New tests of decoders for Digital TV conducted by DECO reveal image quality in traditional television sets

Within the scope of the protocol signed between ANACOM - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações and DECO - Associação Portuguesa de Defesa do Consumidor (Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection) with the objective of ensuring ongoing comparative monitoring of the various DTT decoding equipment, DECO has just provided updated comparative results.

The result of the new tests, including new set-top-box models, can be accessed on the ANACOM site, www.anacom.pt, as well as on the www.deco.proteste.pt site. DECO concluded that the image has quality even when the boxes are connected to conventional television sets and, of the 32 units of equipment analysed, it does not recommend five, due to the levels of energy consumption in stand-by mode. According to DECO, there are boxes on the market for sale as from 40 euros. In the «price tool» that exists on the site it is possible to have access to all the information.

The set-top-boxes are essential for older television sets (not compatible with the  MPEG4 standard) to be able to receive the digital terrestrial television, and will have to be acquired by all those that only receive the four free-to-air television channels (two in the Autonomous Regions). In digital terrestrial television there are no monthly payments involved and it is not necessary to subscribe to pay-TV to continue to receive television after the switch-off of the analogue signal. 

The switch-off of analogue television transmissions is scheduled for April 2012, with switch-off taking place previously in Alenquer on 12 May, in Cacém on 16 June and in Nazaré on 13 October.

At the moment, the entire national territory is already covered by digital signal transmissions, such that you may already make the transition to digital television without having to wait for the last day. The process is simple, all you need to have is a television set prepared to receive digital television (MPEG4) or acquire a set-top-box that you must connect to the antenna that you already possess, and connect the box to the television.

The acquisition of the set-top-box may be subsidised according to specific conditions, which can be verified on ANACOM's website, at www.tdt.telecom.pt, or via the following telephone number 800 200 838.