it financially difficult for RTÉ to get a good price for the network stake. "It's TV" plans raise the necessary funding failed due to the lack of approval for Internet aspect and infeasible Internet access model. Other DTT deployments in operation around that time also went bust, most particularly in the UK, Spain and Portugal. "It's TV" failed to get its license conditions varied or to get a time extension for securing funding. Its license was either never awarded (as they could not demonstrate a viable business plan & funding) or was eventually withdrawn for non-performance.
Under subsequent legislation in May 2007, RTÉ, the spectrum regulator (ComReg) and the broadcasting regulator BCI (now BAI), were mandated to invite applications during 2008 under the Broadcasting (Amendment) Act 2007. RTÉ and the BCI received licenses from ComReg for spectrum to establish DTT. The BAI advertised and invited multiplex submissions by 2 May 2008. RTÉ Networks was required to broadcast in digital terrestrial TV (aerial TV) and received an automatic license through the RTÉ Authority. It has been expanding and upgrading its transmission network to digital terrestrial during 2009 which will culminate in 98% coverage by 31 December 2011 with analog switchover to begin in Summer 2012 in concert with Northern Ireland, under the MOU signed with the UK and Irish Governments.
It is also making this network available to the commercial multiplex winner for rental of capacity once negotiations are concluded, rental agreed and a security bond received. It has been testing the BAI multiplexes since November 2009 across the network, which is publicly receivable with the correct DTT receivers. 1 Mux (a group of broadcast channels) will provide the services of the public service broadcaster and have 98% population coverage by 31 December 2011. The other three multiplexes will have between 90% and 92% population coverage. Following Analogue Switchover one additional PSB mux and one or more commercial muxes will be made available for DTT, mobile television, broadband and other services.
The BCI (now BAI) received three conditional applications to operate the three muxes which were presented to the public on 12 May 2008. It decided in principle to allocate the license to Boxer DTT Ltd, a consortium made up of the Swedish pay-DTT operator Boxer and the media group Communicorp at its board meeting on 21 July 2008.
On 20 April 2009, the BCI revealed that Boxer had withdrawn their license, and it was instead given to the runner-up applicant OneVision. At the end of April 2010 the negotiations with Onevision ended and they also decided to return the license. On April 29, 2010 the contract was offered to the only remaining applicant, Easy TV. The Easy TV consortium informed the BAI on 12 May 2010 that it was declining their offer to pursue negotiations regarding the Commercial DTT Multiplex Licence.
A Houses of the Oireachtas Channel (reportedly shelved in December 2008) and the Irish Film Channel (whose status is unclear though a company has been formed to provide the channel) are enabled for establishment as public service broadcasters on Irish DTT.
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland replaced the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the RTÉ Authority. The BAI includes Awards and Advisory Committees under statutory instrument 389 that gave effect to the provisions of the Broadcasting Act 2009. This legislation dissolved the BCI, vesting it and new responsibilities, assets and liabilities in a new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on October 1, 2009. This act also deals with analogue switchover.
A DTT Information Campaign was announced by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, to launch in March 2009 ahead of the September 2009 launch of Irish DTT. as of December 2009, the information campaign has not launched and has been postponed until after Saorview launches its public testing phase. The Information Campaign is to be undertaken by the BAI, with support of the Department.
As of October 30, 2010 FTA DTT, which will be known as Saorview, has launched following a direction from the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, to RTÉ and the signing of the RTÉ (National Television Multiplex) Order 2010 (S.I. No. 85 of 2010) on February 26, 2010. The rollout of FTA Saorview DTT will now proceed, and a commercial DTT competition may well be deferred until the economic situation improves.
On 1 July 2010 RTÉ announced that Mary Curtis, RTÉ's current deputy head of TV programming, would take on the role of Director of Digital Switchover (DSO).
On October 14, 2011, Minister Rabbitte announced that analogue terrestrial television broadcast would be switched off on October 24, 2012. This date was chosen in consultation with the UK on its Northern Ireland analogue switchover date so that both jurisdictions on the island would switch over at roughly the same time. This was done to make it straightforward for citizens on both sides of the border., referring citizens to both Saorview's website and the Department's Digital Switchover Website
On 24 October 2012 all analogue television transmission in Ireland ended, leaving Saorview as the primary source of broadcast television in Ireland.
