The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to inform the public that the implementation of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in Trinidad and Tobago has formally commenced.
Free To Air (FTA) television broadcasting is an important medium for the dissemination of information to the public, as it is freely accessible. The transition of FTA television to digital will bring enhanced quality service to consumer including up to 4K resolution video, access to electronic programming guides and interactive viewing. On 18th January 2023, the Authority published a notice of the adoption of the Advanced Television Systems Committee Standard Version 3.0 (ATSC 3.0) by the FTA broadcast industry as the standard for free-to-air (FTA) DTT in Trinidad and Tobago. ATSC 3.0 allows datacasting, which is a data delivery system for the transmission of data to an infinite number of devices, for use cases such as E-learning. ATSC 3.0 also has an advanced emergency alert feature which allows broadcasters to send information on emergencies to target receivers, including a wake-up signal to power-on receivers in stand-by mode. FTA television coverage will improve with the transition to digital, as broadcasters will have access to the ability to deploy single frequency networks. Broadcasters will also enjoy significant productivity gains due to reduced operational expenditure on a digital television network.
The Authority will implement the transition to DTT collaboratively with the FTA television broadcasting industry. A DTT Steering Committee will have oversight of the implementation and will guide the work of three working groups – Communication, Finance and Technical. The planned timeframe for the DTT switch-on is 2025, followed by a simulcast period of no longer than 18 months, where both analogue and digital signals will be on-air. The analogue switch-off is planned for 2026.