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DVB T DVB T European Landscape August 2006 By György Ágoston

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					                    DVB-T
           European Landscape




                    August, 2006




By György Ágoston
                                                                  Content



DVB-T EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE August, 2006 ................................................................................ 22
   ALBANIA......................................................................................................................................... 22
       Successful pay-DTT platform....................................................................................................... 22
   AUSTRIA ......................................................................................................................................... 22
       DTT launched now planned for 26 October ................................................................................. 22
       DTT information campaign to begin ............................................................................................ 22
       DTT licence awarded to ORS ....................................................................................................... 23
       HDTV not a priority ..................................................................................................................... 23
       DTT set to launch in October 2006 .............................................................................................. 24
       Applications open for multiplex operation ................................................................................... 24
       Austria ready for DTT tests .......................................................................................................... 24
   BELGIUM ........................................................................................................................................ 25
       CSA seeks guidance from government on digital dividend.......................................................... 25
       Calls for simplified DTT licensing procedure .............................................................................. 25
       DTT plans announced ................................................................................................................... 25
   BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA .............................................................................................................. 26
       Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina sign communication agreement................................................ 26
   CROATIA ......................................................................................................................................... 26
       Croatia starts DTT trials ............................................................................................................... 26
   CZECH REPUBLIC ......................................................................................................................... 26
       ASO date to be decided in September .......................................................................................... 26
       New DTT association set-up ........................................................................................................ 27
       Government approves digital broadcast framework ..................................................................... 27
       New DTT licences attributed ........................................................................................................ 28
       DTT coverage extended................................................................................................................ 28
       Czech Republic - Prima TV to launch on DTT platform.............................................................. 28
       Czech Republic - DVB-H trial at INVEX trade fair ..................................................................... 29
       Czech Republic - Ready for DTT launch ..................................................................................... 29
       Czech Republic - Ceský Telecom to pilot DTT services .............................................................. 29
       DTT draws nearer ......................................................................................................................... 30
       CT eyes digital channels ............................................................................................................... 30
       Czech Republic: an arduous road to DTT .................................................................................... 30



                                                                          2
    Czech DTT launch delay .............................................................................................................. 31
    Setback for Czech DTT ................................................................................................................ 31
    Czech DTT technical doubts ........................................................................................................ 32
    CRa shareholder change ............................................................................................................... 32
    Czech Television enters digital fray ............................................................................................. 32
    Setback for Czech DTT ................................................................................................................ 33
DENMARK ...................................................................................................................................... 33
    DTT services officially launched.................................................................................................. 33
    DVB-H pilot planned.................................................................................................................... 34
    Net Insight gets greenlight for Danish DTT ................................................................................. 34
    DTT MHP trials in north Denmark .............................................................................................. 34
ESTONIA ......................................................................................................................................... 35
    DVB-T service launch using MPEG-4 expected at the end of 2006 ............................................ 35
    Estonia launches DTT service ...................................................................................................... 35
FINLAND ......................................................................................................................................... 35
    Digita awarded new DTT license ................................................................................................. 36
    Preparations for DVB-H launch underway................................................................................... 36
    29 bid for DTT service licence ..................................................................................................... 36
    Digita wins DVB-H license .......................................................................................................... 37
    Further DTT programme licences available ................................................................................. 37
    Fifth multiplex to be licenced ....................................................................................................... 37
    Four applicants for Finnish DVB-H licence ................................................................................. 37
    Government opens invitation to tender for a DVB-H licence ...................................................... 38
    YLE introduces audio subtitling ................................................................................................... 38
    Results for commercial DVB-H pilot ........................................................................................... 38
    DVB-H services during Athletic World Championships.............................................................. 39
    DTT now countrywide.................................................................................................................. 39
    Nokia launches 7710..................................................................................................................... 39
    Dropping prices encourage Finns to buy digital TV sets.............................................................. 40
    Press release on future DTT developments in Finland: ................................................................ 40
    Finnish digital upgrade ahead ....................................................................................................... 40
    Finland delays digitisation ............................................................................................................ 41
    Canal+ adds pay option to Finish DTT......................................................................................... 41
    Finland plans TV to mobiles......................................................................................................... 41
FRANCE ........................................................................................................................................... 42
    Government approves proposed media law .................................................................................. 42
    Multiplex available in Paris for local services .............................................................................. 42


                                                                       3
CSA publishes review of RRC results .......................................................................................... 42
Regulators approve new media bill .............................................................................................. 43
Free-to-view satellite services to be launched by end of year ...................................................... 43
Second HD/DTT trial to be launched in September ..................................................................... 43
Proposed law to allow for introduction of HDTV and DVB-H services ...................................... 44
DTT coverage extended to 58.5% ................................................................................................ 44
HD/DTT trial has begun ............................................................................................................... 45
Interview with Laurent Jabiol from Neotion ................................................................................ 45
Call for HDTV on the DTT platform ........................................................................................... 45
CSA announces next phase of DTT roll-out ................................................................................. 45
TMC most popular DTT service................................................................................................... 46
Presidential support given for digital switchover ......................................................................... 46
Neotion "plug &play" solution for pay DTT market .................................................................... 47
CSA clears channel for a limited HD/DTT trial ........................................................................... 47
Population coverage of 70% by 2007 ........................................................................................... 48
Government announces ASO in 2011 .......................................................................................... 48
Over 2.5 million DTT receivers in homes .................................................................................... 48
MHP trials on the DTT platform .................................................................................................. 49
92% penetration forecast by 2011 ................................................................................................ 49
DTT services to be available on cable platform ? ........................................................................ 49
CSA ensures fair use of multiplex capacity .................................................................................. 49
First results of DVB-H trial .......................................................................................................... 50
Complaint issued to CSA regarding DTT access ......................................................................... 50
DTT audience measurement results.............................................................................................. 50
New services on pay-DTT platform ............................................................................................. 51
1.73 million DTT receivers in the market..................................................................................... 51
DTT exceeds its objectives by two times in 2005 ........................................................................ 52
One million households access DTT services .............................................................................. 52
Canal+ ready to launch pay DTT services .................................................................................... 53
Publication of report on accelerating DTT roll-out ...................................................................... 53
Ready for pay-DTT launch ........................................................................................................... 53
Eurosport begins MPEG-4 testing ................................................................................................ 54
€15 million to fund digital television............................................................................................ 54
Second phase of DTT services launched ...................................................................................... 55
Prime Miniser gives strong push to DTT ..................................................................................... 55
Positive results since DTT launch ................................................................................................ 55
New service to launch in October ................................................................................................. 56


                                                                4
Trade group supports MHP adoption ........................................................................................... 57
DTT continues to grow ................................................................................................................. 57
DVB-H trials to begin in Paris...................................................................................................... 57
Philips introduces combined satellite and DTT STB.................................................................... 58
Quality programmes needed for DTT take-off ............................................................................. 58
Strong growth of digital television expected ................................................................................ 58
Report on mobile TV submitted to Prime Minister ...................................................................... 59
CSA approves experimental licences ........................................................................................... 59
500,000 DTT receivers sold ......................................................................................................... 59
CSA supports local stations .......................................................................................................... 60
CSA position on DVB-H .............................................................................................................. 60
CSA defines DTT roll-out ............................................................................................................ 60
Allocation of remaining multiplex? .............................................................................................. 61
New DTT service launch expected this autumn ........................................................................... 61
CSA launches first step in commercialisation of pay DTT services ............................................ 62
Musical television services find favour with DTT viewers .......................................................... 62
DVB-H trials in Paris.................................................................................................................... 62
Estimated 1.2 million STB to be sold by end 2005 ...................................................................... 63
Canal+ selects Nagravision's CA system...................................................................................... 63
HDTV using MPEG-4 .................................................................................................................. 63
DTT coverage by 2006? ............................................................................................................... 63
CSA selects new DTT television programme services ................................................................. 64
Eutelsat ready to service DTT ...................................................................................................... 64
90% DTT awareness ..................................................................................................................... 64
Estimated 300,000 set-top boxes sold .......................................................................................... 65
Harmonic supports French DTT ................................................................................................... 65
Local stations want DTT licenses ................................................................................................. 65
Set-top boxes selling well ............................................................................................................. 65
1 million DTT households by the end of 2005 ............................................................................. 66
DTT services have officially begun .............................................................................................. 66
STB sales already underway ......................................................................................................... 66
1 out of 4 households want DTT .................................................................................................. 66
Preparation for 2nd DTT phase .................................................................................................... 66
CSA request new working group on expanding DTT coverage ................................................... 67
Increase in DTT awareness ........................................................................................................... 67
No more than 15-20 programmes on free-to-air DTT .................................................................. 67
Bids for DTT licenses submitted .................................................................................................. 67


                                                                 5
Canal Plus makes new STBs available ......................................................................................... 68
Sagem demos DTT HD/SD set-top box ....................................................................................... 68
Surprise candidate for DTT platform ........................................................................................... 68
Few set-top boxes available .......................................................................................................... 68
Neuf Telecom adds DTT to IPTV ................................................................................................ 69
8 DTT licenses available .............................................................................................................. 69
Free-to-air DTT to begin on 31 March 2005 ................................................................................ 69
60% of population aware of DTT ................................................................................................. 70
France Télévisions to invest €35 million in DTT ......................................................................... 70
French DTT programme services unveiled .................................................................................. 70
Cable association objects to free DTT publicity ........................................................................... 70
DTT testing begin ......................................................................................................................... 71
DTT cooperation between France and Italy ................................................................................. 71
Canal+ and Lagardère to bid for DTT licenses separately ........................................................... 71
TPS ready to launch pay DTT services in May 2005 ................................................................... 71
Government selects MPEG-4 standard for pay DTT services ...................................................... 72
CSA calls for MPEG-2 on pay DTT platform .............................................................................. 72
CSA opens tender for 6 DTT licenses .......................................................................................... 72
Free-to-air DTT channel line-up set ............................................................................................. 73
DTT pre-launch in January ........................................................................................................... 73
TF1 supports MPEG-2 for DTT ................................................................................................... 73
French mobile TV project ............................................................................................................. 74
France to launch free-to-air DTT using MPEG-2 ......................................................................... 74
HDTV debate continues ............................................................................................................... 75
Publication of the "Boudet" report................................................................................................ 75
CSA letter to the Prime Minister .................................................................................................. 76
6 DTT licenses revoked ................................................................................................................ 76
"Hubert" report on DTT launch .................................................................................................... 76
TF1 chief maintains DTT hostility ............................................................................................... 77
France to launch DTT services using MPEG-2 ............................................................................ 77
Call for a single standard on DTT ................................................................................................ 77
MPEG2 and MPEG4 may co-exist on French DTT ..................................................................... 78
Towercast shows mobile DVB-T radio ........................................................................................ 78
TF1 plans DTT route to HDTV .................................................................................................... 79
TPS joins European move to HD.................................................................................................. 79
French DTT channels team up ...................................................................................................... 80
French DTT to launch March 2005 .............................................................................................. 80


                                                                  6
    M6 adds to HDTV call ................................................................................................................. 81
    French DTT: launch date will be known this month .................................................................... 81
    France's CSA launches R5 mux consultation ............................................................................... 82
    Le Lay Says HDTV will boost DTT............................................................................................. 82
Germany ............................................................................................................................................ 82
    Trial DVB-H service launch for World Cup ................................................................................ 82
    DTT coverage expands in Bavaria................................................................................................ 83
    Further DTT launches expected in May ....................................................................................... 83
    Further DTT launches expected in Bavaria .................................................................................. 84
    Much interest in DVB-H trial in Hamburg ................................................................................... 84
    Aachen to launch DTT services .................................................................................................... 85
    Further DTT launches set for December ...................................................................................... 85
    EC may rule against DTT aid in Berlin ........................................................................................ 85
    Extending DTT coverage .............................................................................................................. 86
    DVB-H trial in Berlin ................................................................................................................... 86
    New service on DTT platform in Berlin ....................................................................................... 86
    Analogue switch-off in parts of Bavaria ....................................................................................... 87
    Digital penetration of 25.7%......................................................................................................... 87
    More services available in Hannover............................................................................................ 87
    ASO set for 31 August in Bavaria ................................................................................................ 87
    Launch of DTT services in Saxonia, Saxonia-Anhalt and Thüringia ........................................... 88
    Launch of radio services in Berlin ................................................................................................ 88
    World Cup 2006 broadcast on a mobile?...................................................................................... 88
    Bavaria set for DTT launch .......................................................................................................... 89
    Analogue switch-off in Hesse ....................................................................................................... 89
    Bavaria prepares for DTT launch ................................................................................................. 89
    DTT launches in Bavaria .............................................................................................................. 89
    Further DTT growth expected ...................................................................................................... 90
    Over 2 million DTT set-top boxes available in the market .......................................................... 90
    Radio services on DTT network ................................................................................................... 90
    Analogue switch-off in the Rhine Main region ............................................................................ 91
    DVB-T launch in Rhine-Main ...................................................................................................... 91
    Rhine Main set for DTT launch in October .................................................................................. 91
    European Commission opens enquiry on DVB-T financing in Germany & Sweden .................. 91
    Digital television to begin in Bavaria ........................................................................................... 92
    DVB-T available in Northrhein/ Westfalen and Nord Deutschland regions ................................ 92
    German cablers voice disquiet over DTT ..................................................................................... 92


                                                                        7
    German DTT rolls out to Eastern regions ..................................................................................... 93
    North-Rhine Westphalia channel line-up announced ................................................................... 93
    Germany issues DTT licences for Lower Saxony ........................................................................ 93
    Complaint filed with the European Commission regarding DTT aid ........................................... 94
    AB Group and TF1 go to German DTTV..................................................................................... 94
    German DTT rolls out to more regions ........................................................................................ 94
    Berlin trial site for mobile TV reception ...................................................................................... 95
    Berlin first for all-digital TV ........................................................................................................ 96
    An Update on DTT in Germany ................................................................................................... 96
    Reception of DVB-T in Berlin ..................................................................................................... 97
    Explosion of sales DVB-T boxes in Berlin .................................................................................. 97
GREECE ........................................................................................................................................... 97
    ERT launches new DTT television programme service ............................................................... 97
    DTT pilot launched ....................................................................................................................... 98
    Government support for DTT ....................................................................................................... 98
    Plans for digital terrestrial television ............................................................................................ 99
HUNGARY....................................................................................................................................... 99
    Delays to digital broadcast legislation .......................................................................................... 99
    DTT legal framework ready for review ........................................................................................ 99
    Hungary launches DTT service .................................................................................................... 99
    New Regulatory Body ................................................................................................................ 100
ICELAND ....................................................................................................................................... 100
    Conax premiers CAS7 ................................................................................................................ 100
IRELAND ....................................................................................................................................... 100
    Call for content on trial DTT platform ....................................................................................... 100
    DTT trial to begin in August ...................................................................................................... 101
    ComReg opens consultation on DVB licensing ......................................................................... 101
    Applicant shortlist for DTT trial ................................................................................................. 102
    Government sets out digital pilot plan ........................................................................................ 102
    RTE has up to €112m available for DTT ................................................................................... 102
    EC enquiry may impact DTT launch .......................................................................................... 103
    Ireland to Experiment DTTV in Dublin ..................................................................................... 103
    DVB-T pilot trial in Dublin ........................................................................................................ 103
    Freeview makes inroads into Irish digital TV with UK boxes ................................................... 103
    Dublin DTT pilot gets go-ahead ................................................................................................. 104
    Southcoast applies for Irish DTV licence ................................................................................... 105
ITALY............................................................................................................................................. 105


                                                                        8
DVB-H attracts 111,000 users in 6 weeks .................................................................................. 105
4 million DTT receivers sold ...................................................................................................... 106
ASO in Sardinia and Val d'Aosta delayed to 2008 ..................................................................... 106
Government focus on digital switchover plans........................................................................... 107
Commercial DVB-H services ready for 1 June launch............................................................... 107
Antitrust Authorities exonerate DTV set-top box subsidy ......................................................... 107
Mediaset and Vodafone DVB-H agreement ............................................................................... 108
Broadcast regulator announces plans for an all-digital broadcast environment ......................... 108
3 Italia to launch DVB-H services in June 2006 ........................................................................ 109
Regulator queries Mediaset's acquisition of Europe TV ............................................................ 109
EC opens inquiry on digital set-box subsidy .............................................................................. 109
Canale 7 to be acquired by mobile telecom operator.................................................................. 110
Analogue switch-off postponed until 2008................................................................................. 110
DVB-H services launch in 2006? ............................................................................................... 110
Conference reviews DTT progress ............................................................................................. 110
Mediaset adds PPV movies ........................................................................................................ 111
Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina sign communication agreement.............................................. 111
Champions League on DTT platform? ....................................................................................... 111
New T-government services on the DTT platform ..................................................................... 112
European Commission probes STB subsidies ............................................................................ 112
Switch-off in Sardinia and Valle d'Aoste ................................................................................... 112
Nearly 2 million set-top boxes sold ............................................................................................ 113
Minister denies rumours of digital switchover delays ................................................................ 113
1.2 million pre-paid DTT cards sold........................................................................................... 113
RTD launches new programme services .................................................................................... 113
Mediaset scores with PPV soccer ............................................................................................... 114
DTT cooperation between France and Italy ............................................................................... 114
Espresso publishing group acquires Rete A ............................................................................... 114
Italian DTT football kicks off in Jan 2005 ................................................................................. 114
DTT subsidy could be cut ........................................................................................................... 115
Digital turnover reaches €8 billion ............................................................................................. 115
Name for Mediaset's kids channel .............................................................................................. 115
Mediaset chooses Nagravision for pay-DTT .............................................................................. 115
Italy confirms MHP subsidies .................................................................................................... 116
RTV38 launches free-to-air interactive TV services .................................................................. 116
Mediaset snags DTT soccer rights .............................................................................................. 116
Rete 4 gets analogue green light ................................................................................................. 117


                                                               9
    RAI clear for DTT acquisitions .................................................................................................. 117
    Explosion of DTT in Italy........................................................................................................... 117
    Mediaset to spend €20m more on DTT ...................................................................................... 117
    Italian DTT boxes selling at 2,000 a day .................................................................................... 118
    Towards 400,000 DTTV Decoders Sold in Italy ........................................................................ 118
    Italy sets up DTT test centre ....................................................................................................... 118
    New sports channel for DTT ...................................................................................................... 119
    RAI launches two DTT multiplexes ........................................................................................... 119
    Mediaset launches Italian DTT multiplex .................................................................................. 119
    BBC World to launch on Italian DTT ........................................................................................ 120
    Italian parliament sets 2007 for digital switchover ..................................................................... 120
    According to RAI, DTT for 30 Millions Italians in 2004 ........................................................... 120
    RAI board approves DTT project ............................................................................................... 120
LATVIA .......................................................................................................................................... 121
    Latvian DTT debate re-opens ..................................................................................................... 121
LITHUANIA ................................................................................................................................... 121
    Limited DTT service launched ................................................................................................... 121
    National DTT licence awarded ................................................................................................... 122
    Preparations underway for DTT ................................................................................................. 122
    DVB-T pilot transmitters in Vilnius ........................................................................................... 122
LUXEMBOURG ............................................................................................................................ 123
    DTT services available ............................................................................................................... 123
MACEDONIA ................................................................................................................................ 123
    DTT trials begin.......................................................................................................................... 123
    DTT trials to be launched ........................................................................................................... 123
MALTA .......................................................................................................................................... 124
    Debate on status of PSB on DTT platform ................................................................................. 124
    Two DTT multiplex licenses attributed ...................................................................................... 124
    Tenders open for DTT licenses................................................................................................... 124
NETHERLANDS............................................................................................................................ 125
    Analogue switch-off delayed ...................................................................................................... 125
    ASO confirmed for 2006 ............................................................................................................ 125
    Go-ahead given for KPN's acquisition of Nozema Services ...................................................... 125
    KPN to acquire Nozema ............................................................................................................. 125
    Analogue switch-off in 2006 ...................................................................................................... 126
    Astra to join Dutch Mobile TV project....................................................................................... 126
    Mobile TV pilot available in Amsterdam ................................................................................... 126


                                                                      10
   DVB-H trial begins ..................................................................................................................... 127
   KPN competitive in DTT market ............................................................................................... 127
   Scarlet to offer DTT services ...................................................................................................... 127
   Wireless Digital TV for KPN ..................................................................................................... 127
   Dutch public broadcasters want to end analogue TV in 2006 .................................................... 128
   KPN aims to increase holding in DTV provider......................................................................... 128
   DTT Rollout by Digitenne .......................................................................................................... 128
NORWAY....................................................................................................................................... 129
   Norkring to build DTT network ................................................................................................. 129
   Government awards DTT license ............................................................................................... 129
   NTV sole applicant for DTT licence .......................................................................................... 129
   Joint bid for DTT licenses .......................................................................................................... 130
   Telenor interest in DTT .............................................................................................................. 130
   Three-year DTT licence extension ............................................................................................. 131
   Update on DVB-T rollout ........................................................................................................... 131
   Norwegian legislation establishes DTT by 2008 ........................................................................ 131
POLAND ........................................................................................................................................ 132
   New communications regulator set-up ....................................................................................... 132
   DTT delay likely ......................................................................................................................... 132
   Proposal to set up panel of DTT experts..................................................................................... 133
   DTT consultation underway ....................................................................................................... 133
   TVP unlikely to join POT consortium ........................................................................................ 133
   Polish consortium seeks DTT licences ....................................................................................... 134
   Broadcaster feud over DTT ........................................................................................................ 134
   Debut for DTT consortium ......................................................................................................... 134
   DTT plans on track ..................................................................................................................... 134
   TVP rejects DTT venture............................................................................................................ 135
   Poland prepares for DTT ............................................................................................................ 135
   Poland's TVP to form DTT partnership ...................................................................................... 135
   TVP launches DTT trials ............................................................................................................ 136
PORTUGAL ................................................................................................................................... 136
   New report on spectrum.............................................................................................................. 136
   DTT relaunch in 2006................................................................................................................. 137
   New digital television trials approved ........................................................................................ 137
   Portugal to re-launch DTT .......................................................................................................... 137
   Government reserves spectrum for digital terrestrial television ................................................. 137
ROMANIA ..................................................................................................................................... 138


                                                                     11
    Ready to a launch DTT trials ...................................................................................................... 138
    DDT trials planned ..................................................................................................................... 138
    Romania prepares digital TV ...................................................................................................... 138
RUSSIAN FEDERATION ............................................................................................................. 139
    DTT plans underway .................................................................................................................. 139
    Russia to complete digital switch-over by 2015 ......................................................................... 139
    Russian TV preparing for transfer to digital broadcasting.......................................................... 139
    Russia to adopt DVB .................................................................................................................. 140
SERBIA .......................................................................................................................................... 140
    Serbia starts DTT trails ............................................................................................................... 140
SLOVAKIA .................................................................................................................................... 140
    DTT trials begin.......................................................................................................................... 140
    Slovakia awards DTT licences ................................................................................................... 140
    DTT progress .............................................................................................................................. 141
SLOVENIA..................................................................................................................................... 141
    Digital switch-over by 2012 ....................................................................................................... 141
    DTT in Slovenia ......................................................................................................................... 141
SPAIN ............................................................................................................................................. 142
    RTVE launches MHP services on the DTT platform ................................................................. 142
    Nearly 2 million STBs sold since November 2005 .................................................................... 142
    First HDTV on the DTT platform .............................................................................................. 142
    Cable operators to pay for provision of DTT content on their platform ..................................... 143
    Government funding for DTT activities ..................................................................................... 143
    Government funding for DTT activities ..................................................................................... 143
    Positive results for DVB-H trial in Seville ................................................................................. 144
    Abertis to carry all DTT services................................................................................................ 144
    Third DVB-H trial launched ....................................................................................................... 144
    DTT take-up is a success ............................................................................................................ 145
    Broadcasters call for ASO delay................................................................................................. 145
    Commercial DVB-H service launch in 2007 .............................................................................. 146
    DTT beats all forecasts ............................................................................................................... 146
    Antena 3 to invest €10-15 million in DTT ................................................................................. 146
    Broadcasters request government funding for DTT ................................................................... 146
    High hopes for DTT market ....................................................................................................... 147
    Government allocates DTT licences ........................................................................................... 147
    Viewers preparing for DTT re-launch ........................................................................................ 147
    Catalan government to support digital switchover ..................................................................... 148


                                                                       12
Increased sales of DTT set-top boxes ......................................................................................... 148
Service line-up announced .......................................................................................................... 148
New services in Catalonia .......................................................................................................... 149
DTT launch back on track .......................................................................................................... 149
Launch of DVB-H pilot .............................................................................................................. 149
Launch of DTT promotion organisation ..................................................................................... 150
Broadcasters request aid to promote DTT .................................................................................. 150
Soria selected for digital pilot project ......................................................................................... 150
Tele5 announces DTT services ................................................................................................... 151
Allocation of DTT licences in Catalunya ................................................................................... 151
DTT licencing issues in Madrid ................................................................................................. 151
Net TV and Veo TV only on DTT platform ............................................................................... 152
Allocation of regional DTT licences .......................................................................................... 152
Revised DTT technical plan approved........................................................................................ 152
Government calls for DTT Group .............................................................................................. 153
DTT launch before Christmas likely .......................................................................................... 153
RTVE pushes for DTT................................................................................................................ 153
Valencia opens DTT license tenders .......................................................................................... 154
Government approves DVB-H pilot projects ............................................................................. 154
Media interest for local DTT platform ....................................................................................... 154
Seven national multiplexes to be launched ................................................................................. 155
Local DTT plans underway ........................................................................................................ 155
Catalonia counts down to digital ................................................................................................ 155
Approval of DTT law ................................................................................................................. 156
Spain amends DTT law .............................................................................................................. 156
Action against 63 local broadcasters .......................................................................................... 156
Approval underway for new DTT law........................................................................................ 156
Countdown to DTT re-launch ..................................................................................................... 157
Analogue licenses risk delaying DTT ......................................................................................... 157
Opposition party's DTT proposals rejected ................................................................................ 157
Tele 5 calls for Italian DTT model ............................................................................................. 158
Catalonia requests additional multiplex ...................................................................................... 158
Opposition party proposes new analogue switch-off date .......................................................... 158
Reduced VAT to encourage sale of DTT set-top boxes ............................................................. 158
Government to set-up watchdog committee to boost DTT ......................................................... 159
Commercial broadcasters against new DTT law ........................................................................ 159
New public television financial model proposed ........................................................................ 159


