Conclusion of 1st phase of the switch off of analogue television

With the switch off of the analogue transmitter at S. Macário and the relays served by this transmitter on 23 February, the first phase of Portugal's national switch off plan has been successfully concluded, with analogue television signals now switched off throughout the mainland's coastal areas.

As of yesterday, the DTT helpline had received just 171 calls from people who were left without television following the switch off on 23 February after failing to prepare for the transition to digital. In total, the switch off of the analogue television signal in coastal areas of mainland Portugal has led to 1650 calls to the DTT helpline from people who did not prepare for digital television, less than 1% of the total population who had to migrate.

8 million people were covered by the switch off of the analogue signal in coastal areas - with about 2.3 million needing to carry out the migration to digital.  This population was spread across 188 municipalities, although some of these were only partially affected, since despite their location in areas covered by the first stage of the switch off, they receive signals from transmitters which need to remain connected because they supply relays which are not due to be switched off until 26 April.

The next phase of the national DTT transition process begins on 22 March with the switch off of analogue signals in the Azores and Madeira. Around half a million people are covered by this phase of the switch off, but with penetration of the subscription television service in this area, in conjunction with recipients of "pacote zero", exceeding 90%, the number of people who will need to migrate is fairly small.

With the move to digital terrestrial television, families living in the Azores and Madeira who receive television signals via traditional rooftop aerials and who only receive two channels (RTP1 and either RTP Madeira or RTP Açores depending on the region), will gain access to five channels with SIC, TVI and RTP 2.

This provides a strong incentive to make the switch over to digital, and families are called on start preparations now, to ensure that they will not be left without television when the switch off comes.

Once again, it is important that everyone gets involved in this process: local authorities, parish councils, private institutions of social solidarity, churches, television companies, Confederação Portuguesa dos Meios de Comunicação Social (Portuguese Media Confederation), the Social Security Institute and Direcção Geral do Consumidor (Directorate General for the Consumer), as well as consumer associations. Because of their characteristics, and in some cases because they work closely with and are trusted by local populations, these organizations have a key role to play in this process, supporting people as they make this transition.