Definition[edit | edit source]

The digital dividend refers to the spectrum which is released in the process of digital television transition. When television broadcasters switch from analog platforms to digital only platforms, part of the electromagnetic spectrum previously used for broadcasting will be freed up because digital television needs less spectrum than analog television. The reason is that new digital compression technology can transmit eight digital TV channels by using the same amount of spectrum used to transmit one analog TV channel.

The digital dividend usually locates at frequency bands from 174 to 230 MHz (VHF) and from 470 to 862 MHz (UHF). However, the location and size of digital dividend vary among countries due to the factors including geographical position and penetration of satellite/cable services.

As a result of the technological transition, a significant number of governments are now planning for or allocating their digital dividends. For examples, the United States completed its transition on June 12, 2009, and auctioned the spectrum.

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