In the second quarter of this year. there will be a change in the standard of digital terrestrial television. It will not apply to customers using cable networks and satellite platforms. However, over 2 million households receiving TV via terrestrial means have to buy a new TV set or tuner. For the latter, you will be able to get a benefit of PLN 100.
How will you be able to get funding?
– The change in frequency distribution means large revenues to the state budget – at the level of PLN 1,242 million – PLN 1,624 million. We want to donate some of these funds to support households, said Minister Janusz Cieszyński, secretary of state for digitization at the Prime Minister’s Office. – Every household that needs support in adapting to the change of the standard will receive it – in the form of a benefit worth up to PLN 100 for the purchase of a set-top box – added Cieszyński.
According to the provisions of the act, one person will be entitled to a benefit for the purchase of a set-top box within the household. The co-financing will cover the purchase of a set-top box compliant with the provisions of the regulation on technical and operational requirements for digital receivers, i.e. one that allows correct reception of the TV signal in the new standard.
The Chancellery of the Prime Minister informs that applying for a new benefit will be very simple. There are several options to choose from: an electronic form, a traditional application, the possibility of applying by a proxy – a family member or household member. After submitting the application – the eligible person will receive a document confirming the grant of the benefit for the purchase of a set-top box. She will be able to implement it in one of the RTV stores that apply to participate in the program. Co-financing will be one-off, up to PLN 100. The benefit will be available until the end of 2022.
“30 thousand people involved in the production of TV sets”
Recently, the Institute of Telecommunications pointed out that only the oldest TV sets, over 25 years old, need to be replaced. – CRT receivers and receivers not equipped with a SCART connector will not be suitable for receiving DVB-T2 TV. In practice, these are televisions more than 25 years old. There are set-up-boxes available on the market that support such a connector – informed the Institute of Communications.
The Digital Poland Union, which associates, among others, TV producers such as Samsung, LG, Panasonic or Sony (all with Asian capital). According to this organization, the funding should cover also, and perhaps above all, new TV sets. Why should the government subsidize televisions as well? – Arguments in favor of subsidizing the purchase of televisions can be broadly divided into those relating to the economy and consumer issues. From the economic point of view, subsidizing TV sets will support the domestic TV production sector, which is the largest in Europe and employs over 30,000 people. people and significantly contributes to the construction of our GDP. The benefit related only to the purchase of set-top boxes, in turn, means directing the capital to the Asian markets, where these devices are manufactured. We do not produce set-top boxes in Poland. It will be easy for the domestic sector to respond to a sudden jump in demand, while the set-top box market may not live up to market expectations, because we have to wait for weeks for the containers with these devices to arrive in the country, ” Michał Kanownik, President of the Digital Poland Association, tells Wirtualnemedia.pl.
Set-top boxes rarely allow you to use HbbTV
Tuners for DVB-T2 / HEVC rarely allow access to HbbTV. Usually they are much more expensive than the equipment costing PLN 100. Terrestrial hybrid TV allows you to enjoy additional content from video-on-demand, listen to the radio or view a more detailed TV program when the receiver is connected to the network. The latter two functions have recently been introduced in its applications by Emitel.
– From the consumer’s point of view, the decoder is not a complete solution. It does not provide access to the better picture and sound quality offered by the new signal standard, or additional features such as HbbTV hybrid TV. The potential of technology can thus be wasted. Unfortunately, it should be recalled that the domestic set-top box sales segment is still plagued by unfair offers. Consumers risk buying a device that will not meet the requirements of the new standard, despite the fact that the draft law provides for sanctions for dishonest sellers. After all, limiting the co-financing mechanism to set-top boxes only means limiting the free choice of consumers. That is why both types of devices have also been co-financed in France and Great Britain. It should be mentioned that the set-top box market is characterized by a much lower entry threshold than the TV sales segment, and therefore the implementation of the service in the proposed form may involve fraudulent entities extorting funds allocated under the project to co-finance the purchase of receivers – notes the president of the Digital Poland Association.
“Replacing only the decoder favors digital exclusion”
Kanownik points out that the choice of a TV set does not necessarily have to be a high expense, and when it comes to functionality, the recipient gains. – The bill refers to a “document confirming the award of benefits”, that is, an electronic document, in other words, a voucher. It is worth that the chosen form of co-financing should be as resistant to frauds as possible and ensure the safety of the consumer, especially when it is to be used to purchase a set-top box. Televisions are available in various price segments adapted to the capabilities and needs of various recipients. It is possible to buy a TV set for just a few hundred zlotys. It is useful to inform consumers about the benefit / expenditure ratio. Expenditure on a set-top box is pale compared to the investment in a receiver with a display (TV), when we compare their capabilities and added value for the recipient – explains the head of the Digital Poland Association.
What is the advantage of TV sets with DVB-T2 / HEVC over tuners? Is it about access to HbbTV, more sensitive TV tuners? – Televisions guarantee access to the benefits of the new NTC signal standard. The tuner connected to the old TV set does not provide better picture and sound reception, nor access to hybrid TV. In other words, replacing only the decoder favors digital exclusion of the farm and keeps it in the era of the previous technology. The purchase of a tuner is also burdened with a greater risk for the consumer – argues Kanownik.
In the first stage, which is scheduled for On March 28, 2022, the switch to the DVB-T2 / HEVC standard will take place in the Dolnośląskie and Lubuskie voivodships and in the western part of the Wielkopolskie voivodeship.
The National Media Institute estimates that it is precisely in the Lubuskie region that the least number of households is prepared for changes.
On April 25, 2022, they will cover most of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, as well as the following voivodeships: Zachodniopomorskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, almost all of Pomorskie and the north-western part of Mazowieckie.
On May 23, 2022, changes will take place in the following voivodeships: Małopolskie, Świętokrzyskie, Łódzkie, Podkarpackie, Opolskie, Śląskie and in the southern part of the Wielkopolskie Province and in the south of Mazovia. The final stage is scheduled for June 27, 2022. It will cover the central and northern part of the Mazowieckie voivodship, Podlaskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Lubelskie voivodships.
The changes will apply to all multiplexes except MUX-8. There, the transition to DVB-T2 / HEVC will take place at a later date. The schedule of changes is shown in the graphic below, prepared by Emitel.