                                                              13
   Spain liberalises TV market and boosts DTT ............................................................................. 159
   Private broadcaster's criticize government's DTT plans ............................................................. 160
   DTT boost from European public broadcasters .......................................................................... 160
   Spain's public broadcaster wants to lead DTT ............................................................................ 160
   National DTT launch in Autumn 2005? ..................................................................................... 160
   Spanish broadcasters urge DTT re-launch .................................................................................. 161
   Spanish Government draws new local DTT map ....................................................................... 161
   Local analogue switch-off delayed until 1 January 2008 ........................................................... 161
   Spanish Government undertakes to approve a new TV law ....................................................... 162
   First tenders for Spanish local DTT............................................................................................ 162
   DTT industry urges the Government to re-launch the market .................................................... 162
   Two new analogue television channels ...................................................................................... 163
   Spain's local stations want a say in the new local DTT map ...................................................... 163
   Government delays launch of local DTT.................................................................................... 163
   The second phase of DTT in Catalonia ...................................................................................... 163
   Catalonia begins transmission of DTT ....................................................................................... 164
   PP wants digital transmission of Canal Sur ................................................................................ 164
   Spain's high bill for DTT ............................................................................................................ 164
   Spanish operators seek new DTT map ....................................................................................... 165
   Government announces creation of "Telecommunications Users Representative" .................... 165
   Spain's Government prepares new TV law ................................................................................. 165
   FIDECA: cheap boxes will resurrect DTT in Spain ................................................................... 166
   Spanish regional Govts reject DTT legislation ........................................................................... 166
   Making possible the legalization of 1,064 local digital TV stations........................................... 167
   Catalonia takes local TV rule to Court ....................................................................................... 167
   Spain approves local DTT .......................................................................................................... 167
SWEDEN ........................................................................................................................................ 168
   DVB-H trial to be launched in Stockholm.................................................................................. 168
   DVB-H trial in Stockholm and Gothenburg ............................................................................... 168
   DTT penetration increases .......................................................................................................... 168
   New DTT services to be launched .............................................................................................. 169
   DTT subscribers grew by 42% in 2005 ...................................................................................... 169
   DVB-H trial ready for launch ..................................................................................................... 169
   Recent HDTV and DVB-H demos ............................................................................................. 169
   DTT viewers increase ................................................................................................................. 170
   TV4 Fakta joins DTT platform ................................................................................................... 170
   Digital penetration reaches 38% ................................................................................................. 170


                                                                     14
   Continued DTT growth............................................................................................................... 170
   Commission requests Sweden to end broadcasting services monopoly ..................................... 171
   2005 analogue switch-off plans finalised ................................................................................... 171
   88% increase in DTT .................................................................................................................. 171
   Strong third quarter for Boxer .................................................................................................... 172
   Satellite & DTT receiver distribution ......................................................................................... 172
   Viasat encrypts DTT channels .................................................................................................... 172
   European Commission opens enquiry on DVB-T financing in Sweden .................................... 173
   Boxer increases its customer base .............................................................................................. 173
   MTG channels join Swedish DTT .............................................................................................. 173
   New channels confirmed for Swedish DTT ............................................................................... 174
   Analogue TV switchoff in 2008 ................................................................................................. 174
   First DVB-T/HDTV transmissions ............................................................................................. 174
SWITZERLAND ............................................................................................................................ 175
   Analogue switch-off completed in the Ticino region ................................................................. 175
   DTT to launch in Zurich ............................................................................................................. 175
   Regional analogue switch-off begins.......................................................................................... 175
   Launch of DVB-H trial ............................................................................................................... 176
   Swisscom completes Antenna Hungária purchase ..................................................................... 176
   Kudelski launches 'push VOD' venture with Disney .................................................................. 176
   Kudelski reports record-setting 2005 first half results................................................................ 176
   Swisscom buys Antenna Hungária ............................................................................................. 177
   Swisscom Broadcasting bids for Antenna Hungariá .................................................................. 177
   Upcoming launch of DTT services in Leman region.................................................................. 177
   Nagravision record revenues ...................................................................................................... 177
   Further DTT planning ................................................................................................................. 178
   DTT go-ahead in Switzerland ..................................................................................................... 178
UKRAINE ....................................................................................................................................... 178
   DTT services to be launched by end 2006.................................................................................. 178
   Recent DTT developments ......................................................................................................... 179
   Parliament passes DTT resolution .............................................................................................. 180
UNITED KINGDOM ..................................................................................................................... 180
   Ofcom opens consultation on pricing of spectrum ..................................................................... 180
   Engineering work underway in preparation for DSO ................................................................. 180
   Ofcom opens consultation on digital switchover ........................................................................ 181
   Sony calls for digital-only TV prior to ASO .............................................................................. 181
   Ofcom report on consumer interaction with digital communication services ............................ 181


                                                                     15
Delays to BBC/ITV Freesat launch ............................................................................................ 182
Ofcom publishes overview of DSO work ahead ........................................................................ 182
Ofcom opens consultation on multiplex data limits ................................................................... 183
Ofcom expresses satisfaction with RRC results ......................................................................... 183
Freeview poised to overtake Sky ................................................................................................ 183
DTT overtakes analogue television ............................................................................................ 184
Five to launch new services on Freeview platform .................................................................... 185
Results of Bolton DSO trial ........................................................................................................ 185
HD/DTT trial underway in London ............................................................................................ 186
Setanta confirms plans to launch Freeview service .................................................................... 186
Arqiva to build BBC's DTT network .......................................................................................... 186
Raising PVR awareness .............................................................................................................. 186
Cellcast launches interactive service on DTT platform .............................................................. 187
BBC poll shows viewers want free-to-view HDTV ................................................................... 188
Digit Al unveiled ........................................................................................................................ 188
Ofcom publishes report on communication services across regions .......................................... 189
ITV Play launches on DTT platform .......................................................................................... 189
Ofcom allows pay DTT services on all multiplexes ................................................................... 189
ITV to join HD/DTT trial ........................................................................................................... 190
Parliament publishes report on ASO .......................................................................................... 190
Digital TV penetration reaches nearly 70% ................................................................................ 191
Ofcom publishes report on STB ease-of-use .............................................................................. 192
Digital penetration reaches 70% ................................................................................................. 192
66% of households access digital TV ......................................................................................... 192
Arqiva calls for clarity on HD/DTT ........................................................................................... 193
Freesat launch delayed................................................................................................................ 193
Digital UK to launch advertising blitz ........................................................................................ 193
Another Freeview 'may day' ....................................................................................................... 194
FilmFour to launch on DTT platform ......................................................................................... 194
New digital switch-over campaign ............................................................................................. 194
Digital TV advisory council to be set up in Cumbria ................................................................. 195
Government rejects switchover funding proposal ...................................................................... 195
10 million DTT receivers sold .................................................................................................... 196
Channel 4 calls for DTT channel ................................................................................................ 196
Dixons to stop selling CRTs ....................................................................................................... 196
Setanta Sports to be rolled out countrywide ............................................................................... 197
Strong interest in mobile television ............................................................................................ 197


                                                                 16
DTT set-top box triggers air-sea rescue...................................................................................... 198
DTT STB sales up 25% .............................................................................................................. 198
Digital television accessed by over 65% of households ............................................................. 199
Channel 4 acquires DTT slot ...................................................................................................... 199
RTL investment in Top Up TV .................................................................................................. 199
Channel 4 likely Freeview slot winner ....................................................................................... 200
Ofcom to open Digital Dividend Review (DDR) ....................................................................... 200
Freeview slot could be worth £10 million .................................................................................. 201
BBC's Freesat may face delays ................................................................................................... 201
BBC Two to lead analogue switch-off ....................................................................................... 201
BBC announces HDTV trials ..................................................................................................... 202
New Freeview slot available ....................................................................................................... 202
Limited ASO timetable awareness ............................................................................................. 202
Ofcom opens consultation on pay DTT ...................................................................................... 203
Digital UK seeks advertising agency .......................................................................................... 203
New appointment to Digital UK ................................................................................................. 203
Crown Castle changes its name .................................................................................................. 204
ITV and C4 to join Freeview consortium ................................................................................... 204
ITV to change DTT line-up? ...................................................................................................... 204
Freeview 'to overtake Sky within two years' .............................................................................. 205
Report claims fewer digital refusniks ......................................................................................... 205
EPG reshuffle set for October..................................................................................................... 205
DVB-H trial to begin in Oxford.................................................................................................. 206
Sky to launch new service on Freeview platform ....................................................................... 206
Switch-over budget to be agreed ................................................................................................ 206
Digital UK formally launched .................................................................................................... 207
Government confirms analogue switch-off timetable ................................................................ 207
Digital television household penetration reaches 63% ............................................................... 208
BBC/ITV Freesat confirmed....................................................................................................... 208
Talks underway for Freesat ........................................................................................................ 208
New report on spectrum usage ................................................................................................... 209
Government set to approve switch-over plans ............................................................................ 209
Survey shows more ASO communications needed .................................................................... 209
BSkyB attacks BBC's Freeview promotion ................................................................................ 209
VLV calls for free satellite service ............................................................................................. 210
New children's programme from ITV......................................................................................... 210
ITV purchase of SDN approved ................................................................................................. 210


                                                             17
Report on digital switch-over for housing sector........................................................................ 211
Xtraview to end on August 31 .................................................................................................... 211
BBC agrees to help "vulnerable" with digital switch-over ......................................................... 211
Norfolk campaigns for better DTT reception ............................................................................. 212
New sports service on Top Up TV ............................................................................................. 212
Results of digital switch-over trial .............................................................................................. 212
Commons committee to probe switch-over ................................................................................ 213
Switch-over becomes big business ............................................................................................. 213
Arqiva buys Inmedia................................................................................................................... 213
ITV4 set for launch in November ............................................................................................... 214
SwitchCo banks on games .......................................................................................................... 214
Ofcom publishes Market report .................................................................................................. 214
IDTVs, Freeview boxes top reliability league ............................................................................ 215
ASO to benefit Freeview ............................................................................................................ 215
Intellect calls for switch-over timetable...................................................................................... 216
DTT trial for elderly ................................................................................................................... 216
Ofcom publishes its approach to spectrum management ............................................................ 216
Cable and DTT to bid for soccer rights?..................................................................................... 217
ITV DTT deal faces scrutiny ...................................................................................................... 217
Strong increase in number of DTT households .......................................................................... 218
New name for ntl Broadcast ....................................................................................................... 218
MGt wins Freeview contract ...................................................................................................... 218
Eurosport on Top Up TV ............................................................................................................ 219
Ofcom publishes statement on DTT coverage plans .................................................................. 219
E4 joins Freeview ....................................................................................................................... 219
Top Up looks to replace E4 ........................................................................................................ 219
Survey suggests low switchover awareness................................................................................ 220
Cabot sets its sights on European digital TV market .................................................................. 220
ITV 'interested in Top Up TV' .................................................................................................... 220
Ofcom publishes final statement on broadcasting transmission services ................................... 221
ITV acquires Freeview multiplex ............................................................................................... 221
E4 launch on Freeview ............................................................................................................... 221
Top Up tests 'pay-per-day' service .............................................................................................. 222
Price rise for average Freeview units.......................................................................................... 222
Analogue switch-off plans in next three months ........................................................................ 222
SwitchCo officially launched ..................................................................................................... 222
More Freeview slots available .................................................................................................... 223


                                                                18
First switch-off in Wales ............................................................................................................ 223
Digital television penetration just under 60%............................................................................. 223
ITV gets extra Freeview channel ................................................................................................ 224
BBC attacked for Freeview ads .................................................................................................. 224
New Freeview slot may be available .......................................................................................... 224
Switchover plan approval by end 2005....................................................................................... 224
Top Up on target? ....................................................................................................................... 225
Costs and benefits of digital switchover ..................................................................................... 225
Teachers' TV launches on DTT .................................................................................................. 225
MP's praise BBC's role in Freeview ........................................................................................... 226
Bidding war for new Freeview slot? ........................................................................................... 226
New Freeview slot available ....................................................................................................... 226
Freeview reaches five million households .................................................................................. 226
Increase in profits for Freeview shopping channel ..................................................................... 226
Spectrum trading and liberalisation to begin .............................................................................. 227
Freeview among top digital TV operators worldwide ................................................................ 227
Growth of Freeview clouds outlook for Sky .............................................................................. 227
Sky launches Freeview text service ............................................................................................ 227
Second set adoption leads digital television growth ................................................................... 228
―No HD on DTT‖ ....................................................................................................................... 228
Welsh trial gives thumbs up to DTV .......................................................................................... 229
Sony delivers warning on digital TV .......................................................................................... 229
Ofcom Consumer Panel publishes recommendations ................................................................ 229
Ofcom publishes Spectrum Framework Review ........................................................................ 230
Freeview fever not over .............................................................................................................. 230
Ofcom publishes review of broadcasting transmission market .................................................. 230
Extra costs take digital bill to £1bn ............................................................................................ 231
UK likely to miss deadline for analogue TV switch-off ............................................................. 231
World‘s first interactive news bulletin........................................................................................ 231
Ofcom publishes Communications Market Quarterly Update.................................................... 231
Consumer Expert Group report on DTV published .................................................................... 232
New package from Top Up TV .................................................................................................. 232
Digital TV logo launched ........................................................................................................... 232
Over-50s tuned in to multi-channel TV ...................................................................................... 233
Digital television awareness grows ............................................................................................ 233
Top Up TV launches ad campaign ............................................................................................. 233
55% of UK households receive digital television ....................................................................... 233


                                                                19
Ofcom brings UK closer to switchover ...................................................................................... 234
ntl and O2 to trial DVB-H in the United Kingdom .................................................................... 234
HomeChoice wants DCMS backing to aid switch-off................................................................ 235
BBC reports record interactive viewership for Olympics .......................................................... 235
ABC1 to premier in the UK in September .................................................................................. 235
Digital switch will cost £1bn ...................................................................................................... 236
UK DTT EPG, finally ................................................................................................................. 236
UK high-tech industry calls for switchover certainty ................................................................. 236
UK delays analogue switch-off until 2012 ................................................................................. 236
ITV to quit analogue broadcasting? ............................................................................................ 237
Regulator warns UK unlikely to meet digital TV deadline ........................................................ 237
NAO OK's BBC's investment in Freeview ................................................................................. 237
National Grid bids for Crown Castle .......................................................................................... 237
Ofcom consults on digital costs .................................................................................................. 238
UK channels cater for blind ........................................................................................................ 238
ITV to join Freeview consortium? .............................................................................................. 238
BBC: Freeview now in 4 million homes .................................................................................... 238
BBC unveils Wimbledom plans ................................................................................................. 239
Ofcom publishes digital update report ........................................................................................ 239
ABC to launch in the UK............................................................................................................ 239
Welsh towns pioneer digital TV ................................................................................................. 239
UK government starts digital switch over talks .......................................................................... 240
Top Up TV signs up 20,000 viewers .......................................................................................... 240
Top Up TV taps SCM for CA..................................................................................................... 240
First boxes for Top Up TV by the end of June ........................................................................... 240
TopUp TV increases reach ......................................................................................................... 241
BBC issues report on switch-over .............................................................................................. 241
£300m for digital switchover? .................................................................................................... 241
Ideal World launches on Freeview ............................................................................................. 241
Freeview continues to boost UK Digital TV .............................................................................. 242
C4 mulls multi-channel expansion ............................................................................................. 242
Pay DTT arrival with Top Up TV .............................................................................................. 242
BBC starts new digital campaign ............................................................................................... 242
Ofcom publishes switch-over report ........................................................................................... 243
New report on digital switch-over attitudes................................................................................ 243
Government publishes report on digital switch-over impact ...................................................... 243
Freeview to win over Sky by 2007 ............................................................................................. 243


                                                              20
Ofcom's Digital Television Update quarterly report................................................................... 244
UK Government Minister urged to set analogue switch off date ............................................... 244
Public attitudes towards digital TV ............................................................................................ 244
Over half of Britain has digital TV ............................................................................................. 245
UK IDTV prices continue to fall ................................................................................................ 245
Analogue switch off to generate TV boom period? .................................................................... 245
Freeview homes on the rise ........................................................................................................ 246
One in five homes have digital free-to-air .................................................................................. 246
100k a month for Freeview ......................................................................................................... 246
Freeview lures over-55s to digital TV ........................................................................................ 247
Freeview, new games channel .................................................................................................... 247
Freeview EPG delayed ............................................................................................................... 247
ITC's final annual report praises DTT ........................................................................................ 247
ASA rejects complaints about 'Free'view ads ............................................................................. 248
Encouraging digital take up puts switch off on target ................................................................ 248
Freeview viewers prefer traditional TV ...................................................................................... 248
Good digital progress in UK ....................................................................................................... 249
Dixons aiming to sell a million Freeview boxes......................................................................... 249
Government campaign for digital TV ......................................................................................... 249
Freeview stimulates multi-channel industry ............................................................................... 249
Freeview launch for Radio 1 - 4 ................................................................................................. 250
New betting channel on Freeview .............................................................................................. 250
ITC reaches decision on DTT transmission mode ...................................................................... 250




                                                              21
                                                DVB-T
                                 EUROPEAN LANDSCAPE

                                              ALBANIA
8 September 2005
Successful pay-DTT platform
The Albanian pay-DTT provider, DigitAlb, has announced that it has reached 100,000 subscribers.
Launched in July 2003, it is the country‘s only digital terrestrial platform. DigitAlb also runs a digital
satellite service that has been selling a large number of subscriptions in the European Union. DigitAlb
currently holds a temporary digital terrestrial broadcasting licence and has been lobbying parliament to
approve a regulations draft law on DTT.
Source: Broadband TV News




                                               AUSTRIA
4 August 2006
DTT launched now planned for 26 October
The launch of DTT services in Austria is now set to take place on 26 October 2006. Originally
scheduled for 27 September, DTT planners decided to delay the launch until after the Parliamentary
elections of 1 October.
Originally, the elections had been scheduled to take place in early November.
The new launch date does not affect the calendar for the roll-out of further DTT services or the plans
for analogue switch-off. The broadcast network operator ORS will use the extra time to perform
additional technical testing.
At the time of launch, DTT services will be available to 70% of the population. A €40 voucher is
available to the first 100,000 consumer to use towards the purchase of a an MHP set-top box.
Source: DVB-T Austria website


19 May 2006
DTT information campaign to begin
In conjunction with the launch of DTT services in September, a public information roadshow will
begin in Austria. The Chamber of Commerce together with consumer electronics industry will make
information on digital switchover available to consumers.
Digital switch-over is to begin by region as of Spring 2007 and will be completed by 2010. By 2008, it
is expected that 90% of the population will be able to access DTT services.




                                                   22
Viewers will be able to access three television programme services (ORF1, ORF2 and ATVplus) as
well as interactive services using the MHP standard. Portable reception will be possible.
Source: Aon.at


25 February 2006
DTT licence awarded to ORS
The goverment has awarded the broadcast network operator ORS the licence to launch DTT services
in Austria. It had been the only application received by the government.
DTT services are expected to be launched in Autumn 2006. Viewers will be able to accesss three
television programme services, ORF1, ORF2 and commercial service ATV+. In addition, a second
regional version of ORF2 will also be made available to viewers. These services will be operated from
MUX A.
By 1 March 2007, MUX A must reach 60% of households and increase its population coverage to
90% by March 2009. A second multiplex, MUX B, is also likely to be launched. It is required to have
a population coverage of at least 60% by the beginning of 2008 and provide access to a minimum of
three television programme services.
ORS plans to use 11 DVB-T transmitters for the launch of MUX A this Autumn and reach 70% of the
population. A further 5 transmitters are to be put into service in February 2007 and thus increase the
population coverage to 77%. To reach a 91% population coverage, 51 additional transmitters will be
used which is epxected by the end of 2008 at the latest.
It is expected that analogue switch-off will be finalised in 2010.
Source: Heise online


5 October 2005
HDTV not a priority
The technical director of the ORF, Andreas Gall, declared in an inteview that HDTV will not be a
priortiy for the public service broadcaster ORF. He did acknowledge that HDTV will become
increasingly popular in the next 10-15 years.
Gall noted that the biggest issue for the roll-out of HDTV services is the lack of a clear business
model. At this stage, only manufacturers are able to profit from the move towards HDTV. ORF
produces several HDTV programmes each year, including the New Year concert.
DTT is moving forward. The government is expected to decide on the plan for DTT roll-out by the
end of the year. It is likely that 95% of the population will be able to access DTT services by 2010.
Source: Extra Dienst




                                                   23
28 September 2005
DTT set to launch in October 2006
Public broadcaster ORF is ready to launch DTT services in October 2006 and provide services to 70%
of the population.
In second and third launch phases, ORF would like to reach 77% of the population by February 2007
and 91% of the population by the end of 2008. In December 2010, the population coverage should
reach 95% with 349 transmitters.
ORF will offer ORF 1, ORF 2 and ATV+ as well as interactive services on its multiplex. Following
analogue switch-off, a second multiplex may be launched.
Analogue switch-off is likely to begin in 2007 following a 6 month simulcast of analogue and digital
terrestrial services.
ORF has applied for the licence for a DTT multiplex offered by the government. Under government
regulations, the DTT multiplex licence holder must offer services to at least 60% of the population
within the first year of receiving the licence.
In terms of television reception, 14% of households rely on the terrestrial platform.
Source: Der Standard


13 May 2005
Applications open for multiplex operation
With DTT services expected to launch in mid 2006, the broadcast regulator, KommAustria, has
opened its application process for the licensing of the first multiplex with nationwide coverage.
Candidates have until 1 September to submit their candidacy.
As part of the roll-out of DTT services, the government expects to achieve 60% coverage within the
first year following launch. Between 2007-2010, analogue switch-off will take place regionally with
full switch-off expected in 2010. Further national multiplexes will also be made available.
A subsidy of €6.75 million will be available to help with the digital transition.
Source: Der Standard and KommAustria press release


11 November 2003
Austria ready for DTT tests
Austrian culture under secretary Frank Morak has signed an agreement giving the official blessing to
the country‘s digital terrestrial television services. A joint venture between public broadcaster ORF,
regulator RTR, manufacturer Siemens and Telekom Austria will conduct a series of test transmissions
between April and June next year. The three-month test in Graz will include interactive services based
on the MHP standard and mobile TV applications. Just three broadcast channels will be transmitted in
a single test multiplex: ORF1, ORF2 and fledgling commercial channel ATV+. Further capacity has
been set aside for interactive applications under the working title ‗Kanal 4‘. It is hoped the fourth


                                                    24
channel will become a testbed for applications from private companies. 150 test households will be
provided with the necessary set-top box.
Source: www.broadbandtvnews.com


                                              BELGIUM
5 July 2006
CSA seeks guidance from government on digital dividend
The broadcast regulator for the French-speaking Community, CSA, is seeking guidance from the
government on how to use frequencies allocated to Belgium in the Geneva 2006 Plan.
It has proposed three models on how the frequencies could be used:
- A mixture of DVB-T and DVB-H services with the public service broadcaster, RTBF, serving as the
network operator.
- A mixture of DVB-T and DVB-H services with one or more parties serving as the network operator.
- The provision of DVB-H services with one or more parties serving as the network operator.
In all of these models, services would be provided by both public service and commercial
broadcasters.
The CSA recommends that the government also provide guidance on the frequencies available for the
French-speaking Community and open a tender for the designation of a network operator.
Source: CSA website


2 February 2006
Calls for simplified DTT licensing procedure
The leading Belgian telecommunications operator, Belgacom, has called for the government to
provide clarity on the DTT licencing procedure.
Currently, the different language communities are responsible for issuing DTT licences. Belgacom
would like the adoption of a more open model and calls for discussions between interested parties,
including broadcasters and the government.
Belgacom supports the use of DVB-T for the provision of television services to mobile receivers.
According to its spokesman Jan Margot, "this technology provides new opportunties and is
complementary with the networks of the fixed telephone line."
Source: De Morgen


16 June 2005
DTT plans announced
The public television network, RTBF, decided to invest €3 million in digital terrestrial television.
According to Franco Fantuzzi, RTBF's Director of Infrastructure, "the RTBF is obliged to be available
in free-to-air reception. But the transmitters are 15-20 years old and need to be renewed". Rather than

                                                   25
continuing with analogue transmission, RTBF has preferred to switch to digital transmission. It is
expected that DTT services will be launched at the end of 2006 and will cover 90% of the territory.
The network will provide portable reception.
Source: Dataxis


                                   BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
21 June 2005
Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina sign communication agreement
The Italian Regulatory Agency (AGCOM) and Communications Regulatory Authority of Bosnia &
Herzegovina (RAK) have signed an Agreement of partnership. According to RAK representative
Dunja Mijatovic, the project will be of relevance to all areas of the electronic communications sector
and help Bosnia & Herzegovina draw on Italy‘s experience of implementing digital technologies.


                                               CROATIA
17 June 2005
Croatia starts DTT trials
Croatia has begun DTT broadcasts in the capital, Zagreb, and coastal town of Rijeka. In Zagreb,
broadcasts are undertaken through two transmitters – HRT Dom (UHF 56) and Sljeme (UHF 27) –
while in Rijeka, broadcasts are employing the Ucka (UHF 28) transmitter.
The transmissions from Sljeme can also be received in parts of neighbouring Slovenia, while those
from Ucka cover the Adriatic and Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. A fourth transmitter will
soon also be activated in the eastern town of Osijek (UHF 33) and cover parts of neighbouring Serbia.
The DVB-T multiplex currently carries Croatia‘s four principal channels – HRT1, HRT2, Nova TV
and RTL Televizija – and can be received with DVB-T set-top boxes costing around €200.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                       CZECH REPUBLIC
20 July 2006
ASO date to be decided in September
The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) will make a final decision on the date for analogue
switch-off in September.
The broadcasters Czech TV and TV Nova as well as the network operator Radiokomunikace are
calling for analogue switch-off to take place on 11 November 2011.
Source: Radio Netherlands Media Network Weblog




                                                 26
28 June 2006
New DTT association set-up
The commercial broadcasters allocated the 6 DTT licenses by the Council for Radio and TV
Broadcasting (RRTV) in early April have set up an association to promote DTT services. The
association, known as ADT, will be headed by Jiri Balvin from the broadcaster Ocko.
The six members are: Z1, RTA, TV Pohoda, Ocko, Febio TV and TV Barrandov. However, ADT is
open to other broadcasters with services on the DTT platform.
Specifically, ADT will support the launch of DTT services and promote an accelerated timetable for
the completion of digital switch-over. Currently, analogue switch-off is set to take place by 2010. In
addition, ADT plans to organise events in order to provide information on the DTT platform.
The six members of ADT are required by law to launch their DTT services by April 2007. However,
six broadcasters unsucessful in their bid to receive a DTT licence have lodged a protest against the
decsiion of the RRTV. This may cause a delay in the further roll-out of DTT services.
Already, DTT services provided by the public service broadcaster Czech Television and commercial
broadcaster TV Nova are available to viewers in Prague, Brno and Ostrava.
Source: Prague Daily Monitor


2 May 2006
Government approves digital broadcast framework
The Chamber of Deputies has approved the amendments to the media law that establishes the legal
framework for the introduction of digital broadcasting.
As part of the new law, the commercial broadcasters on the terrestrial platform, TV Nova and Prima
TV, have been guaranteed DTT licenses. Public service broadcaster Ceská televize has already
received its digital licenses.
In early April, the Czech Radio and Television Broadcasting Council (RRTV) issued the first six DTT
licenses to Z1, TV Pohoda, Regionální televizní agentura (RTA), Febio TV, TV Barrandov and Ócko.
Further licenses are likely to be awarded next year.
In order to provide viewers with information on digital television, the first of a two part information
campaign will begin in the Autumn of 2006. The government has set aside Kc82 million (€2.89
million) for the campaign which will include advertisemnts in print and broadcast media.
The second part of the information campaign will begin in June 2007 with the aim of providing
information on analogue switch-off. The campaign will run in cooperation with regional media outlets.
The government has not yet confirmed the funds allocated for the second part of the information
campaign.
Under the current proposal for analogue switch-off calls for a regional approach to take place between
2008 - 2012. The Czech Telecommunications Office (CTU) is expected to finalise the Technical Plan
for Transition by the end of the year which will establish the analogue switch-off roadmap.


