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Grk101

High Definition & Digital Transition

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I know this is a long shot, but do any of the Greek channels have plans to eventually broadcast in HD? I know a number of European broadcasters have already started to broadcast. You would think that ERT would try this out since they have some digital channels too.

Also when is Greece's planned Digital transition? Last I heard the EU deadline was something like 2012, but an quick on line search brought me to an to an article stating that Greece's target is for 2015.

What will these eventual changes mean for us (who receive the international versions) in the future?

:gr:

Edited by Grk101

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I think the best we could hope for is that the channels will start to broadcast in WS for there international channels I doubt they would make any of there international channels HD...

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I read an article awhile back on Satleo that the main networks (ANT1, MEGA, ERT, etc) are ready to start broadcasting in digital. Mind you digital and HD are two seperate things which many seem to confuse, just because its in digital does not mean its high definition. I think HD is far off in Greece let alone the international channels that are available abroad. The best you can hope for is a digital broadcast but one never knows what the future holds. It appears to me as though there is no regulatory structure of any kind in place in Greece so without any rules to follow there is no emphasis on any station to go HD.

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There's a lot that's at work at the same time.

With Greece, it's not that there's a lack of a regulatory structure. The problem is that one exists, yet the laws are not enforced. Or even more accurately: some of the laws are enforced, some of the time, usually in an arbitrary and sometimes heavy-handed manner, while other times there is no enforcement at all.

That is how you have the ESR (National Radio-Television Committee) fining stations for airing Spongebob Squarepants, but at the same time, a situation where no stations (TV or radio) actually have valid, legal licenses to broadcast at the moment.

Broadcasting...TV and radio alike...is in a perpetual state of limbo in Greece, and it probably will remain that way because it suits certain interests. Politicians can hold license-less television stations "hostage" while stations take advantage of the lack of regulation to pretty much do whatever they want as well.

So how does this relate to digital television? Well, the most recent media and broadcasting law that was passed by the ever-ethical former Minister of State, Theodoros Roussopoulos, included a start date of November 1st, 2008, for private digital television broadcasts to receive. Last summer, a frequency map for the entire country was also released...or rather, two maps: one map with analog and digital frequencies that would broadcast during the transition phase, and a second map with the frequencies that will operate after 2012-2015, whenever analog television broadcasts finally cease.

However, after the map, there were many next steps. The frequency map had to be published (it finally was recently), and the ESR needed to start issuing licenses (it sort of has, but mostly has not) for digital broadcasts. Most importantly, though, someone had to start setting up a new network of digital transmitters throughout Greece.

The original plan was for ERT and the major private networks (Mega, ANT1, Alpha, Star, Alter, SKAI, Macedonia) to form a corporation that would set up a network of transmitters throughout the country that would be operated jointly. This, however, fell apart. ERT now seems like it will go ahead and do its own thing...whatever that is...and the private stations are still scrambling trying to put something together themselves.

Another complication is the fact that the frequencies that are meant to be allocated to digital broadcasts, even during the transition period, are currently occupied by analog transmissions. A lot of stations are going to have to start moving around the dial, and in larger cities, where there are no empty frequencies (and I mean NONE...UHF frequencies from 21-69 and most VHF frequencies are all occupied)...some stations will have to switch to digital-only, putting them at a comparative disadvantage, at least for the short term.

As of this moment, the only digital broadcasts in Greece continue to be ERT Digital, broadcasting in Athens, Thessaloniki, and the Thessalia region (from Mt. Pelion), and more recently, having added a couple of more transmitters here and there (Mt. Akarnanika for parts of Western Greece, plus random smaller towns like Grevena, but not many major cities like Patra, Ioannina, Iraklio, Hania, etc.). A transmitter was also installed in Thasos Island, covering much of Eastern Macedonia and Western Thraki, including the city of Kavala, but it has not been operating for a couple of months.

There is one other digital broadcast at the moment: 4E TV, a religious station in Thessaloniki, broadcasts in digital on channel 50 UHF in Thessaloniki.

