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TV in Spain will soon be fully HD: What changes for you?

The Local Spain
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TV in Spain will soon be fully HD: What changes for you?
There will be no more standard definition TV channels broadcast in Spain from February 14th 2024. Photo: Maghradze PH/Pexels

On February 14th, Spain will swap all its terrestrial television channels from SD to HD. Here’s why you may need to make some adjustments to your TV.

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February 14th 2024 has a big change in store for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in Spain, the standard and free over-the-air television that you get when your TV set is connected to an aerial rather than the internet. 

From that day on, TDT will broadcast exclusively in high definition (HD), and the channels in standard definition (SD) will disappear forever.

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That’s good news as HD is technically four times better than SD (it has four times the pixels, so it’s much more detailed).

The swapover, which was meant to happen in 2023 but was postponed by Spanish authorities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will save on bandwidth and eventually offer the opportunity for TDT to offer 4K resolution.

It will also favour the EU push for 5G implementation in TV networks across the continent.

Some channels such as those belonging to public RTVE already offered an SD and HD version to viewers.

What do I have to do with my TV in Spain?

The change is only likely to affect you if you have an old television.

According to the Spanish government, 98 percent of current television sets in the country are compatible with HD services.

The remaining 2 percent may well require a decoder or tuner with HD capabilities. This could end up costing you anywhere between €30 and €75.

It may also be necessary to check that the antenna and other technical aspects linked to the signal are in working order, which could mean the extra cost of employing a professional.

Therefore, you may want to weigh up if it’s better to buy a new HD TV, as it is possible to find good deals on them in Spain.

If you decide to go with the decoder or tuner, the next step will be to retune the list of channels so that only the HD quality ones remain, since the rest will become unusable and would occupy useless space within the list. 

The deadline as mentioned earlier is February 14th, but some media groups will stop broadcasting in SD before that date.  

If you have a TV and internet package such as Movistar+ or Vodafone, you get your TV signal through the internet and you don’t have to worry about having to retune channels.

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