Italy to Switch Over from MPEG-2 Format to MPEG-4 from 2020

Italy will switch from MPEG-2 coding to MPEG-4 on the DVB-T standard from January 1st, 2020 as part of its plan to free up the 700MHz frequency band for high-speed mobile internet.

Following a two-year trial, the country’s Ministry of Economic Development has sanctioned the change as a means of using the band more efficiently but has elected not to switch to HEVC encoding on the DVB-T2 standard, as many other countries are. DTT operators will need to update their multiplexes in order to transmit MPEG-4 content, while an estimated 10 million TVs and STBs will need to be replaced.

Analyst Comment

The decision to stay with DVB-T will mean that transmitters will not need to be changed, just client devices, but seems slightly disappointing to us as more and more higher resolution content is broadcast. (BR)