The only *other* broadcasts have been, at times, test broadcasts that some other stations have done. Star has been running test digital broadcasts from its studios in Northern Athens, but at very low power. A few years ago, Alpha also ran test digital broadcasts from its main transmission point in Athens, Mt. Imittos. In Iraklio, the local TEI has operated, on and off, a test digital TV station as well.

Unfortunately, the entire history of private broadcasting in Greece is beset by corruption and special interests getting in the way. As I mentioned above, no one currently has a valid license to broadcast. What TV and radio stations have, in most cases, is something called a "

Edited by PurelyAcademic

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they are all been broadcast by nova in sd(standard definition) for many years now!

and actually nova will start broadcasting 1(greek) and some international hd channels by november 2009.

also the dvb-t in greece will start for also the private run channels(mega-star and etc) in october-nover 2009.

until now it is only 4-5 channels but soon ert will also launch more.

for more info check this.

http://www.ertdigital.gr/index.html

Edited by slick13

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Latest news is september 2009!

nova mix will be the first hd channel by nova and it will also show greek football live!!!

also ote is also testing on hellas sat and next year a whole package will be available by them!

skai has also said they are ready to start broadcast in hd.

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but you will need a Sattelite and a subscription to get HD, right? you cant just get HD signal from the antenna..

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but you will need a Sattelite and a subscription to get HD, right? you cant just get HD signal from the antenna..

I know you can get HD (local channels) over the air here in the US for free.....Not sure what you need though.

Anyway, thanks for the news slick13. And thanks for that detailed explanation PurelyAcademic. :tup: It's nice that ERT will be adding more channels, but you still can not get those channels all over Greece. And it also seems that the set top boxes are expensive too.

Edited by Grk101

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Look the freeview channels by (dvb-t) is available with a normal antenna and a normarl lcd-plasma tv with all have mpeg-2 tuners onboard.

some also have mpeg-4(hd) tuner onboard.

and not so long ago i saw a greek superleague match broadcasted by NET where the camera was a hd camera so i think ert already have the equipment ready along with skai and nova.

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I know you can get HD (local channels) over the air here in the US for free.....Not sure what you need though.

Anyway, thanks for the news slick13. And thanks for that detailed explanation PurelyAcademic. :tup: It's nice that ERT will be adding more channels, but you still can not get those channels all over Greece. And it also seems that the set top boxes are expensive too.

yeah but in the states people are using cable connections......in greece people have antennas or sattelites.......im saying could it come in through a standard antenna? would i need a special box for the antenna to get HD channels?

but greek channels in HD would be awesome.

Imagine OAKA CL in HD :D ...

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I know you can get HD (local channels) over the air here in the US for free.....Not sure what you need though.

Anyway, thanks for the news slick13. And thanks for that detailed explanation PurelyAcademic.  :tup:  It's nice that ERT will be adding more channels, but you still can not get those channels all over Greece. And it also seems that the set top boxes are expensive too.

yeah but in the states people are using cable connections......in greece people have antennas or sattelites.......im saying could it come in through a standard antenna? would i need a special box for the antenna to get HD channels?

but greek channels in HD would be awesome.

Imagine OAKA CL in HD :D ...

I know you can get it over an Antenna, but I do not know if it needs to be a special Antenna or if you can use your standard antenna. Looking at this site for example, (http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/worley/263) it seems to just mention a regular antenna. All you need is to be in range, be pointed in the right direction, and have an HD Tuner. Most new HDTV's come built in with digital and HD tuners. So there should not be an additional box needed for over the air transition.

If someone has more knowledge on this, please step in.

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Getting free channels using a regular antenna is possible as long as your TV has a digital tuner in it or you have a digital set top box that can recieve the signals its no problem

I don't understand how you guys in the USA don't know much about this and why everyone has cable there and not use antenna this has been around for as long as TV has been around here in Australia its common practice

So to some it up you dont need cable tv to watch the Free local channels you have there all you need is a regular antenna indoor or outdoor and a tv capable of recieiving digital channels its a piece of cake... cut off that cable and use an antenna to recieve your free to air channels... :tup:

Edited by Kolossos

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Let's clarify a few things.

