TV and decoder incentives for the new digital terrestrial: to whom are they due

By 2022, there will be the switch to DVB-T2 digital terrestrial throughout Italy and to encourage the purchase of new decoders, MISE has allocated incentives

The state incentives for the purchase of decoders and Smart TVs compatible with the DVB-T2 transmission standard, i.e., the second generation of digital terrestrial, will arrive in a few months, from November 15, 2019, and will last until the end of 2022.

The new digital terrestrial television will be "switched on" throughout Italy on July 1st 2022 (but in some regions the switch will take place earlier) and, by that date, all televisions must be compatible. For this reason, the Ministry of Economic Development has set up a system of incentives with an economic endowment of 151 million euros. The incentive will be granted only to certain income brackets and on a family basis and not for each individual device purchased. This is not a large amount of funds, but it must also be said that, in the end, not many people will need them because these incentives will serve to remove from our homes only the oldest televisions and decoders.

DVB-T2 incentives: who is entitled to them and how much they amount to

The amount of the incentive is 50 euros, to be considered per family nucleus. Those who have more than one TV set at home, therefore, will be entitled to the incentive only for changing one of them. The sum will be disbursed in the form of a discount on the purchase of the device (Smart TV or decoder, including TivùSat): in practice the user will pay 50 euros less, the seller will then receive 50 euros of reimbursement from the Ministry. The principle of "technological neutrality" is foreseen: any equipment suitable to decode the DVB-T2 HEVC signal can be sold with the ministerial discount. If the price of the equipment is lower than 50 euros, then the discount can cover the entire cost. Only citizens with ISEE income in bands I and II (i.e., up to 21,265.87 euros) will be eligible for the incentive.

Digital terrestrial DVB-T2: what changes

Since 2017, all equipment put on sale is already compatible with the DBV-T2 signal, because this standard dates back to 2006 and the transition to the new generation was planned some time ago. The main difference between the old and the new digital terrestrial lies in the technologies of exploitation of the available band: with DVB-T2, in fact, on the same frequency band you can transmit more data and, therefore, more channels with the same final quality. Or else transmit the same channels with a lower crowding of frequencies transmitted in the ether. Something that actually happened in Italy, to allow the arrival of a new technology: the 5G.

Digital terrestrial and 5G

Passing from the old to the new digital terrestrial without increasing the number of television channels available to the end user, it was possible to "pack" the channels that exist today in a smaller amount of frequencies. This has made it possible to free up, among others, the infamous "700 band", i.e. the frequencies between 694 and 790 MHz. This is a very valuable band and one that has been auctioned off for 5G data transmissions. The signal traveling on this frequency, in fact, can easily pass through walls and ceilings. In light of the fact that the TV of the future will be increasingly transmitted via the Internet and increasingly enjoyed on the move, this technical choice was considered strategic.