Transition To Digital Broadcasts
As of late 2009, ten countries had completed the process of turning off analog terrestrial broadcasting. Many other countries had plans to do so or were in the process of a staged conversion. The first country to make a wholesale switch to digital over-the-air (terrestrial television) broadcasting was Luxembourg in 2006, followed later in 2006 by the Netherlands; in 2007 by Finland, Andorra, Sweden and Switzerland; in 2008 by Belgium (Flanders) and Germany; in 2009 by the United States (high power stations—the important ones), southern Canada, the Isle of Man, Norway, and Denmark. In 2010, Belgium (Wallonia), Spain, Wales, Latvia, Estonia, the Channel Islands, San Marino and Slovenia; in 2011 Israel, Austria, Monaco, Scotland, Cyprus, Japan (excluding Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures), Malta and France; in 2012 Czech Republic, Arab World, Taiwan, Portugal, Japan (including Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures), Serbia, Italy, Canada, Mauritius, England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Gibraltar, South Korea; in 2013 Tanzania completed the transition. The United Kingdom made the transition to digital television between 2008 and 2012, with the exception of Barrow-in-Furness, which made the switch over in 2007.
In the United States, high-power over-the-air broadcasts are solely in the ATSC digital format since 12 June 2009, the date that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set for the end of all high-power analog television transmissions. As a result, almost two million households could no longer watch television because they were not prepared for the transition. The switchover was originally scheduled for 17 February 2009, until the U.S. Congress passed the DTV Delay Act. By special dispensation, some analog television signals ceased on the original date. While the majority of the viewers of over-the-air broadcast television in the U.S. watch full-power stations (which number about 1800), there are three other categories of television stations in the U.S.: low-power broadcasting stations, Class A stations, and television translator stations. There is presently no deadline for these stations, about 7100 in number, to convert to digital broadcasting.
In broadcasting, whatever happens in the United States also influences southern Canada and northern Mexico because those areas are covered by television stations in the U.S.
In Japan, the switch to digital occurred on the 24th of July, 2011 (with the exception of Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi prefectures, where conversion was delayed one year due to complications from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami). In Canada, it is scheduled to happen 31 August 2011. China is scheduled to switch in 2015. In the United Kingdom, the digital switchover has different times for each part of the country. However, the entire UK should be on digital television by 2012.
Brazil switched to digital television on 2 December 2007 in its major cities, and now it is estimated that it will take about seven years for complete conversion over all of Brazil. Australia will turn off analog television in steps, network by network, between 2010 and 2013, region by region.
In Malaysia, the Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) advertised for tender bids to be submitted in the third quarter of 2009 for the 470 through 742 MHz UHF allocation, to enable Malaysia's broadcast system to move into DTV. The new broadcast band allocation would result in Malaysia's having to build an infrastructure for all broadcasters, using a single digital terrestrial transmission/television broadcast (DTTB) channel. Large portions of Malaysia are covered by television broadcasts from Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and/or Indonesia (from Borneo and Batam)
Users may then encode and transmit their television programs on this channel's digital data stream. The winner will be announced at the end of 2012 or early 2013. A condition of the award is that digital transmission must start as soon as possible, and analog switch-off is proposed for 2015 or later, which means that analog television may continue for longer than originally planned.
Read more about this topic: Analogue Television Synchronization
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