How to know if the TV is HD

You recently went to a friend’s house and, while watching TV together, you noticed that the images displayed on the device in front of you were much more defined and pleasing than what you are used to seeing on your TV. When you ask your friend about it, he replied that the difference may have been due to the fact that the channels displayed on his device were in HD, ie in high definition.

Since you too would like to see movies and shows with this quality and also seeing that your TV is not the most recent, you started wondering if the latter has everything you need to allow you to access high definition and there you are, then, on one of my tutorials looking for an answer to your question. If that’s the case, then I’m happy to help you.

I will explain, in detail, how to know if the TV is HD by showing you some simple and immediate tricks that you can immediately put into practice to understand if your device is really in step with the times and with the current visual standards (also because, as I will explain, standard definition channels are gradually “disappearing” from digital terrestrial as well as from the satellite platform). At this point, if you have nothing against it, I would say that the time has come to start. Therefore, I wish you a good reading!


  • Preliminary information
  • How to know if the TV is HD: digital terrestrial
    • Tune in HD channels
    • In case of problems
  • How to know if the TV is HD: TV Sat
    • Tune in HD channels
    • In case of problems

Preliminary information

Before getting to the heart of the matter and explaining, in practice, how to know if the TV is HD , I think it is right to provide you with some general information on the transition from SD ( Standard Definition ) to HD ( High Definition ), which concerns both the digital terrestrial both the platform tivùsat on the satellite, and on the benefits that this entails.

The HD standard is associated with the MPEG-4 encoding format (used for video and audio signal compression); where the SD one is combined with the MPEG-2 format . MPEG-4 encoding has a more efficient compression algorithm than that of MPEG-2 format. This results in a saving in transmission bandwidth and a particularly higher visual quality at the same bit rate (ie the number of encoded bits per second).

In current television signal transmissions, the HD standard with MPEG-4 encoding is associated with the abbreviations HEVC ( High Efficiency Video Coding , or H.265 ) Main10 ( 10-bit ). Ultimately, the “new” standard and the associated video and audio coding system support the maximum resolution of 8K (8192 x 4320 pixels). As regards the digital terrestrial platform, starting from October 2021 , the voluntary “shutdown” of SD channels by the major Italian television broadcasters began.

The channels broadcast in standard definition will therefore be progressively replaced by those in high definition and, already at the time of writing, several Rai and Mediaset channels (eg Rai Movie, Mediaset Italia 2, TGCOM24 and the others that you can see on this page ) are only available in HD.

Furthermore, the transition from SD to HD (in the field of digital terrestrial TV) must be seen in the broader perspective of the transition from the last generation digital terrestrial signal, namely DVB-T ( Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial ) to that second generation, namely DVB-T2 ( Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial ).

The latter became necessary following the decision of the European Commission to reserve the frequency band used by the DVB-T signal (the one between 694 MHz and 790 MHz ) exclusively for the 5G telephone data network , which is spreading more and more. to ensure better performance than the well-established 4G network .

The switch-off (as the transition from “old” to “new” digital terrestrial is commonly defined) began on November 15, 2021 and will take place in different periods in various groups of Italian regions, according to the roadmap established by the MiSE , that is the Ministry of Economic Development (you can view it on the official website of the latter).

The transition should be completed by 30 June 2022 and, therefore, from January 2023 channels, programs and television content throughout the country will be visible only using the devices (TV and / or decoder) that support the DVB-T2 HEVC Main10 standard. (in this chapter I will recommend you some good ones).

On the tivùsat platform , accessible with a satellite dish , TV and / or satellite decoder and tivùsat smartcard , the transition to the high definition standard (associated with the transition to the DVB-S2 standard , Digital Video Broadcasting – Satellite Second Generation ) began already in month of November 2020 and the process should begin within January 2022 . From 14 December many Rai channels (eg Rai Movie, Rai Sport, Rai Premium and others that you can view on the official tivùsat website ) can only be watched in HDor 4K .

To continue to be able to watch the broadcasts and contents of the various broadcasters without problems, it is necessary to have a latest generation television with support for the satellite platform and a certified tivùsat CAM ; or, if your television is dated, it must be combined with a tivùsat HD or 4K decoder (such as the ones I will propose to you in due course ).

How to know if the TV is HD: digital terrestrial

Are you worried because you fear that to check if your TV is compatible with high definition you will need some particularly demanding procedure? Not at all: you can do it all in a matter of minutes. Find everything explained below.

Tune in HD channels

If a TV is compatible with the HD standard , in all likelihood, the information is on the box or the user manual of the same. Therefore, I invite you to carefully examine these elements and checking, in particular, what is specified regarding the maximum resolution supported . If you no longer have the packaging and manuals of your device, you can quickly fix it with a Google search .

