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The country enters 2016 with no analogue broadcasting: a symbolic breaker was switched off on the night of January 4th

The country enters 2016 with no analogue broadcasting: a symbolic breaker was switched off on the night of January 4th — leaving the last of the original 19 transmitters in the past.

The switching off of the analogue frequencies did not quite manage to comply with the 2006 Geneva agreements made in 2006 as, under those terms, analogue broadcasting ceased in Belarus on May 15th, 2015. The date of the final broadcast was carefully chosen to allow viewers enough time to buy a transmitter for digital TV and for even the ‘slowest’ citizens to enjoy all New Year TV programmes.

The Head of the TV, Radio Communication and Broadcasting Sector of the Information and Communications Ministry’s Electric Communication Department — Victor Zaitsev — commented, “A network of 94 digital transmitters is already operational in the country giving access to digital television for 99 percent of the population. We’ve also coordinated work with foreign agencies regarding the radio-frequency resource to ensure that border areas enjoy good signal reception.”

There is in fact, no single breaker for all the analogue transmitters: these were switched independently at each station. The evolution of engineering can be assessed from the point of view of energy consumption. The lamp-based ‘Uragan’ transmitter broadcast only one channel but consumed 60kW per hour; in turn, a modern transmitter needs just 8kW per hour to broadcast 8 TV channels and one radio channel. 

By Anton Kostyukevich

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