                                                   27
The government would also like to set-up a national body to oversee digital switch-over under the
direction of the government. The proposed group would include representatives from seven
government ministries, the CTU, RRTV, multiplex operators and broadcasters.
Source: Czech Business Weekly


11 April 2006
New DTT licences attributed
The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (RRTV) has allocated six DTT licences to
commercial broadcasters. The licences have been awarded to Z1, TV Pohoda, Regionální televizni
agentura (RTA), Febio TV, TV Barrandov and Óaka. Over 30 applicants with 40 projects had applied
for the licences.
With these licence allocations, viewers will be able to access a news services (Z1), a regional service
(RTA), a children's service (TV Pohoda), a music service (Óaka) and two generalist services (Febio
TV and TV Barrandov).
The DTT licence holders are expected to begin broadcasting services within the next 360 days and it is
likely that services will begin by the end of the year. The licences are valid for a period of 12 years.
Multiplex B, operated by the Czech Digital Group, will run the services of Z1, TV Pohoda and RTA
while Multiplex C, operated by Ceský Telecom, will run the services of Febio TV, TV Barrandov and
Óaka.
Source: Czech Business Weekly


9 February 2006
DTT coverage extended
The coverage of DTT services in the Czech Republic has been extended to 35% of the population. As
of 9 February, DTT services are now available in the cities of Brno and Ostrava.
DTT services were first launched in Prague on 21 October 2005. Viewers can access three television
programme services made available by Czech Television which include the generalist services CT1
and CT2 as well as its continuous news service CT24.
To coincide with the start of the Winter Olympic Games, Czech Television has launched a new digital
service, CT4 SPORT, dedicated to sports coverage. This service is available on the DTT platform as
of 10 February.
Source: Czech Television


16 November 2005
Czech Republic - Prima TV to launch on DTT platform




                                                    28
The Czech Broadcasting Council (RRTV) has given permission for the national commercial
broadcaster Prima TV to transmit its service on DTT multiplex B.
Multiplex B will cover Prague and environs from the end of the year. The multiplex, which is to be
operated by the Czech Digital Group (CDG), will also carry Czech Television (CT), TV Nova, Top
TV and six to eight radio stations. It will eventually reach around 30% of the Czech Republic.
Source: Broadband TV News


25 October 2005
Czech Republic - DVB-H trial at INVEX trade fair
At the INVEX trade fair in Brno, T-Mobile Czech Republic will showcase television on a handheld
receiver using the DVB-H standard. Other partners include Siemens Communications and Benq.
T-Mobile Czech Republic is the first operator to use the platform live that Siemens and Benq are
offering as an end-to-end solution for DVB-H tests.
Source: DM Europe


19 October 2005
Czech Republic - Ready for DTT launch
Official DTT services are ready for launch on Friday, 21 October. One multiplex will provide DTT
services in Prague and the surrounding area.
Czech Television will provide three television service programmes which include generalist services
CT1 and CT2 as well as its continuous news service CT24. Commercial broadcaster Novy will also
provide its services. It is expected that Czech Television will launch a sports service on the DTT
platform next year .
Service will be available free-to-air and use the MPEG-2 video compression standard.
Coverage will be extended to Brno and Ostrava next year. It is expected that the multiplex will
eventually provide services to 70% of all households in two years' time.
Source: Czech Television


17 October 2005
Czech Republic - Ceský Telecom to pilot DTT services
Ceský Telecom has begun an experimental broadcast of TV Ócko in its DVB-T multiplex. TV Ócko
will be available in Prague and Brno.
The objective of the trial is to test the quality of the transmission and the popularity of interactive
multimedia applications.
Ceský Telecom is using the license for DTT trials allocated to its subsidiary company Omnicom Praha
from the Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting. Trials for DTT services are taking place on
64 channels in Prague and 25 in Brno.


                                                  29
Source: DM Europe


16 September 2005
DTT draws nearer
Czech Television (CT) has asked the Broadcasting Council (RRTV) for permission to start DTT
transmissions as of next month.
If the request is granted, the broadcaster will start distributing its services CT1, CT2 and possibly also
news-based CT24 in the first half of 2006. Coverage will initially be provided to Prague and environs,
before increasing to cover the cities of Brno and Ostrava. It is expected to reach up to 35% of the
population in 2006.
A total of three multiplexes are expected to be available in the Czech Republic, one of which will be
reserved for CT. Operated by the transmission company CRa, it should reach 75% of the population
one year after its launch and eventually cover up to 97% of the population.
CT plans to launch at least two more thematic television services once the DTT platform is fully
operational.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 July 2005
CT eyes digital channels
The Czech public broadcaster CT may eventually have up to six digital television programme services.
At present it operates two national services (CT1 and CT2), along with a recently launched news
service (CT24).
CT spokesman Martin Krafl has confirmed to the local press that further teleivsion programme
services (with the working names CT4, CT5 and CT6) are in the pipeline. CT is set to play a key role
in the Czech Republic‘s soon-to-be-launched DTT sector, having already been promised a multiplex
solely for its use.
Source: Broadband TV News


28 January 2005
Czech Republic: an arduous road to DTT
It is reported that the Czech Media Commission has taken issue with the Broadcasting Council as it
allegedly does not have the legal right to award licences. There is also some debate over how the
multiplexes will be split between public and private broadcasters.
These are the latest teething problems in a process that dates back to 2000, when both the Czech
Digital Group (CDG) and Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) began DTT trials in Prague. It moved up a
few gears last year following Cesky Telecom‘s decision to enter the fray and two even more important
developments.


                                                   30
The first saw the Czech Telecom Office (CTU) award DTT frequencies to all three parties, thereby
effectively providing its ‗stamp of approval‘ for their activities and identifying them as the most likely
to launch a platform.
The second came when the RRTV published a tender for two commercial multiplexes that are
eventually expected to operate alongside a third dedicated to public broadcasting. Its 90-day public
hearing, which ends next month, has reportedly seen the regulator already receive applications from at
least 54 different parties.
The most encouraging development in what is still a confusing picture is the decision by the Czech
Republic‘s three principal broadcasters to launch a raft of new channels ahead of the introduction of
DTT.
TV Nova, for instance, aims to strengthen its already dominant position in the marketplace by offering
its viewers up to four new thematic services – Nova Movie, Nova Sport, Nova News and Nova Series
– and its commercial rival Prima TV will shortly launch Prima Club.
The public broadcaster CT meanwhile aims to add news and documentary-based CT3 and CT4
respectively to its existing portfolio of two national channels. Earlier this week CT discussed the
importance of securing cable distribution for CT3, which will be the latest addition to a group of
regionally produced news channels that already includes TVN24 (Poland), TA3 (Slovakia) and Hir TV
(Hungary).
While the road to digital terrestrial broadcasting is unlikely to become any smoother for the Czech
Republic in the months to come, it is certainly moving in the right direction.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 October 2004
Czech DTT launch delay
The Czech infomatics minister Vladimir Mlynar has said that DTT services are now unlikely to be
launched in the country until 2006. This will be unwelcome news for the Czech Broadcasting Council
(RRTV), which plans to open a tender for DTT licences later this month and make awards by the end
of the year.
In July the Czech Telecom Office (CTU) granted DTT frequencies to Cesky Telecom, Cesky
Radiokomunikace (CRa) and the Czech Digital Group (CDG), and all three are strong favourites to
now secure licences.
Source: Broadband TV News


6 October 2004
Setback for Czech DTT




                                                   31
The timetable for the launch of DTT services in the Czech Republic has been thrown into doubt by the
country‘s Chamber of Deputies, which has warned the Broadcasting Council (RRTV) not to grant
licences before the enactment of a new electronic communications law. This follows a statement by
the RRTV in which it said licences could be awarded as soon as the end of this year.
There is at present a dispute between the RRTV and Czech Telecom Office (CTU) over who should
oversee the DTT sector in the Czech Republic, and in July the CTU controversially awarded DTT
frequencies to the Czech Digital Group (CDG), Ceske Telecom and Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa).
Given the current uncertainty, the launch of DTT services could be put back to well into 2005 or even
2006.
Source: Broadband TV News


23 June 2004
Czech DTT technical doubts
Czech Television's (CT's) Nikolaj Savicky has called for a technical reappraisal on the introduction of
DTT services in the country. Although it is assumed there is capacity for six multiplexes, each
carrying four TV channels and an unspecified number of radio stations, present plans point to the
launch of two multiplexes – ‗A‘, covering 77% of the country and 69% of the population, and ‗B‘,
covering 32% of the country – either at the end of this year or in early 2005.
Savicky maintains the DTT services, which viewers will be able to receive after paying at least
CZK1,500 (€47.1) for a set-top box,will not be able to carry as many channels as now assumed.
Source: Broadband TV News


17 June 2004
CRa shareholder change
According to report from the Prague Stock Exchange, a shareholder in Ceske radiokomunikace (CRa)
has disposed of an 11% stake in the transmission company. Although it does not reveal the names of
either the shareholder or buyer, the former is believed to be the Cyprus-based company Netla
Management, which only earlier this month increased its stake from 3% to 11%.
CRa is majority (71.89%) owned by the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Bivideon and besides holding a
39.2% stake in the leading Czech mobile company T-Mobile is undertaking DTT trials. Working
alongside the national commercial station TV Nova, it is expected to launch one of three multiplexes
either later this year or in early 2005.
Source: Broadcast TV News


13 May 2004
Czech Television enters digital fray



                                                   32
According to local reports, the Czech Telecom Office (CTU) has granted the national telco Cesky
Telecom permission to undertake DTT trials in Prague and Brno.
The Czech Digital Group (CDG), which is wholly owned by the TV Prima licence holder FTV
Premiera, and Deutsche Telekom-backed Ceske Radiokomunikacje (CRa) have already been
undertaking trials in Prague since 2000 and are licensed to do so until the end of the year.
It now seems likely the country will in fact see the launch of three multiplexes at the end of this year
or beginning of 2005, with Cesky Telecom teaming up with Czech Television (CT) to operate a public
service one and the CDG and CRa working with Prima TV and TV Nova respectively on two
allocated for commercial services.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 April 2004
Setback for Czech DTT
Vladimir Mlynar, the Czech minister of informatics, has announced that the country is now likely to
launch a commercial DTT operation in 2006 rather than the end of this year.
The news will be a blow to the Czech TV industry, which has been working steadily towards the
introduction of digital terrestrial broadcasting through the activities of the Czech Digital Group (CDG)
and Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa).
Both have been undertaking trials in Prague since 2000 and have had their licences extended until the
end of this year, while the national telco Cesky Telecom recently expressed interest in introducing
DTT on a national basis.
The Ministry of Infomatics, Ministry of Culture, Czech Telecom Office (CTO) and Czech
Broadcasting Council (RRTV) have been charged with formulating a digital strategy and industry
insiders expected to see the launch of two multiplexes later this year, with a third possibly in 2005.
One factor in the delay is understood to be the high cost of reception equipment and recent changes to
VAT in the country.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                              DENMARK
31 March 2006
DTT services officially launched
The official launch of DTT services in Denmark is set for 31 March 2006. One multiplex will offer
viewers with services from the public service broadcasters TV2 and Danmarks Radio.
These services include TV2/Danmark, DR1, DR2 and a common service for simulataneous sign
language interpretation for use during news broadcasts. TV2 and DR1 are both available on the
analogue terrestrial platform while DR2 is only available on the cable and satellite platforms.



                                                   33
A further three multiplexes are expected to be launched although dates and services have not been
announced. However, the government is likely to invite broadcasters to apply for DTT licenses this
Autumn.
Source: Danmarks Radio


20 July 2005
DVB-H pilot planned
According to a news report in Computerworld Online, a DVB-H trial will take place in Denmark. The
University of Denmark will coordinate the trial.
Several entities are involved in the trial. Nokia and Motorola will provide the DVB-H receivers, TDC
will supply the telephone services while public broadcaster DR will provide the broadcast services.
Source: AFX


20 May 2005
Net Insight gets greenlight for Danish DTT
Net Insight has been awarded the contract to build the digital terrestrial network in Denmark. The
Swedish company will begin work on the SEK10 million (€1.09m) contract next month. Net Insight‘s
Nimbra platform will deliver the signals from broadcast over microwave and fibre optic links.
The system makes it possible for video signals to be multicast in parallel with data and voice services
with full broadcast quality and protection. The digital network in Denmark is in the hands of
Broadcast Service Danmark (BSD), a subsidiary of the country‘s public service broadcaster Danmarks
Radio and the quasi-commercial TV2.
Source: Broadband TV News


January 2003
DTT MHP trials in north Denmark
TV2/Nord (a very small Danish regional TV station) has been transmitting DVB-T since 1 October
2002 and is using MHP in connection with the television programmes.
Since November 2002, there are 400 "test-families" in the region watching digital terrestrial television
and MHP services are provided with all new programs. Aalborg University is following the viewers
opinion about the MHP-based extra information and so far they tell us that they like that very much.
Transmissions: 2-3 hours per day.
The set-top-box used is the ADB Global.
This is a pilot project - we hope next phase will begin to use the return channel (~February 2003) but
we are waiting very much for Set Top Boxes with hard drives (which will give personal video/data
recorder capability) and of course with MHP.
Source: Bent Bjorn, Managing Director of TV2/Nord Digital


                                                   34
                                               ESTONIA
3 March 2006
DVB-T service launch using MPEG-4 expected at the end of 2006
The government has decided that DVB-T services will be launched in Estonia by the end of 2006.
Services will by launched by broadcast network operator Levira and provide content from Estonia's
largest radio broadcaster and its public service broadcaster, Eesti Televisioon (ETV).
Levira has announced that it will roll-out 2 multiplexes this year while a third multiplex will be
launched in 2007-2008. A fourth multiplex may be launched in 2009.
In addition, it has been decided that the MPEG-4 video compression standard will be used.
The government would like the DTT package to provide at least 15 television programme services,
including the television services currently accessible on the terrestrial analogue platform. DVB-H
services are also planned for provision in the future.
Analogue switch-off has been set for 20 December 2012, although it may begin in some regions as of
2010.
DTT trials have been undetaken since 2003 in the capital Tallinn. The trial current provides 3
television programme services (Euronews, BBC World and TV3+ Estonia) using the MPEG-2 video
compression standard and 2 television programme services (ETV) using the MPEG-4 video
compression standard.
Source: Levira


13 May 2004
Estonia launches DTT service
Estonia‘s Broadcasting Transmission Centre (Levira) has launched a trial DTT service in Tallinn.
Broadcasting on channel 45 in the city, it is offering viewers news programming from the public
network ETV, along with the Russian international channel RTR Planeta and MTG‘s TV1000 and
Viasat Sport.
As previously reported in Broadband TV News, Estonia appears to be taking a ‗fast-track‘ approach to
the introduction of DTT, with Télédiffusion de France (TDF)-backed Levira (formerly known as
ERSK) having last year secured a DTT broadcast system from Tandberg Television and technology
from its business partner Finnsat. It nevertheless remains to be seen when the two national stations
TV3 and Kanal Kaks will be added to the channel line-up and the service, currently available within a
70km radius of Tallinn, made into a permanent one.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                               FINLAND
16 June 2006



                                                    35
Digita awarded new DTT license
The Finnish government has granted the broadcast network operator Digita the license for the fourth
national DTT license.
Digita, a subsidiary of Télédiffusion de France (TDF), currently holds licenses to the three other DTT
networks in addition to a license for the DVB-H license.
The new DTT network is expected to launch in September 2007.
Source: DM Europe


11 May 2006
Preparations for DVB-H launch underway
The network operator Digita and Nokia have signed the world's first commercial DVB-H mobile TV
platform supply contract. As part of the contract, Nokia will provide Digita with its DVB-H service
management solution Broadcast Solution (MBS) 3.0.
The MBS 3.0 solution is based on open standards and will support both Open Air Interface (OAI) and
the DVB-CBMS implementation profiles. The key features of the MBS 3.0 include the Electronic
Serve Guide (ESG), a consumer interface in the mobile device for searching available services, setting
alerts for upcoming programs and for the viewing selection.
Digita is responsible for the DVB-H broadcast network for which it holds a licence from the Finnish
government. In a first stage of roll-out, DVB-H services will cover the Helsinki region(Ring Road III)
as well as the cities of Turku, Tampere, and Oulu.
It is expected that 29% of the population will be able to access DVB-H services by the end of 2006.
Further plans to extend the DVB-H network are underway.
Source: Nokia press release


24 March 2006
29 bid for DTT service licence
Following the government's decision to allocate further capacity on the DTT network, 29 broadcasters
have expressed an interest in a DTT television licence. Capacity will be made available in already
existing multiplexes as well as through the launch of a new multiplex.
Two television programme services on the new multiplex will be allocated to the Swedish public
broadcaster SVT. Broadcasters interested in the remaining capacity include BBC World, C More
Entertainment, Discovery Communications, MTV Networks, National Geographic Channel, Turner
Broadcasting, Viasat and The Walt Disney Company.
Full applications should be submitted to the government by May 2, 2006.
Source: Broadband TV News




                                                     36
24 March 2006
Digita wins DVB-H license
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has allocated a fourth DTT licence to the broadcast
network operator Digita. This multiplex is intended for the provision of DVB-H services and will
likely be launched this year.
By the end of the year, Digita plans to reach 29% of the population by providing services in in the
Helsinki region as well as the cities of Turku, Tampere and Oulu. Digita will hold the licence for a
period of 20 years.
Elisa, Teliasonera Finland and Telemast Nordic had also applied for the licence. Licences for mobile
TV programmes will be issued separately.
Source: DM Europe


27 February 2006
Further DTT programme licences available
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has invited candidates to tender for new programme
licences available on the DTT platform. Applications must be submitted by 2 May 2006.
The programme licences are available on the third and fifth multiplexes. While the third multiplex is
already in use, the fifth multiplex is expected to be rolled out in the coming years. Two programme
licences in this multiplex will be reserved for Swedish language services.
The fourth multiplex has been reserved for mobile television services.
Source: advanced-television.com


3 February 2006
Fifth multiplex to be licenced
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced plans to grant a licence for a fifth
multiplex. The new licence will focus specifically on the transmission of Swedish television
programmes.
Applicants should submit an expression of interest to the Ministry by mid-February while the
completed application must be submitted by 1 May.
A fourth network licence for television service had been announced in November 2005.
Source: Broadband TV News


2 December 2005
Four applicants for Finnish DVB-H licence
Elisa Corporation, Digita Oy, TeliaSonera Finland Oyj and Telemast Nordic Oy have informed the
Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications that they are interested in applying for the
nationwide DVb-H licence.


                                                  37
Applicants needed to inform the ministry of their interest by the end of November. Final applications
must be submitted at the end of January.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 November 2005
Government opens invitation to tender for a DVB-H licence
The Finnish Ministry of Transportation and Communication has announced that candidates are invited
to tender for a DVB-H broadcast network licence. The licence holder will be responsible for the
transmission network and management of mobile television services.
The Ministry stated that the network currently has a 70% population coverage. Licence holders will be
obligated to sell network capacity to other service operators. The licence will be issued for a maximum
period of 20 years.
The application procedure will take place in two steps. As a first step, applicants must submit their
written intent to apply for the licence by 28 November 2005. The deadline for the full application is
set at 31 January 2006.
Source: DM Europe


2 September 2005
YLE introduces audio subtitling
Public broadcaster YLE has introducing a voice subtitling service in Finnish on the DTT platform.
The new service for the visually impaired and those with reading difficulties will provide a
synthesised voice that will 'read' the subtitles on pre-recorded programming. The synthesizer was
created by the speech technology company Bitlips as part of a project under the auspices of the
Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Source: Broadband TV News


31 August 2005
Results for commercial DVB-H pilot
The results of the Finnish DVB-H commercial pilot showed that 41% of participants would be willing
to purchase DVB-H services. Half of participants believed that a fixed monthly fee of €10 to be a
reasonable price.
From March to June 2005, Digita, Elisa, MTV, Channel Four Finland (Nelonen), Nokia, TeliaSonera
Finland and YLE jointly conducted the pilot in Helsinki with 500 users accessing DVB-H services
using a Nokia 7710 receiver.
Users generally spent approximately 20 minutes per day watching television on a handheld receiver
and usually at different times of the day than traditional television peak hours.



                                                    38
Television viewing was most popular while users traveled on public transport although it was also
popular at home to complement participants' main television watching.
Familiar television programmes available through national Finnish television service providers proved
to be the most popular followed by sports and news services(CNN, BBC World, Euronews). The Ice
Hockey World cup games, the San Marino and Monaco Formula One as well as the UEFA Champions
League match between Liverpool and AC Milan were among the top ten programmes viewed during
the pilot.
Source: DM Europe


15 August 2005
DVB-H services during Athletic World Championships
Last week, select viewers could access the Athletic World Championships from a mobile device. The
Finnish Mobile TV project provided DVB-H services of the Championship held last week in Helsinki.
Nokia, together with network company Digita, mobile operators Elisa and TeliaSonera, and
broadcasters YLE, MTV3 and Channel 4, provided the services to 300 viewers. Services allowed
viewers to access domestic and international broadcasts of the championship including five special
Championships broadcasts of individual events.
Viewers reported a sharp image and good sound quality but some users felt the receivers overly bulky
and colours not true to nature.
Source: AFP


12 August 2005
DTT now countrywide
Digital terrestrial television is now available across Finland‘s transmitter network.
The Finnish public broadcaster YLE reported that there are currently 12 free-to-air channels and a
further four pay-TV broadcasters on the air. Further channels are planned to be added in the future.
Approximately one-third of Finnish households currently have a digital TV set. Analogue
transmissions are scheduled to complete on August 31, 2007.
Source: Broadband TV News


5 November 2004
Nokia launches 7710
Nokia has launched the 7710 media device which can hold a DVB-H receiver. The media device is to
replace the 7700 prototype which had previously been used for DVB-H demonstrations.
For full information on the phone, see the Nokia website.
Source: NetEconomie.com



                                                   39
4 October 2004
Dropping prices encourage Finns to buy digital TV sets
Currently, 20% of Finnish households have digital TV sets or set-top boxes although analogue
television broadcasting is set to end in August 2007. However, as prices drop the number of set-top
boxes sold will rise.
According to the July report issued by Finnpanel Oy, some 366,000 Finnish housholds own a set-top
box or digital TV set.
Source: NewsRoom Finland


28 June 2004
Press release on future DTT developments in Finland:
Yle, MTV3, Nelonen and Digita have agreed to speed up the coverage of DTT services in Finland. It
has been decided that DTT services will cover 99.9% of the population by the end 2005.
New features like MHP will be available over the entire network. Yle starts on all transmitters on
1.8.2005 and the others will follow by 31.12.2005
his means that Finland is fully covered by digital terrestrial
services by the end of 2005. This included all needed gap fillers etc.
The switch off of analogue transmissions in Finland will take place on 31.08.2007.
Source: Göran Wahlberg, Nokia


10 June 2004
Finnish digital upgrade ahead
Digita is preparing to upgrade Finland‘s digital television network this summer with an additional 12
transmitters scheduled to be switched on in the next few months. The company announced Monday
that test transmissions had already begun from seven sites with an additional five scheduled to switch
on at the start of July.
Commercial broadcasters will commence their transmissions in August and September. When
complete digital television services will be available to 94% of the population.
A recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications revealed that 155 of
Finnish households now own a digital television set or adaptor; 19% of householders without digital
television said they were likely to purchase an adaptor within the next six months. Penetration is at its
greatest in single person households and in the countryside.
Source: Broadband TV News




                                                    40
8 March 2004
Finland delays digitisation
The Finnish government has postponed by one year its schedule to digitise television broadcasts,
announcing that the country would switch entirely to digital by the end of August 2007.
The government expects national broadcaster YLE and the other broadcasters to build the digital
network to cover the entire country in the extra time and it expects digital services to improve and the
cost of digital boxes to decline.
Source: advanced-television.com


15 January 2004
Canal+ adds pay option to Finish DTT
Finland‘s DTT network is to add its first pay-TV channels following a joint agreement with Canal+
Television AB, Canal Digital and the platform operator Digita. Three Canal+ channels will be added
this March with Canal Digital providing subscriber management in much the same way as it does for
Canal‘s DTH and cable operations. (Canal+ and Canal Digital now have a separate shareholder
structure). Further details are expected to be announced at a joint press conference in early February.
Plans were recently announced to extend the DTT network to 99.9% of the Finnish population by
autumn 2005.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 December 2003
Finland plans TV to mobiles
A consortium of broadcasters, mobile operators and the manufacturer Nokia are to begin sending TV
programmes to mobile handsets from autumn next year. The service will use the IPDC protocol and
transmit to an initial 500 users in and around the capital Helsinki.
Finland‘s fourth digital terrestrial multiplex has been reserved for mobile datacasting.
Nokia will provide the equipment for the transmissions including the handsets. Signals will be
transmitted over the two leading mobile networks, TeliaSonera and Radiolinja, while programming
will come from public broadcaster YLE and commercial providers MTV3 and Nelonen.
The pilot IPDC service will be operated by Digita, the company that also operates the three other
digital TV multiplexes. There has also been talk of a mobile-delivered ‗soap opera‘ produced by the
Dutch production company Endemol. However, this consists of a series of picture messages,
reminiscent of the 70s teen magazine Jackie.
Source: Broadband TV News




                                                    41
                                              FRANCE
26 July 2006
Government approves proposed media law
The French government has approved proposed media legislation which would allow for the
introduction of new services, such as HDTV and DVB-H, on the terrestrial television platform.
The proposed media law also calls for the regional switch-off of analogue television starting in March
2008 and ending on 30 November 2011. Currently, the broadcast regulator CSA is putting together a
roadmap for analogue switch-off.
More controversially, the media bill calls for the allocation of an additional DTT television
programme license to each of the commercial broadcasters on the analogue platform.
New broadcaster entrants on the DTT platform such as the AB Groupe and NRJ, have claimed this
provides unfair advantage to the traditional broadcasters on the terrestrial platform. They also noted
that the Italian media law, which gives preferential treatment to the broadcasters on the analogue
platform, is the subject of an enquiry by the European Commission.
As a next step, the proposed media legislation will need to be approved by the National Assembly this
Autumn.
Source: AFP and Télé Satellite


25 July 2006
Multiplex available in Paris for local services
The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) has invited broadcasters to apply for 4 DTT service
licenses. A multiplex for local DTT services will be made available in the region of Paris.
Broadcasters have until 16 October to submit their applications. It is expected that the licenses will be
issues in March and the services launched in October 2007.
Source: CSA website


19 July 2006
CSA publishes review of RRC results
The broadcast regulator Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) has published an overview of the
results of the Regional Radiocommunications Conference (RRC) for France.
The RRC concluded on 16 June with the adoption of a new digital plan for Europe, Africa and parts of
Asia in bands III and IV/V. The digital plan will come into effect in 2015. Countries also agreed on a
revised analogue plan in the period leading up to 2015.
As part of the digital plan, France has access to 7 DVB-T layers throughout the country. In addition, a
further DVB-T layer has been made available nearly country-wide, the exception being the border
along the northeastern part of the country.



