8 FEB 2024

Spain's RTVE starts transmitting La 1 in ultra high definition

This makes it the world's first broadcaster to transmit its main TV channel in Ultra High Definition on DTT, covering its entire national territory. Free-to-air, without subscriptions, and available to all citizens.

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Radio Televisión Española starts transmitting La 1 in Ultra High Definition (UHD) across the entire Spanish territory, with coverage higher than 99% of the population. This makes it the world's first broadcaster to transmit its main TV channel in Ultra High Definition on DTT, covering its entire national territory. Free-to-air, without subscriptions, and available to all citizens. It currently provides the maximum audio and video quality that is technically possible in DTT.

The Ultra High Definition broadcast will be transmitted in 4K with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and AC4, providing an immersive Dolby Atmos sound experience. Compared to high-definition (HD), the increased screen resolution and enhanced dynamic range allow for showing images with greater fidelity to reality. This, combined with immersive audio that directs channels and sounds above the head (if the appropriate audio equipment is available), provides a more intense sensory experience and takes full advantage of the benefits obtained from the progressive increase in the size of TV sets' screens.

To enjoy our Ultra High Definition broadcasts, a TV set or a DTT decoder compatible with DVB-T and HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) standards is needed. It's worth noting that La 1 in UHD is broadcasted in DVB-T by the current Spanish DTT Technical Plan. Generally, all TV sets sold from 2017 onwards are compatible with our Ultra High Definition DTT broadcasts. Besides, no action is necessary on the reception antennas or the DTT signal distribution equipment in residential buildings, as long as RTVE's high-definition DTT channels reception is proper.

This beginning of regular nationwide Ultra High Definition broadcasts is tangible proof that DTT can address its technological evolution and continues to be the most suitable platform for the massive distribution of linear TV content in Spain. Furthermore, it is the only alternative for RTVE to fulfill its legal obligation to serve the widest audience, providing the highest geographical and social coverage while contributing to the development of the Information Society by participating in Spain's technological progress. This reaffirms RTVE's commitment to providing the highest technically possible and economically viable quality in its content offer, especially in the case of major global live events in Ultra High Definition and immersive sound, such as the upcoming Olympic Games to be held this summer in Paris.

After finishing the migration process from Standard Definition (SD) to High Definition (HD) on DTT in Spain on February 14, the next challenge ahead for DTT in its natural evolution in our country is the migration of its High Definition (HD) broadcasts to Ultra High Definition (UHD). This will consolidate its social reality and its long-term future in Spain as the primary platform for the distribution of linear free-to-air television. Notably, nearly 80% of television consumption in our country comes from the DTT. RTVE started Ultra High Definition on DTT trials on November 20, 2022, transmitting Qatar's FIFA World Cup. Since then, these Ultra High Definition trials have been on the air, featuring events such as the 2023 Women's FIFA World Cup and the 2023 Athletics World Championships. These test broadcasts have allowed RTVE to gain enough experience to ensure the start of regular Ultra High Definition broadcasts on DTT.

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