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Belarus following in broadcasting steps of others

New television technologies in focus

Belarus following in broadcasting steps of others 

In early 2010, analogue broadcasting ended in Austria, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Finland, Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Japan, Estonia and Malta. While the process took over a decade in Spain and the UK, Belarus is set on completing its ‘digital’ switch-over within two and a half years. Meanwhile, unlike those nations who pioneered digital broadcasting by taking a commercial approach (leading to bankruptcy for operators) Belarus plans to offer free connection.

Our ‘late start’ has advantages, allowing us to learn from others’ experience (such as the DVB-T first digital standard, which was used in Sweden and Finland in the 1990s). Belarus is launching with T2 standards, which are more advanced, offering better coverage and picture definition, reducing interference to near zero.

Belgium was among the first to move to ‘digital’; having a great many cable networks, no one noticed the switching-off of terrestrial analogue broadcasting. The Scandinavian countries have unusual experience, since they occupy a huge territory, with low population density, making cable too expensive for some villages.

In some countries, the transition to digital broadcasting led to problems; for instance, in the USA, the appointed ‘switch-over’ day had to be postponed when it was discovered that some adapters failed to work in some states. With its ‘mobile’ population, ‘television chaos’ ensued. For some time after analogue TV was turned off, a significant number of Americans were left without a TV signal.

Finland spent five years preparing for the introduction of digital TV; nevertheless, 2.5 percent of the population were yet to purchase digital consoles by ‘switch-over’ day. Half bought the necessary equipment within a month but about 1 percent of Finns chose not to subscribe to TV as a result.

By Dmitry Korobov
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