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What is the ground based digital network?

Digital broadcasting

The ground based digital network offers more channels, new services and quality picture and sound . The digital ground-based network consists of approximately 430 masts on mountain tops and ridges.

Additionally, 531 satelliteshadow transmitters supply the approximately 6000 households who cannot recieve TV-signals from  the digital ground-based or elsewise with TV-signals. The  network provides the entire country with a broad-based range of TV and radio channels. Initially, 24 TV channels and 16 radio channels are offered either in packages or individual channels. See RiksTV for more information. NRKs entire television and radio services are available for free.

In order to receive the digital TV signals via antenna, every TV set must have a digital receiver (set-top box) or a TV with a built-in digital receiver.

New digital services

Digital broadcasts open for new services such as digital teletext, recording and downloading of programmes, electronic programme guide, parent control, services for disabled such as advanced teletext and and picture in picture (PIP).

Commersial transition

The transition from analogue to digital TV-signals was a commercial operation, without financial support from the Government. The entire population now has access to digital television. All households have access to NRKs entire television and radio services. This includes any services that are developed for public broadcasting.

Why digital TV?

Efficient digital technology

By using digital technology we make to best use of the frequencies. Picture and sound are high quality . With digital broadcasts, the channels are divided into small packets of information consisting of ones (1) and zeros (0). Several channels are packed and sent together, which represents an optimal use of the frequency. Your digital TV receiver unpacks the package and reassembles the various channels.

Since a digital signal is more robust in terms of reflection, obstacles etc. than an analogue signal, good receivers are able to reconstruct a perfect image, even though parts of the package may have been damaged en route. The result is a perfect TV picture.

Worldwide digitalisation

The digitalisation of the ground-based network is a natural development, one that is being made all over the world. By 2012, all analogue broadcasting networks in Europe will have shut down. Norway is among those countries with the shortest conversation period.

When did the transition take place?

The entire country has acess to the digital ground-based network. In 2007-08 the digital ground-based net opened region by region.  In 2008-09 the analogue net shut down region by region., 6-12 months after the digital net opened.

By  1. desember  2009 the shut down process of old analogue network was completed. The transition prosess was completed within 2 1/2 years, as one of the fastest in Europe.

Which areas are covered by the digital terrestrial televisjon?

The coverage map

By using our coverage map, you can search by street address, postal code, city or place name and find out if your household or leisure home is covered by the basic network.

Note: The map shows those areas that are covered in theory. It will be updated if any alterations are made.

mork_gronn Dark green = very good coverage: You can use an outdoor antenna.<
lys_gronn Lighter green = good coverage: You should use an outdoor antenna, and install it high and clear from obstacles.
gra_farge Grey = possible coverage: You may have coverage, but local conditions are variable. You have to use an extra strong outdoor antenna. In most cases it is also necesssary to use extra exquipment in order to receive signals. Note that there is a chance you will not have coverage.
hvit_boks White  = probably no coverage: You are probably not covered by the digital ground-based network. In some cases, depending on how far it is to the nearest transmitter (area with coverage), it might still be possible to receive signals by using an extra strong outdoor antenna. If you plan to try to get a signal, try with an extra strong outdoor antenna. In addition you should use extra exquipment. Still be prepared for the possibility that you may not have coverage.

Concerning the best transmitter placement of antenna:

On adjusting the antenna: If you are currently using an antenna receiver and you receive TV 2s main channel, you should normally not have to readjust your antenna. If you currently do not receive TV 2s main channel but do have coverage (green colour in the map), zoom out to see where your best transmitter is located. Point your antenna towards the best transmitter. Green colour (dark or light green) in the map indicates that there is coverage for digital TV signals if the antenna is placed up to l 10 metres above the ground.

Best transmitter:

The best transmitter is the transmitter in the digital ground-based network that provides the best TV signals at the address. Local obstructions, such as other buildings, may nevertheless obstruct the line of sight between the transmitter and your antenna. In such cases, you should point your antenna towards one of the other transmitters shown on the map.

In some cases, signals will be reflected, for example, off a nearby mountain. Try pointing your antenna in the direction the signals are coming from. If you are setting up an outdoor antenna for the first time: Determine from the map where the best transmitter is located, and point your antenna towards it. If another building is obstructing your antennas line of sight, try pointing the antenna in the direction of one of the other transmitters.

Concerning the digital signals: Measurements indicate that digital TV signals can provide good TV images even when reflected for example -off mountains -before they reach your antenna. In such cases, analogue signals will often result in an unclear or bad TV picture. This means that locally, around your house, it may be possible to pick up signals from more than one direction, and that you may have coverage even if you do not have a clear line of sight to a transmitter. You may also call a local installation contractor, or TV-dealer if you need further assistance.

Not covered by the digital ground-based network

Approximately 70% of all households in Norway currently employ other forms of TV reception than the analogue ground-based network, e.g. cable, satellite, or various forms of broadband/IP-TV. This means that most households that are not covered by the digital ground-based network already have some other type of TV reception for at least one of their TV sets.