The switch-off of the analogue terrestrial network progressed region-by-region. It started on Wednesday 15 October 2008, and was completed on Wednesday 4 July 2012. The selected broadcasting standard is DVB-T with MPEG2 video for SD and H.264 video for HD, audio is usually MPEG1. The whole frequency spectrum has been allocated with SFN in mind. Along the original analog free to air channels that switched to digital, a few new pay per view platforms came around with the advent of DTT. Worth mentioning is the addition of an experimental free to air HD 1080i channel from RAI which is set to broadcast important sport events like the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.
Luxembourg launched DTT services in April 2006. The national service launched in June 2006. On 1 September 2006, Luxembourg became the first European country to transition completely to DTT. Luxe TV, a niche theme based station, soon began broadcasting on the Luxembourg DTT platform, transmitted from the Dudelange transmitter. The aim was to reach audiences in some parts of Germany as well as in Luxembourg.
The Netherlands launched its DTT service 23 April 2003, and terminated analogue transmissions nationwide on 11 December 2006. KPN owns Digitenne which provides a mix of FTA public channels and paid DTT services. It also provides a mobile broadcast DVB-H service as well as an IPTV service, with DTT the most popular of its products.
DTT launch in Poland was scheduled for Autumn 2009. Regulatory disagreements delayed its tender and approach until resolved and the multiplexes available for DTT were reduced to 3 and the 2nd was licensed in the Autumn of 2009. The reduction from 5 to 3 enabled mobile TV and broadband to get more spectrum allocation. Muxes 2 and 3 therefore had limited coverage until ASO. Polsat, TVN, TV4 and TV Puls have officially applied to reserve space on the countries first multiplex set to start in September. Wirtualne Media is given as the source of the story. The public broadcaster's three main channels TVP1, TVP2 and TVP Info had already been allocated capacity on the multiplex.
Poland ended its television broadcast in analogue on 23 July 2013. A mobile TV license has also been awarded in Poland to Info TV FM to use DVB-H standard.
Portugal launched its DTT service on 29 April 2009, available to around 20% of the Portuguese population and Portugal Telecom expected to reach 80% of the population by the end of the 2009. Airplus TV Portugal that was set up to compete for a licence to manage Portugal's pay-TV DTT multiplexes, dissolved as it did not get the license and a Portuguese court ruled not to suspend the process for the awarding of a licence to Portugal Telecom, based on a complaint submitted by Airplus TV Portugal. After Airplus TV Portugal was dissolved, Portugal Telecom informed that will not honour the pay-TV DTT multiplexes licence obligations. ANACOM, the Portuguese communications authority, accepted. Portugal thus has only one active multiplexer.
In Romania, broadcasting regulations have been amended so that DTT service providers have only a single licence rather than the two previously required by the National Audiovisual Council (CNA). DTT services were launched in December 2009 using the MPEG-4 (H.264 AVC) compression format following the Ministry of Communications publication of a strategic plan for the transition to digital broadcasting. According to Media Express, it envisaged a maximum of five national UHF multiplexes, a national VHF multiplex and a multiplex allocated to regional and local services, all in accordance with the ITU Geneva Conference RRC-06 reports BroadbandTVNews.
The Ministry of Communications (MCSI) estimated that 49% of Romania's 7.5 million households got TV from cable and 27% from DTH services in Romania while terrestrial TV was used by 18% of the TV households. 6% are reported as not able to receive TV transmissions. Subsidies were offered for those below a certain income to assist switchover for them. Switchover was scheduled for January 2012.
Romkatel, the local representative of Kathrein, have since been awarded the commercial Romanian DTT services license. ZF reported that Romkatel has signed a 12-month contract worth EUR710,420, having beaten off a challenge from France's TDF. The tender was organised by Romania's National Society for Radiocommunications (SNR). Meanwhile, the National Audiovisual Council, in charge of the public service broadcasting sector has awarded digital licences to the public channels TVR1 and TVR2.
According to Media Express, this followed a short debate at the National Audiovisual Council (CNA) about whether to also award licences to the nine remaining public channels, one of which transmits in HD and five are regional.
The National Authority in Communications (ANCOM), will most probably award the transmission network contract for this to the national transmission company Radiocommunicatii.
