Television in Iceland is currently composed of the public broadcasting service of RÚV, five free-to-view channels and a number of subscription channels provided by private broadcasters. Broadcasts began in 1955 when the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) started an English-language television service broadcasting from Naval Air Station Keflavik, which operated until 2006. The first Icelandic-language television broadcasts started in September 1966 with the launch of RÚV, originally called Sjónvarpið ("The Television"). In 1986 the first privately owned TV station, Stöð 2 ("Channel 2"), began broadcasts. In recent years the emergence of foreign internet streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ has seen shift from domestic providers provide similar on demand streaming services such as Síminn Premium and Stöð 2+.
Channels can be received via digital terrestrial DVB-T/T2, digital satellite DVB-S and through IPTV providers such as Síminn and Vodafone. Over-the-top streaming via domestic and foreign providers is also increasingly used.
The digital switchover occurred in 2015 when the last RÚV analog transmitter was shut down.
The first television broadcasts commenced in 1955 by the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) from the Naval Air Station Keflavik. A small transmitter broadcasting at 50W on the VHF band was not intended for the local population, but nevertheless locals began installing antennas and buying US television sets to receive the broadcasts. This created concern among some local politicians and prominent individuals, claiming it would weaken Icelandic language and culture. In 1961, the power was increased to 250W. Opposition to the American broadcasts were countered by 14,000 locals, who had come to enjoy the American programming, who signed a petition demanding it stay on air. Eventually, the AFRTS ceased its terrestrial broadcasts and built a private cable TV network in 1974.
The Icelandic state public broadcaster, RÚV, began transmissions in 1966 using PAL standards over the VHF band. Colour television broadcasts began in 1973. The first satellite ground station, Skyggnir, opened in 1981 which allowed the first international live TV events to be broadcast in 1986.
Stöð 2, the first private subscription TV service, began encrypted broadcasts in 1986 via terrestrial VHF which required the use of a decoder.
Throughout the late 1990s, local cable TV services began operating in some towns such as Keflavik, Hafnafjörður, Hella and Húsavik, offering international channels and programming. Síminn began installing cable TV networks in some areas of Reykjavík from 1997. As of 2021, most cable TV networks in Iceland are defunct and have been replaced by IPTV services.
Digital Island (now Vodafone Iceland), began over the air digital MMDS broadcasts in built up areas in 1999.
By the early 2000s, fiber and ADSL broadband became widely available, which led to the deployment of managed IPTV systems in 2004 by Síminn followed by Vodafone Iceland. This allowed many new domestic and international channels to become available to households. Iceland leads the world in IPTV subscriptions, with over 65% of households using such services in 2014
In 2007, RÚV began direct satellite TV broadcasts using the Thor 5 satellite over DVB-S, in order to service fishing fleets around Iceland and remote areas where the terrestrial network does not reach. Telenor runs the service by contract until 2028, this service is encrypted and is only available on request.
Digital terrestrial HDTV broadcasts commenced in 2014 following an agreement signed between public broadcaster RÚV and Vodafone Iceland on 27 March 2013 to install and run two new shared digital multiplexes using DVB-T/T2 over UHF bands, with 99.9% population coverage. 
Analog transmissions ceased in 2015 and MMDS transmissions in 2016. 
The following channels are available on DVB-T/T2 terrestrial television.
|Channel name||Owner/parent company|
|RÚV 2 HD||RÚV|
|Omega Christian television||Omega Kristniboðskirkja|
These channels are free to view via IPTV providers Siminn and Vodafone or through encrypted DVB-T broadcasts from Vodafone. Some channels provide OTT internet streaming via connected TV apps or their website.
|Channel name||Owner/parent company|
|Alþingi||Government of Iceland|
|Channel name||Owner/parent company|
|Stöð 2 Bíó||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 eSport||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Fjölskylda||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Golf||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Sport||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Sport 2||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Sport 3||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Sport 5||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Sport 6||Sýn|
|Stöð 2 Vísir||Sýn|
Additional international channels are available in Iceland through Vodafone Iceland and Síminn:
|Channels||Owner / Genre|
|DR 3 / DR Ramasjang||DR|
|AMC||AMC Networks International UK|
|Jim Jam Euro||AMC Networks International UK|
|Travel Channel||AMC Networks International UK|
|Food Network||AMC Networks International UK|
|CBS Reality||AMC Networks International UK|
|Extreme Sports Channel||AMC Networks International UK|
|Fine Living Network||AMC Networks International UK|
|TCM||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|Star||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|CNN International||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|Cartoon Network||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|Boomerang||Warner Bros. Discovery|
|BBC Entertainment||BBC Worldwide|
|BBC Lifestyle||BBC Worldwide|
|BBC Knowledge||BBC Worldwide|
|BBC World News||BBC Worldwide|
|National Geographic Channel||National Geographic Partners|
|Nat Geo Wild||National Geographic Partners|
|Baby TV||Fox Networks Group|
|SKY News||Sky Group|
|Animal Planet||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|Discovery Science||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|Discovery World||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|Discovery Channel||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|ID (Investigation Discovery)||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|TLC||Discovery Networks Northern Europe|
|Disney Channel||Walt Disney Television|
|Disney Junior||Walt Disney Television|
|Disney XD||Walt Disney Television|
|TV5 Monde||France – TV5Monde, S.A.|
|Das Erste||Germany – ARD|
|TVE Internacional||Spain – RTVE|
|Rai 1||Italy – RAI|
|Rai 3||Italy – RAI|
|TVP Polonia||Poland – Telewizja Polska|
|Eurochannel||France – Eurochannel Group|
|Arte||ARTE GEIE, ARTE France, ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH|
|Prosieben||Germany – ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE|
|SAT1||Germany – ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE|
|ZDF||Germany – independent nonprofit institution|
|France 2||Part of the state-owned France Télévisions group|
|France 3||Part of the state-owned France Télévisions group|
|France 24||France – France Médias Monde|
|M6||France – Groupe M6|
|Ginx||Ginx TV Limited|
|NBA TV||National Basketball Association operated by Warner Bros. Discovery|
|Blue Hustler||Sapphire Media International BV|
|VH1||ViacomCBS Networks EMEAA|
|MTV Hits||ViacomCBS Networks EMEAA|
|MTV Rocks||ViacomCBS Networks EMEAA|
|C Music TV||C Music Entertainment Ltd|
|I Concerts HD||TRANSMEDIA COMMUNICATIONS SA – Switzerland|
|Heat||Bauer Media Group and Channel Four Television Corporation|
|Magic||Bauer Media Group and Channel Four Television Corporation|
|Luxe TV||Opuntia SA|
The testcard of RÚV was the PM5544, introduced in the 1970s.
Text has been changed three times, minor change five times, returned two times
RÚV's testcard uses test tone but the last 15 minutes before programs start plays classical music.
RÚV still closes down at night.
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