In view of these facts, the authorities have made it a requirement that Norges Televisjon should develop the basic network so that it provides coverage for 95% of the population, and that a satellite shadow network should be built for those with no access to other forms of TV reception (see above).

Beyond this, the basic network is required to cover 70% of all leisure homes. Households with no coverage either from the basic network or the satellite shadow network have the option of cable TV, satellite TV or some other relevant technology, and must resort to this.

Satellite shadow areas:

Households that are not covered by the digital ground-based network (basic network) and that are not able to receive satellite signals, and that do not have cable TV or access to other forms of TV reception will get coverage from a so-called satellite shadow network in accordance with specific criteria (see below). This applies to approximately 5,200 households on a national basis. All NRKs televisjon and radio channels that will be offered in the satellite shadow areas. The satellite shadow network will consist of approximately 600 masts, and will be completed in each region before the analogue networks are shut down.

Coverage: Check coverage on http://www.ntv.no/satellittskygge

Receiver (set-top box): Due to technological and topographic reasons the satellite shadow network will be based on two different technical solutions. The majority will be based on the same technology as basic network, with the same rules and recommendations for the use of decoder and antenna. Although in certain areas in all regions technology from a company called Paneda is used. Everybody who lives in satellitt shadow areas will receive information regarding this at what type of Receiver they will need to use. If you receiver signals from the Paneda-solution you will need a Paneda receiver.

Criteria for the development of satellite shadow coverage:

Here are the main criteria for coverage from the satellite shadow network. These are excerpts from NTVs concession, which was awarded by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 2 June 2006.

«Norges Televisjon shall see to it that persons with a permanent address in the satellite shadow area are able to receive NRK?s TV channels. Residences in areas that lie within a satellite shadow are reckoned to be residences which, due to topographical factors, are not able to receive signals by satellite where NRK is available. NTV?s obligation to provide coverage in these areas presupposes that all the criteria below are met: The residence in question cannot receive signals from a satellite where NRK is available because:

• there is no clear line of sight from the parabolic antenna to the satellite, even when the parabolic antenna has been optimally placed on the building and is at least five metres above ground.

• nor is a free-standing placement of the parabolic antenna possible on ones own property up to five metres above ground and up to 100 metres from a house wall in order to get a clear line of sight to the satellite, and

• the clear line of sight and reception is obstructed by mountains or some other fixed object (topographical conditions) The residence in question is not able to receive a stable enough and strong enough television signal corresponding to the capacity of a signal package, even though an outdoor receiver antenna with 15 dBd amplification up to 10m above ground has been installed, as well as a low noise antenna amplifier. The residence in question cannot, merely by paying a connection fee and/or a general subscription fee, connect to a cable network or some other relevant transmission technology. If the clear line of sight is merely obstructed by vegetation, buildings or other local conditions, the residence in question is not in a satellite shadow.»

Satellite transmission

If your household has to acquire a satellite dish in order to receive digital TV, contact your local TV-distributor or contact one of the satellite digital TV providers (Canal Digital and Viasat). They will supply you with a programme card free of change which will give you access to NRKs entire TV and radio public broadcast services. You do not need to subscribe you further channels. You are only responsible for acquiring receiver equipment (such as satellite dish and belonging receiver). This can be bought from your satellite TV-provider for maximum 1500 kr.

Most households (8 out of 10) who are not covered by the DDT-net already receive satellite television on at least one of their television sets.

How to receive signals

All households must have a set-top box (digital decoder) in order to receive digital TV signals. You do not, however, need to replace or do anything to your TV set.

The digital decoder is to be connected between the antenna outlet and your TV set. You will need a decoder for each TV set.  In Norway, we use the latest technology, MPEG4. Swedish decoders (which use MPEG2 technology) will notbe able to receive signals from the Norwegian network.

Approved decoders  can be bought through TV and radio dealers, or via the service telephone 210 10 210 or   godkjenningsmerke_189pxhttp://bakkenettet.moobi.com/. The Norwegian decoders are ready for high-definition TV (HDTV). Look for the red approval sticker on the package.

All households have access to all NRKs TV and radio channels and sign language interpretation service, at no extra charge. The same thing applies to other channels and services that NRK may offer as an all-purpose broadcaster free of charge.  For those who want more channels, it will be possible to subscribe to a variety of programme packages from RiksTV at http://www.rikstv.no/. For those who only want NRK, there will be no subscription price.

The transition from analogue to digital broadcasting in Norway

DTT in Norway

On September the 1st. 2007  Digital terrestrial television (DTT) was launched in Norway. The official kick-off was celebrated in Norways «petroleum capital», and the inhabitants of Stavanger and its county Rogaland were the first to enjoy terrestrial digital television in Norway. A few days later the capital Oslo followed, and by mid-November most of southern Norway had access to the digital terrestrial network. This means that 80 % of the permanent households (100 % is 2,14 mill.) were covered only a few months after the introduction.