                                                   42
Of these, the 6 DVB-T layers provide for fixed roof-top antenna reception while the remaining layers
provide for portable outdoor reception. An exception has been made along the northeastern border
where the available 6 layers provide for portable outdoor reception.
In addition, two further DVB-T layers with fixed roof-top antenna reception are available along the
southern border with Spain.
Source: CSA website


13 July 2006
Regulators approve new media bill
The telecoms and postal regulator Arcep and the broadcast regulator CSA have given their approval to
the government‘s bill on the future of television.
The Arcep expressed reservations regarding the allocation of additional capacity to existing analogue
terrestrial broadcasters following analogue switch-off, while the CSA has expressed its concerns
regarding the switchover process.
As a next step, the Council of State will give its opinion on the bill by the end of next week.
Source: Broadband TV News


4 July 2006
Free-to-view satellite services to be launched by end of year
The government has announced plans to launch a free-to-view satellite service in France. By doing so,
the government would like to provide all viewers with access to the same services as are available on
the DTT platform.
This means that viewers will be able to access the 18 television programme services on the DTT
platform as well as the 24 local services offered by regional broadcaster France 3. However, the
broadcasters of TF1, M6 and i-Télé have not yet confirmed their participation.
Currently, DTT coverage stands at 58% of the population and will increase to 70% by March 2007.
The satellite services are expected to be launched by the end of the year on Atlantic Bird 3.
Source: AFP


29 June 2006
Second HD/DTT trial to be launched in September
The Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) is making one frequency channel in select cities
available for HDTV testing on the DTT platform. The HDTV trial must use the MPEG-4 video
compression standard and consist of HDTV content.
Candidates interested in the HDTV/DTT trial are invited to tender for capacity. However, they must be
broadcasters on the free-to-air DTT platform.



                                                     43
The trial license will be available from 1 September 2006 until 7 January 2007 in the cities of Paris
(channel 23), Lyon (channel 27) and Marseille (Channel 22). Given the limited amount of capacity
available, broadcasters are invited to submit joint projects.
A first HDTV/DTT trial has taken place between 28 May and 17 July in Paris, Lyon and Marseille
with broadcasters from France Télévisions, Arte, TF1, Canal+ and M6. Because not all broadcasters
could participate in this trial, preference for the second HDTV/DTT trial will be given to broadcasters
who were not selected to participate.
Applications must be received by 13 July 2006.
Source: CSA website


21 June 2006
Proposed law to allow for introduction of HDTV and DVB-H services
The Government has made a proposal to modify the broadcasting law of 30 September 1986. The
modifications to the existing law would allow for the introduction of new television services such as
HDTV and DVB-H, currently not possible.
The proposal will likely be ready for debate in the Parliament by September.
In addition, the new proposal sets 30 November 2011 as the final date for analogue switch-off, with
the process beginning in 2009. The Government is likely to make €100 million available to help
subsides the costs associated with analogue switch-off.
Source: Le Monde


14 June 2006
DTT coverage extended to 58.5%
Nineteen new transmitter sites are broadcasting DTT services since 15 June. This launch brings DTT
services to 15 million households and brings the total DTT coverage to 58.5% of the population.
The new regions with access to DTT services are:
Aquitaine (Agen, Arcachon), Auvergne (Clermont-Ferrand), Basse-Normandie (Alençon, Caen),
Bretagne (Lorient), Corse (Bastia), Centre (Argenton-sur-Creuse, Tours) Franche-Comté (Besançon),
Haute-Normandie (Evreux), Ile-de-France (Meaux), Limousin (Brive-La-Gaillarde), Provence-Alpes-
Côte d'Azur (Cannes, Nice, Saint-Raphaël), Pays de la Loire (Angers, Laval), and Rhone-Alpes
(Roanne).
The next DTT coverage extension is expected in October 2006 when the 60% of the population will be
able to access DTT services.
Source: CSA website




                                                    44
31 May 2006
HD/DTT trial has begun
The Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) has confirmed the plans for free-to-air HDTV trials on
the DTT platform. Broadcasters (TF1, M6, Canal+, Arte, and France Télévisions) are able to transmit
their programmes in HD between 28 May and 17 July.
These dates intentionally coincide with the Roland-Garros and Wimbledon tennis tournaments as well
as the FIFA World Cup Championship.
A calendar has been established detailing when each broadcaster will be able to trial services in the
two available multiplexes. The trial will be available in Paris, Lyon and Marseille.
Source: CSA website


30 May 2006
Interview with Laurent Jabiol from Neotion
The French website ITRnews.com has interviewed DigiTAG member Neotion's CEO, Laurent Jabiol.
In the interview, Laurent provides an overview of Neotion's products as well as his thoughts on the
development of the market.
For the full interview, please see the IRTnews.com website


30 May 2006
Call for HDTV on the DTT platform
The DTT promotion group comprised of free-to-air broadcasters and network operators, Groupement
Télévision numérique pour tous, has called for available spectrum to be allocated to free-to-air
broadcasters to allow for the provision of high-definition and mobile television services. In addition,
spectrum should be allocated free-of-charge.
The Groupement Télévision numérique pour tous is comprised of most of the free-to-air broadcasters
on the DTT platform, including public and commercial broadcasters. Members include NT1, ARTE,
Direct 8, France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5, la chaîne parlementaire, NRJ12, Gulli and BFM TV.
The statement from the Groupement TNT is a response to the public consultation launched by the
Ministry of Culture on the launch of HD and mobile services on the terrestrial platform.
Source: AFP


10 May 2006
CSA announces next phase of DTT roll-out
The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) has announced the next phase of DTT roll-out in France.
By 31 March 2007, 70% of the population will be able to access DTT services.
The new regions to access DTT services are:
- Bourgogne : Sens, Auxerre, Dijon, Mâcon, Le Creusot


                                                   45
- Rhône-Alpes : Annecy, Chambéry, Montmélian, Voiron
- Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur : Avignon, Menton
- Lorraine : Bar-le-Duc, Vittel, Epinal
- Champagne-Ardenne : Troyes, Chaumont
- Franche-Comté : Belfort, Montbéliard
- Poitou-Charentes : Parthenay
While current DTT coverage stands at 50%, it is expected to reach 66% by October 2006. Initial
planning had called for an 85% population coverage by March 2007 rather than the 70% now
announced.
In addition, the CSA has presented a plan to provide DTT services in the border region of Alsace.
Because the plan calls for the use of frequencies currently utilised for analogue services, the CSA has
proposed that a digital switchover pilot takes place this year. The CSA has recommended that the pilot
takes place in site in Niederbronn-les-Bains (Alsace).
Source: CSA website


5 May 2006
TMC most popular DTT service
Among the new television programme services available on the free-to-air DTT platform, the
entertainment service TMC has proven to be the most watched. TMC is jointly owned by TF1 and AB.
With a 4.3% audience share, it has a slight lead over the children's service, Gulli (4.1% audience
share) and the M6-backed music service, W9 (3.1% audience share). According to Mediametrie, Gulli
has a 17% audience share between the hours of 10.00 - 11.00.
Source: Broadband TV News


5 May 2006
Presidential support given for digital switchover
French president Jacques Chirac has given his support for digital switchover. He has mandated a
Strategic Committee with managing the switch to an all-digital environment set to take place in the
next five years.
The Strategic Committee, headed by the Prime Minister and comprised of the Ministeries of culture,
industry and national planning, will work closely with regulators and members of the broadcast
industry.
Analogue switch-off is likely to take place regionally over a five year period. The President has called
for an analogue switch-off pilot this year and it is possible that the pilot takes place in the Alsace
region.
Analogue switch-off will free up the necessary frequencies to increase the coverage of DTT services.
It is planned that a total of 95% of the population will be able to access DTT services when analogue


                                                  46
switch-off is completed. The Strategic Committee will present its proposal for digital television access
to the remaining 5% of the population unable to access DTT services by the end of 2006.
It is also possible that the government will provide financial assistance to low income households to
help purchase DTT converters. However, the details of the programme still need to be defined.
Source: Le Monde


3 May 2006
Neotion "plug &play" solution for pay DTT market
A "Plug and play" solution is available to viewers in France on the pay DTT platform. With this new
offer, viewers can access the pay DTT services provided by TPS from a Sony Bravia integrated digital
television set (iDTV).
The offer depends on a solution developed by Neotion that converts an MPEG-4 video and audio
compression stream to MPEG-2 using a module inserted into the iDTV's common interface slot
(DVB-CI).
Viewers will have access to the 18 television programme services available on the free-to-air DTT
platform as well as the 6 pay DTT services offered by TPS.
Source: Neotion press release


19 April 2006
CSA clears channel for a limited HD/DTT trial
The Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) has invited candidates to apply for a trial licence
permitting HDTV services on the DTT platform. The trial will last for a period no longer than nine
months.
One frequency channel will be made available in the cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. The trial may
also be available in further cities, so long as it does not cause any interference with other services.
Within the channel, broadcasters will be able to offer HDTV services using the MPEG-4 video
compression standard. Two HDTV services will be possible within the frequency channel.
In allocating the trial licence, the CSA is placing importance on the HDTV content offering.
Preference will be given to orignial French and European productions that are filmed in HD. The CSA
has also stated that it is likely that the trial will also include HD content from sporting events.
Broadcasters on the DTT platform offering free-to-air services, or pay services with a free-to-air
element, are eligible to apply for the trial licence. They are encouraged to present joint projects given
the lack of available frequencies.
Applications must be received by the CSA no later than 28 April.
Source: CSA website




                                                     47
11 April 2006
Population coverage of 70% by 2007
The broadcast regulator Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) has addressed a letter to the Prime
Minister stating that the population coverage of DTT services will reach 70% by March 2007.
Originally, DTT planners had hoped to achieve a population coverage of 85% in 2007.
However, because of limited frequencies available in those regions bordering other countries, the
planned increase in DTT coverage will not be possible. Negotiations, which had begun in November
2005, have not produced a satisfactory outcome by January 2006.
Agreement reached after January 2006 does not allow sufficient time to allow for the digitalisation of
transmitter sites by March 2007. Approximately 15 new transmitter sites will be digitalised by March
2007 rather than the planned 40 sites.
Source: CSA website


10 April 2006
Government announces ASO in 2011
The Minister of Culture and Communications, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, has announced that
France will end its analogue terrestrial television services on 1 January 2011.
Analogue switch-off is expected to take place by region beginning in 2007. Further details on
analogue switch-off is expected in the coming weeks.
Already, the DTT association Groupement TNT has proposed that an analogue switch-off trial take
place this year with the participation of the broadcast regulator (CSA), Groupement TNT, Government
representatives and Simavelec, the group representing consumer manufacturers. According to Marc
Pallain, president of Groupement TNT, this idea has been favourably received by the Government.
In January, President Jacques Chirac had called on the release of frequencies used for analogue
terrestrial television. He would like these channels to be used for new digital services.
Source: ZDNet.fr


30 March 2006
Over 2.5 million DTT receivers in homes
In the first year since the launch of the DTT platform, 2.519 million DTT receivers have been sold.
Within the past three months, viewers bought 800,000 DTT receivers which is equivalent to sales of
10,000 receivers per day.
According to figures by GfK, the following DTT receivers have been sold:
- 1,423,000 DTT set-top boxes
- 173,000 iDTVs
- 375,000 DTT receivers for computers
- 18,000 portable iDTVs


                                                    48
- 530,000 DTT/IPTV receivers (Canal+, Alice, FT, MaLigne TV)
According to a study by IFOP, 71% of viewers interviewed are satisfied with the quality of the DTT
service offering. Among these, 79% would recommend DTT services to their family and friends.
Source: Le Monde and AFP


29 March 2006
MHP trials on the DTT platform
The French broadcast regulator Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel(CSA) has authorised NRJ 12 to
undertake an interactive trial using the MHP standard.
NRJ 12 broadcasts its services on the free-to-air DTT platform. The MHP trial ies expected to last one
month.
Source: CSA website


27 March 2006
92% penetration forecast by 2011
According to a report published by NPA Conseil, 92% of the French population, equivalent to 24
million households, will access DTT services by 2011. In addition, 10 million households will be
equipped with HD-enabled television sets.
The report expects that the DTT platform will become the largest television platform in France as of
2008. It also forecasts that 6.4 million households will access DTT services by the end of 2006.
Source: MediaBB


21 March 2006
DTT services to be available on cable platform?
The broadcast regulator (CSA) has requested that cable operators make the services on the DTT
platform available to its viewers.
Because the cable platform has replaced free-to-air terrestrial television in certain building complexes
and thus become the de-facto reception platform, cable operators will be obligated to provide the
services available on the DTT platform on the cable platform.
Because of the monopoly held by the cable platform, cable operators will not be allowed to charge a
high cost for this service.
Source: CSA website


21 March 2006
CSA ensures fair use of multiplex capacity
The broadcast regulator, Conseil Supérieur d'Audiovisuel (CSA), has asked multiplex operators to
provide information on how bit rate capacity is shared between service providers on each multiplex.


                                                  49
In its allocation of DTT licenses, the CSA has called for the equitable, reasonable and non-
discriminatory usage of bit-rate capacity between the different service providers in each multiplex.
Source: CSA website


28 February 2006
First results of DVB-H trial
The first results of the DVB-H trial in Paris conducted by Canal+, Nokia, Towercast and SFR are
positive. Of the 500 users, 73% have indicated their satisfaction and over 65% indicated that they
would be willing to subscribe to the services.
Users watched mobile television for an average of 20 minutes per day. Over half of the participants
used DVB-H services from their homes while 14% used the services on public transportation and 12%
while at work.
The three periods of heavy usage included mornings (9.00-10.00), lunchtime (13.00-14.00) and the
evening (20.00-22.00). The most popular programme services were news, music and sports.
Source: IRT News


22 February 2006
Complaint issued to CSA regarding DTT access
The consumer organisation UFC-Que choisir and the DTT association Télévision Numérique pour
Tous have formally issued a complaint to the French broadcast regulator, CSA, concerning the cable
operators' policy towards DTT services.
According to UFC-Que choisir and Télévision Numérique pour Tous, cable operators are violating the
9 July 2004 law requiring them to re-transmit services on the analogue and digital terrestrial platforms.
Viewers that rely on the cable network to receive television but do not subscribe to a cable package are
unable to access DTT services. Instead, cable operators such as Noos and Numéricable offer the
possibility to rent a DVB-C set-top box in order to receive the services found on the free-to-air DTT
platform.
The CSA has not yet provided a response to this complaint. However, it may be negotiating with cable
operators to ensure that they provide the services on the free-to-air DTT platform to viewers at a
reasonable price.
Source: l'Humanité


17 February 2006
DTT audience measurement results
French DTT audience measurement results show that nearly 2 million people accessed DTT service by
the end of 2005.



                                                   50
The organisation tasked with audience measurement, Mediametrie, noted that homes with DTT
services watched televison for an average of 20 minutes longer compared with analogue households.
In addition, the main terrestrial channels (TF1, France 2, France 3, Canal+, France 5, Arte, M6)
receive a 74% viewing share in DTT households compared with 87% in all television households.
Mediametrie also provided the audience viewing figures for three services on the DTT platform. TMC
generated a viewing share of 6.1%, rising to 11.9% between 18.00 - 19.00. NT1 achieved 3.2%
viewing share which reached 6% between 19.00 - 20.00. Finally, NRJ had 1.2% vieweing share which
reached 4.2% between 10.00 - 11.00.
These results are based on a viewing panel of 360 people during a four-week period, from 2 to 29
January 2006.
Source: DTG website and advanced-television.com


14 February 2006
New services on pay-DTT platform
Pay operator TPS has announced that it will launch its pay-DTT bouquet on 15 February.
The "Pack TPS TNT" will offer viewers with 5 pay-DTT television programme services: TPS Star,
Eurosport, LCI, Paris Première and TF6.
DTT service operators on the pay platform are legally obligated to begin broadcasting their services by
1 March 2006.
Source: ITR News


19 January 2006
1.73 million DTT receivers in the market
According to recent reports made by the DTT association Groupement TNT, approximately 1.73
million DTT receivers have been sold or rented in 2005. In addition, it is estimated that more than 3
million set-top boxes will be sold in 2006.
GfK has estimated that 1.37 million receivers have been sold of which 1.1 million are set-top boxes,
100,000 are iDTVs and 170,000 are receivers for computers.
In addition, GfL estimates that Neuf Télécom and Canal+ have made 360,000 mixed set-top boxes
available to their customers.
It is estimated that DTT has reached a 14% penetration level within those areas able to access DTT
services and a 7% penetration level throughout France.
Source: AFP




                                                  51
6 January 2006
DTT exceeds its objectives by two times in 2005
Around 1.3 million households are equipped to receive DTT. That's almost twice the number
expected. In 2006, digital terrestrial television will extend its coverage and 10 PayTV services will be
added.
It's one of the unexpected stars of Christmas. Beside the inevitable portable music players and digital
cameras, DTT adapters were surprisingly successful during this festive period dominated by high-tech
gifts. From the entry level model at €59, number three in sales numbers at the fnac internet site, to the
receiver/recorder (PVR) for €300, passing via the USB Key DTT tuner for the computer, DTT was the
must-have gift idea in the high street shops with something for all tastes. In consequence, at the end of
December, nine months after the launch of digital terrestrial television, approximately 1.3 million
French households were equipped to receive the 18 DTT services, that is to say 300,000 more than a
month before, and almost twice the 700,000 envisaged at launch. For the details, the GfK market
survey organisation reported Tuesday its estimates that 1.1 million set-top adapters had been sold, with
75,000 television sets with integrated adapters, and PC adapters and the decoders provided by the
suppliers of Internet access.
The promoters of digital terrestrial television can afford to toast their success. To get to this point,
DTT underwent a painful gestation, interwoven with interminable conflicts on standards - was it better
to choose MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 for the free chains? - and eternal squabbles between the audio-visual
groups in particular TF1, France Televisions and Canal+. During this time, ADSL television, and to a
lesser extent mobile TV, had time to establish. Finally, as Michaël Matthieu, analyst at GfK, explained
to the French Press Agency, the communication which accompanied the launching of the 18 digital
services on March 31 was sufficiently convincing to make people forget the earlier hesitancy. 2006
should bring further new momentum to DTT. The coverage of the French territory, which currently
approaches 55% of the population, will be extended in the spring (19 new transmitters) then further in
the autumn (24 transmitters), to reach two thirds of the French population by the end of the year. In
addition, the 10 payTV channels including Canal+, TPS Star, LCI and Eurosport, will begin
broadcasting on the 1st March. Hence, GfK is expecting 1.5 million additional adapters to be sold in
2006. But the numbers should really take off only when the analogue broadcasting of programs ceases
and only digital broadcasting remains. A European directive fixed the cut off date at 2012.
Story in French from LExpansion.com, December 22, 2005
Translated by Ed Wilson


24 November 2005
One million households access DTT services
According to a marketing study conducted by GFK, over 1 million homes in France access DTT
services. In DTT coverage areas, DTT penetration has reached 9.5%.


                                                   52
A total of 1,035,000 receivers are in homes. Of these, set-top boxes make up 890,000, IDTVs make up
35,000 and PC USB receivers make up 110,000. In addition, over 150,000 set-top boxes allow viewers
to access different digital platforms such as DTT and IPTV or DTT and satellite.
These results surpass initial expectations. End of year sales for set-top boxes had initially been placed
at 700,000.
Source: France 2


15 November 2005
Canal+ ready to launch pay DTT services
Canal+ is ready to launch its pay DTT services on 21 November. Services will use the MPEG-4 AVC
video compression standard.
It will launch a premium package and a ‗Minipack'. The premium package consists of Canal+, Canal+
Cinema and Canal+ Sport for €31.90 per month. This is the same price as the subscription for Canal+
on the analogue terrestrial platform. The Minipack consists of Planete (documentaries), Canal-j
(children's), Eurosport and Paris Premiere for €7 per month.
In addition, DTT subscribers must pay an additional €8 per month for rental of set-top box. Already,
Canal+ has ordered 200,000 set-top boxes for roll out.
Canal+ will launch HDTV on satellite after April 2006. HDTV on the terrestrial platform is yet to be
approved by the French broadcast regulator, CSA.
Source: advanced-television.com


4 November 2005
Publication of report on accelerating DTT roll-out
A report on the further roll-out of DTT services in France has beens submitted to the Prime Minister.
The report had been requested by the Prime Minister and the broadcast regulator CSA.
The report highlights the necessary conditions and requirements in order to ensure that 85% of the
French residents can access DTT services by March 2007. It also examines some of the options
possible in order to ensure that 100% of the population can access the free-to-air services available on
the DTT platform.
Source: CSA Website


4 November 2005
Ready for pay-DTT launch
The final two administrative obligations necessary for the launch of pay-DTT services have taken
place. First, the government has published its decree allowing service providers to offer pay-DTT
service bouquets. Second, the broadcast regulator, CSA, has allocated a number slot for each of the
pay-DTT services.


                                                   53
Numbers have been allocated as follows:
30 - TPS Star
31 - Paris Première
32 - Canal+ Sport
33 - Canal+ Cinéma
34 - AB1
35 - Planète
36 - TF6
37 - Canal J
38 - LCI
39 - Eurosport France
Pay-DTT operators will now be able to begin offering their services to subscribers. Canal+ is ready to
launch services in mid-November, at which time its MPEG-3 standard definition set-top boxes will be
delivered. TPS is planning to launch services by the end of the year.
Source: Les Echos


3 November 2005
Eurosport begins MPEG-4 testing
The French broadcast regulator, CSA, has authorised the television programme servie, Eurosport
France, to begin experimental television transmissions using the MPEG-4 standard in standard
definition.
This trial will last until Eurosport officially launches its pay-DTT services. The launch of pay-DTT
services must begin before 1 March 2006.
Source: CSA Website


26 October 2005
€15 million to fund digital television
The government has agreed to create a special fund to ensure that the entire French population is able
to access digital television. In 2006, the fund will consist of €15 million.
According to the current DTT roll-out calendar, 85% of the population will be able to access DTT
services by Spring 2007. However, for the remaining 15%, another solution may be necessary to
ensure that they can receive digital television.
Negotiations are currently underway to help secure DTT services in the border regions. Residents in
these areas should be able to access DTT services by 31 December 2007.
Source: AFP




                                                    54
18 October 2005
Second phase of DTT services launched
The coverage for DTT services has increased to 50% of the population, up from 35% at the time of
launch. Transmitters at 17 new sites came into service on 15 October.
DTT services will now be available in the following cities: Ajaccio, Bayonne, Bourges, Caen,
Cherbourg, Grenoble, Le Havre, Le Mans, Nantes, Orleans, Reims, St Etienne, Toulon and Toulouse.
DTT coverage is expected to increase in June 2006 when a further 19 transmission sites will be
switched-on.
The Prime Minister has tasked the Ministry of Industry to open negotiations with neighbouring
countries over usable frequencies in the border regions.
Source: advanced-television.com


17 October 2005
Prime Miniser gives strong push to DTT
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has called for an acceleration in the roll-out of DTT
services. He would like 85% of the population to be able to access DTT services by spring 2007.
The Under-Minister for Industry, François Loos, has been tasked to begin negotiations with
neighbouring countries to determine what frequencies are available in the border regions so that DTT
services can be launched.
A special fund will be put in place in 2006 to help with digital switch-over in the border areas. In
addition, the funding available for the re-distribution of broadcast frequencies will be increased.
The Minister for Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, will make the necessary modifications to the
current broadcast laws in order to allow for an eventual launch of new services such as HDTV and
mobile television.
In mid-October DTT services entered the second phase of roll-out and now reaches 56% of the
population. Four new television programme services have been launched on the free-to-air DTT
platform making a total of 18 services available to viewers.
Source: NouvelObs.com


3 October 2005
Positive results since DTT launch
For Olivier Gérolami, head of the DTT association Télévision Numérique pour Tous, the launch of
DTT services is going well in France. Discussions are underway to expand DTT coverage and new
services are set for launch.
Already, 685,000 set-top boxes are in use in homes. Of these, 600,000 are set-top boxes, 15,000 are
iDTVs and 70,000 are DVB-T receivers for computers. It is estimated that DTT penetration stands at
over 6%.


