Finally, 8 months after the transition to MPEG4, RAI 3 also passes in HD to position number 3: in fact so far it has been the only channel in the top ten still broadcasting in standard definition, albeit in MPEG4.
Ray has in fact announced that he has activated the so-called “PID dynamic” experiment in Valle d’Aosta, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia from November 15, which was expected since last March. Come December 21, this structure will be replicated nationally.
In this way, the Rai3 stream in HD is shared among all the regional channels, which automatically switch to the local stream (that of the chosen region) only while broadcasting regional news and other local broadcasts. With the bandwidth limitations experienced by Digital Earth after the sale of the 700MHz band, this is the only way to achieve the goal that Ray has set for himself, i.e. to broadcast in each region not only one TGR stream but at least three, in consideration of the fact that the electromagnetic limits do not correspond necessarily with political boundaries. This would put an end to the problems, especially in border areas between regions, for users who are interested in one regional news program and who instead receive another.
But it is necessary, at least for the time being, to use the conditional: Rai himself, in his communication, confirms that there are some receivers, TVs and decoders on the market, which have not proven their compatibility with this mechanism (and which, moreover) are compatible with DVB- T) which, however, had not been used in production before today. In some cases, the flow switch may not occur automatically, in others it may result in a lack of audio signal. Rumors speak of double pedigree for completely incompatible devices; Despite this, Ray decided to proceed down the supposed route also due to the fact that “channel up, channel down” on incompatible TVs is sufficient to recover potentially lost stream in the dynamic segment of PID.
December 20th deadlines and quality improvement
As those who follow DDAY.it well know, on December 20th the remaining MPEG2 channels in standard definition, and those currently broadcasting under number 501 onwards, will be shut down.
Confindustria Radio TV is going live and confirms our indiscretion: MPEG2 shutdown on December 20th
In particular, Rai Rai1, Rai2 and Rai3 would close in the 500 bracket (which are broadcast in HD MPEG4 on low numbering). This closure will result in significant savings in bandwidth for Rai which will thus be able to be redistributed to improve the current quality of transmission that is always impeccable, also to pass Rai News 24 in HD and to activate the broadcast of channels also not yet broadcast via DTT such as Rai Radio2 broadcast .
Then the memorandum issued by Rai directly indicates the beginning of the second phase of the switch (the transition to DVB-T2) that will begin from 2023; But then, in the same document, in inviting citizens to prepare for the move with the conditioning of their televisions, Ray for the first time refers to the fact that “the exact date is to be determined by the competent ministry.” He seems to understand that it is a matter of deciding whether the transition to DVB-T2 will be in January or February, it is only a matter of determining the “exact date”. Unfortunately, the insiders are well aware that the transition to DVB-T2 will not be possible in a short time horizon (it will take years) and it would be good for citizens to be aware of this, to avoid expecting to replace a TV that can still work perfectly for years.
The World Cup starts in two days, but the Rai 4K broadcast channel is having some problems
In recent weeks, Rai has also announced the possibility of access via digital terrestrial broadcasting (but not via DTT) for its Rai 4k channel, which is currently broadcasting in the best quality via satellite on the tivùsat platform. This is especially important given the fact that more than 50 matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 from Sunday 20 November will also be broadcast in 4K HDR live on Rai 4K.
The version of Rai 4K that can be accessed via digital terrestrial channel 101 is actually, as we have shown, a channel that broadcasts in a non-adaptive bit rate stream of 15-16 Mbit / s. To access it, you need a TV that is connected (but given the necessary bandwidth, well connected too) that is also compatible with the hbbTV 2.0.1 standard (also called hbbTV 2): only the latest ones. The broadcast in question has been running for several days and was working fine at first. In recent days, however, reports of damage have multiplied: it is certain that Channel 101, at the time of this writing, no longer works on the Samsung TVs in the editorial office that we have instead seen Rai 4K properly in recent weeks. One thing is, among other things, that other hbbTV streams work on Samsung TVs (eg Radio 2’s Radio Vision) and not Rai 4K.
On the other hand, on Sony TVs, in recent days we have seen frequent shots of video streams (reported by many on the net) which now seem to be very much back: three Sony TVs in the editorial office only occasionally showed screenshots acceptable min. However, everything has been tested with the usual “roller” broadcast on Rai 4K: it remains to be seen if and to what extent the problems with hbbTV compatibility and above all with the stability of the broadcast infrastructure will manifest themselves during the following football matches.