Terrestrial television in Poland is broadcast using a digital DVB-T system. First test DVB-T emission was carried in Warsaw at 9 November 2001. In April 2004, first DVB-T transmitter near Rzeszów started operation, and local TVP division started to market set-top boxes allowing to receive it. As of July 2016, there are about 250 DVB-T transmitters operating in Poland, broadcasting up to three multiplexes (except local stations), all using MPEG-4 AVC compression. Two channels, TVP1 and TVP2 are available in HD across all of Poland, while several others (Polsat, TVN and TVN7) broadcast in HD in some local multiplexes. Analog terrestrial transmissions were terminated in 2013.
First efforts to introduce DVB-T in Poland was made in 1997 in Gdańsk on initiative of TVP (Polish public television broadcaster).
At 2006 conference in Geneva known as GE06 Poland received eight DVB-T multiplexes—seven at UHF frequencies 470÷862 MHz (channels 21÷69) and one at VHF frequency 174÷230 MHz (channels 6÷12). Since some of these frequencies are currently used for analog PAL terrestrial television broadcasting, it is possible to run only two nationwide multiplexes (MUX1, MUX2) and one (MUX3) which covers part of country (58% of population). Introduction of all multiplexes will be possible after switching off analog broadcasting.
A government document entitled “Country digitalization schedule”, dated January 2009, set out plan for the digital broadcast switch-on to be made in three steps and analog broadcast switch-off in six steps.
First regular digital broadcast started on 30 September 2010. Analog broadcast switch-off started on 7 November 2012 and the transition to digital broadcasting finished on 23 July 2013.
The period of time between digital broadcast switch-on and analog broadcast switch-off will allow people time to buy new integrated Digital TVs or set-top boxes.
As of July 2013:MUX1 covers 98.8% of population;
MUX2 covers more than 98.8% of population;
MUX3 covers 99.5% of population.
The shutdown of analog broadcast took place in 7 steps between 7 November 2012 and 23 July 2013.
Most operators of analog cable TV are planning to continue providing analog service in their networks for an unspecified period of time.
Information campaigns about analog broadcast switch-off in mass media.
Requiring electronic equipment sellers to inform buyers that MPEG-2 TVs and STBs are not compatible with national standard which is MPEG-4 AVC.
Financial help for poor families and seniors to buy TV or STB – ca. 250 PLN per household, totalling 475 million PLN.
Polish digital terrestrial television broadcast uses 25 Hz H.264/AVC HDTV video, MPEG-2 Layer 2 and E-AC-3 audio, for a Baseline IRD able to decode up to 1920 × 1080 interlaced 25 Hz video pictures or 1280 × 720 progressive 50 Hz video pictures.
During tests also MPEG-2 encoding for video was used.
Plan from January 2009 included three nationwide multiplexes with seven SDTV channels in each:MUX1 – Free-to-air commercial channels (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls); after analog broadcast switch-off MUX3 covered the entire country population and public channels moved to it; there was competition for three freed channels;
MUX2 – open competition;
MUX3 – Public channels; after analog switch-off MUX3 will cover all country population and public channels will be moved to it from MUX1; there will be competition for three freed channels in MUX1.
In January 2010 new plan on introducing DVB-T was presented. Assignment of multiplexes was changed:MUX1 – public broadcaster channels (including TVP1, TVP2 and TVP Regionalna);
MUX2 – Commercial free-to-air channels (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls) plus one additional from each broadcaster – total number of channels in this multiplex: 8.
In June 2010 another change in assignment of multiplexes was made:MUX1 – four channels chosen in open competition and temporary three public broadcaster channels (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Regionalna); after analog broadcast switch-off MUX3 will cover all country population and public channels will be deleted from MUX1; there will be competition for three freed channels;
MUX2 – four current terrestrial analog commercial free-to-air channels (Polsat, TVN, TV4, TV Puls) plus one additional from each broadcaster (respectively: Polsat Sport News, TVN7, TV6, Puls 2);
MUX3 – six public broadcaster channels (TVP1, TVP2, TVP Regionalna, TVP Culture, TVP History, TVP Entertainment and planned TVP Documentary); after switch-off analog broadcast MUX3 will cover all country population and public broadcaster channels will be deleted from MUX1.
In 1998, two DVB-S providers, Cyfra+ and Wizja TV started operation. In 2001, Wizja TV was merged into Cyfra+.
1999 saw the introduction of another platform, Polsat 2 Cyfrowy (later renamed to Polsat Cyfrowy and finally Cyfrowy Polsat), owned by Polsat, a major Polish commercial TV network. These platforms become very popular, and today, there are no Polish channels available on analogue satellite (the last one, TVN, was switched off in 2008). However, most of the satellite broadcasts in Poland are in SDTV resolution.
On 12 October 2006, ITI launched the n platform with few HD channels available, as well as - also new in Poland - video on demand functionality. Later, in December 2006, Cyfra+ also started HD broadcasts. Cyfrowy Polsat started HD broadcasts in second half of 2007.
In March 2013, as part of deeper cooperation between Canal+ Group and ITI, Cyfra+ and N were merged into NC+.
Some of the biggest cable operators started to provide DVB-C channels in few cities. However, most of the cable networks currently operating in Poland are purely analogue.
The largest telephone operator, Telekomunikacja Polska, introduced a new option to its Neostrada offer, the Videostrada. It allows to receive digital TV, available are most of Cyfra+ channels (the platform is known as Cyfra+DSL), as well as video on demand. It is currently available only in few biggest cities in Poland.
Several TV channels, as well as video on demand, are available in Polish mobile telephony networks. There are no currently operating dedicated mobile TV transmitters.
There are also OTT TV service providers, most famous is Polish TV Company
This is a list of television channels that broadcast in Poland.
* In DTH platforms as TVP3 WarszawaPolsat 1 - for Polish from around the world; USA, United Kingdom
TVN International - a.k.a. iTVN, for Polish from around the world; New Zealand, USA (New York, Chicago), Germany (Berlin), Australia (Sydney) and Pakistan
TVN International Extra - a.k.a. iTVN Extra, for Polish from around the world; USA, Germany
** Operates as an Internet multistreaming channel
* TTV belongs to Stavka (51% - TVN, 49% - Besta Film)Sport 38
TOP 20 of Polish TV channels from 2009 by Nielsen Media Research (in gray - channels, which were in a given year out of the TOP 20):