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Gibraltar officially launches DAB+ and Digital TV networks

Gibraltar Freeview
DVB-T, Gibraltar style
Gibraltar officially launched its new digital network this week. The launch was celebrated at a ceremony on Tuesday at Gibraltar's Upper Signal Station where the Chief Minister, the Hon. Fabian Picardo MP, unveiled a plaque commemorating the switchover.

Test transmissions had been underway since the end of November. The digital network comprises of two DAB+ digital radio multiplexes and two multiplexes for DVB-T, digital terrestrial television, which is being branded "Gibraltar Freeview". The network was built by Arqiva, who successfully completed the UK's digital switchover in October.

Analogue TV broadcasts will cease at the end of the year, but analogue radio will remain broadcasting alongside DAB+ digital radio.

According to the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA), the DAB service will broadcast local GBC stations plus BFBS Radio. Little information is known about the content of the Gibraltar Freeview service, other than it is currently carrying GBC TV and that GBC will broadcast in high definition in the next few weeks. Other licenced broadcasters will be able to launch services on the platform. Set top boxes and digital receivers bought in Spain or the UK will work with the Gibraltar Freeview service, according to the GRA. However, UK DAB radios will not be suitable, as Gibraltar uses the newer DAB+ standard.

Viewers in Gibraltar receiving television via cable will not be affected with local cable TV providers said to be distributing the Gibraltar Freeview service onto their networks.

As with the current analogue broadcasts, the digital signal overspills across parts of Spain's Costa Del Sol, where viewers with line of site to the Rock should be able to find Gibraltar Freeview on UHF channels 30 and 56. Channel 30 is understood to have been testing a DVB-T2 service over the previous weeks, and would only have been receivable on modern Freeview HD receivers. DAB+ digital radio services are on VHF Block 12B and 12C.

  Related link:
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority - Digital Switchover information
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  1. Update - 22/05/2015: Information about Gibraltar's Freeview service is scarce beyond the Rock, but a516digital can confirm the current line-up consists of two channels: GBC and Al Jazeera English.


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