Analog TV To Be Shut Off Soon, While Analog Radio Will Be Around for Long Time

The process of shutting off analog broadcasting in the entire territory of Armenia is expected to begin on October 20. Television and Radio Broadcasting Network of Armenia General Director Grigor Amalyan informed Media.am that the process will take 10–15 days.

“I think, it will be possible to implement technically in parts. We’re not mentioning priorities: it may be shut off in several marzes [provinces] in one day. And whether Yerevan is at the end or in the beginning, for now we have to consider technical viability.”

Soon TV stations will air the PSA on the analog shut-off. TV viewers in Armenia who still haven’t technically adapted to the new situation will have about one month to do so (180 low-income families already received the analog converter boxes free of charge).

You can fix some digital fluctuations yourself

Suppose you lost the audio of the digital H1 channel on your TV set. The problem might be due to the fact that digital broadcasting of Public Radio has been included in the package of services. In that case, Amalyan advises to simply reset the channels. 

“Such problems may arise in the case of a change in not only new digital TV and radio services, but also their technical parameters. It’s nothing to be afraid of, you simply have to tune the channels again.”

The almost one day universal technical failure in the summer has been resolved. “In digital broadcasting, a technical disruption is painful because in the past, all the TV programs as a technical system were broadcast exclusively on their own, [whereas] now they’re integrated into a single broadcasting system, [and] the disruptions happen not on a separate channel but in the package.”

Analog will be around for a long time after digital radio broadcasting

The time to throw out old (that is, currently working) radio receivers won’t come for a few more years in Armenia. According to Amalyan’s calculations, people in Armenia can use those radio receivers for another five years at least. “Digital radio broadcasting will run alongside, but analog won’t be shut off immediately. Changing a car radio is quite a costly pleasure. People have to manage to change their cars first [i.e. get new cars].”

Why is the digitalization of radio broadcasting, unlike the digitalization of TV broadcasting, so slow in the world? According to Amalyan, though international companies have formalized a clear format in the technical requirements of digital broadcasting, there’s no uniform format in the area of digitalizing radio broadcasting. “That’s why now we’re inclined to delay slightly. It seems as though the more common formats of European manufacturers are becoming clear. In particular, car manufacturer Germany is trying to regulate the sector. From the moment the technical format of radio receivers is chosen for our citizens, we can begin the process.”

Media.am will present Amalyan’s, as well as Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression President Ashot Meliqyan’s views on the problems related to the digital switchover shortly.

Ruzanna Khachatrian

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