As planned, the broadcast of France 2 in ultra high definition on TNT continues to expand across the country. If all goes well, UHD will be available everywhere in France for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As planned the broadcast of France 2 in ultra high

As planned, the broadcast of France 2 in ultra high definition on TNT continues to expand across the country. If all goes well, UHD will be available everywhere in France for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

No doubt: France Télévisions and TDF are on course for the generalization of ultra-high definition (UHD) television over the air. Since January 23, 2024, it has been possible to receive France 2 in UHD via TNT (digital terrestrial television) in certain regions of France (in Paris, Nantes and Bordeaux). On February 27, new transmitters (in Brittany, New Aquitaine, Occitanie, Wallis and Futuna, French Polynesia and New Caledonia) switched to this mode of broadcasting. And, as planned on the initial schedule, other regions can benefit from France 2 in UHD on TNT since Tuesday April 2 as reported by the site TDF, which brings the number of households covered in France to 27 million. And not only in mainland France, since the ten updated transmitters are located in Brittany, Mayenne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.


France 2 UHD: a very gradual deployment

After a long gestation and a period of testing (see our article), France Télévisions is continuing the deployment of ultra high definition – UHD, often confused with true 4K. In its press release of January 22the public audiovisual group detailed the schedule for the deployment of this new broadcast format, a deployment which will take place gradually until the launch of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, next July.

In fact, France 2 UHD is only available in certain regions initially, in mainland France (on TNT channel 52) and overseas (on channel 22). And you will have to wait until the beginning of July to be able to benefit from the similar version of France 3. This is not the only difference between the two channels: because if France 2 UHD will broadcast 24 hours a day without time limit, France 3 will not will only be entitled to two months of broadcasting. Here is the calendar shared by France Télévisions.

France 2 UHD in mainland France

  • January 23 for the Paris, Nantes and Bordeaux regions
  • February 27 for the Toulouse and Rennes regions
  • April 2 for the regions of Marseille, Montpellier, Lorient, Laval
  • April 30 for the regions of Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Rouen, Le Mans

France 2 UHD in Overseas

  • January 23 for Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyana, Réunion and Mayotte

  • end of February for Wallis, New Caledonia and Polynesia
  • end of March for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

The case of France 3 UHD is more complex, due to the channel’s numerous regional variations. France Télévisions announces broadcast in UHD from July 10 only, without giving further details.

It should be noted that France 2 UHD will not be limited to DTT: the channel will also be broadcast by satellite, on channel 52 of the Fransat bouquet, and in IPTV (streaming), via Internet service providers’ boxes . No specific date has been announced for ISPs, and we will have to wait for announcements from operators (Bouygues Télécom, Free, Orange and SFR) to find out more).

UHD TV: a very slow evolution

Remember that UHD TV brings a clear improvement in image quality. First, by increasing the definition (the number of elementary points that make up the image) which goes from 1920 x 1080 pixels in Full HD (the current standard for DTT) to 3840 x 2040 pixels in UHD (i.e. four times more). Then, by the fluidity, with 50 “full” images per second thanks to the progressive mode instead of 25 (50 “half images” per second with the current interlaced standard), which will be felt especially in action scenes and the sport. In addition, TNT UHD improves the light dynamics and colorimetry of images by managing the famous HDR10, instead of the traditional SDR (standard dynamic range) mode. Finally, DTT also promises better sound quality by being compatible with audio standards which offer various advantages (see our article for all these technical aspects).

However, these technical improvements will not change anything in the programs. Apart from some content produced in ultra high definition (such as Roland-Garros or the Paris 2024 Olympic Games), France 2 UHD will simply reproduce content from the classic channel, with simple artificial scaling. There is therefore no question, at least for the moment, of watching films in “native” UHD. In any case, you obviously need to have a UHD-4K compatible television and be located in one of the regions where UHD TNT will be broadcast to benefit (free) from France 2 UHD. As we can see, if TVs have been ready for 4K-UHD for years, this is still far from being the case for broadcasters, on TNT or in streaming: and we will undoubtedly have to wait many more years before ultra high definition is becoming widespread on our screens…