                                                   55
Increasing coverage
The Under Minister for Regional Planning, Christian Estrosi, announced that the entire French
territory will be able to receive the services available on the DTT platform by 2007 through the
expansion of the DTT coverage and the launch of free-to-air satellite services.
However, this announcement contradicts declarations made by his predecessors. Estrosi admitted that
further discussion will be necessary with the Ministry of Culture as well as the working group
commissioned to propose recommendations on providing digital services to the French territory.
Currently, DTT services cover 35% of the population and are expected to reach 85% of the popuation
by 2007.
Launch of new services
Four new free-to-air television programme services are ready for launch. The continuous news service
provided by Canal+, i-TELE, will launch on 14 October. The music service Europe 2 TV will launch
on 17 October while the children's service Gulli will launch on 18 October. The the business news
service, BFM TV, has announced that it will launch at the latest on 3 November.
Pay DTT services are expected to launch soon, with Canal+ announcing a launch before Christmas.
New working group
The Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, has announced that he has appointed the Professor
Dominique Roux to draft recommendations on launching new television services such as HDTV and
mobile TV.
Source: ITR News


23 September 2005
New service to launch in October
Commercial broadcaster Canal+ has announced that it will launch its continuous news service on the
free-to-air DTT platform on Friday, 14 October at 19h 20.
I-Télé will be the first service that Canal+ provides on the free-to-air platform. Currently, I-Télé is
available on cable, satellite and ADSL platforms. However, Canal+ plans to make a few changes to
the service.
While its budget will remain unchanged, I-Télé will benefit from the contribution of star presenters,
such as Guillaume Durand.
Canal+ will launch further services on the pay DTT platform.
Source: Le Monde




                                                  56
20 September 2005
Trade group supports MHP adoption
The interactive television trade group AFDESI (Association Française des Développeurs, Editeurs et
Fournisseurs de Services en télévision Interactive) has recommended the adoption of the MHP
standard for interactive services.
AFDESI stated that as a second choice, it supported a standardised version of HTML.
The group convened its special meeting with the aim of ensuring that France does not become the only
European country without widely-available interactive services on its DTT platform.
Source: advanced-television.com


16 September 2005
DTT continues to grow
The interest in DTT services is expected to increase in France. Already, 540,000 set-top boxes have
already been sold and over 1 million will likely be sold by the end of the year.
The second phase in the launch of DTT services will take place at the end of September and be
accompanied by an advertising campaign to begin in early October.
This launch will increase the the population coverage of DTT services from 35% to 50%. With the
addition of 15 transmitter sites, inhabitants of the south west and northern parts of the country will be
able to access DTT services. Cities include Bayonne, Cherbourg, Grenoble, Le Havre, Le Mans,
Nantes, Orléans, Reims, Saint-Étienne, Toulon, as well extended areas in Lille and Toulouse.
In addition, four new television programme services are set to launch on the free-to-air DTT platform
by the end of the year. The pay-DTT platform will likely be launched in early 2006.
With the price of set-top boxes decreasing, many expect that DTT set-top boxes will become a hot
Christmas gift. Some estimate that a simple set-top box may cost between €40-50.
Source: Le Monde


13 September 2005
DVB-H trials to begin in Paris
The French broadcast regulator, CSA, has given its approval for four trials of broadcasting to mobile
receivers. Three trials will test DVB-H services while one trial will test T-DMB services. All trials
will take place in Paris.
The first trial is led by TDF and will use half of the capacity available in Channel 37 for DVB-H
testing. The trial will begin as of 15 September and last for a period of nine months. The other half of
Channel 37 will be used for a second DVB-H trial led by TPS.
Canal+ will lead a third DVB-H trial on Channel 29 for a period of nine months. The trial will have
the same amount of spectrum capacity as available for the other two DVB-H trials.
TF1 and VDL will lead a T-DMB trial for a six month trial beginning on 15 October.


                                                   57
Source: CSA website


8 September 2005
Philips introduces combined satellite and DTT STB
Philips is to make a new ‗Combobox‘ for the French market that will receive both the CanalSat
platform as well as free-to-air DTT services.
The new receiver, known as Mediasat+, was developed by Philips based on specifications from the
Canal Plus Group. Last year Canal Digital released a similar product was released in the Nordic
region.
14 free-to-air television programme services are available on the French DTT platform and such
products ensure that subscribers can receive a full range of national and local channels.
Source: Broadband TV News


31 August 2005
Quality programmes needed for DTT take-off
Manufacturers, led by Sony and Philips, are calling for high-quality programmes on the DTT platform.
According to Philips' marketing director Hubert Bouan du Chef du Bos, the current DTT offer is not a
change from current programming. Rather, he states that viewers will need to wait until the second
phase of the DTT launch, set for September, to access more thematic programming.
The consumer manufacturer association Simavelec is a strong supporter of HDTV and hopes that 2.5
million "HD Ready" televisions will be sold within the next two years. However, Simavelec warns that
much will depend on the effort of broadcasters to make HDTV available.
A study by the research firm NPA estimates that 10.26 million households will receive DTT services
by 2010.
Source: Le Figaro


30 August 2005
Strong growth of digital television expected
Research conducted by the analyst firm NPA estimates that the number of households receiving digital
television will reach 6.7 million by the end of 2005 and 19.7 million by 2010.
By the end of 2005, satellite will hold 60% of the total digital market while DTT will represent 15% of
the market. ADSL and digital cable will each make up 9% and 16% respectively.
However, the situation is likely to change by 2010 when DTT will become the market leader. NPA
estimates that DTT will represent 52% of the total digital market while satellite will make up 24% of
the market. ADSL and cable will each hold 12% of the market.
In order for continued digital growth, the government will need to increase the population coverage for
DTT services. Factors such as the European Commission's recommendation for analogue switch-off in


                                                   58
2012 and the growth of flat panel displays may also help in increasing the penetration of digital
television across all platforms.
Source: La Tribune


26 August 2005
Report on mobile TV submitted to Prime Minister
As per the request of the Prime Minister, Daniel Boudet de Montplaisir has submitted his report on
broadcasting to mobile receivers.
The report provides an analysis of existing technologies that enable broadcasting to mobile receivers.
It also provides an overview of the conditions necessary to ensure a large scale deployment of such
services in France.
The government has stated that it will encourage pilot projects with the aim of providing such services
to the general public. The report calls for a commercial launch of services between the end of 2006
and 2008.
According to the report, one of the major issues affecting broadcasting to mobile services is finding
the necessary frequencies. As such, the report calls for the establishment of a working group that can
look into these issues and submit its recommendations in 2006.
It is likely that the standard selected in France to provide mobile television services will need to be
made in coordination with other European countries.
Source: Report - Télévision numérique et mobilité and 01Net


25 August 2005
CSA approves experimental licences
The French broadcast regulator, CSA, has given its approval to commercial broadcasters Canal+ and
TPS to start transmitting in MPEG-4.
These broadcasters will transmit their television programme services on a trial basis until the official
launch of their pay-DTT services. Pay DTT services must be launched no later than 1 March 2006.
Pay operators on the DTT platform are required to broadcast their content using the MPEG-4 video
compression standard while free-to-air operators broadcast using the MPEG-2 standard.
Source: CSA website


3 August 2005
500,000 DTT receivers sold
According to Olivier Gerolami, head of the DTT organisation Télévision numérique pour tous,
approximately 500,000 DTT receivers have been sold in the three months following the launch of
DTT services in France.



                                                  59
Of the DTT receivers sold, 30,000 have been for computers or offered combined DTT/ADSL services.
This means that with a coverge of 35%, DTT has reached a penetration of 6%.
Gerolami expects that 1 million receivers will be sold by the end of the year. More viewers will be
able to receive DTT services as of 30 September when the DTT coverage expands to 50% of the
population. In addition, four new television programme services will be launched on the free-to-air
DTT platform.
In addition, Gerolami stated that plans are on target to have 10 million DTT households by 2008.
Source: Le Figaro


29 July 2005
CSA supports local stations
The CSA has given local analogue stations a lifeline against potential closure after digital switch-over.
The regulator has proposed that capacity be reserved for them on the DTT platform.
A public consultation will begin in the Autumn. Already, three television programme slots have
already been reserved in the R5 multiplex. However, telecoms operators for mobile TV services are
also seeking the capacity in the R5 multiplex.
The CSA is also considering creating space in existing multiplexes by moving broadcasters to the
MPEG-4 transmission standard.
Source: Broadband TV News


26 July 2005
CSA position on DVB-H
A member from the CSA, Francis Bek, has given his initial thoughts on broadcasting to handheld
receivers in France. According to Bek, this type of broadcasting will need to be regulated by the
French broadcast authority.
He notes that mobile television can take many different forms including in-car reception and via a
computer laptop. Currently several different standards exist includind DVB-H and DMB. In deciding
which standard to adopt, the issues of spectrum requirements and deployment costs will need to be
addressed.
Finally, Bek noted that a business model will need to be developed. Currently, plans are underway for
a DVB-H trial in Paris while approval for a DMB trial is pending.
Source: CSA website


21 July 2005
CSA defines DTT roll-out
The CSA has made several decisions regarding the continued roll-out of DTT services.



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The numbering for the four newly-licensed free-to-air programme services have been attributed
following in sequence from the existing services of 1 to 14. The new television programme services
will have be numbered from 15 to 18 for BFM TV, I-tele, Europe 2 TV, and Gulliver respectively.
These four new services can start broadcasting as of 1 September 2005 but no later than by the end of
November.
- The four additional pay television services have six months to start broadcasting. However, this is
contingent on setting up a commercial distribution network.
- The CSA restructured the services on the multiplexes. The four new free-to-air services are put into
multiplex R2, joining RMC and Direct 8. The four new pay services are attributed to multiplex R3,
which currently broadcasts Canal+ services.
- The CSA decided on 19 new transmission sites for the DTT roll-out in Spring 2006 and another 24
sites for the Autumn 2006 roll-out. This will bring DTT coverage to two-thirds of the population by
the autumn of 2006.
- A joint working group has been set up between the CSA and the government which will make
proposals on how to achieve full digital service coverage. These proposals will be presented on 1
October 2005.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 June 2005
Allocation of remaining multiplex?
Of the six available multiplexes in France, one multiplex has not yet been allocated. With the
broadcast regulator, CSA, expected to allocate this multiplex in October, a battle for frequency has
begun.
While possible usage of this multiplex include broadcasting to handheld receivers and HDTV, many
are now calling for the broadcasting of local television programme services.
Because local television programme services are not available on the DTT network, the 470,000
viewers that have purchased DTT set-top boxes are excluded from some analogue services. And
according to one local broadcaster, without access to the DTT network, local television is likely to
disappear.
Source: Le Figaro


29 June 2005
New DTT service launch expected this autumn
The four television programme services selected by the French broadcast regulator, CSA, to receive
free-to-air DTT licenses are likely to begin broadcasting between mid-September and mid-November.
It is expected that the CSA will deliver their DTT licenses in July as well as the DTT licenses for the
television programme services on the pay platform.


                                                  61
The CSA indicated that the sitaution varies among the broadcasters. While some programme services
already exist on the analogue platform, other programme services, such as BFM TV and Gulliver will
need to be created.
Out of 35 candidates, the CSA selected 8 television service programmes for the pay and free-to-air
DTT platform. They include: Gulliver (free-to-air children's service), Canal J (pay children's service),
Europe 2 TV (free-to-air music service), i-Télé and BFM TV (free-to-air news services) as well as
Canal+'s pay services Canal+ Cinéma, Planète and Canal+ Sport.
Source: AFP


28 June 2005
CSA launches first step in commercialisation of pay DTT services
In preparation for the launch of the pay DTT platform, the French broadcast regulator, CSA, has
opened the registration procedure for commercial agents responsible for selling the services of pay
DTT broadcasters.
According to law, these commercial agents must register with the CSA. Following the establishment
of the channel line up on the pay DTT platform and the registration of commercial agents with the
CSA, it will be possible for viewers to contract pay DTT services.
Source: CSA website


14 June 2005
Musical television services find favour with DTT viewers
Based on a survey conducted by the French magazine Télé Poche, NRJ 12, a musical television
programme service , is the favourite new offering on the DTT platform.
It would seem that musical television programme services are appealing to viewers. The survey also
found that of the four programme services to be launched later in the year on the free-to-air DTT
platform, the musical television service programme Europe 2 TV, is most often cited as a reason to
access DTT services.
In addition, the survey also found that 19% of cable and satellite viewers are considering a switch to
the DTT platform for their main television set.
Source: AFP


10 June 2005
DVB-H trials in Paris
The CSA, the French broadcasting regulator, has given its approval for three trials of DVB-H mobile
television service in the Paris region. After having asked Canal+, TPS and TDF to put forward a joint
approach for such a trial, the CSA has confirmed that its enquiries have been satisfied. One-month
technical transmission tests will be carried out on channel 37 and channel 29.


                                                  62
The CSA has also authorised the participation of Radio France and Radio Orient in the trials and
confirmed that other similar trial requests specifically for radio services would likely be authorised.
Source: advanced-television.com


1 June 2005
Estimated 1.2 million STB to be sold by end 2005
Following the successful launch of DTT services in France on 31 March 2005, approximately 400,000
set-top boxes have been sold. Currently, 80,000 set-top boxes are sold each month although sales are
expected to decrease during the summer months.
However, with the launch of further DTT services, manufacturers expect sales of approximately
150,000 set-top boxes each month between September and November. Sales in December are
traditionally double the sales of the previous months. Thus, it is likely that 1.2 million set-top boxes
will be in homes by the end of the year.
Source: Satellifax


27 May 2005
Canal+ selects Nagravision's CA system
Canal+ has selected Nagravision to secure its four television programme services on the French pay-
DTT platform. This decision provides Nagravision with the opportunity to expand its presence in the
European DTT market. Following the successful roll-outs in Italy and the United Kingdom,
Nagravision is a reference supplier of conditional access solutions for DTT.
Source: advanced-television.com


26 May 2005
HDTV using MPEG-4
The government has decided to use the MPEG-4 video compression standard for all HDTV
transmissions on the DTT platform. This is in accordance with the Prime Minister's decision last
December to use the MPEG-4 standard on the pay DTT platform.
Source: AFP


12 May 2005
DTT coverage by 2006?
The French minister of culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, has announced plans to accelerate the
launch of DTT services in France. Rather than covering 85% of the population by the end of 2007, the
minister hopes to achieve this goal by the end of 2006.
Source: Multimedia La Une



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9 May 2005
CSA selects new DTT television programme services
The CSA has selected the 8 new television service programmes for the DTT platform. Of these, 4
service programmes will be accessible free-to-air while the remaining 4 service programmes are
reserved for the pay-DTT platform.
Free-to-air DTT platform:
BFM - ongoing economic news service
Gulliver - kids programmes
iMCM - music programmes
iTele - ongoing news service
Pay-DTT platform:
Canal J - kids programmes
Canal+ Cinéma - movie programmes
Canal + Sport - sports programmes
Planète - documentaries
License agreements are expected to be signed in June.
Once the legal framework for the implementation of the MPEG-4 standard is put in place, the CSA
will take the necessary decisions leading to the allocation of available capacity. Priority will be given
to regional broadcasting.
Source: CSA website


9 May 2005
Eutelsat ready to service DTT
European satellite operator Eutelsat has announced that it is prepared to provide digital television
services in areas where it will be difficult for households to access digital terrestrial television
services. It is expected that 15% of the French population, mostly located in rural and border areas,
will not be able to access DTT services by 2007.
Source: AFP


29 April 2005
90% DTT awareness
A study by Médiamétrie has shown that 94% of those interviewed for the study were aware of DTT
services. This compares with 35% awareness in 2002. In addition, one third of those interviewed
stated that they had the intention of equipping their household with a DTT set-top box.
According to Olivier Gérolami, head of the French DTT group La Télévision numérique pour tous,
these results are due to the media attention given to DTT as well as the group's publicity campaign.
Source: Le Figaro


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22 April 2005
Estimated 300,000 set-top boxes sold
According to SIMAVELEC, the French consumer electronics manufacturers association, an estimated
300,000 set-top boxes have been sold in France since the launch of DTT services on 31 March.
Source: DTG Website


21 April 2005
Harmonic supports French DTT
TF1 has selected Harmonic's advanced video solutions to support its commercial digital terrestrial
television service in France. TF1 is the operator of the SMR6 DTT multiplex which provides free-to-
air channels (NRJ12, TF1) and pay-TV channels from TF1 Group (LCI, Eurosport, TPS Star).
The new DVB-compliant digital headend—built on Harmonic's DiviCom MV 100 encoding platform,
DiviTrackXE closed-loop statistical multiplexing system and NMX Digital Service Manager—
delivers the flexibility, reliability and outstanding picture quality required for free and pay-TV
services. Harmonic's solution will enable TF1 to simultaneously deliver MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC
based services.
Source: Harmonic press release


7 April 2005
Local stations want DTT licenses
In an interview published in Libération, Gilles Crémilleux, the head of local broadcaster Clermont 1re,
pushes for local broadcasting on the DTT platform. Already, the broadcast regulator, CSA, has
expressed its interest in finding DTT frequecies for local broadcasters.
While one multiplex, R5, has not yet been attributed, some are calling for it to be used for DVB-H or
HDTV. According to Crémilleux, these are secondary issues after local broadcasting. He notes that the
inhabitants of Lyon and Bordeaux can access national broadcast programmes on DTT but rely on the
analogue network for their regional programmes.
Source: Libération


1 April 2005
Set-top boxes selling well
Consumer interest in DTT set-top boxes has been high since the launch of services on 31 March 2005.
Internet reseller Rueducommerce announced that it has already sold 1,000 set-top boxes. Carrefour
announced that it sold 25,000 set-top boxes during the first week following the launch while Darty
stated that it sold 30,000 set-top boxes.
Source: ITRNews



                                                   65
1 April 2005
1 million DTT households by the end of 2005
France's DTT service expects between 700,000 and 1m STBs will be bought by the end of 2005. "It is
difficult to tell how quickly it will take off, but we're optimistic that it will revolutionise television in
France," said Olivier Gerolami, chief operating officer of the Groupement Television Numerique Pour
Tous.
Source: advanced-television.com


1 April 2005
DTT services have officially begun
French DTT has been officially launched by the Prime Minister on 31 March at 18.00. Currently, 35%
of the population will be able to access 14 free-to-air television programme services. Coverage will be
extended to 50% of the population in September. Additional free-to-air television services will likely
launch in June while the pay DTT platform will launch in September.
Source: CSA website


31 March 2005
STB sales already underway
According to analysts at GfK, approximately 75,000 set-top boxes have already been sold in France.
Consumers have favoured set-top boxes costing around €100.
Source: ITR News


31 March 2005
1 out of 4 households want DTT
Based on a study by Médiamétrie, 27% of French households have the intention of accessing DTT
services. The percentage is higher among men (33%) compared to women (22%). Those aged between
18-34 favoured accessing DTT services (30%) compared to those over the age of 65 (65%).
Source: ITR News


30 March 2005
Preparation for 2nd DTT phase
As France readies to officially launch its DTT services on 31 March to 35% of the population, the next
phase of DTT roll-out is already underway. The CSA has announced that multiplex operators must
extend their current DTT coverage area to 50% of the population during the month of September.
This means that inhabitants of the following cities have access to DTT services: Ajaccio, Bayonne,
Bourges, Caen, Cherbourg, Grenoble, Le Havre, Le Mans, Nantes, Orléans, Reims, Saint-Étienne,
Toulon, as well an extended area in Lille and Toulouse.


                                                     66
Source: CSA website


22 March 2005
CSA request new working group on expanding DTT coverage
The CSA has sent a letter to the French Prime Minister requesting the establishment of a working
group to examine the issue of accessing free-to-air digital television services in remote locations.
According to current roll-out plans, DTT will cover 85% of the population by 2007. However, it may
be difficult to provide DTT services to the remaining 15% of the population. The proposed Working
Group would be mandated to provide technical, legal and economic proposals on how digital
television services can be accessed by the entire population following analogue switch-off.
Source: CSA website


15 March 2005
Increase in DTT awareness
The results of a study conducted by Médiamétrie in February show that 69.9% of French over the age
of 18 are aware of DTT. This compares with 59.4% awareness in January 2005. As part of the study,
3498 household heads were interviewed.
Source: Media BB


14 March 2005
No more than 15-20 programmes on free-to-air DTT
In an interview published in Le Figaro, the head of the CSA, Dominique Baudis, provides his thoughts
on DTT in France.
He believes that no more than 15-20 television programme service slots should be made available on
the free-to-air DTT platform. Currently, 13 programme service slots are set for launch on 31 March
and up to additional 8 licenses are available. However, it has not yet been announced how many of the
8 available licenses will be reserved for the free-to-air or pay DTT platforms. Baudis also believes that
analogue switch-off will take place in the next ten years.
Source: Le Figaro


14 March 2005
Bids for DTT licenses submitted
The CSA has received 35 bids for the 8 licenses available on the DTT platform. It has not yet been
determine which of these licenses will be on the pay and free-to-air DTT platforms. Broadcasters had
until Friday, 11 March to submit their bids.
The group Canal+ caused the biggest surprise by submitting a bid for its news channel i-télé on the
free-to-air platform. If Canal+ is successful in its bid, this would be the first time that the group is


                                                   67
available on a free-to-air platform in France. Originally, i-télé was part of the pay-DTT platform until
the licenses held by the groups Canal+ and Lagardère were revoked by the French government in
October 2004.
Among the other contenders, public broadcaster Francetélévisions submitted a bid with the Lagardère
group for a free-to-air kids channel called Jeunesse TV. Others broadcasters submitting bids included
TF1 with its TV Breizh channel, NRJ, M6 and Nextradio. No bids were received from foreign
broadcasters.
Source: Le Figaro


11 March 2005
Canal Plus makes new STBs available
With the upcoming launch of DTT services in France, Canal Plus will make new set-top boxes
available to its subscribers. Subscribers to Canal Satellite will be able to rent a set-top box which
contains a tuner for satellite as well as a tuner for DTT.
This will enable subscribers to access all free-to-air DTT programme services, including those which
have refused to be carried on the Canal Satellite platform. Canal Plus analogue subscribers will be able
to rent a set-top box that features a built-in DTT tuner.
Source: advanced-television.com


10 March 2005
Sagem demos DTT HD/SD set-top box
French manufacturer Sagem unveiled its prototype DTT set top box that can decode MPEG 4 HDTV
signals, as well as standard definition signals and MPEG 2. Sagem expects to begin production of the
set-top box by the end of the year.
Source: advanced-television.com


8 March 2005
Surprise candidate for DTT platform
Viacom-MTV has submitted its candidacy for two licenses on the French free-to-air DTT platform.
The group would like to use the licenses for its music channel MTV Extra and its kids channel
Nickelodeon. MTV is currently available on the French pay cable and satellite platforms.
Source: Le Figaro


21 February 2005
Few set-top boxes available
Despite the imminent arrival of free-to-air DTT in France, few set-top boxes are available in stores or
on Internet sites.


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According to IRT News, Cdiscount and Darty are not currently selling DTT set-top boxes. And those
that are, such as Fnac, have a poor selection range. Fnace currently offers 6 products (3 set-top box
models and 3 amplified antennas) while Rueducommerce offers two types of set-top boxes.
Source: IRT News


16 February 2005
Neuf Telecom adds DTT to IPTV
Neuf Telecom has added digital terrestrial television functionality to its TV over IP decoder.
Subscribers will now be able to opt for a set top box with an aerial input connector in order to be able
to access free-to-air DTT services should they be within the DTT coverage zone.
Viewers will be able to watch television programmes from broadcasters TF1 and M6, both of which
have refused to be carried by Neuf TV, but are accessible on the DTT platform, using a single remote
control and display.
Source: advanced-television.com


16 February 2005
8 DTT licenses available
The CSA is receiving applications for 8 digital terrestrial television licenses currently available.
Candidates have until 11 March to submit their applications and final authorisations are expected to be
delivered on 7 June.
While 7 of these DTT licenses were originally set aside for the pay-DTT platform, the CSA has not
yet confirmed whether or not it will apply the same mix betweeen pay and free-to-air DTT platforms.
This means that the free-to-air DTT offer may increase.
Six of these licenses are available following the decision by the Conseil d'Etat to revoke 6 licenses
held by the Canal+ and Lagardère groups. The remaining two licenses have been returned to the CSA
by the licenses holders. The licenses were for Match TV, and Cuisine TV/Comedie (shared
frequency).
Source: CSA website


3 February 2005
Free-to-air DTT to begin on 31 March 2005
The CSA has confirmed that free-to-air DTT will commence on 31 March 2005. Initially, 35% of the
population will be covered through 17 transmission sites. In September, the coverage area will
increase to 50% of the population with the addition of 15 transmission sites.
Source: CSA website




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3 February 2005
60% of population aware of DTT
According to a survey conducted by Médiamétrie, 6 out of 10 adults are aware of DTT. Awareness is
higher among men than women (67.4% compared to 52.6%). Age also has an impact on DTT
awareness: 51.5% of those under 35 years are aware, compared with 55.8% of 35-49 years, 63.3% of
50-64 years and 65.4% of those in the over 65 years age group.
Source: ITR new


27 January 2005
France Télévisions to invest €35 million in DTT
In an interview with Le Monde, Marc Tessier, president of public broadcaster France Télévisions,
announced that his group will invest €35 million in DTT. Of this total, the government has allocated
€15 million in additional funding.
The funds will be used to support the programming for the two new channels to be launched by the
public broadcaster - France 4 & France 5.
Source: Le Monde


25 January 2005
French DTT programme services unveiled
The programme services to be launched as part of France's new free-to-air DTT service have been
revealed. Festival, which will be renamed 'France 4' will target 25-49 year olds with movies, drama,
performing arts and sports. It has a budget of €18m, of which €12m will be devoted to programming.
The new Direct 8 will air live talk shows and movies. NT1 from the AB Group intends to target all
audiences with a lineup including drama and an evening news show.
Source: Digital Spy


24 January 2005
Cable association objects to free DTT publicity
The French cable industry association, AFORM, sent a letter to the CSA, the French broadcast
regulator, expressing their surprise with status of "general interest" given to the information
announcements on the launch of free-to-air digital terrestrial television in France. The status allows
French public broadcaster, France Télévisions, to promote the DTT launch.
The CSA defended its decision in its response to AFORM. The CSA stated that it is in the interest of
viewers to be informed on how to access free-to-air DTT services since it will provide more
programme services. In addition, the information announcements only concerns the free-to-air DTT
offer and not the pay-DTT offer.
Source: CSA website


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18 January 2005
DTT testing begin
DTT testing has started in France, in preparation for the official free-to-air DTT launch on 31 March.
Transmission began on Monday, 17 January at noon from the Eiffel Tower.
The DTT testing aims to eliminate any existing technical problems and to make the necessary
adjustments to antennas and other equipment.
Source: IRT News


18 January 2005
DTT cooperation between France and Italy
France and Italy have signed an industrial cooperation accord for the promotion of digital television.
The accord was signed during a meeting between the French Minister for Industry, Patrick Devedjian
and the Italian Minister for Communications, Maurizzio Gasparri.
As part of the cooperation, France and Italy have agreed to share information, especially related to
standards, coordinate their positions related to digital television and to promote investment in the DTT
sector.
Source: AFP


13 January 2005
Canal+ and Lagardère to bid for DTT licenses separately
French media groups Canal+ and Lagardère are to abandon their shareholdings in each other‘s
businesses ahead of the new licensing round for DTT services scheduled for February 18. Lagardere
has bought back its 49% stake held by Canal in Lagardère Thematiques while Canal has repurchased
Lagardère‘s 27.4% in Multithematiques.
The two were originally awarded licences for six of their joint venture channels until the State Council
was ruled that Canal had exceeded the number of licences it was allowed to hold. By bidding
separately the two believe they stand more chance of being reawarded the licence. However, it is
thought that regulator CSA may be looking to offer more free, rather than pay, channels.
Source: Broadband TV News


11 January 2005
TPS ready to launch pay DTT services in May 2005
The French pay-TV operator TPS has informed the CSA that it is ready to launch its pay DTT
programme service, TPS Star, using the MPEG-4 standard as of May 2005.
Pay DTT services were set to begin in September 2005. However, following the Prime Minister's
announcement in late December that the pay DTT services would use the MPEG-4 standard, the pay



