Poland - Second multiplex competition

Friday, July 4th, 2008
Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej logo

The following is an announcement following a meeting between UKE (Urząd Komunikacji Elektronicznej) and the National Broadcasting Council (Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji – KRRiT) with broadcasters regarding digital terrestrial TV implementation in Poland.

The President of UKE and the President of KRRiT maintain their intention to make the space on the Polish digital TV market available to alternative broadcasters already in the transition period, in a way which enables creation of real competition and the driving force of the transition period, preserving values, protected by the law.

With regard to the above-mentioned, UKE and KRRiT, as of today, commence preparation of the documentation of the second multiplex competition. UKE will compile criteria relating to technology, competition and credibility of the multiplex operator. KRRiT, on the other hand, will begin consultations concerning contents to be broadcasted. Market expectations toward HD will be taken into consideration in the competition, which will be held in the second half of 2008.

The work of sub-teams (technical, regulatory, economic) assembled by UKE, KRRiT and broadcasters will be carried on for the purpose of the competition as well as other findings relating to implementation of the analogue to digital transition plan.

Multiplex 1 remains available to commercial broadcasters based on previous provisions. Broadcasters retain the right to continue analogue broadcasting till 2014 (by virtue of valid broadcasting licenses issued by KRRiT) and the right to a digital re-license as of 2014. If current broadcasters begin to participate in digitalization as of 2014, then the right to a digital re-license will provide for the exchange of 1 digital programme for 1 analogue programme, and not 2 digital programmes for 1 analogue programme.

An initial study indicates the possibility of acquiring partial third coverage for digital TV in the transition period, up to 47% of the population coverage. If these findings are confirmed, the coverage will be made available immediately.

DVB-T receiver requirements

With regard to numerous consumer inquiries, the President of UKE informs that the ordinance specifying technical and usage-related requirements for consumer digital terrestrial TV devices will be published shortly by the Ministry of Infrastructure. According to the draft version of the ordinance, the following digital receiver requirements were accepted: ETSI TS 101 154 V.1.8.1:2007 – “25 Hz H.264/AVC HDTV video, MPEG-2 Layer 2 and E-AC-3 audio, for a Baseline IRD able to decode up to 1920 x 1080 interlaced 25 Hz video pictures or 1280 x 720 progressive 50 Hz video pictures”.

The draft ordinance has been consulted with broadcasters and it reflects their views with regard to broadcasted signal parameters in digital terrestrial TV – DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial).

The above mentioned document is an important indicator for consumers who, while purchasing a TV signal receiving device, should check whether a given DVB-T set or a TV set with an integrated DVB-T tuner is capable of receiving HD (high definition) MPEG-4 (H.264/AVC) coded signals and multichannel, dolby digital plus (E-AC-3) coded sounds.

The owners of wide-screen TV sets, integrated with a DVB-T/MPEG-2 decoder, equipped with inputs used to connect CI (Common Interface) modules as well as viewers using DVB-T/MPEG-2 sets, also equipped with CI slots, in order to receive MPEG-4 signals can purchase a module which transcodes MPEG-4 to MPEG-2.