Mediaset's three historic generalist networks are about to switch to HD-only signals on Tivùsat: here's when and how to continue watching them
Not only digital terrestrial: the "switch off" also affects many channels broadcast on the Tivùsat satellite platform, which are abandoning the old MGPE2 compression standard in favor of the more modern and efficient MPEG4. Among other things, this means switching from standard resolution channels to HD channels.
Mediaset has announced the timing of this definitive switchover to the DVB-S2 standard: from June 1, 2021 to the end of December, with different times for the various channels involved (Rete 4, Canale 5 and Italia 1), the SD signal will be turned off and only the HD signal will remain active. Those who do not have an MPEG 4 compatible decoder and a full HD TV, therefore, will no longer be able to watch Mediaset channels from the middle of next year. Well before that, other channels much loved by Italians, such as TV8 (which already took place on November 2), Nove, Cielo, Mediaset 20, Dmax +1 and Real Time +1 will be switched to HD only. Let's try to put some order into this jungle of changes in standards and resolutions.
Rete 4, Canale 5 and Italia 1 only in HD: the dates
Let's start with Mediaset's three historic generalist networks: on June 1 the SD signal of Rete 4 will be switched off, in October it will be the turn of Italia 1 and, in December, even Canale 5 will no longer be seen at standard resolution. Within a year, therefore, three of the networks most viewed by Italians will no longer be visible without an HD decoder.
The other networks that turn off the SD signal
By the end of the year, other television networks will turn off the standard resolution signal and will begin to broadcast only in HD. Tv8 has already done so on November 2, along with Cielo.
On November 30 it will be the turn of Nove TV, Dmax +1 and Real Time +1. Finally, on January 1, 2021 the old Mediaset 20 signal will be turned off.
Networks switching to SD MPEG 4
There are then quite a few networks that will continue to broadcast at standard resolution, but using MPEG 4 compression. This means that they will only be able to be seen by those who have a compatible decoder, although they won't need an HD TV.
The change begins on November 27 for Fresbee and K2, while for Focus, Cartoonito, Boing, Top Crime, La 7 D, TGCom 24, Mediaset Extra, Italia 2, La 5 and Iris it will be on January 1, 2021. In between, on December 3, 2020, TV 2000 will also switch to MPEG 4 SD.
Advise to watch all the channels: take advantage of the TV bonus
Despite the large number of changes coming for free TV, and given the large number of viewers that the networks concerned have, the advice to take advantage of the Government's 50 euro bonus to buy a DVB-S2 decoder is becoming more and more topical.
All Tivùsat decoders on the market today can be purchased with the bonus and are all compatible with at least HD resolution.