Lifestyle March, 30th 2010 by

Costa del Sol loses analogue TV

A viewer in Malaga adjusts his antenna.

Residents of Costa del Sol bid farewell to an era on Monday – the era of analogue broadcasting – as the government turned off its Mijas television transmitter. More than a million inhabitants in 51 municipalities can no longer watch analogue television. Digital television is taking its place, but many in the region are not ready, and technology is not yet in place for all.

Specifically, 1,128,278 people, or 91.5% of the population, can no longer see analogue television. Municipalities include Málaga, with 566,447 inhabitants, Marbella Segude (130,549), Mijas (70,437), Fuengirola (68,646) and Benalmádena (55,960). Official sources confirmed yesterday that another 17 locations, totaling more than 104,000 people, would face the shutdown on Tuesday.

In Andalucia, a total of 523 municipalities will no longer be able to view analogue television, but will be able to receive Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), according to data provided by the Junta de Andalucía.

In Marbella, as much as half of the population still cannot receive DTT signals because they lie in a reception shadow, with Elviria and Las Chapas most affected. The government says it is working to install a repeater in the Nueva Andalucia district to remedy the problem, and it is considering the installation of a second central transmitter in Marbella.

Other communities also report less than optimal reception, but the government is reiterating that once minor problems in reception and signal paths have been corrected, DTT will provide significant improvements over analogue broadcasting.

The Ministry of Industry, which is responsible for broadcasting infrastructure, has admitted that it cannot provide for all the needs of every community until it knows the full consequences of the analogue shutdown.

Meanwhile, despite the challenges of implementing DTT, but not surprisingly, electronics stores across the region are reporting a surge in sales of digital television receivers. 

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