In 2008 the roll-out expanded into northern Norway and the two most southern counties (Agder), covering the whole country by November 2008. The analogue network was shut down region by region and was completed late 2009. Each region had simulcast for 6 -12 months. The first analogue shutdown took take place the 4th of March 2008 in the county Rogaland, and the last last shutdown was in the northern counties Troms and Finnmark on december the 1st 2009.

The roll-out

Norges Televisjon AS (NTV) was granted the DTT license by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) on June 2nd 2006, for 15 years. The owners of NTV are the NRK and TV2 (National Public Service Broadcasters) and Telenor Broadcast Holding. NTV is the platform operator and therefore has the responsibility for implimentation of the digital network and maintenance of the DTT platform. In addition NTV is responsible for the information to the public about the transition from analogue to the digital TV reception.

Apart from running an information and coverage service on our webpage (http://www.ntv.no/), NTV also provides an information tour, visiting regions both during the introduction of the DTT services and also when  the analogue services shut down . Additional attention is given to media and municipals. All households receive a pamphlet in the mail when the regional transmitters are turned on.

More than 95 % coverage

The Government stated that the digital network must cover 95 % of the permanent households and 70 % of cottages and leisure homes. But the actual coverage exceeds these demands, and covers 98 % of all households and 87 % of cottages/leisure homes. No financial aid from the Government was granted for establishing the network. The pricetag of the network is estimated to be NOK 1, 5 billion.

To receive the signals, the viewers will need an UHF-aerial covering the frequency band between 470-790 MHz and a NTV-validated and approved setup box/digital decoder. The government has also stated the the maximum price of a basisdecoder should not exceed NOK 1500. Decoders bundled together with RiksTV subscription (pay TV subscription) were sold for NOK 1.- and NOK 0,50 when the net opened.

Both cable-TV and satellite viewing have a strong position in Norway, but  approximately 1/3  of the TV-viewers are expected to use the DTT -network .

MPEG-4

Norway was the first country to choose Mpeg-4 as the encoding (compression) standard for vision and sound. This means that the digital network in Norway is ready for High Definition Television (HDTV) services. So far only TV2 is offering programs in HD. NRK will follow in february 2010. One consequence of choosing the MPEG-4 standard for encoding, was that only one brand of decoders (Grundig) was available at launch. By April 2008, there were two. A year later the number was 12. By this time there were also two PVRs (Personal Video Recorder) and 340 TV models with integrated Mpeg-4 tuners available. All validated and approved by NTV for the Norwegian DTT network.

The Norwegian digital network consists of 430 transmitters covering the country. 43 are high-power and 310 are low-power stations. Single Frequency Network (SFN) are used in some regions. SFN is a broadcast network where several transmitters simultaneously broadcast the same signal over the same frequency channel. Each region will have a regional service from the NRK, as well as private local TV stations and 15 radio stations -mostly operated by NRK. (The northern islands of Svalbard are not covered by the digital network).

Satellite shadow network

In the digital license issued to NTV, the Parliament required a total network coverage of
95 %. Covering the last 5 % would cost the same as covering the first 95 percent, and was not seen economically feasible. Most Norwegians in this category already have a satellite dish. However, due to Norway`s topography of steep mountains, deep valleys and northern location (low angle to GEO), approximately 14.000 inhabitants, which means 6.000 households, can not receive signals from any satellite. They live in areas with satellite shadow, and where cable-TV or IPTV is not an option. The digital license therefore requires NTV to offer digital TV also for these people, but with only one multiplex (NRK services). This means 3 TV-channels and 12 radio channels. Most of these households had only one TV-channel (NRK 1) and one or two radio services before DTT.

Norkring, a subsidiary of Telenor Broadcast, is responsible for the installation of the main transmitter network. Norkring together with Paneda – a small private company – are commissioned by NTV to build satellite shadow networks. Norkring uses the same terrestrial technology as in the main network, while Paneda receive satellite signals and remodulates them before retransmitting terrestrially. The latter system requires a different type of decoder, but the cost for the end-user will be the same. In a few cases, transmitters are been set up for one person only.

Channels on offer

For those households covered by the main network; 3 multiplexes are available offering 25 TV- and 15 radio services. NRK operates one multiplex with 3 services (4 including the sign language service). All NRK services are «Free to Air» . The two other multiplexes are managed by the commercial pay-tv operator RiksTV including local -TV.

RiksTV offers a mix of Norwegian and international services with different content, all channels are encrypted. For the consumer a subscription fee comes in addition to the TV license fee.
Local-TV, and a open community channel is free.
By december 2009, RiksTV had 435.000 subscribers. Another 100.000 viewers have not registered and can only watch NRK.
Two more commercial multiplexes are planned to be lauched in mid-2010, after analogue switch-off.

(Updated Dec. 2009)