In this case, type in the search engine the phrases [model name and TV brand] specific or [model name and TV brand] resolution and check what is reported on the official website of the TV manufacturer (the first search results should bring you back to the pages of the web portal of the brand of your appliance).

Under Resolution , if your device is compatible with high definition, it should show HD (720p) or Full HD (1080p / 1080i) . Also, if the wording DVB-T2 HEVC Main10 , H.265 or the lativù or lativù 4K stickers is present on the box of your TV , then you shouldn’t have any problems viewing HD channels.

You can also do a “live test” by turning on the TV and tuning to the frequencies of the channels in high definition. Below I propose a list of some channels of television broadcasters with the relative numbers of the Italian LCN (Logical Channel Number) list.

Just type on the remote control one of your choice of the numbers below to check if your TV can display the assigned channel (if you are able to view at least one channel in high definition, your TV is compatible with this channel). latest standard).

  • 501– Rai 1 HD.
  • 502– Rai 2 HD.
  • 503– Rai 3 HD.
  • 521– Rai 4 HD (only in some regions).
  • 525– Rai Premium HD (only in some regions).
  • 57– Rai Sport + HD.
  • 4or 504 – Network 4 HD.
  • 5or 505 – Channel 5 HD.
  • 6or 506 – Italy 1 HD.
  • 507– La7 HD.
  • 529– La7d HD.
  • 509– NINE HD.
  • 560– SportItalia HD.
  • 569– Deejay Tv HD.
  • 570– Radio Italia TV HD.

How do you say? You have typed on the remote control the numbers assigned to the HD channels that I have just proposed but your TV offers you, from time to time, nothing more than a black screen and, therefore, you are still wondering how to understand if the TV is HD or how to tell if the TV is HD ? In this case, the equipment may still be compatible with high definition; to verify this, however, it is necessary to proceed with an automatic tuning of the same.

The steps to do this vary depending on the brand and model of TV. In any case, to proceed, hold the remote control and press the Menu button (or the Settings button or the Settings button ). Once this is done, access the Tuning item (it could also be called Channels or Transmission ) and, finally, select the wording relating to Automatic Tuning (which could also be mentioned as Automatic Search ).

To start the process now, you may see a message about entering the TV PIN code . If you have never set one before, just press 0000 or 1111 or 1234 on the remote control and that’s it. Do you use a Samsung Smart TV ? Then proceed in this way: press the Settings button and select the wording Transmission from the proposed menu by pressing the Enter button (the one placed in the center of the cross of the directional arrows ) on it.

Then press the Enter key again on the Auto Tuning item and then press the same key again on the Start and Search buttons . If you are asked for the PIN , enter the codes you find in the paragraph above; or, if you had set one before and you don’t remember it anymore, read my tutorial on how to find the code of the Samsung TV .

The TV should then take a few minutes to perform the automatic channel search. Then try to type again on the remote control the numbers assigned to the channels in high definition according to the Italian LCN order. If you still need further help with the above procedure, please take a look at my tutorial on how to tune a television .

In case of problems

After having carefully examined the manuals of your TV and having carried out the tests I recommended in the previous chapter , have you unfortunately found that the device you use is not compatible with high definition? If this is exactly the situation you are in, then you can remedy this by replacing the TV with a recent model.

In this case, the criterion to keep in mind when choosing the new TV is clearly the resolution standard and that relating to the transmission (which must necessarily be DVB-T2 HEVC Main10 ). In addition, you can also evaluate other features such as the luminaire panel (LED, OLED, plasma and so on), support for HDR, inputs for connecting other devices, the “smart” features included and other factors. which I told you in depth in my post on the best TVs .

The other option you have (the less “drastic” one) is to match a DVB-T2 HEVC Main10 decoder to the TV you are currently using. In addition to guaranteeing the possibility of watching high definition content, some of the devices allow you to record programs, play music and videos, connect to the Internet and therefore take advantage of platforms such as RaiPlay and Mediaset Infinity and more. If you are interested in knowing more about it, I recommend reading my in-depth analysis on which decoder to buy.

Have you already decided which TV or decoder to buy to enjoy high definition? Then it will be useful for you to know that the Government has set up two different types of concessions for the purchase of these devices. The first of these, called Bonus TV – Decoder , can be used to purchase one of the devices you find on this page (all compatible with the DVB-T2 HEVC Main10 standard). Until December 31, 2022 , or until the funds have been used up, with the Bonus TV – Decoder you can be entitled to a maximum discount of 30 euros if you have an ISEE not exceeding 20,000 euros .

