The age of Digital Television across Spain has not been a resounding success with 27.5% of the homes of the province of Valencia alone reporting problems with Terrestrial Digital Television (TDT), according to a study made by the Association of Housewives and Consumers, Tyrius (Asociación de Amas de Casa y Consumidores Tyrius).
The report noted that 72.25% of the areas assessed throughout the province of Valencia are problem free while 13.5% are still having issues in spite of changing antennas, and/or purchasing a TDT tuner or Television with integrated TDT; some are not able to receive any television channels since the blackout!
Local Valencian station Channel 9 is now off air in many parts of the province including much of Torrevieja, Valencia’s fifth largest city. Torrevieja even installed their own TDT Antenna on the city’s highest point, to try and service the city but some Urbanisations and installation companies report that realigning community antennas to point towards the Torrevieja mast has only resulted in phasing issues with the Alicante transmitters, causing interference and poor reception!
However 90% of the population experienced no problems installing TDT and are happy with the new program content offered although most could only pick up 23 channels from a possible 29! With the analogue frequencies now being unoccupied, it’s also been noted that analogue TV could return through some local entrepreneurs, in much the same way as has happened with Radio around Spain!
And speaking of Radio, all seems to have gone quiet since the announcement of the new State Radio Commission, which has been tasked with closing up to 3,000 illegal Radio Stations across Spain. It seems that more procrastination is evident, as the Government, or their appointed body, has still to announce which city shall be the Headquarters of the new department! In the running are Seville, Valencia and Vigo with the later being the most pro-active in wanting the new division to be set-up in northern Spain.
The City of Vigo can see the economic benefits of this, while detractors note that the city is remote and out of touch with the major ‘Pirate’ radio centres of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Andalusia. Around the International Radio station community, most seem to be bullish, with a belief that because they have applied for a licence, they shall be immune to closure!
Without an official office centre to ask, nobody is able to comment upon what the situation is and if, on June 1st, Guardia Civil and National Police shall systematically be knocking on doors, issuing fines and confiscating equipment. For the moment, it’s business as usual, with some of the more confident stations even installing new transmitters and equipment! For many expats, local English language Radio is a lifeline of music and information. The last thing they want to happen is to lose their favourite radio stations.