Digital TV implementation delayed in Almería – complete cockup!

Just 30 days to go before the analog TV signal is switched off in Almería and the Ministry has announced that, due to “failings in the changeover to digital transmittors”, the switchoff will be delayed in the north of the province.

IE – they ran out of time and couldn’t complete.

Out of 42 municipios (town halls) that were supposed to be switched off, only 20 currently have enough digital signal to be able to switch off the analogue signal. Mainly the coastal provinces, which AFAIK work off about 3 transmitters and a couple of repeaters, so it wasn’t a big job to switch them over. 20 other municipios have “partial” coverage and 3 have “nothing”.

Mind you, an internal Junta report said that only Armuña, Fines, Garrucha, Turre & Zurgena have full coverage.

“I was afraid of this” said a gloomy José Manuel Muñiz to La Voz de Almería, the director of FAITEL, Associación Andaluza de Empresas Instaladoras de Telecomunicaciones, who cheered up when he reminded the reporter that he’d spent the last 5 years telling the Administration it wouldn’t be ready on time.

No date yet on how close they are to fixing the problem or when the signal will be switched off or, indeed, anything. The Junta says that it has some 7 million euros for Almería in unclaimed grants to assist municipios in switching over to TDT digital TV – but since it appears no municipio has managed to get all the correct paperwork and technical surveys ready, nobody can claim this money.

So no need to toss your old TV away just yet. Although José Muñiz does remind us that if we can’t get TDT on terrestrial signal, we can install a small digital satellite dish and pick it up off the satellite, which is usually a better option anyway.

A TV techie was telling me over the weekend that the signal is broadcast down to the transmittors via satellite (the local transmittors pick up the satellite broadcast and send it out locally), and that anybody with a small dish can align to the satellite and pick up the broadcast directly. So don’t worry if you live in a small cortijo in a valley – satellites are our friends!

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