Swedish network operator Teracom has invested in headend equipment for the continued roll-out of DVB-T2 terrestrial multiplexes. The deal sees Thomson Video Networks supply encoders and multiplexers. Thomson Video Networks is currently being repositioned as a separate business unit as Technicolor (previously Thomson) divests its assets.
Sweden launched a new DVB-T2 multiplex in 2010 and, in parallel, began the conversion of its sixth multiplex from DVB-T to DVB-T2. The DVB-T2 network currently covers 70% of the population and carries eight channels, six of which are HD, including SVT 1 HD and SVT 2 HD.
Sweden, Italy, Finland and the UK have all launched commercial DVB-T2 services. Trials are underway in Austria, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The upgrade to DVB-T2 presents a fresh opportunity for headend suppliers. Commercial DVB-T2 launches to date have been responsible for an increase of 148 encoding streams, driving demand for encoders. The majority of these streams are in the UK due to the highly regional nature of the network. The launch of DVB-T2 services has also resulted in an increase of 8 digital multiplexes, driving demand for multiplexers.
However, it is the growth of regional networks, rather than DVB-T2, which will provide the biggest opportunity over the next two years. After the initial launch of digital services, a number of countries are starting to develop regional services, with local content insertion increasing the number of encoding streams. Across Western and Eastern European countries, the number of encoding streams is set to grow, adding 389 new streams to total 2,776 by 2012.
Eastern Europe will be key to growth as new multiplexes launch and regional networks expand. Russia alone will be launching two new multiplexes with over 60 new encoding streams in 2011; and in Croatia, network operator OiV recently launched multiplex D with local channels as well as regional variations of national channels, increasing the number of encoding streams in the network by 48.