The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation encourages televisions to experiment with Ultra High Definition

02/11/2022 | 4k Spain

  • Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, Deputy Director General for Planning and Management of the Radioelectronic Spectrum of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, will be one of the featured speakers at this eighth edition of the 4K HDR Summit.
  • “Experimental broadcasts in UHD in Spain have been authorized in all provincial capitals and additional important cities,” says Fernández-Paniagua.
  • The Deputy Director General for Planning and Management of the Radioelectronic Spectrum reveals that “all television channels have to upgrade their broadcasts to High Definition before February 14, 2024”.

From the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation all Spanish televisions are encouraged to “experiment with Ultra High Definition”. Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, Deputy Director of Planning and Management of the Radioelectronic Spectrum, will be the representative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation at the UHD international reference event, the 4K HDR Summit, which will be held from November 14 to 18 at the National Center for Digital Content, in Malaga.

Fernández-Paniagua will give the keys to everything regarding the situation of digital terrestrial television in Spain, in particular, its evolution to HD and the measures for a future transition to Ultra High Definition. Currently on this issue, Spain is governed by Royal Decree 391/2019, of June 21, which approves the National DTT Technical Plan. This, according to Fernández-Paniagua himself, “includes measures to promote technological innovation in audiovisual services and in particular for the implementation of high definition and to prepare for UHD in the future.” Also, this R.D. establishes “the technical specifications that digital terrestrial television broadcasts in high definition and ultra high definition must meet,” acknowledges Fernández-Paniagua.

As established by Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, “each digital multiplex, in accordance with the provisions of the National Technical Plan, has the capacity to integrate four high-definition television channels regardless of whatever their coverage area may be.”

In addition, according to what is established in the R.D. All television channels, whether local, regional or national, “have to upgrade their broadcasts to high definition before January 1, 2023, although the decision has been made, by means of another Royal Decree, to extend this period until on February 14, 2024”, admits Fernández-Paniagua.

For this to occur, both the market operators themselves and the recipients have to adapt. The Deputy Director of Planning and Management of the Radioelectronic Spectrum recognizes, in this sense, that “the degree of adaptation is very high although there is still a remnant. We want to make sure that the transition will not affect citizens in the reception of DTT content”. Despite the existence of this deadline, any operator may decide to evolve earlier, as long as they notify the administrative authority that will grant them the audiovisual title for the broadcast of said channel.

In the R.D. 391/2019, of June 21, also established provisions regarding experimental broadcasts in Ultra High Definition. All this, as Fernández-Paniagua states, “is done with the aim of favoring the future implementation of advanced digital terrestrial television standards with technologies with greater spectral efficiency, which allow a more efficient use of the radio spectrum and an improvement in the quality of Image and sound”. Another measure that is contemplated and that until now has not been used despite being already open to all operators is that “in the capacity that they have assigned in the current multiplexes, certain events can be broadcast in UHD,” says the Deputy Director of Planning and Management of the Radioelectronic Spectrum.

TDT receiving devices must have open, compatible interfaces that allow interoperability, as well as manufacturers must indicate and inform the user clearly and in detail about the capabilities of each receiving device put up for sale. All of this, according to Fernández-Paniagua, is done in order to have in Spain “a park of receiving devices that is sufficiently adequate for when it is considered appropriate to make a technological transition towards these higher quality standards.”

Regarding experimental broadcasts in UHD in Spain, Antonio Fernández-Paniagua anticipates that “they have been authorized in practically all the provincial capitals and in some additional important cities. All this is aimed at making an evolution to high definition on the established dates and preparing a future evolution both to UHD and to more efficient transmission technologies such as DVB-T2”.

Spain, protagonist in the 4K HDR Summit 2022

In addition to the intervention of Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, the 4K HDR Summit 2022 will have a very broad Spanish representation. As such, it is worth mentioning the presence of UHD Spain, a non-profit association that works together in the advancement and consensus of the implementation of Ultra High Definition in Spain. The intervention of Pere Vila, president of the association, stands out, in addition to the presentations of a multitude of members in relation to the UHD. Also noteworthy is the presentation of the Second Edition of the White Paper, which will be given by José Manuel Menéndez, Professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. The final touch of the event will be put by UHD Spain. And it is that the fifth and last day of the event will be marked by the presentations of its members.

Noteworthy will also be the panel that Spanish representatives of Lavinia, Nokia and Optiva Media will carry out in relation to the Metaverse. Likewise, Guillermo Jiménez (OBS) will speak about the 4K broadcast of the Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 Winter Olympics; Valia Merino, President and Co-founder of Optiva Media will also be part of a top-level agenda; Pablo Pérez (Nokia), will make his presentation about the Realverso; Jorge Rodríguez, Marketing Manager of Hispasat, will tell about the important role of this Spanish company in the world of 4K; José Manuel Sanz, Head of Technology and Laboratory at Cellnex, will speak about interoperability tests; and Cristina Peñas, Commercial Director of Axión, will tell the vision of a broadcaster and infrastructure manager in reference to 4K.

The complete agenda of the event can now be seen on the official website. Regarding the conferences of the 4K HDR Summit 2022, such as that of Antonio Fernández-Paniagua, they can be followed through the Medina Media Events platform, prior registration, now available.