There is over the air broadcasting in the USA and while cable (and satellite) penetration in the country is around 80%, that still means around 20% of households rely upon the "old-fashioned" antenna to receive television broadcasts. And 20% in a country of 300+ million is quite a lot of people.

Now, in a few months (after the latest government-approved delay), analog broadcasts in the USA will largely cease (except for low-powered TV stations), and for years, stations have been transmitting a digital signal as well.

HOWEVER: the digital signal is NOT always HD. That's a very common misconception. In fact, most over-the-air digital signals are not HD, because stations have opted to split the bandwidth between 3-4 different channels, instead of using the entire digital bandwidth to broadcast one channel in true HD. Exceptions include CBS, which has a company-wide mandate to just broadcast the main network feed in HD digital over the air. Digital does not automatically imply HD, and just because in the US, doesn't mean it's automatically HD either.

So to sum up: you do not necessarily need a subscription to get HD, because it is possible to broadcast true HD over the air. At the same time, not all digital broadcasts are true HD, because many stations split the bandwidth and provide 3-4 SD signals instead of 1 HD.

You also do not need a special antenna to get digital OR HD broadcasts over-the-air. Some sneaky antenna manufacturers in the US advertise "HD antennas" but they are one and the same with the antennas we've known and used for years. The only difference is that you may need a UHF antenna whereas before you may not have needed one. In New York City, for instance, the major networks are all on VHF, while UHF has some smaller networks, Spanish-language stations and low-powered stations. So a lot of people had VHF-only antennas, but now with the transition to digital, many of the signals will be on the UHF band. They will need to get a UHF antenna. But it is not a different kind of UHF antenna for HD/digital versus analog.

Getting back to Greece, it is nice to hear that Nova is promising HD, though I won't believe it until I see it, especially seeing the very high compression rate of their SD stations right now. And to show how truly cheap Nova and some of the Greek channels unfortunately are, what Nova does in some cases is it receives the analog signal of a station and uplinks that to the satellite. MTV Greece is a good example of this...they are obviously using an analog over-the-air feed which is...less than perfect, to say the least, and it shows.

Over-the-air HD probably will not happen in Greece, however, unless stations begin to bend the rules. The digital broadcasts that are planned would all include 4 SD signals per frequency and I have not heard anything about allocating additional frequencies for HD broadcasts.

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I don't understand how you guys in the USA don't know much about this and why everyone has cable there and not use antenna this has been around for as long as TV has been around here in Australia its common practice

So to some it up you dont need cable tv to watch the Free local channels you have there all you need is a regular antenna indoor or outdoor and a tv capable of recieiving digital channels its a piece of cake... cut off that cable and use an antenna to recieve your free to air channels... :tup:

Because channels over antenna are not really common. There are maybe 4 FTA channels depending where you are, and one is likley to be in Spanish, and another is likley to be a lame Christian Channel.

Cable television is simply better, because you can get a mass of channels, and if you watch television its absolutley better. Also no tuning nonsense either. And with a cable line its more efficient and you will get clear quality regardless of your physical location.

If you only want local channels, dont get cable. If you want to get good channels and a strong variety you get cable, or sattelite though a satelite can be expensive and a massive hassle, plus that way you cant leverage your tv connection into an internet connection. Now they also do Fiber Optic connections in the USA, which is similar to cable.

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Some digital transition updates:

The main channels (Alpha, Alter, Antenna, Macedonia TV, Mega, Skai, Star) have started a joint venture for their digital transmissions called "Digea". More information on it on their website: http://digea.gr/

This article/video is from September 2009, stating that the digital transition is coming with a target of 2012 for all of Greece. (Also as set by the EU. Absolute deadline in accordance with Geneva agreement is 2015) http://www.star.gr/index.php?ID=media&Rec_ID=16418

It seems there is some progress. The Thessaloniki region was put online on January 14, 2010 (http://www.star.gr/index.php?ID=media&Rec_ID=27131), while the Attiki region (greater Athens) is expected to go online June 18, 2010. (http://www.star.gr/index.php?ID=media&Rec_ID=36876) Unlike the Thessaloniki region, there will be no dual transmission of analogue and digital broadcast in Athens. Analogue will be shut off when Digital goes online.