                                                  71
services may be delayed until March 2006. Free-to-air DTT services are set for launch in March 2005
using the MPEG-2 standard.
Source: TVNT.net


24 December 2004
Government selects MPEG-4 standard for pay DTT services
The French Prime Minister has opted for the use of the MPEG-4 standard for pay DTT services in
France despite opposition from the CSA. The CSA had favoured the launch of DTT services using the
MPEG-2 standard.
It is expected that by using the MPEG-4 standard for pay-tv services, resources will be made available
for other digital television services such as regional programming, HDTV and DVB-H.
Free-to-air DTT services are set to be launched in March 2005 using the MPEG-2 standard. Technical
issues will need to resolve how to broadcast both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 services from a single
multiplex. While pay DTT services were initially scheduled for launch in September 2005, the launch
is expected to be delayed until Spring 2006.
Source: Press release issued by Prime Minister's office


21 December 2004
CSA calls for MPEG-2 on pay DTT platform
The CSA has published the letter sent to the French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in which it
calls for the use of the MPEG-2 standard for DTT services on the pay TV platform.
The CSA's letter quotes a previous letter sent to the Prime Minister calling for the launch of DTT
using MPEG-2 on both the free-to-air and pay TV platforms. The CSA also states that a large majority
of the key DTT players prefer a pay-TV launch using the MPEG-2 standard.
Source: CSA website


16 December 2004
CSA opens tender for 6 DTT licenses
As of 14 December, the CSA has opened its call for bids. Candidates can bid for six national DTT
channels. These licenses are available following the government decision to annul the licenses held by
Canal+ and the Lagardère group on 20 October 2004.
It has not yet been determined if the licenses will be free-to-air, pay TV or a combination of the two.
The deadline to submit candidacies is set for 18 February 2005. The CSA will provide a shortlist of
candidates on 19 April followed by the issuing of licenses on 17 May.
Source: CSA webstie




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14 December 2004
Free-to-air DTT channel line-up set
Through a lottery held on 7 December, the free-to-air DTT channel line-up has been decided as
follows:
1 - TF1
2 - France 2
3 - France 3
4 - Canal+
5 - France 5
6 - M6
7 - Arte
8 - Direct 8
9 - M6 Music
10 - TMC
11 - NT1
12 - NRJ TV
13 - La Chaîne parlementaire
14 - Festival
Source: CSA website


30 November 2004
DTT pre-launch in January
A meeting of the suppliers of the free channels on the future French DTT service and the Minister of
Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, has decided on a pre-launch on 15 January 2005, from the
Eiffel Tower transmission site.
A meeting is set for 13 December with the Digital Economy Mission of the Ministry of Finance and
Industry, to settle the implementation of this pre-launch. The official date for the launch of the free
channels is 1 March 2005, reaching about half the population.
The pre-launch will enable early adopters in Paris to try out the reception and it will also enable
antenna installers to get ready for the launch.
Source: advanced-television.com


29 November 2004
TF1 supports MPEG-2 for DTT
Patrick Le Lay, the head of leading commercial analogue broadcaster TF1, which also supplies a range
of thematic channels, has announced that his group will broadcast in MPEG-2 on digital terrestrial
television (DTT). Since 2000, he has been a strong proponent of using DTT for broadcasting in high


                                                  73
definition. This would entail the use of MPEG-4 compression, still not fully completed for DTT use. It
was generally seen as a tactic to delay the launch of DTT, which could take part TF1's large slice of
the advertising cake.
Le Lay visited TV regulator the CSA to put his case. Interviewed in the press afterwards, he said that
he had abandoned the idea of putting HDTV on DTT, saying that it was not appropriate. His group
would put HDTV on TPS, via cable, satellite and ADSL.
The reason given for this about-turn is "pragmatism", given that MPEG-2 had been chosen for the free
channels, and that a mix of standards would be the worst possible scenario.
Source: advanced-television.com


26 November 2004
French mobile TV project
The heads of the main telecoms and broadcasting companies and organisations are backing the launch
of mobile TV, under a push from the industry minister, Patrick Devedjian.
The project comprises a number of actions. One is to set up a technical committee to meet every three
months, and for an annual public review of progress. The group aims to lobby the authorities for the
conditions to foster mobile TV, including reserving spectrum capacity. It called for the currently
vacant DTT multiplex, known as R5, to be handed to mobile TV using DVB-H format with video
compressed in MPEG-4. Another call was to initiate a long term (at least six months) trial before the
end of 2005, and short-term demonstrations in several cities.
The joint project was signed up to by around fifty players, including TF1, France Televisions, Canal+,
Vivendi, Orange, TPS, Eutelsat, Astra, Nokia, Thomson, Sagem and Alcatel amongst others.
However, not all opinions were united. The CSA, called the proposal "an attempted take-over of R5",
and pointed out that R5 is only vacant for the time being because the government dropped two of the
channels which were to be used by France Televsions, and three channels are set aside for local
channels.
While those present were on the whole favourable to the idea of mobile TV, many observers see it as
another attempt to kill off DTT before it is launched in March 2005. The public will be wary of buying
a decoder while there is doubt over standards.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 November 2004
France to launch free-to-air DTT using MPEG-2
The French Prime Minister has confirmed that free-to-air digital terrestrial television will be launched
in March 2005 using the MPEG-2 standard. He stated that "By March 2005, I wanted us to be able to
expand the free-to-air service from French channels. That decision has been taken today. As from
March 2005, we are going to treble the number of free television services."


                                                  74
The French minister of Industry and commercial broadcaster TF1 had lobbied for the launch of DTT
using the MPEG-4 standard. The standard to use for pay-televison, set to launch in September 2005,
has not yet been confirmed.
Source: advanced-television.com


5 November 2004
HDTV debate continues
There was a sharp divide at this week's HD conference in Paris over the way ahead for High Definition
TV.
On the one side was those who felt that HDTV should be launched via DTT, using the MPEG4
standard. This group was led by TF1, a longstanding opponent of DTT. The opposing camp, speaking
from the floor as they had not been invited to be present on the panel, felt HDTV is better carried by
cable, satellite and ADSL, but not be DTT.
The industry minister, Patrick Devedjian, came out strongly for the TF1 camp. He gave six arguments:
(1) it can be introduced without affecting the channel selection made by the CSA, (2) MPEG 4 is now
a mature format, (3) there is no legal reason preventing the use of a format (MPEG4) on DTT, (4) the
State has invested in new applications using MPEG4 as part of its research support programme, (5)
French and European industry has a lead in know-how on this format, while the USA is trying to
impose its competing WM9 format. (6) the timetable to roll out DTT set by the CSA can be
maintained. He said that cable and satellite only reached a small proportion of viewers and it was not
fair to deprive the rest of access to HDTV.
The counter arguments included that any change would introduce additional new, unforeseen delays;
new entrants had invested heavily on the strength of the existing timetable, it would degrade
bandwidth available for standard definition programmes, and that people going to the expense of
buying HDTV would be natural subscribers to cable, satellite or ADSL.
Many industry observers see the position as government payback to TF1 for having supported it in the
past.
Source: advanced-television.com


25 October 2004
Publication of the "Boudet" report
Daniel Boudet de Montplaisir issued his recommendations on DTT and HDTV in France to the the
Prime Minister. In his report, Boudet affirms that HDTV should be accessible via all broadcast
mechanisms, including terrestrial television.
The report gives 8 possible scenarios for the launch of DTT in France although he gives his preference
for two options.



                                                 75
The first option would recommends launching DTT in March 2005 using the MPEG-2 format but
using one multiplex to experiment with the MPEG-4 format. The second option would consist of
deploying DTT using MPEG-2 in a first phase following by the use of the MPEG-4 format as of
September 2005. Thus, both standards would be simultaneously broadcast for given period of time.
Source: Prime Minister's website


22 October 2004
CSA letter to the Prime Minister
Following the publication of the "Hubert" report, the CSA has issued a letter to the Prime Minister.
The Hubert report, issued to the Minister of Industry, recommends a launch of DTT using the MPEG-
4 standard. This would mean a delay in the initial DTT launch set for March 2005. (See news dated 7
October)
In its letter, the CSA highlights that the DTT launch in MPEG-2 can provide a the benefits of DTT to
a maximum number of viewers. The CSA encourages the Prime Minister to retain the original launch
date.
Source: CSA website


22 October 2004
6 DTT licenses revoked
As expected, the Conseil d'Etat (State Council) has revoked the 6 licenses held by the Canal+ and the
Lagardère Group. Because Canal+ has joint ownership of Lagardère Thematique, the 2 licenses
awarded to Lagardère Thematique also count as part of the total number of licenses awarded to the
Canal+ Group. This means that the total number of licenses awarded to Canal+ reached 7 (Canal+ also
has a scrambled analogue channel which is unaffected by the decision). At the time when the CSA
awarded the DTT licenses, the law limited the total number of licenses that any one operator could
hold to 5.
Following this decision by the Conseil d'Etat, the CSA has opened the bids for these licenses. All but
one channel are pay TV. Candidates must submit their bids by 1 December 2004. More information
can be found on the CSA website.
Source: advanced-television.com


7 October 2004
"Hubert" report on DTT launch
Patrick Devedjian, the French Minister of Industry, received a report entitled "Digital Television:
issues and perspectives for 2005" on 6 October from Jean-Michel Hubert, Vice President of the CGTI
(General Council on Information Technology). The report calls for the launch of DTT using the



                                                 76
MPEG-4 standard since it can allow for the emergence of new services such as mobile television and
HDTV.
However, the report suggests that the DTT launch be delayed until September 2005 in order to ensure
that MPEG-4 is widely available.
Source: Ministry of Industry website


6 September 2004
TF1 chief maintains DTT hostility
When presenting TF1 Group's half-year results, chairman and CEO Patrick Le Lay continued to
express his hostility to DTT, saying that the group was ready for it but it was a poor scenario for
France. However, he noted that DTT constituted an opportunity for the Group's premium channel TPS
Star. If DTT replaced the current analogue network, TPS Star would be on an equal footing with
Canal+.
TF1's six month results showed a profit of €161.5 million (up 17.3%). The cost of programming
increased by 2.9% to €439 million. Operating profit was €292.9 million, an increase of 25.8%.
Source: advanced-television.com


22 July 2004
France to launch DTT services using MPEG-2
The French government has confirmed that digital terrestrial television will be launched using MPEG-
2 ending an earlier debate on the possibility of using MPEG-4 as had preferred the commercial
television channel TF1. France is set to launch its free-to-air DTT services in March 2005.
In addition, a report is currently underway by Daniel Boudet de Montplaisir on the strategies for
introducing MPEG-4. The report will be due on 30 September 2005.
Source: CSA website


13 July 2004
Call for a single standard on DTT
Three French media groups have reacted strongly to last week's announcement that the government
would encourage the migration to MPEG4 for DTT. AB Groupe, Bollore and NRJ issued a joint
statement on Friday "solemnly asking the Prime Minister to arbitrate in favour of the definitive
adoption of the MPEG2 standard for all free and pay channels on DTT," and to "limit the mission on
the evolution of standards to only cable, satellite and ADSL".
These three groups are all suppliers of channels to the free DTT service, scheduled to begin in March
2005. Their reaction is to the announcement by the Minister of Industry (see Advanced Television
12/7) that he wanted both MPEG2 and MPEG4 standards to be authorised for use on DTT. It is the
powerful TF1 group that has called for the use of MPEG4 in order to provide improved compression


                                                  77
so that HDTV can be broadcast on DTT. Some observers consider this to be intended to limit the entry
of new players into DTT.
The three groups in Friday's announcement consider that while MPEG4 could provide undeniable
progress, it is still experimental. It would also add to costs for both broadcasters and viewers,
particularly for HDTV. Its use only makes sense for cable, satellite and ADSL.
Finally, they add that "it is indispensable that DTT be launched as soon as possible, and definitively
confirmed in MPEG2, the standard used for DTT throughout Europe and beyond".
Source: advanced-television.com


12 July 2004
MPEG2 and MPEG4 may co-exist on French DTT
French industry minister Patrick Devedjian officially launched the HD Forum on Thursday (July 8th).
At the same time an HDTV channel was launched to provide a signal source for test and
demonstration purposes, using a transponder made available free of charge on Eutelsat Hotbird.
The forum intends to push HDTV on all digital transmission media, cable, satellite, ADSL and
eventually DTT. Devedjian added that he expected HDTV to rapidly migrate to DTT and be a motor
for its takeup.
Some players, notably TF1, have been pushing for the launch of DTT to be delayed and switched to
the MPEG4 standard, which enables a greater rate of compression.
Devedjian said that the timetable for the launch of DTT in France (March 2005 for the FTA channels,
pay channels six months later) would be maintained. However, he said that he would put forward an
amendment to the law of 2000 that limits DTT to the use of MPEG 2, so that MPEG4 may be used if
the broadcasters so wish. He also announced that he would ask the general council on technology to
draw up a list of propositions before the summer to facilitate the move from MPEG2 to MPEG4.
Source: advanced-television.com


8 July 2004
Towercast shows mobile DVB-T radio
French broadcast transmission company Towercast demonstrated mobile DVB-T radio in Paristhis
week. It used a DTT multiplex that the CSA has authorised it to use for test purposes, to broadcast 50
radio channels.
The test is continuing until the end of the month. Towercast used QPSK modulation, because this is
more robust, along with standard models of UK Freeview receivers installed in a car, and drove
journalists around the streets in Paris. QPSK modulation is better adapted for the moving vehicles; it
also enables a larger coverage than the 16 QAM and 64 QAM used by TV services.




                                                 78
Christophe Cornillet, Towercast's technical manager, explained that the purpose of the demo was to
prove feasibility. It comes just three weeks after DAB (which the BBC has been trying to push for
several years in the UK) has been finally wound up in France.
Some industry observers have said that there were still more transmitters than receivers in use. "In the
UK, 4 million homes can get radio via DTT," said Cornillet, "less than a tenth that figure have DAB,
even though DAB has been going on for much longer".
The Towercast demo showed that using DTT technology is a very cost effective way of bringing
digital radio to a wide public, including those in cars.
The French DTT plan is to launch next year, beginning in March with free to air channels. No radio
channels are currently planned although one multiplex still remains to be attributed.
Source: advanced-television.com


21 June 2004
TF1 plans DTT route to HDTV
French broadcaster TF1 is looking to use digital terrestrial television as the most effective means of
introducing HDTV. Following comments by Patrick le Lay, President of TF1 that the service should
be distributed "in the best possible way, and that means HD," TF1's Director of advanced
technologies, Olivier Abecassis, revealed that HD was now a priority.
"Much depends on the French government mandating the appropriate digital terrestrial standards," said
Abecassis. "We're ready to launch HDTV free-to-air on digital terrestrial, as well as on pay-TV via
TPS's satellite and DSL services." Abecassis admitted that bit-rate issues needed to be resolved for
DSL.
Source: advanced-television.com


17 June 2004
TPS joins European move to HD
French pay-TV platform TPS has announced plans to enter the high definition television arena. TPS
president Emmanuel Florent said that HD versions of its film and sports channels would launch during
2005 – a year earlier than planned by BSkyB.
Florent plans to make the HD channels available across cable, satellite and ADSL. He also hopes to
secure digital terrestrial capacity for the service, which will transmit in the MPEG-4 format.
The majority of the rights for TPS Star have already been cleared for HD transmission. Florent also
expressed confidence that terrestrial channels TF1 and M6 would also participate with their own HD
services.
Source: Broadband TV News




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15 June 2004
French DTT channels team up
A collection of channels soon to be broadcast free-to-air on French digital terrestrial television have
joined forces, with the aim of ensuring the success of the launch of the service in France. News of the
body's creation follows the announcement of a March 2005 launch date for French DTT services.
The collective, dubbed 'Television Numerique pour Tous' (Digital Television for All), has as its
members such broadcasting organisations as France Televisions, AB, NRJ, Bollore, ARTE, LCP-AN
and Public Senat.
The grouping's mission will be to inform the public at large about digital terrestrial television, and
liaise with TNT, with appropriate professional bodies such as manufacturers, aerial installers and
retailers and to facilitate public access free channels.
The body says that it will be able to welcome as members all audiovisual industry players with free to
air digital channels who share the desire to see rapid viewer take-up and the success of DTT in France.
The service's free channels will be TF1, M6, Canal+'s unencrypted service, France 2, France 3, France
5, Festival, Arte, La Chaîne parlementaire, Direct 8, MCM, M6 Music, NRJ, NT1 and TMC. A range
of pay services are scheduled to be launched in September 2005.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 June 2004
French DTT to launch March 2005
Now that the French Parliament has passed the electronic communications act, known as Paquet
Telecoms, the French broadcasting regulator (the CSA) has set the launch timetable for DTT -
renamed TNT for Television Numerique pour Tous.
The free-to-air channels are due to start on 1 March 2005 and the pay channels six months later. The
FTA channels will have one month to launch effectively and if they do not launch they may forfeit
their DTT allocation. The pay channels have six months in which to launch after the official starting
date.
Seventeen transmission sites will be in operation at launch, mainly in the large cities, reaching around
35 per cent of the population. This will rise to 50 per cent by the time of the pay TV launch. The
ultimate aim is to reach 85 percent (with 117 transmission sites) by 2007.
The staggered launch of pay and free channels was requested by the pay channels themselves for two
reasons. One is to give the pay TV operators time to deploy. The second is to avoid confusion among
the general public. "Up to now," explained Dominique Baudis, chairman of the CSA, "all the extra
channels that have launched have been part of a pay platform, whether Canal Satellite, TPS or a cable
operator. If free and pay channels were to start simultaneously on the new platform, some members of
the public might think that they have to take out a subscription before they can receive the free
channels."


                                                     80
The Paquet Telecoms act also gives a date for the end of analogue transmission: five years after the
launch of DTT, subject to sufficient coverage and penetration. This means the earliest analogue switch
off date would be March 2010.
Source: advanced-television.com


3 June 2004
M6 adds to HDTV call
M6 chief executive Nicolas de Tavernost has joined the growing French chorus calling for a delay in
the launch of digital terrestrial television services to allow broadcasters to take advantage of high
definition technology.
De Tavernost compared the proposed launch this December to travelling by a steam train when an
electric model was available. He said it was a pity to force MPEG-2 decoders onto the market when
MPEG-4 decoders would be available in 18 months. The French regulator CSA is expected to
officially confirm the start date in the next week.
Source: Broadband TV News


6 May 2004
French DTT: launch date will be known this month
The CSA will announce the date of the launch of DTT in France after May 13, according to Yvon Le
Bars, the CSA Counsellor in charge of DTT. The CSA does not want to pre-date adoption of new
media laws by the Parliament.
The broadcasting bills have gone through both houses of parliament, where they have been heavily
amended. A joint parliamentary committee is to meet on May 11 and will draw up the final version of
l for publication, incorporating the amendments from both houses. It is after this committee meets that
the CSA will be able to announce the start date for DTT.
The CSA has already set the launch window as 1 December 2004 to 31 March 2005. Meanwhile, more
analogue frequencies are being changed to provide space for the digital broadcasts. At launch the
reach will be at least 50 per cent of the population.
Yvon Le Bars also disclosed that a preliminary launch could take place in the next three or four
months. This would be on one or two multiplexes carrying free to air channels in a limited number of
cities. The purpose is to enable antenna installers to check reception, and also for the public to get
accustomed to the idea of DTT.
Source: Advanced-Television.com




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3 March 2004
France's CSA launches R5 mux consultation
Le Conseil Supérieur de L'audiovisuel (CSA), the French broadcasting regulator has launched a
slightly delayed public consultation over the proposed use of the currently vacant R5 multiplex, with
the deadline for replies set at 31 March, before issuing a call for tenders. TF1 Group, well known for
its opposition to DTT, has already written to the CSA to indicate that it feels that HDTV would be a
far better use for DTT.
The delay in launching the consultation was due to a pause whilst new telecoms legislation, which will
now go before France's Senat in April, was passed by the National Assembly just recently.
Public sector channels have now been grouped on the R1 mux whilst R2, R3, R4 and R6 are to be used
for the 23 private sector channels, on 22 broadcasting streams (two channels will time share). CSA
president Dominique Baudis (right) recently indicated that the CSA would look favourably on requests
for early deployment of free-to-air DTT channels, as experience in the UK has shown that they can
generate a quick uptake in the early stages.
Source: DTG website


27 February 2004
Le Lay Says HDTV will boost DTT
While presenting TF1's results, Patrick Le Lay, president of the group, said that HDTV would be the
driving force for DTT. Le Lay pointed out that in the USA 5 million homes already have HDTV, with
fabulous picture quality. TF1 should be distributed in the best possible way, i.e. HDTV, and DTT is
the only way to achieve this very rapidly.
He added that the group was in discussion with the CSA and the government about this and was
hopeful of a favourable outcome. The DTT roll-out plan is for tests during 2004, commercial launch in
Q3 and Q4 of 2005, with a boost from transmission of the World Cup in 2006. Some observers believe
the enthusiasm for HDTV may be a ploy by TF1 to try and put back the launch of DTT, which it has
publicly opposed.
TF1 has invested €12.7m in DTT in Italy, where it has 49 percent of Prima TV, which has a license for
a national DTT mutliplex, to launch a range of free channels. It expects to have a positive operating
result from the first year, 2004.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                               Germany
:: 30 May 2006
Trial DVB-H service launch for World Cup



                                                 82
Mobile operators E-Plus, O2, T-Mobile and Vodafone are planning to launch a trial DVB-H service.
The trial will begin alongside the FIFA World Cup and run until 31 August 2006 in the cities of
Berlin, Hamburg and Hanover. In Munich, the trial will finish on 31 July 2006.
Viewers will be able to access 14 television and 6 radio programmes from receivers provided by
BenQ, Motorola, Nokia, Sagem and Samsung. T-Systems will operate the DVB-H platform and
provide the transmitter network.
The regional media authorities in Berlin and Brandenburg (mabb), Hamburg (HAM), Niedersachsen
(NLM) and Bayern (BLM) have closely cooperated with the mobile operators and content providers to
help launch the trial.
Source: DVB-H website and DM Europe


5 May 2006
DTT coverage expands in Bavaria
Information campaigns have begun in Lower Franconia to provide viewers with information on the
upcoming launch of DTT services on 29 May. Viewers will be able to access 10 television programme
services on the free-to-air DTT platform.
DTT test signals will be broadcast as of 8 May. This will allow viewers to test their DTT equipment to
ensure that it functions properly.
The new DTT services will replace the existing three television channels available on the analogue
terrestrial platform. The new services include: First and Second Channel of German Television,
Bavarian television, BR alpha, 3sat, PHOENIX, arte, unity plus, KI.KA, southwest television, HR-
watches television, Second Channel of German Television info. channel, ZDFdokukanal and MHP
services.
Source: DVB-T Bayern: Das UberallFernsehen


5 April 2006
Further DTT launches expected in May
With the upcoming World Cup, further regions in Germany will benefit from the launch of free-to-air
DTT services.
Services are expected to begin in the middle to end of May and will offer viewers with access to up to
11 television programme services offered by the public service broadcasters. At this stage, commercial
broadcasters have decided not to extend their given coverage on the DTT platform.
Specifically, the areas of Stuttgart, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Heidelberg and Kaiserslauten will be
able to access DTT services. In the northern part of Germany, Northrein-Westphalia as well in Bavaria
additional transmitter-sites will extend the current coverage of DTT services.
The launch of DTT services will coincide with the simultaneous switch-off of analogue terrestrial
television services. Following the example from the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in December


                                                  83
2005, the state of Hess will completely switch its terrestrial platform from analogue to digital on 29
May.
It is for this reason that publicity campaigns with hotline- and online-support have begun in order to
inform viewers about the upcoming analogue switch-off. While analogue switch-off is expected to
affect approximately 5% of the population in these areas, new viewers may find interest in the DTT
platform.
Source: SWR.de and T-Systems


20 March 2006
Further DTT launches expected in Bavaria
Additional areas in the Land of Bavaria are expected to launch DTT services on 29 May 2006. These
areas include Würzburg and Regensburg as well as parts of Upper Palatinate, Lower Bavaria and
Lower Franconia.
Twelve television programme services offered by public broadcasters will be available in these areas.
Already, DTT services in Bavaria are accessible in the areas of Munich / Southern Bavaria and
Nuremburg.
Approximately 90% of the population in Germany will be able to access DTT services by the end of
2008.
Source: DVB-T Bayern website


7 February 2006
Much interest in DVB-H trial in Hamburg
The broadcast regulator in Hamburg, Institute for New Media (HAM), has announced that seven
companies have expressed an interest in running a trial DVB-H platform. The trial will serve as a
precursor to the commercial launch of DVB-H services.
The interested platform providers include:
- E-Plus Mobilfunk
- MFD Mobiles Fernsehen Deutschland
- NEVA Media
- O2 Germany
- T-Mobile Deutschland
- T-Systems Business Services
- Vodafone D2
The trial will take place in Hamburg, Berlin and Hannover and will likely begin in the next few
months.




                                                 84
According to the Dr. Lothar Jene, director of HAM, "The pilot projects will function as door openers.
The interest of important players in the call for interest is an indication of the chances that DVB-H
has."
In addition, fourteen broadcasters and content providers, including ZDF, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1,
have expressed their interest in providing content for the DVB-H platform.
Source: HAM press release


27 January 2006
Aachen to launch DTT services
Plans have been announced for the launch of DTT services in the city of Aachen, a German city
located near the border with Belgium and the Netherlands.
However, viewers will only be able to access 12 television programme services made available by
public service broadcasters. Commercial broadcasters have decided against joining the launch since
the launch area does include a sufficiently high number of households to be profitable.
Services are expected to be launched in mid 2007.
Source: Aachener Zeitung


28 October 2005
Further DTT launches set for December
On 6 December, DVB-T services will be launched in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region of
Germany. However, it will only include programme services offered by the public broadcasters since
commercial broadcasters have decided not to participate in this launch.
The deputy director of NDR, Joachim Lampe declared that already DVB-T services are very popular
with young people. He noted that many DTT receivers have been purchased for use on laptop
computers.
Further demand may arise with the upcoming World Cup Football Championship as viewers may want
more flexibility as to where they are able to watch the games.
A further DVB-T launch is expected in the regions of Osnabrück, Lingen and Göttingen on 14
December.
Source: ZDnet.de


18 October 2005
EC may rule against DTT aid in Berlin
According to the Handelsblatt, the European Commissioner in charge of competition policy, Neelie
Kroes, has decided that the funding given to commercial broadcasters in Berlin to help offset their
costs associated with digital switch-over may constitute illegal state aid.