In June 2013, the Romanian Government issued a Strategy to shift from analogue terrestrial to digital terrestrial that pushes ahead the until the date stopped process. According to the Strategy one of the five planned digital terrestrial multiplexes will be de facto granted to Radiocom, the state company involved in terrestrial carrying the public television signals, way before a selection for the muxes operators will be organized by ANCOM, selection with the deadline of June 17, 2015. Government is describing the Radiocom multiplex with the terms "pilot project" and "experiment". The minimum technical requirements for this project are: broadcast standard DVB-T2, ensuring the coverage of up to 40% of the population until July 1, 2014, and 70% of the population up to June 17, 2015, and the possibility of using the broadcasting premises that belongs to Radiocom.
On 17 June 2015, Romania turned off analog broadcasting, and started broadcasting with DVB-T2 technology, but with very low coverage, and a very reduced number of broadcasts available. Because of low coverage, Romania will still broadcast TVR1 in analog format on VHF until 31 December 2015. DVB-T continues to be available for an undetermined period of time, only in Sibiu ( Ch 47 and Ch 54) and Bucharest ( Ch 54 and Ch 59). However, since the analogue turn-off, many people who were receiving TV on terrestrial shifted to a cable or DTH operator . To the present day, DVB-T and DVB-T2 are still in experimental broadcast. The delay of DVB-T launching is criticized by some people in Romania, as a form of sustaining the interest of cable and DTH providers, by delaying the stable launch of DVB-T and decreasing the number of channels ( once, there were available 18 channels in DVB-T, even 3 in HD) but to the present day the number has fallen to only 6, and continues to be lower, especially since TVR announced that they will reduce the number of channels (TVR news will be shut down, probably because of low audience, the same for TVR 3, and the fate of TVR HD, which is one of the channels with the largest audience in TVR Group after TVR1, is unknown). Kanal D left terrestrial platform on 2 July 2015, and, Antena 3 is the only channel except TVR's available on terrestrial in DVB-T. It is unknown whether Antena 3 will remain available on DVB-T, will shift to DVB-T2, or fully leave the terrestrial platform . Antena Group channels were once available both analogue and digital in terrestrial. Also, many people in Romania are somehow surprised by the fact that Romania had regressed in terrestrial broadcasts, because in analogue there were, once, about 8 channels ( in Bucharest), and decreasing to only 6 channels in Digital terrestrial is a regress. However, terrestrial TV was heavily surpassed both by DTH, or Cable, some people are even watching foreign FTA on satellite, because foreign broadcasts are having a more interesting content than Romanian channels. To the present day, DVB-T and T2 are still in tests. Although many TV sellers are marking DVB-T2 capable sets as being compatible with digital terrestrial television in Romania, by highlighting this feature with a sticker on the TV, buyers are mainly interested if the TV has digital cable tunner or digital satellite tuner, however TV sets without DVB-T2 continue to be sold with only DVB-T/C and sometimes S2, as cable and satellite compatibility presents most of interest.
In Spain most multiplexes closed after the failure of Quiero TV, the country's original pay DTT platform. DTT was relaunched on 30 November 2005, with 20 free-to-air national TV services as well as numerous regional and local services. Nearly 11 million DTT receivers had been sold as of July 2008. Positive approval for pay DTT services have reportedly been given by Spain's Ministry of Industry in a surprise move on 17 June of the Advisory Council on Telecommunications and the Information Society (Catsi). IT will now be included in a Royal Decree. A number of leading Spanish media players including Sogecable, Telefónica, Ono, Orange and Vodafone have apparently criticised that as according to Prisa, Sogecable's owner, "it caps a series of policy changes that benefits only a few audiovisual operators, those of terrestrial TV, to the detriment of satellite operators, cable and DSL." There may be appeals lodged against the government's decision.
In Sweden, DTT was launched in 1999 solely as a paid service. As of 2007, there are 38 channels in 5 MUXs. 11 of those are free-to-air channels from a number of different broadcasters. Switch-off of the analogue TV service started on 19 September 2005 and finished on 29 October 2007. Boxer began the deployment of MPEG-4 receivers to new subscribers. Over the next six years from 2008 Sweden will gradually migrate from MPEG-2 visual coding to using MPEG-4, H.264. The Swedish Radio and TV Authority (RTVV) recently announced eight new national channels that will broadcast in the MPEG-4 format. From 1 April 2008 Boxer is also responsible for approving devices to use on the network, will no longer accept MPEG-2 receivers for test and approval. Set Top Boxes must be backward compatible so that they can decode both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 coded transmissions.
