Digital terrestrial television in DVB-T2 via NPO and Digitenne in the Netherlands


Since today, the Netherlands has digital terrestrial television according to the latest broadcast standard DVB-T2 in combination with HEVC (H.265). In Groningen and Drenthe the signal has been converted from DVB-T to DVB-T2.

The change took place around 1 a.m. on the night of Monday 1 to Tuesday 2 October. KPN has upgraded digital terrestrial television to the most modern broadcasting techniques. This applies to both the unencrypted channel offering of the Dutch public broadcaster (NPO) and to its own TV product Digitenne. After the conversion, Digitenne’s channel offering has remained the same. However, the image quality has improved. Previously, the entire channel range was broadcast in SD quality. After the conversion to DVB-T2/HEVC, this now happens in Full HD 1080P. The unencrypted channel offering of the public broadcaster has been expanded. Instead of just the regional broadcaster of the province where the transmission tower is located, the regional broadcaster of the neighboring provinces is now also broadcast on the broadcast frequency.

New TV decoder

For many viewers of digital terrestrial television, the conversion to DVB-T2 will bring changes. If you watch NPO’s unencrypted offering directly via the television’s internal tuner, in many cases this is no longer possible. Only the latest models of Ultra HD televisions support DVB-T2/HEVC. In all other cases a separate TV decoder is required. These decoders are already available for a few tens of euros. Digitenne subscribers can no longer watch Digitenne’s channel offering with a DVB-T2/HEVC suitable television. This is because KPN also changed the coding at the same time as the broadcast standard was changed. A CI+ module and smart card for the new Irdeto security is not yet available. Digitenne can therefore only be viewed with TV decoders supplied by KPN from the manufacturers ZTE and Rebox.

Phased rollout

KPN is gradually converting the broadcast frequencies of NPO and Digitenne from DVB-T to DVB-T2/HEVC throughout the Netherlands. Ultimately, this process should ensure that digital terrestrial television is converted to the new broadcasting standard throughout the Netherlands in April 2019.