Edited by Grk101

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Quick question for anyone who knows, besides the obvious power issue, will digital set top boxes purchased in the United States work in Greece?

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in greece they sell digital boxes already. Besides the voltage difference that you will have to convert, probably the Hertz difference will have its cause.

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Some new developments/updates in Greek TV:

It seems HDTV is coming to Greece finally. There are reports that Nova will start offering HD channels soon. Also on Digea's site, they state that HDTV will come soon. (Most likely after the transition phase)

Also Satleo is reporting that ERT is close to selecting MPEG-4 for their digital transmissions. They currently transmit in MPEG-2, but have the capabilities for both. Digea is using MPEG-4. (http://www.satleo.gr/content/view/2821/1/)

Satleo is also reporting that Mega wants to start broadcasting in 16:9 aspect ratio like SKAI currently does, and is pushing the other major channels to follow. (http://www.satleo.gr/content/view/2822/1/)

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HD hits Greece through Nova:

Edited by Grk101

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ERT goes Digital, although initially with MPEG2 but will soon transition to MPEG4. (Which the other channels are using)

All ERT Programs Turn Digital

Thursday, 23 September 2010 12:33

Alternate Culture Minister Tilemahos Hitiris, responsible for Mass Media issues, attended ERT Administration Board meeting on 21/9/2010. He congratulated the members of the board for the work they have produced so far, made a special reference to former president-chief advisor George Gavritsos and spoke about a number of issues related to the role and prospects of state television. In his intervention, among others, Mr. Hitiris said ERT must strictly observe and project its actions, its public character and its difference making clear its distinctive role compared against the role of the other commercial  Mass Media.

Mr. Hitiris made a special reference to the necessity of development in the new technological environment taking advantage of the capacities of modern digital culture and the internet.

Being more specific, Mr. Hitiris underlined that beyond reliability, objectivity ERT should develop links with society and intervention actions within social developments.

Following Mr. Hitiris visit to the premises of state television channel, ERT Administration Board reached the following decisions:

NET, ET1, ET3 Parliament channel for the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki will start their digital programs on September, 27, 2010. Trial programs will precede from September 22-26. ERA five radio programs (NET 105.8, Second, Third, ERA Sport and Kosmos) will be transmitted in the same frequencies. Initially, digital programs will use  MPEG2 technology-fully compatible with receivers and MPEG4 decoder while transition to MPEG4 technology will come soon.

Frequencies of digital transmission of 

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"ERT HD" is coming!

Posted Image

Apparently ERT was testing HD broadcasts this past week.

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As addynia posted in the other thread, ERT HD is official! Skai is none too happy about it though, saying ERT is introducing HD illegally. (From what I understand Skai has been ready to broadcast in HD for years but has been stopped for some reason.) ERT responds to them in their press release.

http://www.ert.gr/index.php/eidiseis/polit...8-15-14-08.html

Edit:

More on Skai's complaints: http://www.satleo.gr/content/view/3671/1/

Edited by Grk101

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SKAI should have simply gone ahead and do it. Everything about private tv channels in Greece is illegal and has been from the start. No licenses were ever given and may never be given except for temporary ones. It is yet another symptom of the no-man's-land that the Greek laws are.

Edited by likos

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Resurrecting an old thread...

 

The digital transition in Greece is finally expected to be done by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Skai HD is expected to launch in early 2015. They actually already stream their HD channel on the web. NERIT has also already launched N HD. There are also reports that ANT1 will be launching an HD version early next year as well, but other reports say it will actually be a pay channel on DTV. Pretty funny about a possible ANT1 HD channel, considering the regular ANT1 SD channel is routinely criticized for its poor image quality compared to the other main channels.

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