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IRIS 2010-7:1/18

Spain

New Decree Regulates HD/DTT

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Trinidad García Leiva

Universidad Carlos III, Madrid

At the meeting of the Council of Ministers of 20 May 2010, the Spanish Government approved a new Decree that regulates high definition digital terrestrial television (HD/DTT). The Decree was published in the official journal on 2 June as Royal Decree 691/2010. It develops the technical specifications for HD/DTT, a service recently regulated when the Parliament approved the General Law of Audiovisual Communications (see IRIS 2010-4:1/21), and establishes the conditions to broadcast in HD/DTT.

As regards the former, HD/DTT services will follow the ETSI EN 300 744 transmission system, use video resolution of at least 720 lines with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and the H.264/MPEG-4 video compression standard, although future more efficient standards are not ruled out. Manufacturers will have six months to include an HDTV tuner in any TV set over 21 inches that will become available on the market (DTT tuners are already incorporated) and will have the obligation to inform consumers about the reception capabilities of equipment.

In relation to the latter, those who are to be assigned a whole multiplex will be allowed to broadcast the number of channels specified in their license, including HD signals, as long as they use the technical specifications authorised. If the multiplex is shared, all broadcasters will have the right to broadcast in high definition, as long as they all reach an agreement about the matter. In any case, according to the new General Law (Article 35), before any broadcaster begins to offer HD services such a decision must be notified to the authority that granted the license.

References
Real Decreto 691/2010, de 20 de mayo, por el que se regula la TelevisiĆ³n Digital Terrestre en alta definiciĆ³n ES
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=12505
 
  Royal Decree 691/2010, on the regulation of high definition digital terrestrial television