The discount is intended for family groups and can only be used once per family . On this page of the MiSE website you can search (by typing in the appropriate fields CAP , Municipality and Province ) the retailers who adhere to this initiative; to take advantage of the bonus, the purchase of the TV or decoder must necessarily be made from them and the appropriate application form completed in its entirety must also be presented .

The other type of concession provided by the Government is known as the TV Scrapping Bonus and it is also valid until 31 December 2022 (or until the funds run out). As the name itself suggests, the bonus can be used exclusively for the purchase of a TV (the same ones you find on the page linked above) and is aimed at all residents in Italy in good standing with the payment of the Rai fee , without limits of ISEE . In this case, the maximum applicable discount is 20% , up to a maximum of 100 euros .

Also in this case, the purchase must be made at the retailers that you find on the page I proposed above. Furthermore, to have access to the bonus I am talking about, a TV purchased before December 22, 2018 must be disposed of . The device can be delivered directly to the shop where you purchase the new TV (also delivering the proof of purchase of the “old” device).

Or, there is also the possibility of disposing of the television at an authorized ecological island . in this case, the WEEE operator must sign the self – declaration which must then be presented to the retailer from whom the replacement TV is purchased. For all the other details in this regard, I refer you to the MiSE website and to my tutorial on how to get the TV Bonus .

How to know if the TV is HD: TV Sat

Do you use a TV that supports the satellite platform and are you wondering how you can verify that the latter is compatible or not with the high definition standard ? As you will see shortly, the tricks to carry out this check do not differ from those I told you about previously in the case of digital terrestrial. Here are all the details.

Tune in HD channels

If the television (or the decoder combined with the latter) is compatible with the new satellite signal standard , to which the HD format is also associated, the DVB-S2 sticker or the DVB lativù stickers will be present on the box and on the manuals of the same. -S2 or lativù 4K DVB-S2 .

I also invite you to check the TV user manual carefully, looking for what is reported under Resolution . If your device supports the HD format, this item will show HD (720p) or Full HD (1080p / 1080i) . You can also use the Google search engine , typing the terms [model name and TV brand] specific or [model name and TV brand] resolution and check, therefore, what is reported about the resolution on the official website of the device manufacturer.

Below I will list some of the television channels of the major broadcasters with the relative numbers of the Italian LCN list. To be sure that your TV supports high definition, you just need to be able to view at least one of these channels by typing the associated number on the remote control (on the official website of tivùsat you will find the complete list of channels).

  • 101– Rai 1 HD.
  • 102– Rai 2 HD.
  • 103– Rai 3 HD.
  • 10– Rai 4 HD (only in some regions).
  • 13– Rai 5 HD.
  • 15– Rai Premium HD (only in some regions).
  • 21– Rai Sport + HD.
  • 4– Network 4 HD.
  • 5– Channel 5 HD.
  • 6– Italy 1 HD.
  • 107– La7 HD.
  • 29– La7d HD.
  • 8– TV8 HD.
  • 9– NINE HD.

Can’t see these channels? Then try to carry out an automatic tuning of the same verifying, first of all, that the coaxial cable of the parabolic system is connected to the TV or decoder associated with it . In addition, also check that a tivùsat HD (or 4K ) CAM is present in the CI or PCMCIA input of the TV .

To proceed with the automatic tuning of the television, simply follow the steps that I have listed in the analogous chapter on digital terrestrial. This time, however, as the automatic search method, you will need to select the dish or satellite option . To do this on a Samsung TV , hold the remote control, press the Settings button and access the Transmission menu > Automatic tuning> Transmission> Satellite selection> Search> Start .

In case of problems

Despite having carried out the research and tests that I indicated above , you have not been able to view any HD channels and, therefore, are you sure that your device is not compatible with this standard?

In this case you will necessarily have to consider the purchase of a latest generation TV compatible with the DVB-S2 standard and a tivùsat HD or 4K CAM module (including the tivùsat smartcard essential for access to the satellite platform). By inserting the latter (it includes the tivùsat smartcard essential for access to the platform) in a latest generation TV you can easily see all the channels of the platform in HD.

Alternatively, you can combine your old TV with an HD or 4K tivùsat decoder . Some of these devices are compatible not only with the DVB-S2 standard , but also with the DVB-T2 standard and therefore allow you to access both television platforms. In addition, some of these devices also allow you to record programs, play multimedia content, watch Internet TV ( IPTV ), and more. I have given you all the relevant information in my guide on which HD satellite decoder to buy .

Before leaving you I would also like to point out that the discounts of the TV Bonus – Decoder and of the TV scrapping bonus are also applicable to televisions and decoders that support the DVB-S2 standard. I therefore refer you to the chapter in which I have given you some details on these benefits and on how to access them. Finally, for further information, I refer you to my tutorial on the new digital TV .


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