Azerbaijan puts digital television into test operation

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 3 / Trend H.Veliyev /

A digital television was put into test operation in Baku and the Absheron peninsula, Chief Adviser to the department telecommunications of the Azerbaijani Communication and Information Technologies Ministry, Gulam Abdullayev, told Trend .

The transition stations have been installed and their capacities enable to cover the territory of Baku and the Absheron peninsula, Abdullayev said.

At present, there are certain places with low reception of signals. For example, there is one in the Garachukhur village. The digital broadcasting would eliminate such problems, Abdullayev added.

Digital TV is transmitted on the MPEG-4 standard, which provides broadcasting nine programs through one channel.

Due to testing, the foreign channels which are broadcasting in digital format gradually replace one another. AzTV and ITV TV channels are among the local TV channels, presented in digital format. The private TV channels ATV, Lider and ANS also expressed their desire to be represented in digital television package.

It is planned to end full transition to digital television will end by 2012 due to new plans, though originally it was planned to occur until 2015.

Under the program, the transition to digital broadcasting intended for the country's major cities, will be implemented in three phases. In the first stage, two packages of broadcasting with four channels in each will be applied in Baku and Ganja. A single package will be applied as a whole in the country. Thus, digital broadcasting will cover 60-70 percent of the population. In the second stage one additional package will be applied in Baku, Ganja and Nakhchivan. Number of packets will be increased to therein regions, in the republic to two. According to Teleradio production union's plan, three packages of twelve channels will be applied.

The third stage covers improvement of transmission in areas with weak signal receipt. Additional transmitters, which will increase the capacity of digital television and available for 98 percent of the population, will be installed to achieve this goal.

The analog signal will not be completely shut down until a significant portion of the population have intelligent software-driven device (decoder).

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