The United Kingdom (1998), Sweden (1999) and Spain (2000) were the first to launch DTT with platforms heavily reliant on pay television. All platforms experienced many starter problems, in particular the British and Spanish platforms which failed financially (mainly due to their encryption being compromised). Nevertheless, Boxer, the Swedish pay platform which started in October 1999, proved to be very successful.
DTT in the United Kingdom was launched in November 1998 as a primarily subscription service branded as ONdigital, a joint venture between Granada Television and Carlton Communications, with only a few channels being available free to air. ONdigital soon ran into financial difficulties with subscriber numbers below expectations, and in order to attempt to reverse their fortunes, it was decided that the ITV and ONdigital brands should align, and the service was rebranded ITV Digital in 2001. Despite an expensive advertising campaign, ITV Digital struggled to attract sufficient new subscribers and in 2002 closed the service. After commercial failure of the Pay TV proposition it was relaunched as the free-to-air Freeview platform in 2002. Top Up TV, a lite pay DTT service, became available in 2004 when Inview launched the first DTT (Freeview) EPG service.
On 30 March 2005, the older analogue signals began to be phased out on a region-by-region basis (a process known as the Digital switchover, or DSO), beginning with a technical trial at the Ferryside television relay station. The first full transmitter to switch to digital-only transmission was the Whitehaven transmitter in Cumbria, which completed its transition on Wednesday 17 October 2007. The switchover to digital-only broadcasting was completed on 24 October 2012 when the transmitters in Northern Ireland turned off their analogue broadcasts (which coincided with the transition in the Republic of Ireland).
The additional transmission frequencies freed up by the shutdown of analogue signals have (among other things, such as the introduction of 4G mobile internet) allowed for the creation of a single DVB-T2 multiplex used to carry high-definition programming. There are also plans to use one frequency to launch local television services.
DTT was successfully launched in November 2009. It uses MPEG-2 for SD and MPEG-4 for HD. The service was launched by ONE, and the platform is called BoomTV. It offers 42 channels including all national networks and it is available to 95% of the population.
Switzerland is digital.
In Canada, analogue switch-off was mandated by regulatory authorities for all provincial capital cities and all multi-station markets. Analogue would continue in single-station markets and remote areas. With an exception, analogue switch-off in the mandated areas took place on 31 August 2011. The CBC was granted an exception in many smaller multi-station markets, due to the cost of conversion, otherwise the CBC services would have gone dark in many such markets. Most network stations are already broadcasting high-definition digital signals in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Regina, and Vancouver. Most networks had been concerned about the August 2011 deadline as not all parts of the country were equipped to receive DTTV by the scheduled date.
In Mexico, digital signals are, as of 2010, currently on-air in the largest cities, with more cities to be added in descending order of population size, until full national coverage is reached on December 31, 2015. At that point analogue broadcasts will officially end.
In the United States on 12 June 2009, all full-power U.S. television broadcasts became exclusively digital, under the Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005. Furthermore, since 1 March 2007, new television sets that receive signals over the air, including pocket-sized portable televisions, include ATSC digital tuners for digital broadcasts. Prior to 12 June 2009, most U.S. broadcasters were transmitting in both analog and digital formats; a few were digital only. Most U.S. stations were not permitted to shut down their analog transmissions prior to 16 February 2009 unless doing so was required in order to complete work on a station's permanent digital facilities. In 2009, the FCC finished auctioning channels 52-59 (the lower half of the 700 MHz band) for other communications services, completing the reallocation of broadcast channels 52-69 that began in the late 1990s.
The analog switch-off rendered all non-digital television sets unable to receive most over-the-air television channels without an external setbox receiver; however, low-power television stations and cable TV systems were not required to convert to digital until 1 September 2015. Beginning 1 January 2008, consumers could request coupons to help cover most of the cost of these converters by calling a toll-free number or via a website. Some television stations had also been licensed to operate "nightlights", analog signals which consisted only of a brief repeated announcement advising remaining analog viewers how to switch to digital reception.