                                                    85
The broadcast regulatory agency in Berlin/Brandenburg, MABB, provided commercial broadcasters
with funding of €5 million to compensate for the costs of digital switch-over on the terrestrial
platform.
The federation of cable operators complained to the European Commission about the funding which
let to the formal enquiry opened in July 2004. According to Kroes, the funding does not adhere to the
requirement for "platform neutrality" between the different television platforms.
Kroes's decision is currently in draft status. It is believed that the Commissioner for Industry, Gunther
Ver Heugen and the Commissioner for the Information Society, Viviane Reding, may veto this
decision. Kroes may therefore withdraw the decision.
This decision could have a serious impact on the continued development of DTT services in Europe.
Source: Handelsblatt


23 September 2005
Extending DTT coverage
Public broadcasters in Germany want to enable viewers in rural areas to access DTT services. They
would like to extend DTT coverage to 90% of the population.
By the end of 2005, it is estimated that 45 million residents will be able to access DTT services in
Germany. This corresponds to approximately 55% of the population.
In December, DTT services will be launched in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Source: Heise online


7 September 2005
DVB-H trial in Berlin
Germany's premier soccer league will broadcast its games live to mobile receivers using the DVB-H
standard from the end of September until the end of the season in May. Limited users in Berlin will be
able to access the services.
Microsoft is also involved in the pilot project. The handheld receivers will use Windows media
software.
Source: Reuters


6 September 2005
New service on DTT platform in Berlin
The European news channel EuroNews launched on the DTT platform in Berlin on 31 August.
The 300,000 DTT households in the Berlin-Brandenburg region will be able to receive EuroNews in
the English, French and German languages. As a next stage, EuroNews will be offered in Italian,
Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Source: advanced-television.com


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31 August 2005
Analogue switch-off in parts of Bavaria
On 31 August 2005, the terrestrial analogue signal has been switched off in Munich, Nuremburg and
parts of southern Bavaria. This follows a three month simulcast period of digital and analogue
terrestrial signals.
Viewers can access 20 television programme services as well as some MHP services.
Since mid-August, viewers on the analogue terrestrial platform had been informed of the imminent
analogue switch-off. Regular reminders were inserted into television programmes. In addition, a call
centre has been set up to answer viewer questions.
Source: Bavarian DVB-T Project Office


30 August 2005
Digital penetration of 25.7%
According to a report commissioned by the national broadcast regulator, digital television is received
in 9 million households. This includes the satellite, terrestrial and cable television reception platforms.
According to the report, nearly 40% of all satellite households have digital television. Satellite
reception makes up 45% of all television households.
Approximately 46% of all terrestrial households rely on DTT to receive their television. Terrestrial
reception makes up approximately 10% of all television households.
Cable television, which is received in over 50% of all television households, only has 10% of its
subscribers accessing digital television.
Source: Heise Online


29 August 2005
More services available in Hannover
A new DVB-T transitter has been installed in Hannover with the aim of improving the television
reception in the area. The new transmitter will allow for indoor portable reception in the southern part
of Hannover.
DTT services have been launched in Lower Saxony in May 2004. Since then, the number of television
programme services in the region of Hannover/Braunschweig has increased from 16 to 22.
Source: Northern Germany DVB-T Project Office


26 July 2005
ASO set for 31 August in Bavaria
Following the successful launch of DTT services in Munich and Nuremburg in May, plans are now
underway for analogue switch-off on 31 August.


                                                    87
Approximately 200,000 set-top boxes have been sold in the region in the first two months following
the launch. No problems have been reported with the DVB-T transmission.
Source: Bavarian DVB-T Project Office


16 July 2005
Launch of DTT services in Saxonia, Saxonia-Anhalt and Thüringia
The roll-out of DTT services continues in Germany. The Länder of Saxonia, Saxonia-Anhalt and
Thüringia have announced the launch of DTT services to take place on 5 December 2005.
The viewers in Leipzig/Halle and Erfurt/Weimar will have access to the DTT services offered by the
public broadcasters. Private broadcasters have decided not to join this launch at present citing
economic reasons.
Source: Heise Online


7 July 2005
Launch of radio services in Berlin
In conjunction with the IFA exhibition, Berlin will launch radio services on its DVB-T platform on 2
September.
The services are part of a trial which is expected to run for one year and will cover the entire
metropolis of Berlin. Approximately thirty radio programme services will be available and
unencrypted.
Source: DSL-Team.de


24 June 2005
World Cup 2006 broadcast on a mobile?
Organisers want to make mobile content available during the World Cup to be held in Germany in
2006. Questions remain as to which standard to use - DMB or DVB-H. Much will depend on available
frequencies.
However, the many German regions have already declared their position. Both Bavaria and North
Rhine Westphalia seem to favour DMB. In Bavaria, a pilot DMB project will take place in
Regensburg during the second half of 2005. In northern Germany, however, the situation is different.
Media authorities are hoping to release frequency to use for DVB-H pilots.
Source: VDI Nachrichten




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11 May 2005
Bavaria set for DTT launch
Starting on 23 May, a DVB-T test signal will be transmitted in Munich and Nuremburg in preparation
for the official launch of DTT services on 30 May at 19:30. Approximately 6 million people will be
able to access DTT services.
The terrestrial analogue signal for commercial broadcasters will end on 30 May while the signal for
public broadcasters will continue until end of August, but on a different frequency than currently used.
DTT services in the remaining areas of Upper Palatinate and Lower Franconia are still under
discussion. Commercial broadcasters have shown resistance to broadcasting in areas with low
population.
Source: ZDNet.de


14 April 2005
Analogue switch-off in Hesse
The analogue transmission of programme services offered by private broadcasters has been shut off in
Northern Hesse as of 18 April. This affects approximately 5500 households in the region.
The launch of DTT services will take place towards the end of 2005. However, private broadcasters
have decided not to launch their services on the DTT platform given the costs and limited benefits in
areas with a low population density. Public broadcasters, however, will launch an increased number of
programme services on the DTT platform.
Source: Heise Online


5 April 2005
Bavaria prepares for DTT launch
The Olympic Tower in Munich has grown. A new television antenna has been installed in preparation
for the launch of DTT services in Munich on 30 May. A helicopter brought the 43 meter high antenna
in several parts to the top of the tower. Analogue switch-off is expected on 31 August.
Source: Bavarian DVB-T Project Office


17 March 2005
DTT launches in Bavaria
On 30 May, DTT services will be launched in Nuremburg and Munich/Southern Bavaria. Viewers will
have access to 24 private and public broadcast and data services. Broadcasters include EuroSport,
RTL, ZDF, Sat.1 and Kabel 1. MHP services will also be made available.
Source: Bavarian DVB-T Project Office




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4 March 2005
Further DTT growth expected
In a recent speech, the Director of ZDF Markus Schächter presented positive figures on DTT growth
in Germany. After years of stagnation, interest in the terrestrial reception of television has grown
following the launch of DTT services.
This year, DTT will be launched in Munich/southern Bavaria, Nuremberg, Leipzig/Halle and
Erfurt/Weimar. It is expected that 45 million people, or 55% of the population, will have access to
DTT services by the end of 2005. However, 37 million people will be left without access to DTT
services. As a result, public and private broadcasters have agreed on plans to increase the DTT
coverage area.
Germany is a leader in the worldwide introduction of DTT. The consumer electronics group ZVEI
estimates that 2.3 million set-top boxes have already been placed in the market.
Source: ZDF Heute


25 February 2005
Over 2 million DTT set-top boxes available in the market
Figures released by the consumer electronics association ZVEI show that 2.3 million DTT set-top
boxes have entered into the Germany market since the initial launch of DTT in 2002. Of these, 1.05
million set-top boxes were sold in the last quarter of 2004.
DTT services were launched in 2002 in the Berlin/Brandenburg region. The availability of DTT
services has since spread and DTT is now available in other regions including parts of northern
Germany, North Rhine Westphalia and Frankfurt. Further launches are expected in May 2005.
The percentage of the population using the terrestrial television network has grown in
Berlin/Brandenburg since the launch of DTT services. Whereas only 6.5% of the population used the
terrestrial network prior to the DTT launch, this figure has increase to 7.8% since the DTT launch. In
Bremen, 13.8% of the population use DTT services as their primary means of television reception.
Source: VDI nachrichten


25 February 2005
Radio services on DTT network
The Berlin/Brandenburg media regulator MABB is planning to launch 30 radio programme slots on its
DTT platform. The launch is set to take place in early March. The DTT platform offers 26 television
service programme slots.
Source: VDI Nachrichten




                                                   90
1 December 2004
Analogue switch-off in the Rhine Main region
On 6 December, terrestrial analogue transmission signals will be turned off in the Rhine Mainz region.
Covering the area from Mannheim to Wetzlar and from Mainz to Aschaffenburg, it incudes such cities
as Frankfurt and Wiesbaden.
Viewers will have access to 20 television programmes. Already, 50,000 set-top boxes have been sold.
Transmission of the DVB-T signal began on 4 October. The first measurements showed that the signal
is stronger than expected.
Source: ZDNet.de


4 October 2004
DVB-T launch in Rhine-Main
Several articles have appeared in the German press on the launch of DVB-T services in the Rhein-
Main area. The first phase of services were launched on 3 October and provide viewers with access to
8 programme channels. The second phase, set to begin on 6 December, will increase the number of
programme channels available to 23. At this time, analogue transmissions will end.
Source: ZDF.de


2 September 2004
Rhine Main set for DTT launch in October
As of 4 October, digital terrestrial television will be launched in the Rhine-Mainz region in Germany.
This includes Frankfurt, Mainz and Weisbaden.
Using the DVB-T standard, 8 programme offerings will initially be available. The programme offering
will increase to 19 in early December following the shut down of the analogue terrestrial signal.
Source: ZDNet.de


16 July 2004
European Commission opens enquiry on DVB-T financing in Germany & Sweden
The European Commission has started investigations around the financing of digital terrestrial
television in Germany and Sweden. Complaints were received from satellite and cable operators who
believe that the financing constitute unfair state aid.
The outcome of the enquiry will be followed with much interest by other EU members who may want
to use similar models as Germany and Sweden.
Source: Press release on Germany from the European Commission




                                                     91
28 May 2004
Digital television to begin in Bavaria
Munich and Nuremburg will begin receiving DVB-T signals in May 2005. An agreement was signed
on 28 May between the local media authority and the public and private broadcasters for the
introduction of digital terrestrial television in Bavaria.
Source: ZDF


24 May 2004
DVB-T available in Northrhein/ Westfalen and Nord Deutschland regions
An article in the Handelsblatt states that DVB-T has been officially launched in parts of northern
Germany and the North-Rhine Westfalen regions. In an official ceremony with the heads of the Lander
and media representatives, DVB-T was launched.
Following the lead of Berlin, DVB-T is now available in regions of Cologne/Bonn,
Hanover/Braunschweig and Bremen/Unterweser. DVB-T will be made available in Hamburg and the
region of Düsseldorf/Ruhr district by the end of the year.
Source: Handelsblatt


12 May 2004
German cablers voice disquiet over DTT
Thomas Braun, president of ANGA, the German cable TV industry's private operators' trade
association, took a decisive stand on the disputed introduction of digital terrestrial TV in the country.
"We welcome the fact that the hysteria about DVB-T has died down and we are back to realism," he
told delegates to the ANGA cable convention.
He was joined in his condemnation of DTT by Dr Georg Kofler, chairman of pay-TV platform
Premiere, who described the subsidisation of DTT platforms as "totally crazy". According to Kofler, it
was legally unacceptable for one type of transmission technology to receive grants in this way.
Braun told advanced-television.com that instead of DTT becoming ubiquitous, new patchwork
network coverage would emerge. "After analogue switch-off in 2010, TV reception in some areas will
only be possible via cable or satellite." ANGA has already challenged the legality of the subsidisation
with EC regulators.
Braun and Kofler also revealed a co-operation agreement that will see cable operators market set-top
boxes to enable customers to receive Premiere's digital programming package. "We're offering our
networks so that they can approach the final customer," commented Braun.
Source: advanced-television.com




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10 May 2004
German DTT rolls out to Eastern regions
The rapid expansion of digital terrestrial TV throughout Germany is set to continue in the larger cities
in the east of the country, after an agreement was recently signed between local media authorities and
the public broadcasters, represented by ARD's eastern affiliate MDR and nationwide broadcaster ZDF,
to launch DTT to more than 2.7 million inhabitants in Leipzig/Halle and Erfurt/Weimar in May 2005
(see map below).
As part of the first stage, which is due to commence on 2 May 2005, three multiplexes will be
launched in both city conglomerations, offering a total capacity of 12 television channels. ARD, MDR
and ZDF will take one multiplex each.
According to Christian Schurig, head of Saxony-Anhalt's local media authority, another multiplex has
been assigned to carry "attractive channels" from commercial broadcasters.
However, the two large television groups RTL and Pro Sieben SAT.1 have yet to become part of the
Eastern DTT rollouts, as they are awaiting confirmation of receiving subsidies from the media
authorities, as has been the case in other regions.
"The media authorities will do everything they can to make it possible for the commercial broadcasters
to join the DTT offering," said Schuring, explaining that it would at first be important to eliminate any
objections against this kind of financial support that the European Commission might have.
Source: DTG website


7 May 2004
North-Rhine Westphalia channel line-up announced
Local media authority Landesanstalt für Medien (LfM) has put the final touches to the upcoming DTT
rollout in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany's most populated regional state, having allocated the
available space on the multiplexes. 20 television channels will form part of the 24 May launch to the
Cologne and Bonn areas, comprising of 12 channels from the public broadcasters and eight
commercial channels.
Source: DTG website


7 May 2004
Germany issues DTT licences for Lower Saxony
Niedersächsische Landesmedienanstalt (NLM), the local media authority for Lower Saxony, has
issued licences to broadcasters interested in participating in the upcoming DTT launch in the northern
regional state.
The rollout, which is scheduled for 24 May in the cities of Hannover and Braunschweig, will see one
multiplex being taken by Cologne-based RTL Television Group with its RTL, VOX, RTL II and
Super RTL TV channels. Another bouquet will be shared by its Munich-based competitor, Pro Sieben


                                                      93
SAT.1 Media, which will offer SAT.1, Pro Sieben, Kabel 1 and N24 within its DTT package. Two
further multiplexes will be used by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF for their range of general
interest and thematic channels. In total, 16 television channels will be available from launch.
Two additional DTT multiplexes, with capacity for another 8 television channels - 4 each from public
and commercial broadcasters - will complement the offer in November. Both domestic and
international television channels can tender their expressions of interest in the available capacity from
June.
Source: DTG website


5 May 2004
Complaint filed with the European Commission regarding DTT aid
Cable operators claim that they are at a disadvantage in the Berlin region due to the aid given to DVB-
T broadcasters by MABB. They have formally lodged a complaint with the European Union who will
examine whether or not the complaint is justified.
Source: ZDNet


5 May 2004
AB Group and TF1 go to German DTTV
The French groups AB Group and TF1 have been awarded a DTTV licence in the key German region,
the North Westphalia Rhineland. AB Group arrives with a new documentary channel and with
Eurosport for TF1.
Source: Dataxis


15 March 2004
German DTT rolls out to more regions
The German regional states of Baden-Wurttemberg, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate have finalised
rollout plans with the leading public and commercial broadcasters at a recent meeting in Wiesbaden.
The digitalisation will commence on 4 October in the Rhine Main area, a region in south-western
Germany comprising the large cities Frankfurt, Wiesbaden and Mainz, with nine public channels
broadcast on DTT frequencies during a two-month simulcast period.
After the 8 week period, in which consumers will be encouraged to buy DTT boxes through an
information campaign (now retailing for as low as €99), the final termination of analogue
transmissions will take place on 6 December, enabling 24 DTT channels to be offered with the main
commercial broadcasters RTL, SAT.1, Pro Sieben, VOX and RTL II joining the platform.
Around 3.2 million viewers in the Rhine Main region will be able to pick up the DTT signals with a
simple indoor aerial while a total of 6.5 million can be reached through rooftop antennas.



                                                     94
Meanwhile, south-western regional state Saarland has also been busy preparing its DTT
implementation, with rollout expected to commence in 2006. Initially, the large urban community
comprising the cities Saarlouis, Saarbrücken and Neunkirchen will be covered by at least 24 digital
channels.
Source: DTG website


5 March 2004
Berlin trial site for mobile TV reception
Driven to extend its standard-setting activities into such new markets such as mobile and IP networks,
the Digital Video Broadcast Project used the DVB World 2004 conference here to promote its just-
completed DVB-Handheld (DVB-H) standard.
"TV is the biggest media, and the last one missing from mobile phones," said Jukka Henriksson,
chairman of the DVB-H project.
European digital video broadcasters have long understood that their terrestrial digital TV system
(based on the DVB-T standard) has exceptional mobile performance. Early experiments such as car
reception of DVB-T broadcast signals already demonstrated the suitability of the DVB-T standard for
portable TVs.
But it was also clear, said Henriksson, that there were three main problems if DVB-T is to be used in
mobile handsets to receive terrestrial DTV signals. "Power consumption, performance particularly in
the area of impulse interferences and network design flexibility for mobile" still need to be addressed,
he said.
The DVB-H project group added several options to DVB-T to allow broadcasters to continue using it
as a basis for DVB-H, while supporting a number of critical features required for handheld reception.
The new DVB-H standard added options such as time slicing for power saving, new forward error
correction for additional mobility, a 4k mode for mobility and network design flexibility and enhanced
PHY-level signaling to indicate that the signal is a DVB-H signals.
The DVB-H group has completed development of a family of core DVB-H specifications, except for a
new audio/video codec. Noting that proposed licensing arrangements for new high efficiency codecs
such as H.264 are "completely unacceptable to broadcasters," Ulrich Reimers of the Technical
University of Braunschweig in Germany, added, "We are being delayed by a process we can't really
control at DVB."
Nonetheless, validation of the new DVB-H spec is ongoing, with several projects underway. Claus
Sattler, head of the Broadcast Mobile Convergence (BMCO) project, said the joint project will be
launched this summer during a field trial in Berlin that will include end users.
The field trial will provide a test environment for DVB-H. Sattler said the trial, designed to analyze
business models and commercial potential, is also intended to determine coverage capabilities. The
joint project aims to determine whether DVB-H sharing a DVB-T multiplex with MPEG-2 services


                                                   95
will work. Another issue is mobile indoor coverage, said Sattler, Since indoor TV reception on a
handset is limited by a tiny antenna, "We may need to increase the power of transmitter, or install
inside the network more repeaters," he added.
The number of devices to be used during the field trial, however, is limited. The BMCO will be using
20 Nokia 7700 units, a media phone prototype with a slot to insert a DVB-H antenna/reception and 20
portable Web pads developed by Philips.
Source: EE Times


August 2003
Berlin first for all-digital TV
Berlin became the first city in the world to switch off its analogue broadcast signal and transfer
completely to digital TV.
The transition was pretty smooth, said Sascha Bakarinow, project leader for the switch to digital at the
Media Institution Berlin-Brandenburg (MABB). "We've only had about 500 phone calls to our hotline,
most of them asking standard questions about how to operate the set-top box," Bakarinow said. "A few
others were welfare recipients who wanted to know if they could get a set-top box paid for by the
government."
The analogue switch-off was helped by the fact that, of Berlin's 1.8 million households, 1.5 million are
already cable subscribers, and about 150,000 households have satellite dishes, officials said. None of
these households are affected by the switch. In addition, MABB said that about 150,000 digital set-top
boxes were sold in Berlin during the "test phase" over the past six months. Any non-cable or satellite
customer who didn't have a relatively new TV set or had not yet bought a set-top box to translate the
digital signals to analogue was staring at a blank screen Monday, though Bakarinow said that was
limited to very few users.
Source: advanced-television.com


May 2003
An Update on DTT in Germany
Concerning Berlin the things are running well. Of course there are some attempts from the cable side
to generate some negative image on DTT- but this is normal. By June 1 probably two additional
channels will be switched on- in total it will be 23 channels. The first offers of receivers for 99 EUR
are in the market. Nobody knows exactly how many receivers are sold. But it is clear that after the
main switch over date February, 28th the sale decrease a little bit. My personal view is, that in the next
months before IFA new preasure will come up in the market, so that additional potential can be sold.
Source: Bernd Heimermann,T-Systems Mediabroadcast




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March 2003
Reception of DVB-T in Berlin
Since the early morning of last Friday, 28.02.03, people in Berlin can receive 22 TV programmes via
DVB-T. Most of the former PAL channels have been converted to digital. 6 DVB-T multiplexes with
data-rates of about 13 Mbit/s each are already on air. The number of channels will even improve when
four remaining PAL channels will be switched off later this year.
About 150.000 households without cable or satellite reception are affected. More than 70.000 DVB-T
set-top-boxes have been sold so far. Prices start from 169,- EURO.
The switch-off of analogue TV in Berlin is unique. There had been no experiences how people would
cope with the hard switch-off of analogue TV. It even turned out, that many of the people, who are
affected, weren't sufficiently aware about the situation.
All in all, the big step towards digital television in Berlin went well: No public uprising, a mainly
constructive press echo, properly working transmission networks and till now only minor and solvable
problems. We directly talk with the people and assist them. Only very, very few of those people
complain about receiver cost and insufficient system quality. The majority are really happy and regard
DVB-T as a progress with enhanced reception quality and a lot more programmes.
Source: Bruno Krüger, ZDF


February 2003
Explosion of sales DVB-T boxes in Berlin
Between October and the end of December 2002, 30.000 boxes were sold.
GARV now reports (13 february) that 40.000 more boxes have been sold in 6 weeks, bringing the total
to 70.000 boxes.
Migration is foreseen to be completed (and all analogue transmitters closed down) in August. In total
there were about 250.000 housholds viewing analogue terrestrial stations only.
Source: Ruud Vader, TechnoTrend




                                                GREECE
29 March 2006
ERT launches new DTT television programme service
The Greek public service broadcaster ERT has launched its first DTT television programme service,
Prisma+. This new service provides viewers with a wide variety of television programmes icluding
documentaries, sitcoms, movies and news. In addition, the service provides special accessibility
features for the hearing and seeing impaired.




                                                    97
The majority of programmes on Prisma+ include Greek sign language interpretation and subtitles,
including the simultaneous broadcast of the main news programme alongside sign language
interpretation. In a next phase, Prisma+ viewers will be able to select subtitles and audio descriptions.
ERT launched a DTT pilot in January. Further services, Cine+ and Sport+, will be launched on the
platform this Spring.
Source: ERT Digital


16 January 2006
DTT pilot launched
As of 16 January, public broadcaster ERT has launched pilot DVB-T services. Services will be
broadcast on 5 transmitters and will have an expected population coverage of 65% by March. These
pilot services will be available free-to-air and will not include any advertisement.
Attica will use UHV frequency channel 48, while Thessaloniki will use UHF channel 56 and Thessaly
will use UHF channel 53.
ERT will offer three television programme services with specialised content. "PRISM +" addresses the
disabled with six hours of broadcast each day. "CINE +" offers entertainment through films,
documentaries and children's programmes broadcast for 12 hours each day. "SPORT +" provides
sports programmes, as well as music shows and news bulletins.
According to ERT Board Member Giorgos Chouliaras, "the only thing citizens should buy are
decoders, which cost from €60 to 160, depending on the services." Mr Chouliaras also noted that an
effort is underway to provide free set-top boxes to the disabled so that they can access PRISMA+, the
first programme in Europe especially designed for the disabled.
Source: ERT website


24 August 2005
Government support for DTT
According to the Prime Minister, a study is under way to create three new state-owned television
programme services for the terrestrial digital television platform.
Of these programme services, one will focus on sports, a second on films while a third will focus on
programme services aimed for the blind and deaf.
In addition, the Prime Minister has announced plans to increase the annual broadcast licences by 30
percent in order to help fund reforms to its media landscape.
In legislation to be presented to parliament in early September, the government will call for a €1 per
month increase in the licence fee for state broadcaster ERT.
Source: Media Network Weblog




                                                   98
13 January 2004
Plans for digital terrestrial television
Plans for digital terrestrial television using DVB-T are at an early stage and are not likely to
materialise quickly. It was reported that DTT planning by the Greek Administration began last year
with the priority being to cover the Attiki region around Athens which would immediately cover 50%
of the population.
Source: DVB website




                                             HUNGARY
27 January 2006
Delays to digital broadcast legislation
Hungary‘s IT and Communications Minister Kálmán Kovacs has noted that attempts to pass
legislation on digital broadcasting are being held up by disagreements between the government and the
broadcast regulator, the National Radio and Television Board (ORTT).
While the Ministry would like to content to be liberalised, the ORTT would prefer that the State
retains control over the content.
Once passed, the new broadcast law is set to pave the way for the launch of a full DTT platform in
Hungary. At present, trials are operating in Budapest and Kabhegy.
Source: Broadband TV News


9 December 2005
DTT legal framework ready for review
The government is beginning to prepare the legal framework that would allow for the introduction of
DTT services in Hungary.
The Ministry of Infomatics has prepared draft changes to the Electronic Communications Law to
allow for digital broadcasting and transmission. The current legislation does not cover digital
broadcasting.
In addition, the National Communications Authority is expected to outline its long-term frequency
plans for digital broadcasting by 30 April 2006.
Source: Broadband TV News


21 October 2004
Hungary launches DTT service
Hungary has launched an experimental DTT service in Budapest and Kabhegy near Lake Balaton.
Operated by the transmission company Antenna Hungária, it is employing a single multiplex to offer



                                                   99
viewers only public service channels. News of the launch was announced at last week‘s Internet
Hungary conference in Tihany and will be welcomed by many in the industry.
However, as a local source pointed out to Broadband TV News, there are still no DVB-T set-top boxes
available to the general public, with Antenna Hungária having distributed around 2,000 to VIPs.
Hungary‘s commercial broadcasters have also so far refused to participate in the project, while the
National Radio and Television Board (ORTT) has still to grant licences on the grounds that the
necessary legislative framework for DTT is not yet in place.
Source: Broadband TV News


12 January 2004
New Regulatory Body
Although DVB-T pilot trails began in Budapest during 1999 the transition to DTT has been slow.
However a new electronic communication act replacing the existing telecom law is hoped to speed up
this process.
The law has already resulted in the creation of a new regulatory body called the National Radio and
Television Board (ORTT) and the provision of a new grant to Antenna Hungaria.
The grant will enable the DTT project started back in 1999 to be extended in Budapest and Kabhegy
near Lake Balaton.
It is reported that the single multiplex will re-broadcast channels M1, M2 and Duna TV. National
commercial stations RTL Klub and TV2 will also be included.
Source: DVB website


                                              ICELAND
14 September 2004
Conax premiers CAS7
Icelandic Broadcasting Corporation, the TV and Radio division of Northern Lights Communication,
the largest privately operated media company in Iceland, has signed a contract to use the Conax CAS7
system for its Digital Terrestrial operation (DTT), starting this November.
Conax has launched the new Conax CAS7 system at IBC. The company said that while its former
main system version Conax CAS5 is expected to be robust for several years to come, Conax CAS7
represents an option for Conax CAS based operators to start upgrading to Conax's latest security level.
Source: advanced-television.com


                                              IRELAND
10 July 2006
Call for content on trial DTT platform



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The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, is seeking
applications from content producers interested in participating in the DTT trial.
Candidates can submit applications to supply content on the DTT trial platform or to become
multiplex programme content managers. Two multiplexes will be available during the DTT trial.
Producers of such content as television and radio services as well as data applications and new
technologies are encouraged to submit applications.
According to Minister Dempsey, "This latest step in the implementation of the pilot provides an
opportunity to potential content providers to take part in Ireland's first DTT trial. This process provides
an opportunity for interested parties to explore the possibilities around the market case for a full roll-
out."
The DTT trial is currently in the build phase and is expected to be operational by mid-August. It is
planned that the trial will last for two years and transmit from the Three Rock site in Dublin and the
Clermont Carn site in County Louth. It is a precursor to a national rollout of DTT services.
Source: Irish Ministry press release


10 May 2006
DTT trial to begin in August
The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, has called on
Ireland to meet the 2012 digital switchover deadline set by the European Commission.
According to Dempsey, "We should set our sights on 2012 as a date for completing the transition to
digital television." As a first step, a two-year trial will begin and serve as a precursor to a national
rollout of DTT services.
In a process that began in June 2005 when the government announced its plans, the pilot is expected to
be launched by mid August. DTT services will be transmitted from Three Rock in Dublin and
Clermont Carn in Co Louth.
BT Communications Ireland will provide a multiplexing and distribution service while NEC UK is to
supply and install the transmission and combining systems. RTÉ Transmission Network, which
maintains high-power broadcast sites, will assist the Minister and his department in the development
and operation of the pilot project.
Source: Silicon Republic


22 December 2005
ComReg opens consultation on DVB licensing
The Irish broadcast and telecommunications regulator, ComReg, has opened a consultation process on
DVB licensing. The regulator is seeking to determine interest for the provision of DVB-T and/or
DVB-H at the regional and local levels.



