Broadcasting technology upgrade places major responsibility on electronics retailers

On 31 March 2020, the television antenna network will migrate fully to DVB-T2 technology to enable high-definition, or HD broadcasting. Consumers in the antenna network not yet equipped with an HD ready television or a set-top box will need to purchase one. Consumers are advised to stay alert when buying a new TV, as a study conducted by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority showed that one out of four electronics stores still sold equipment designed for the old broadcasting technology. Similarly, it showed that not all salespersons were familiar with the new technological requirements.

Salespersons in electronics stores are required to tell the customer whether the television or set-top box can show television programmes after the change in broadcasting technology.  The electronics sector should also keep up to date on what is happening with respect to paid channels, as pay-TV will adopt DVB-T2 broadcasting earlier than other channels.

According to a survey conducted by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority in June 2016, salespersons’ DVB-T2 expertise varied significantly. This was particularly true in markets and other non-speciality stores. Salespeople were not particularly active in providing information on the technology switchover and the requirements it places on televisions.

“According to the Consumer Protection Act, consumers must be clearly and understandably informed of the key features of a device before buying it. Consumers should be provided with current information on equipment and potential technology limitations.  Technological development in electronic equipment and the related software is very rapid, but salespeople must be familiar with the products they are selling and understand the key differences between them,” explains Consumer Ombudsman Päivi Hentunen.

Since some antenna households are already equipped with the appropriate devices, they will not necessarily need any new equipment.

“Before buying a new television or a set-top box, consumers should check whether their device is equipped with a DVB-T2 tuner, which enables them to watch television programmes in the new technological format,” says Jarno Ilme, Director of Spectrum Management at the Finnish Communications Regulatory Agency.

How to check your device:

  • If the technical specifications indicate the device includes a DVB-T2 tuner, you can continue to watch TV programmes with it.

    Alternatively, go to the website to check if your television or set-top box is Antenna Ready HD certified.

    If your device is marked ‘Antenna Ready HD’, it has been tested in Finland and can be used to watch television via the antenna network after migration to DVB-T2.

  • Even if your television or set-top box is not marked Antenna Ready HD or equipped with a DVB-T2 tuner, you can continue watching programmes if you connect it to a set-top box equipped with a DVB-T2 tuner.

According to the study conducted by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, ‘Antenna Ready HD’ marks were rarely displayed in stores that sold televisions. Markings such as DVB-T2, HD tuner for the antenna network, or T2 tuner were more commonly used.

According to a study conducted by the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority and the Ministry of Transport and Communications in May, 37 per cent of households exclusively using the antenna network had a television or set-top box enabling high definition, or HD, programming.

The DVB-T2 switchover does not affect households in which television programmes are received via a cable network, over a broadband connection on IPTV, or via satellite.

Read more (in Finnish only) explains how consumers can prepare for the introduction of DVB-T2 technology and what devices they will need.

Teräväpiirtotelevisiot yleistyvät vähitellen antenniverkon talouksissa (in Finnish only) (FICORA)

DVB-T2-vastaanottimet, Mystery Shopping -tutkimus 2016 (in Finnish only)