Bermuda has plans to convert its three broadcast stations to ATSC digital terrestrial television in the future.
On December 14, 2011, national public broadcaster ZNS-TV announced it would be upgrading to ATSC digital television with mobile DTV capabilities, in line with its neighbours, the United States and Puerto Rico.
El Salvador has chosen the Japanese
Brazilian standard ISDB-Tb in 2017
Argentine President Cristina Fernández signed on August 28, 2009 an agreement to adopt the ISDB-Tb system, joining Brazil, which has already implemented the standard in its big cities. On air service started from 28 April 2010.
On July 5, 2010 the Bolivian Chancellor signed an agreement with the Japanese Ambassador, selecting the Japanese system with the Brazilian modifications ISDB-T (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting Terrestrial).
In Brazil, they chose a modified version of the Japanese ISDB-T standard, called ISDB-Tb (or SBTVD) in June 2006. Digital broadcast started on 2 December 2007 in São Paulo and now it is under expansion all over the country. As of 15 September 2009, metro areas of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Goiânia, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Campinas, Vitória, Florianópolis, Uberlândia, São José do Rio Preto, Teresina, Santos, Campo Grande, Fortaleza, Recife, João Pessoa, Sorocaba, Manaus, Belém, Aracaju, Ribeirão Preto, Boa Vista, Macapá, Porto Velho, Rio Branco, São Carlos, São José do Rio Preto, São Luís, Pirassununga, São José dos Campos, Taubaté, Ituiutaba, Araraquara, Feira de Santana, Itapetininga, Sorocaba, Presidente Prudente, Bauru, Campos dos Goytacazes, Londrina, Juiz de Fora, Campina Grande, Caxias do Sul, Franca, Rio Claro and Cuiabá have digital terrestrial broadcasting. By 2013 the digital signal was available in the whole country. Analogue shut-off is scheduled for 2023.
On September 14, 2009, president Michelle Bachelet announced that the government had finally decided, after prolonged delays, on a digital television standard. Chile will be adopting the ISDB-T Japanese standard (with the custom modifications made by Brazil). Simulcasting is expected to begin in 2010, with a projected analog switch-off in 2017.
Colombia has chosen the European DVB-T standard on 28 August 2008. However, in 2012, Colombia adopted DVB-T2 as the national standard for terrestrial television, replacing DVB-T, the previously selected standard for digital TV.
On December 28, 2010, private networks Caracol TV and RCN TV officially started digital broadcasts for Bogotá, Medellín and surrounding areas on channels 14 and 15 UHF, respectively. State-run Señal Colombia and Canal Institucional had started test digital broadcasts earlier in 2010.
The current coverage of DVB-T2 can be consulted on the website of the organization "Tdt para Todos" which is the entity responsible for facilitating its adoption.
Peru has chosen on 23 April 2009 the Brazilian modified version of the Japanese standard ISDB-T. Agreed with Japan to cooperate for resource exchange and technical transfer on 21 August 2009, and on air service started on Channel 7 of TV Perú from 30 March 2010. Currently, all the major stations in Lima are broadcasting in Digital and HDTV. ATV was the first station in the country to broadcast a digital signal back in 2008, testing all the systems in order to assess what was more convenient to choose. When the standard was chosen, they were already broadcasting in HD and the first live TV show to be aired in HDTV in Perú was Magaly TV on August 30, 2010. Frecuencia Latina began transmitting on September 14, 2010, and the first major HDTV show was the participation of the Peru women's national volleyball team in the 2010 FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship. Shortly after these events, America Television started broadcasting in digital and the highest ranked TV show in Peru (Al Fondo Hay Sitio) started airing in HD on February 28, 2011.
Suriname is currently transitioning from analogue NTSC broadcasts to digital ATSC broadcasts. Channel ATV started with ATSC broadcasts in the Paramaribo area in June 2014, which was followed by ATSC broadcasts from stations in Brokopondo, Wageningen and Albina. The stations in Brokopondo, Wageningen and Albina broadcast both the channels of ATV (i.e. ATV and TV2) and STVS, while the station in Paramaribo currently only broadcasts the ATV channels. The Telecommunication Authority of Suriname was originally aiming at a full digital transition by June 2015, but this was criticized by broadcasters as being unfeasible.
