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Finland will switch off standard definition TV broadcasts in 2025

The end of standard definition transmissions will apply to both broadcast and pay television providers.

The end of standard definition transmissions will apply to both broadcast and pay television providers.

Helsinki Cathedral in Finland.
Helsinki Cathedral in Finland. (Stock photo by Tapio Haaja via Unsplash)

Broadcast regulators in Finland have affirmed the country’s plan to switch off standard definition (SD) television feeds in early 2025.

The plan will sunset SD transmission on both broadcast and cable TV platforms in favor of high-definition (HD) television transmissions throughout the country.

The move will primarily impact the commercial television sector in Finland, as the country’s primarily public broadcaster, YLE, stopped broadcasting SD feeds some time ago.

Those who receive TV signals over broadcast will need sets or tuners that are compatible with the DVB-T2 transmission standard, which provides enhanced HD signal capabilities. DVB-T2 is the HD television standard in vast parts of Europe that have switched from SD digital transmission over the past few years.

“The transition brings better quality television picture and sound to all households, when the broadcast TV network switches to using the newer DVB-T2 transmission technology, and once the transmissions of the older DVB-T technology are stopped,” Suvi Juurakko-Lehikoinen, the Finnish Transport and Communications Minister, said in a statement.

Juurakko-Lehikoinen continued: “Newer broadcasting technology utilizes the limited frequencies intended for more-efficient TV uses, which enable a wider range of HD offerings than what is currently offered.”

Traficom, the communications regulator in Finland, will coordinate the transition with commercial broadcasters and cable TV operators over the coming months.

“The HD transition is part of technological development that also supports media diversity and vitality,” Jarkko Saarimäki, the head of Trafficom, said on Monday. “For us at Traficom, it is important that the entire population stays involved in technological development. Our goal is that after the transition, all homes will be ready to receive HD broadcasts.”

Saarimäki encouraged citizens to educate their family, and particularly elderly TV viewers, about the transition so no one is caught unaware when the SD signals are switched off. A public outreach campaign will kick off later this year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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