null Ten years of digital television

Ten years of digital television

News article 29.08.2011 10.19 fi sv en

This year marks the tenth birthday of digital TV broadcasting in Finland: the first digital TV transmissions were broadcast on 27 August 2001. Analogue broadcasts were switched off entirely at the turn of the month August/September in 2007.

After the digital switch-over, the programme supply has increased tenfold in the antenna network while TV picture quality has improved.

In the analogue era, there were five television channels. Currently digital transmissions are broadcast in ten multiplexes, with the number of channels totalling 53. 14 of the channels are provided free of charge while 39 are pay-TV channels. Some of the channels already provide high-definition broadcasts and their number is increasing.

The Government decided on the digitisation of television networks in May 1996. The testing of digital broadcasts started in 1997.

Finland made the decision to adopt the European DVB standard which is also used in Australia and in a number of Asian countries.

In 1999, the Ministry of Transport and Communications granted the first licences for national digital TV broadcasting in two multiplexes.

The number of viewers of digital broadcasts grew as more households acquired digital set-top boxes enabling the reception of digital broadcasts by an analogue television set. Soon, however, digital television sets started to emerge alongside the set-top boxes.

Digital TV requires fewer radio frequencies than analogue broadcasting. The digital switch-over in 2007 released the 800 MHz frequency band for other use. It was allocated to high-speed broadband networks in mobile communications.

Further information
Mr Ismo Kosonen, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 50 511 6601