In Venezuela, tests are being performed with full deployment to start 2008-2009. DTT will coexist with analogue standard television for some time, until full deployment of the system on a nationwide level is accomplished. 30 September 2009, decided to employ Japanese ISDB-T system under cooperation with Japan, and officially be agreed with Japan in early October 2009.
On March, 2012, Venezuela signed a $50M agreement to purchase 300,000 decoders from Argentina to implement TDT in Caracas and later this year in some of the most important cities, but only in the Government controlled TV Stations. NTSC and TDT will coexist. The Government hopes to reach TDT the whole country's population in 2 years. http://m.insidetele.com/index.php?article_id=-677679205374602596[permanent dead link]
On the African continent the trend is still to use the European standard "DVB-T2", which is the most modern system of broadcasting. Countries that have adopted the standard are: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
To follow the transition from analog to digital in the field of terrestrial television broadcasting, and to keep pace with these technological international innovations, Tunisia through the Office of National Broadcasting has planned the following phases to digitize its terrestrial broadcasting networks:
First phase: Deployment, since 2001, of an experimental digital TV broadcasting unit using DVB-T system, and MPEG-2 compression, implemented in Boukornine site, to insure the coverage of Great Tunis (25% of population). This experimental project highlighted the benefits of digitization which are : -Better quality of Video and audio signals, -Increasing the capacity of distribution networks through the transmission of a digital TV package (bouquet): a layer of digital distribution network enables the transmission of 4 to 6 programs TV instead of a single TV program in the case of an analog network -The economics of radio spectrum and the energy consumption. -Introduction of new multimedia services. In preparatory phase, ONT has prepared the frequency plan for digital terrestrial TV networks of and has signed the final acts of the Regional Radio Communication Conference 2006 in Geneva organized by the International Telecommunications Union, which recommends to switch off analog broadcasting services around 2015 and their replacement by digital broadcasting systems.
Second phase: This phase includes the completion of the two following projects:
1- First part: Digitization of the transmission network between production studios and different broadcasting stations. The network consists of 41 transmission stations spread throughout the country. This step represents the first part of the Digital Terrestrial TV network, and its deployment is completed during the period 2008-2009. The cost of this project is 27 million dinars TTC.
2- Second part: National digital terrestrial TV broadcasting Network to viewers, which consists of 17 DTTV stations spread throughout the country and will be conducted under a contract including a vendor financing agreement with the Thomson Grass Valley (France) company. The project came into force in August 2009 and will be conducted during 2009-2010. Its cost is 13 million dinars TTC.
In March 2015 Inview Technology (a UK digital switch-off company based in Cheshire and with local operations in Nigeria) was appointed by Nigeria's government run National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to enable digital switchover from analogue throughout the country and provide a Conditional Access System, set-top box software and services including full EPG, Push Video-On-Demand, a range of broadcasting applications such as news, public service information and audience measurement services over the digital terrestrial and satellite networks in Nigeria.
Inview Nigeria and NCB will:
FreeTV will carry up to 30 free channels: the best of Nigeria TV and international channels across news, movies, kids, music and general entertainment genres.
A national standard set top box specification has been set which incorporates a common operating system created by Inview. All boxes will require this specification to view the channels and access value added services such as interactive news, programme recording, internet applications and video on demand.
As of March 2016, FreeTV is being operated by Inview and is an open platform which enables any content or pay TV provider to broadcast their content so that Nigerian consumers only have to buy one box to view all the content. Only manufacturers licensed in Nigeria will receive the Inview operating system required to access the channels and services, which will protect domestic manufacturers and consumers from illegal grey imports.
The broadcasting of digital terrestrial transmissions has led to many countries planning to phase out existing analogue broadcasts. This table shows the launches of DTT and the closing down of analogue television in several countries.
