Thanks to a joint project of Telecentras and Emitel, Lithuanian and Polish TV broadcasting companies, also Government institutions, the possibilities to watch Lithuanian national TV program LRT LITUANICA via terrestrial television were greatly improved in Suwalki region, were most of Poland-based Lithuanians reside.

The installation of TV signal amplification equipment in the Emitel’s TV tower in Krzemianucha, near the city of Suwalki, extended the coverage area of LRT LITUANICA and made it possible to watch the program not only for residents of border areas, who receive a signal from the Telecentras TV tower in Lazdijai, but also throughout Suwalki region.

The project was co-financed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian national broadcaster LRT.

„LRT LITUANICA broacasting project in Suwalki region shows how much Government of Lithuania and Polish institutions can achieve by working together“, today at the launching ceremony said Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

“I am delighted that with the joint efforts of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, national broadcasters and re-broadcasters, the broadcasting of LRT LITUANICA is being launched in this region of Poland. I would like to emphasize that this program will be visible to all households with a regular TV antenna and will be free of costs. I believe, for every ethnic minority it is important to maintain bonds with their nation. I am positive that LRT LITUANICA will aid strengthening that connection and provide access to the up-to-date news in Lithuania,” – says Jaroslav Narkevič, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania.

“National broadcaster LRT has a special role in helping Lithuanians living abroad to stay in touch with the country by providing relevant content and ensuring it’s accessibility. This spring we have launched a new online platform LRT LITUANICA dedicated specifically for Lithuanian diaspora. LRT LITUANICA TV channel is also broadcasted on the internet. By making available content online, we also acknowledge importance to broadcast it via the terrestrial television especially in regions like Suwalki where lives numerous Lithuanian community”, commented Director General of LRT Monika Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė.

“We are glad that we could help Lithuanian community leaving in Poland to improve reception of LRT LITUANICA via terrestrial television. It was not an easy job, mainly due to legal requirements and permissions that are required by cross-border cooperation in that matter. Emitel designed the technical solution, acquired necessary permissions and finally launched tv signal broadcasting,” – said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A

“I am glad that we managed to agree on a technical solution in principle and implement it smoothly within the set deadlines”, says Remigijus Šeris, General Director of Telecentras. “Preliminary measurements, which we performed at 9 points, show that the TV signal in many areas inhabited by Lithuanians can be received qualitatively with an outdoor antenna, and in some places – even with a room antenna.”

About Telecentras
Telecentras is a Lithuanian state-owned joint-stock company providing radio and television program transmission, data transmission, Internet, smart television, data center and telephony services throughout Lithuania.

On 31 July, TVP and Emitel concluded a contract for broadcasting TVP programmes via the third Digital Terrestrial Television multiplex (MUX-3). The contract covers not only the provision of the television programme broadcasting service, but also the change of the broadcasting and coding standard, which will be carried out in 2022. The contract was concluded for 10 years.

The contract covers the broadcasting of TVP programmes via MUX-3, the development of an ICT platform to ensure the transmission of production signals between the field branches and the broadcaster’s headquarters, and includes provisions pertaining to the change of the broadcasting and coding standard from DVB-T/MPEG-4 to DVB-T2/HEVC. Channel changes within the framework of the refarming process are carried out in stages, which are to take place in 2020 and 2022. The change of the broadcasting standard will take place in 2022.

“I am pleased to sign a new agreement with Emitel, our long-standing, proven partner”, said Jacek Kurski, acting President of TVP S.A. “By concluding a long-term contract for digital broadcasting of Telewizja Polska programmes via MUX-3, we are fulfilling the mission of a public broadcaster by guaranteeing viewers free access to our programmes throughout Poland. By continuing our cooperation with Emitel, we also make sure that Poles have universal access to the latest technologies, such as hybrid broadcast TV, and we ensure further development of digital terrestrial television by changing the broadcasting standard within two years. Thanks to this, viewers will be able to enjoy free access to more attractive content in the best quality – both HD and 4K – offered by Telewizja Polska.”

“The conclusion of a new 10-year agreement and the continued cooperation with our strategic partner – Telewizja Polska S.A. – is a key event for Emitel. At the same time, it is an opportunity to jointly develop digital terrestrial television, which is very popular among Polish viewers. The planned change of the broadcasting standard to DVB-T2/HEVC will allow the broadcaster to develop their content distribution platform, which will benefit viewers in Poland”, said Andrzej J. Kozłowski, President of the Management Board of Emitel S.A.

The conclusion of the new contract means continued cooperation between TVP and Emitel. The previous agreement was in force since 2010 and concerned the design and construction of a DVB-T broadcasting network, as well as provision of the MUX-3 signal broadcasting service. Thanks to the cooperation with Emitel, the public broadcaster has changed the standard of television broadcasting from analogue to digital.

Digital Terrestrial Television remains a very popular platform for receiving TV broadcasts in Poland, allowing viewers to receive nearly 30 free programmes. Terrestrial television is the most important platform used by the public broadcaster to distribute their content. Nearly 100% of the country’s population is within the range of MUX-3 transmitters. Thanks to free reception from traditional antennas, millions of viewers in Poland can enjoy the popular TVP programmes every day.

To date, terrestrial television, not only in Poland but also in Europe, has used frequencies in the range of 470 – 790 MHz for terrestrial broadcasting. According to the European Commission’s decision, all Member States must free up the 700 MHz band, which will be used by mobile operators for developing their 5G networks. This means that the broadcasting network has to be rebuilt and the broadcasting of terrestrial television programmes in Poland has to be moved to other frequencies. In consultation with market regulators, the completion of this project has been planned in several stages, and the entire project will be completed in June 2022. At that point, the broadcasting standard will be switched to DVB-T2 /HEVC. Compared to the current standard (DVB-T/MPEG-4), DVB-T2/HEVC allows more efficient use of the available frequencies and increase the number of available channels.

MUX-3 currently broadcasts the following public television channels: TVP1 HD, TVP2 HD, TVP Info HD, TVP Sport HD, TVP Historia and TVP3.