In Milan there are many who, after the frequency movements of these days, no longer see the local broadcasters. In short, no more Telelombardia, Antenna 3, Telenova. And so on: no channels from 10 to 19. Warning: this is not a problem related to the change of encoding from MPEG2 to MPEG4 but related to the change of frequencies, a process that has already been underway for months and incidentally concomitant for Milan with the expiry of the ‘8th of March. And this only fuels the confusion. Many users, in fact, who are complaining and who have not been able to solve with simple re-tuning.
And the problem, it must be said, does not only concern Milan but practically a large part of Lombardy and eastern Piedmont.
The problem of ducted condominium systems
One of the most delicate (and least publicized) steps of the ongoing television switch-off is the use, in the new assignment plan, of frequencies that were not previously used. On DDAY.it we have warned several times about the possible need to call the antenna operator to return to see the broadcasters moved to the “new” frequencies: in fact, many centralized antenna systems are “channeled”, that is, they only allow certain frequencies to pass. (those used) while filtering the others, so as to minimize disturbances.
This configuration, particularly used in large cities and in Northern Italy, however, requires, with the change of the frequencies used, the reconfiguration of the filters present in the central antenna. In traditional exchanges, these are precisely “physical” band-pass filters to be replaced; in the more modern digital ones, just redo the configuration of the digital filter. But in any case an intervention of the antenna is required.
If channels 22 and 34 are filtered, goodbye locals
This is exactly what happened in the last 48 hours in Milan (but more generally in Lombardy), where all the main local TVs gathered, as required by the Frequency Assignment Plan, on channels (intended as frequency) 22 and 34. Both channels before this reorganization of the frequencies were not used in the Milan area; now they are broadcast for all venues respectively by Rai Way, 34, and EI Towers, 22. Here is the composition of the two MUX and the broadcasters involved
The composition of MUX channel 22 in Lombardy and Eastern Piedmont
|14||HD TV EXPANSION|
|14||HD TV EXPANSION|
|83||MORE VALLEYS TV|
|115||RADIO MILLENIUM TV|
|271||RDS SOCIAL TV|
The composition of MUX channel 34 in Lombardy and Eastern Piedmont
|12||TOP SOCCER 24|
|78||MILAN PAVIA TV|
|80||LODI CREAM TV|
The effect was that a significant part of the city (and of the entire metropolitan area of Milan) was left without all the broadcasters at positions 10 to 19, so to speak, simply because the frequencies concerned are “canceled” from the system. centralized antenna configured to filter them in order to avoid amplifying disturbances. Obviously it is not valid for all systems (the smallest have broadband that do not interpose particular filters) but, according to an estimate made to us by one of the most skilled wholesalers in the area, at least 60% of the antenna systems of the metropolitan area of Milan are involved in the problem and, since these are generally large plants, which serve many housing units, we are probably talking about well over 60% of the population.
But there is also the problem of pointing the antennas
But there is more: the area of Milan was normally illuminated, as regards the band that contains channel 34, by the Monte Penice system; now instead, for the overall balancing of the system, it has been decided to greatly reduce the transmission power from Penice (directing the emission towards eastern Piedmont) and to transmit more decisively from Valcava. Beyond the specific locations, this could mean that not only the power plant, but also the actual antenna on the roof of houses and condominiums could require some adjustment. In short, the gist is that both problems, combined or not, require the intervention of an antennae. And therefore, to fix things everywhere it could take months, given that the antennae are what they are and the “lame” systems are so many.
Telelombardia: “We alerted the administrators in time, but the condominiums only move when the discomfort occurs”
In a nutshell, local broadcasters, which evidently make their living from advertising, have now literally disappeared from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of screens. A non-trivial damage which, however, has no easy solutions. “We have worked in time with the association of building administrators – Riccardo Colella, technical director of Telelombardia and Antenna 3 explained to us – to avoid that the necessary interventions on the antenna stations, often very simple, were intended for assembly resolutions ahead in time; and everyone has understood that this is normal maintenance. The problem, however, is that then the condominiums give their consent to the intervention only when the problem arises, that is, from yesterday “. Therefore, requests for intervention to the Lombard antennas are flocking, which obviously cannot intervene at the same time on all the plants.
The solution to the filtering issue is, for condominiums that have more modern, digital and programmable control units, very simple: just connect the PC to the control unit and reconfigure the filters to let channels 22 and 34 pass. In other cases, with the control units older, instead it touches to make hardware changes to the battery of filters, nothing transcendental but you need the right components. In the most desperate cases, where the control panel is so old that it deserves an update, the intervention is more radical and may require replacement with a digital control panel. And then there is a need to assess whether an intervention on the antennas and their pointing is also needed.
The high price of the switch-off for local broadcasters
In short, each plant deserves an evaluation in itself and in any case it is good to hurry up to book the “slot” of an antenna, since this will be the lacking resource in the coming weeks.
In our humble opinion, the choice to assign frequencies not exercised before the rearrangement to the premises remains questionable, especially in an area such as Lombardy where filtered antenna systems are on the agenda: the premises may not have the “strength” to push everyone to call an antenna and the risk that the real price of the switch-off will be paid by the small broadcasters is even more concrete. Another dirty face of this badly managed nut called switch-off.