||Officially launched||Analog closedown
|DTT transmission||Interaction||AV standard|
|Andorra||2007-09-25||DVB-T||None (MHP abandoned)||H.262|
|Australia||2001-01-01||2010-06-30 (Mildura and Sunraysia)||2013-12-10||DVB-T (7 MHz channels 6~12 VHF
and 28~69 UHF)
|MHEG-5 (EPG only)||H.262|
|Austria||2006-10-26||2007-03-05||2010||DVB-T||None (MHP abandoned)||H.262|
|Belgium||2002/2003||2008-11-03 (Flemish Community)||2010 (Francophone Community)||DVB-T||None||H.262|
|Brazil||2007-12-03||2016-02-15 (Rio Verde)||2023||ISDB-Tb||Ginga||H.264|
|Canada||2003-01||2011-08-31||ATSC||H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)|
|China||2006||2006||2015 (SARFT reported August 2005)||DMB-T/H||H.262, H.264|
|Colombia||2008-08-28||2019-12-31||DVB-T ( 6 MHz )||MHP||H.264|
|El Salvador||2009-04-22||2018-12-31||2019-01-01||ATSC||H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)|
|Estonia||2006-12-15||2008-03-31 (Ruhnu island)||2010-07-01||DVB-T||MHP planned||H.264|
|Finland||2001-08-27||2007-09-01||2007-09-01||DVB-T||None (MHP abandoned)||H.262|
|France||2005-03-31 FTA||2009-02-04||2011 (before November 30)||DVB-T||MHP||H.262, H.264|
|Germany||2003-03||2003-03 Regional rollout||2008-12-02 completed||DVB-T||H.262 / H.264 (Stuttgart for non public channels)|
|Greece||2006-01-16 Tests||2008-11-01||2015||DVB-T||H.262 (ERT)
H.264 (ERT, DIGEA)
|Hong Kong||2007-12-31||2 April 2016 (ATV)
2020 (TVB and RTHK)
|Indonesia||13 August 2008 (Trial)
20 May 2009 (Official)
|April 2012||October 2017||DVB-T2||MPEG-2 SD, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC HD|
|1999-2002 Licensing abandoned;
31 October 2010 (90%)
26 May 2011 DTT launch,
December 2011 (98%)
Network testing, publicly receivable
|2012-10-24 with NI||2012-10-24 with NI||DVB-T||RCT abandoned, MHEG5,||H.264|
|Israel||2009-08-02||June 2011||DVB-T||H.264, AAC+ V2|
|Japan||2003-12-01||2010-09-24 (some regions of Ishikawa)||2011-07-24 (all cities except Morioka, Sendai, and Fukushima)
|Lithuania||2006||2009 (Now expanded nationwide)||2012-10-29||DVB-T||H.264|
|Republic of Macedonia||2004-05-04||2010-01-01||2013, June||DVB-T||MHP||H.264|
|Malaysia||6 June 2017||2015 (parallel running)||1 June 2018||DVB-T2||MHEG-5||H.264|
|Mexico||2004-07-02||2013-07-18 (Tijuana)||2015-12-31||ATSC||H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)|
|New Zealand||April 2008||2012-09-30||2013-12-01||DVB-T||MHEG-5 (EPG only)||H.264/HE-AAC|
2017-02-14 (DTT Launch)
2009-09-20 (DTT Launch)
|Singapore||1 January 2006||16 December 2013||31 December 2018||DVB-T2||H.264|
|South Africa||2006-03||2016-10-28 ||No date yet||DVB-T2||MHEG-5 (Future use planned)||H.264|
|South Korea||2001||2010-09-01 14:00 (Uljin)||2012-12-31||ATSC||H.262, H.264 HD (ATSC 2.0)|
|Spain||2000-2005 (Previous and relaunch)||2009||2010-04-03||DVB-T||None (MHP abandoned)||H.262 SD, H.264 HD|
|Sri Lanka||2014-09-07||2015-01-01||2017-01-01||ISDB-T||BML||H.264 HD|
|Sweden||1999-04-01||2005-09-19||2007-10-29||DVB-T, DVB-T2 (HD)||MHP||H.262 SD, H.264 HD|
|Taiwan||2004-01||2010-07 (Pinglin)||2012-06||DVB-T||MHP||H.262, H.264|
2014-04-01 (all trials)
2014-06-01 (all official plan)
|Turkey||2006-02 (trial services)||2007||2017||DVB-T|
|United Kingdom||1998-11-15||2007-10-17 (Whitehaven)||2012-10-24||DVB-T, DVB-T2 (HDTV)||MHEG-5||H.262 SD, H.264 HD|
|United States||1998-10-29||2008-09-08 (Wilmington)||2009-06-12 (Full-power TV stations)||ATSC||H.262|
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