ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações will start national distribution of «TDT Notícias» (DTT News), a free publication which the regulator has produced to bring information to the Portuguese population about the transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT).
ANACOM is the entity responsible for making sure that the transition to digital television in Portugal proceeds smoothly, and with a nationwide circulation of 3.5 million copies of «TDT Notícias» distributed between today and Wednesday, the regulator is expanding its communication actions on DTT, which so far have focused on the pilot zones – Alenquer, Cacém and Nazaré (where the analogue signal will be switched off on 13 October) - to cover the entire county.
«TDT Notícias» (DTT News) presents useful information to the population in a newspaper format on the process of transition to digital terrestrial television: who will need to make the change to DTT, what they need to do, where to buy set-top-boxes, the cost of set-top-boxes on sale in the market, help available in the acquisition of set-top-boxes, who can apply for help, the advantages of DTT – in short all the information that is essential for people to make the switch successfully.
The Portuguese population is already entirely covered by digital television, either terrestrially or by satellite (around 13% of the population), and so people can make the switch to DTT today. Digital television provides better image and sound quality, and brings a new set of features which, until now, have only been available to paid television subscribers: electronic programming guide, image pausing and programme recording. Even though the analogue signal will only be switched off nationally from 12 January, there is no reason to wait until then to make the switch. By switching over now, and not waiting until the switch-off date, users can avoid the pressures and stress of last minute confusion, the risk of set-top-boxes selling out and the risk of being left with no television.
On a national basis, the analogue television signal will start to be switched off on 12 January 2012. On this date all the relays and transmitters serving the coastal region will be switched off, and on 22 March, the relays and transmitters in the Azores and Madeira will be switched off. Finally, on 26 April, analogue TV will be switched off in the rest of the country.
The analogue broadcasting relays in the pilot zones of Alenquer and Cacém, covering more than two hundred thousand people, have already been switched off, and process was deemed to have concluded smoothly and successfully in both cases. These experiences show that the switch to digital television can be completed without problems.
Switching to DTT does not involve the payment of any monthly fees and does not require subscription to paid television services.