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ComReg is prepared to allow for the provision of converged television, telephony and data services on
handheld devices.
In addition, it is also seeking guidance on the appropriate licensing scheme. The regional and local
licensing scheme will be secondary to the national DTT platform.
Source: ComReg website


25 November 2005
Applicant shortlist for DTT trial
Six applicants have been shortlisted for the launch of Ireland‘s 24-month DTT pilot. The short-listed
applicants are Arqiva, BT, Chorus, Crown Castle (National Grid Wireless), Siemens and Simac.
Transmissions are expected to commence from the Three Rock site in Dublin and Clermont Carn in
County Louth from mid-2006. Communications Minister Noel Dempsey said the trial would explore
and research the potential for DTT in Ireland.
Source: Broadband TV News


29 June 2005
Government sets out digital pilot plan
The Minister for Communications, Noel Dempsey, has confirmed government plans to develop a pilot
DTT programme in Ireland. The government has issued an call of interest for the provision of the
pilot's infrastructural.
The pilot will allow for the technical testing of DTT services as well as the trial and demonstration of
new and existing television programme services with viewers. Initial broadcasts will transmit from the
Three Rock site in Dublin and the Clermont Carn site in County Louth.
Source: RTE


13 January 2005
RTE has up to €112m available for DTT
In a reversal of fortune for the once cash-strapped broadcaster, RTE is now projecting surpluses of
between €9 and €10.3 million for the next four years. The figures were released to consultants
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) for a report being prepared for the Irish public broadcaster. The
report says that €112m has been earmarked for capital projects between 2005 and 2009.
PWC says that RTE should "firm-up" on what the spending is actually for; though not mentioned
specifically in the report it is believed that the funding is for the development of digital television. The
figures contrast sharply with recent figures; in 2001 RTE had a deficit of €71 million, but has
subsequently been able to reverse its fortunes following a major increase in the licence fee.
Source: Broadband TV News



                                                   102
19 July 2004
EC enquiry may impact DTT launch
Ireland's plans to launch a digital terrestrial television (DTV) service carrying both Irish and UK
channels could fall foul of the European Commission's preliminary investigation into the financing of
DTV networks in Germany and Sweden.
According to the Irish Times, unnamed government sources are now concerned that the EC inquiry
into state aid for digital terrestrial TV, if found to present unfair competition to cable and satellite,
could delay the trial and scupper the commercial viability of the DTV project.
Source: DTG website


5 May 2004
Ireland to Experiment DTTV in Dublin
Ireland will shortly experiment digital terrestrial television in the Dublin region. The households who
will test the new service will receive four RTE channels. Six other TV channels at least will be
broadcasted in a second stage. set-top boxes will cost €80 but will be free for libraries or schools.
The digital switch is estimated to cost €40 million at least. This governmental project is particularly
criticized by the market's actors who are arguing that most of the Dublin households already subscribe
to NTL cable services or to Sky satellite TV services.
Source: Dataxis


4 May 2004
DVB-T pilot trial in Dublin
A DVB-T pilot trial in Dublin is soon to go ahead according to some reports. The four Irish-based
terrestrial stations, RTE1, Network2, TV3 and TG4 along with six other channels will be broadcast. A
start date is still to be announced.
Source: DVB website


18 April 2004
Freeview makes inroads into Irish digital TV with UK boxes
Freeview, the free-to-air digital service owned by the BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle International,
has sold an estimated 100,000 set-top boxes in border areas of the republic without having any
marketing presence here, according to industry sources.
Freeview offers 30 free digital TV channels, over 20 digital radio stations and a number of other
interactive services. An additional 10 pay-TV channels are also available.
Although the service is targeted at the UK market, most households in border areas of the republic are
able to pick up the signal from transmitters in Belfast and Newry once they have a rooftop aerial and a



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set-top box. These boxes are widely available from retailers, including established chains Dixons and
Currys, for up to €120. There is no annual subscription charge for the service.
Launched in October 2002, Freeview's package includes BBC One and Two, ITV, Channel 4, Five,
Sky News, Sky One, ITV2 and the BBC's six digital channels. Householders could also receive
terrestrial Irish channels through rooftop aerials or "rabbit's ears".
Industry sources said Freeview has had a significant impact on Chorus, the MMDS operator owned by
Liberty International and currently in examinership, which has subscribers in Donegal, Cavan, Louth
and Monaghan. The availability of Freeview could also cut across plans by the government and RTE
to offer a free digital terrestrial service with a package of up to 10 stations.
About 3.5m homes in Britain and 200,000 households in Northern Ireland receive digital terrestrial
television. Freeview's penetration in the republic is impressive when compared to established
operators such as BSkyB and NTL. BSkyB, in which News International, owner of The Sunday
Times, has a 35.4% stake, has 315,000 subscribers to its satellite digital service while NTL, the cable
operator, has so far attracted about 75,000 customers in Dublin, Cork and Waterford for its digital
offering. About two-thirds of the 1.3m households here have some form of pay television.
BSkyB, NTL and Chorus, all charge annual fees of several hundred euros for their analogue and
digital services. At present, the overspill from transmitters in the north carries Freeview's signal as far
south as Drogheda. Freeview is marketed in Britain by DTV Services, owned by the BBC, Crown
Castle and BSkyB.
Source: The Times


6 April 2004
Dublin DTT pilot gets go-ahead
Irish Communications Minister Dermot Ahern is to soon announce full details of a RTE-planned DTT
pilot project in the Dublin area, including the proposed start-up date and the duration of the test
transmissions.
A DTT antenna will be erected at Three Rock Mountain, overlooking Dublin, which has long been
used for analogue television transmissions. Viewers signing up for the proposed test service will get
free-to-air digital reception of the four Irish-based terrestrial stations, RTE's RTE 1 and Network 2;
TV3 and TG4. In addition, at least six other channels will be provided, probably from the UK, but
details of these haven't been finalised yet. Set-top boxes are estimated to cost around €80 per
household, although some users, such as libraries and schools, will get them free.
No cost has been put on the test project, but it's estimated that if the Irish government did decide to roll
out a DTT service nationally, it would cost at least €40 million. A recent report prepared for the
Communications Department by National Economic Research Associates found that plans for such a
national digital network are extremely unlikely to be viable, and industry critics of the new Dublin
DTT test point out that most viewers in the Irish capital are either signed up to NTL or Sky; out of


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about 500,000 television households in the Dublin area, close to 300,000 are with NTL whilst about
150,000 subscribe to Sky.
However, the Communications Department says that under EU regulations, the Government is obliged
to deliver a digital terrestrial service within six years. A Department spokesperson says that every
citizen is entitled to a certain level of digital television provision and that this new test project is the
first major step in putting DTT into practice.
Source: DTG website


29 March 2004
Southcoast applies for Irish DTV licence
Irish community rebroadcaster Southcoast Television has applied to the Irish regulator, ComReg, for a
licence to operate a digital service.
The firm currently transmits through over 20 transmitters to around 10,000 subscribers, in Counties
Cork, Waterford and Kerry, with subscribers paying €65 a year for BBC1, BBC2, HTV and C4 on its
analogue service. By going digital, Southcoast intends extend its service throughout Munster,
according to its Chairman, John Hurley.
The planned digital service will cost between €6 million and €8 million to introduce, and the offering
will consist of 60 television channels and 20 radio channels. A basic package of about 20 channels will
cost €16 a month, on top of an installation fee of €110, while Southcoast says that the channels in its
premium package will be 'very competitively priced'. The group plans to introduce Internet services
and also wants to introduce video-on-demand but has no plans for a phone service.
According to the regulator, ComReg, the digital MMDS licensing scheme isn't really a planned
development of local services, as the 'first come, first served' local broadcasting scheme is dependant
on spectrum availability in the 11.7 to 12.5 GHz band and up to the applicant to propose which
geographical district they want to cover. However, ComReg admits that the local digital scheme will
mean increased competition in the retail multichannel television delivery market, and could undermine
Sky, the two cablecos and the Irish Government's plans for a national DTT service. BSkyB has already
warned ComReg that future local digital services such as that planned by Southcoast, could interfere
with its own services, since the ground-based local services will operate between 11.7 GHz and 12.5
GHz; the same used by satellite services.
Source: DTG website


                                                 ITALY
20 July 2006
DVB-H attracts 111,000 users in 6 weeks




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The world's first commercial DVB-H service launched by 3 Italia has attracted 111,000 users in its
first six weeks of operation. Service began on 5 June to coincide with the FIFA World Cup.
3 Italia is aiming for 500,000 DVB-H users by the end of 2006. Services are available in 2,000 of the
biggest Italian cities and towns. Users can pay for the television service by the day, week or 6 month
period.
According to the CEO of 3 Italia, Vincenzo Novari, "We didn't expect the numbers to be this high, and
we also didn't expect the strong growth trend to continue even after the conclusion of the World Cup.
Everybody has been saying that mobile television has been overhyped, but so far the vast majority of
users have been satisfied with the service, and this bodes well for the future of mobile television."
Source: International Herald Tribune


10 July 2006
4 million DTT receivers sold
According to research published by GFK Eurisko, 4 million DTT receivers have been sold in Italy. Of
these, more than half have purchased with the government subsidy made available to households in
2004 and 2005.
Sales of DTT receivers was quite strong in 2005. Between January-November 2005, 2.6 million DTT
receivers were sold, of which almost all are MHP-enabled. The pre-payment DTT service offered by
Mediaset and La7 proved popular and encouraged the sale of MHP-enabled set-top boxes.
Viewers also found the content on the DTT platform appealing, especially the sports and reality TV
offerings.
Source: PC World


28 June 2006
ASO in Sardinia and Val d'Aosta delayed to 2008
The Minister for Communications, Paolo Gentiloni, has announced that analogue switch-off will take
place on 1 March 2008 in Sardinia and 1 October 2008 in Val d'Aoste. Previous plans had set
analogue switch-off for 31 July 2006.
The delay is due to the lack of DTT set-top boxes in a large segment of the population in both regions.
In order to prevent a further delay, the Ministry of Communications and representatives from both
regoins have signed new protocols of understanding that clearly defines the roles and responsibilities
of each party in order to allow for digital switch-over.
To help with the process, national broadcasters have committed to providing the transmission of their
services using the DTT platform exclusively by 1 March 2007.
However, this is based on the condition that atleast 80% of households are able to access DTT services
and, of these, 70% use a DTT set-top box. These targets must be reached by 30 November 2006.



                                                   106
According to the Minister for Communications, Paolo Gentiloni: "The switchover phase from
analogue to digital terrestrial will be longer than planned. The government not only acknowledges this
situation but will collaborate with the regions and broadcasting companies to achieve these new goals.
One thing is certain: in order to do this, strong commitment is needed to expand the range of digital
TV products on offer."
Source: Ministry of Communications website


23 June 2006
Government focus on digital switchover plans
The Government is planning to set targets for analogue switch-off in Italy. The Communications
Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, has called for government action in DTT to take place in the coming weeks.
According to Paolo Gentiloni, "Italy needs to adopt a serious switchover strategy with regard to digital
terrestrial, which means more than a never-ending series of deadlines which are continually put off."
Following the review of the results from the digital switchover pilots in Sardinia and Val D'Aosta, the
Government may issue a ministerial decree on analogue switch-off. The pilots are expected to be
completed by 31 July 2006.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 May 2006
Commercial DVB-H services ready for 1 June launch
3 Italia will officially launch its "Walk TV" services on 1 June. Already, services have been broadcast
since the end of April and consumers have been able to purchase DVB-H receivers since mid May.
Walk TV is the first commercial DVB-H service offered in Europe. Viewers can access television
services from Rai, Mediaset, SKY and La3. In addition, viewers will be able to access coverage from
the FIFA World Cup.
Cost to access services varies from €3 per day to €99 per six months depending on the package
selected. DVB-H services are available to 65% of the population. LG (LG U900)and Samsung (P910)
are providing the DVB-H receivers.
Source: 3 Italia press release


15 May 2006
Antitrust Authorities exonerate DTV set-top box subsidy
The Italian Antitrust Authority has ruled that the subsidies distributed towards the purchase of
interactive digital television receivers is legal. The subsidy had been put in place by the government
led by Silvio Berlusconi.
The government has provided €200 million in subsidies to households to aid in the purchase of
interactive digital receivers.


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This ruling follows from a complaint filed by Sky Italia. It had argued that the subsidy represents state
aid and distorts competition in Italy by penalizing satellite TV given that satellite set-top boxes are not
included in the government subsidies programme.
The Antitrust argued that the subsidy did not distort the pay TV market given that Sky Italia represents
90% of the market.
Source: Dow Jones


20 April 2006
Mediaset and Vodafone DVB-H agreement
With plans well underway to launch its DVB-H multiplex this year, Mediaset has already found a
mobile telecom partner.
Vodafone has agreed to use capacity in Mediaset's DVB-H multiplex to allow its customers to view
mobile television content. The capacity has been reserved for a period of five years and with an option
for an extension of a further five years.
In order to allow the roll-out of DVB-H services to take place in 2006, Vodafone will makes its
broadcast infrastructure available to Mediaset to complete the network.
Source: DM Europe


3 April 2006
Broadcast regulator announces plans for an all-digital broadcast environment
The Italian Communications Authority, AGCOM, has issued a declaration regarding its objectives in
planning for an all-digital broadcast environment.
AGCOM will put together a national registry (cadastre) of the terrestrial broadcast frequencies. The
national cadastre will provide a review of the initial frequency allocation plan established in 2002. It
will be used in order to help plan for analogue switch-off.
In addition, the national cadastre will also plan for the allocation of additional multiplexes that may
become available following analogue switch-off. AGCOM hopes that a total of 12 multiplexes will be
available, although this will depend on the outcome of the international frequency planning (RRC)
taking place at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
In terms of frequency usage, AGCOM would like to ensure efficiency and balanced usage. It may be
possible that AGCOM introduces an auctioning process for the allocation of any available frequencies.
AGCOM has called for increased controls to ensure that multiplex operators provide independent
content providers and broadcasters with access to 40% of the multiplex capacity.
Finally, AGCOM is planning to put together regulation on DVB-H.
Source: AGCOM website and RAI




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22 February 2006
3 Italia to launch DVB-H services in June 2006
UMTS operator 3 Italia has announced its plans to launch 'La Tre' mobile television services in June
2006, in time for the World Cup. The television services will use the DVB-H standard.
Viewers will be able to initially access 15 television programmes channels including services from
Mediaset and Sky. An increase to 20 programme channels is expected by the end of the year. In
addition, live coverage of the World Cup will also be available.
Through its acquisition of the broadcaster Canale 7, 3 Italia has access to the necessary frequencies to
be able to launch DVB-H services.
3 Italia expects to have 600,000 television subscribers by the end of the year, paying between €15 - 30
per month. Viewers will access services using the LG U900 receiver.
Source: 3 Italia press release and advanced-television.com


27 January 2006
Regulator queries Mediaset's acquisition of Europe TV
The Italian competition regulator, Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, has opened an
enquiry into Mediaset's acquisition of Europe TV.
The acquisition of Europe TV provides Mediaset with access to a third DTT multiplex. Mediaset is
planning to use this multiplex in order to launch its DVB-H services, scheduled for 2006.
However, the competition regulator fears that with ownership of three DTT multiplexes, Mediaset
may be in a dominant market position compared with other broadcasters.
The regulator has 45 days to conclude its preliminary investigation.
Source: L'Espresso


21 December 2005
EC opens inquiry on digital set-box subsidy
The European Commission has decided to launch an inquiry into subsidies for digital set-top boxes
granted by the Italian government in 2004 and 2005. These subsidies may violate EC Treaty state aid
rules.
According to the EC, the government's subsidies for the purchase of digital STBs may not be
technology neutral since the subsidy programme is only available for the purchase of set-top boxes
using the terrestrial and cable platforms. It is not available for the satellite platform.
The EC will investigate whether these subsidies are liable to distort competition.
According to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, "The Commission is firmly committed to
encouraging the transition to digital TV and values interoperability, but state support must avoid
unnecessary distortions of competition between terrestrial, cable and satellite platforms. In this case
the subsidy seems to help free to air operators to enter the pay-TV market."


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This procedure only concerns the measures enacted in 2004 and 2005.
Source: EC press release


2 December 2005
Canale 7 to be acquired by mobile telecom operator
Italian 3G mobile telecom operator 3 Italia has announced it is buying commercial broadcaster Canale
7. The broadcaster is present on the DTT platform.
3 Italia is buying Canale 7 from Italy's Profit group and, according to Italian daily La Repubblica, the
deal is valued at €30-35 million.
Such a purchase may enable 3 Italia to launch DVB-H services. 3 Italia is owned by Hutchison
Whampoa.
Source: Broadband TV News


1 December 2005
Analogue switch-off postponed until 2008
In a declaration made at the Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels, the Italian Minister of
Communications, Mario Landolfi, announced that Italy has postponed its analogue switch-off to 2008.
The government had initially planned to end analogue terrestrial television transmissions on 31
December 2006.
Source: Ministry of Communications press release


13 October 2005
DVB-H services launch in 2006?
Telecom Italia Mobile and Mediaset have announced plans to launch a DVB-H-based mobile TV
service during 2006.
Telecom Italia will offer simulcasts of Mediaset‘s three television channels and football coverage as
part of a five-year agreement.
In a statement the two companies said they had reached an agreement for what would become the
basis of the world‘s first commercial launch of a digital terrestrial TV service on mobile phones using
the DVB-H technology.
Source: Broadband TV News


9 October 2005
Conference reviews DTT progress
At the Third National Conference on DTT held in Vicenza, Italian leaders discussed the current DTT
progress and plans for the future. The conference was organised by the Fondazione Ugo Bordoni.



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The first phase of analogue switch-off is ready to begin in Sardinia and Val d'Aosta. On 31 January,
analogue terrestrial transmissions will end for 70% of the population. Full analogue switch-off will
take place on 21 July.
The deputy minister for communications, Paolo Romani, noted that, as in previous years, €110 million
has been included in the 2006 budget in order to help households purchase interactive set-top boxes. It
is likey, however, that the amount of the subsidy will decrease from €70 to €50 per household.
In addition, Romani also announced that the next region for analogue switch-off will likely be Friuli
Venezia Giulia.
Gino Alberico from DigiTAG gave a presentation on DTT services throughout Europe.
Source: SAT Expo website


22 July 2005
Mediaset adds PPV movies
Mediaset is to expand its pay-per-view DTT service by introducing a nightly movie service.
The Italian operator will offer four movies each night priced at €4 for recent releases and €2 for classic
movies. Mediaset has plans to expand the service further still by including other programming genres
such as reality television.
The company has already sold 1.5 million cards for its pay-per-view coverage of Serie A football. It
holds the rights to 9 teams including Milan, Juventus, Inter and Roma. From the autumn the cards will
be rechargeable over the telephone, the Internet and at local shops and kiosks.
Source: Broadband TV News


21 June 2005
Italy and Bosnia & Herzegovina sign communication agreement
The Italian Regulatory Agency (AGCOM) and Communications Regulatory Authority of Bosnia &
Herzegovina (RAK) have signed an Agreement of partnership.
According to RAK representative Dunja Mijatovic, the project will be of relevance to all areas of the
electronic communications sector and help Bosnia & Herzegovina draw on Italy‘s experience of
implementing digital technologies.
Source: Broadband TV News


25 May 2005
Champions League on DTT platform?
Flavio Cattaneo, the head of the public broadcaster RAI, has announced that RAI would like to acquire
the broadcast rights of Champion League matches for the DTT platform.
RAI intends to participate in the upcoming auction of broadcast rights set to take place on 2 June.
Source: Reuters


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10 May 2005
New T-government services on the DTT platform
T-government services have been given a push in Italy. Six plans have been given €3 million in
financing from the Foundation Ugo Bordoni. They include:
1. A nationwide service that will allow payment for government services via a postal checking
account.
2. In Parma, viewers will be able to pay government fines.
3. In Lombardy, viewers will be able to access information on health related information as well as
schedule medical appointments.
4. In Verona, RAI will provide the local hospital with the possibility of offering tele-medicine services
as well as distance learning services.
5. In Bologna, the university will provide daily activities for children at a risk for dyslexia.
6. In Milan, the university will provide information on the job market as well as distance learning and
t-commerce services
The services will be accessible through either a smartcard or telephone.
Source: Virgilio.it


22 April 2005
European Commission probes STB subsidies
According to reports from Reuters, the European Commission (EC) is investigating the Italian
government's subsidy for MHP set-top boxes. When asked if an investigation was underway, EC
spokesman Jonathan Todd stated, "we received a complaint last year and we are looking into it."
The Italian government is currently offering a €70 subsidy on the sale of interactive set top boxes. A
similar subsidy also existed in 2004.
The case is being reviewed under the Commission's state aid rules, which prohibit aid from
governments to private enterprise except in certain exceptional circumstances.
Source: Reuters


20 April 2005
Switch-off in Sardinia and Valle d'Aoste
The local governments of Sardinia and Valle d'Aoste have signed an agreement with the national
Ministry of Communications agreeing to switch-off their analogue signals by January 2006.
As part of the agreement, the local governments will work together with broadcasters to put in place
the necessary conditions to allow for analogue switch-off.
Source: RAI




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18 April 2005
Nearly 2 million set-top boxes sold
According to information presented at the first national conference on DTT, 1,910,400 set-top boxes
have been sold in Italy as of March 2005.
It is expected that 3 million set-top boxes will be sold by the end of 2005.
Source: Studio Celentano


8 April 2005
Minister denies rumours of digital switchover delays
The Italian Minister for Communications, Maurizio Gasparri, has confirmed that analogue switch-off
will take place in 2006.
The Minister responded to rumours of the contrary, stating that "I've read some stupid headlines
written by stupid people. A deadline was fixed for the switch-off, that is 2006, and it hasn't
changed.We are working to switch to the digital system as provided for by the law."
Source: DM Europe


24 March 2005
1.2 million pre-paid DTT cards sold
According to the Vice President of Mediaset, over 1.2 million pre-paid DTT cards have been sold. He
expects the number to reach 1.6 million within the next two weeks.
Pre-paid cards were launched in January by Mediaset and La7, part of the Telecom Italia group. They
provide access to Italian Serie A football games on the DTT platform.
Source: Dataxis Research


27 January 2005
RTD launches new programme services
Reti Televisive Digitali (RTD) officially launched two new digital terrestrial television (DTT)
channels and new MHP interactive TV (iTV) applications and services. They are based on the
DigiHost platform from Irish iTV software company DigiSoft.TV.
RTD provides 24-hour coverage to an area of Italy from Lombardy to Milan, Como, Varese and Pavia,
with a population in excess of five million people.
Source: DigiSoft.tv website




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24 January 2005
Mediaset scores with PPV soccer
Pay-per-view digital set-top box cards that allow viewers to watch top Italian football matches for €3 a
time are proving a hit for Mediaset. The service sold an estimated 150,000 cards through a single
retailer in its first two days.
Source: DTG News


18 January 2005
DTT cooperation between France and Italy
France and Italy have signed an industrial cooperation accord for the promotion of digital television.
The accord was signed during a meeting between the French Minister for Industry, Patrick Devedjian
and the Italian Minister for Communications, Maurizzio Gasparri.
As part of the cooperation, France and Italy have agreed to share information, especially related to
standards, coordinate their positions related to digital television and to promote investment in the DTT
sector,
Source: AFP


6 January 2005
Espresso publishing group acquires Rete A
Italy's Espresso publishing group has reached an agreement with publisher Alberto Peruzzo to acquire
100% of the Italian national terrestrial TV network Rete A for a total of €115 million. Rete A currently
broadcasts in the analogue format but has received authorisation for future digital terrestrial
broadcasts. The analogue signal covers almost 80% of the Italian population.
The company, which has €5 million in cash and a positive and growing cash-flow, is committed to
build its own digital broadcasting network that will provide a coverage of at least 50% of the Italian
population, as covered under the current regulations.
Source: Broadband TV News


23 December 2004
Italian DTT football kicks off in Jan 2005
Telecom Italia Media has said its digital TV broadcasts of Italian Serie A football will begin on
January 22. The pay-per-view service will be transmitted in the digital multiplex of the La 7 TV
Network.
The company holds the rights to the home matches of Cagliari, Palermo, Fiorentina, Chievo, Lecce,
Reggina, Brescia, Bologna, and Parma. It is expected that pre-pay cards will be made available from
January 15.
Source: Broadband TV News


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17 November 2004
DTT subsidy could be cut
Italian communications minister Maurizio Gasparri has said that the Government is looking to reduce
the amount of subsidy it pays per digital decoder following a fall in the price of set-top boxes.
Gasparri also stated that while the Government plans to pass the subsidy law it is likely that the State‘s
contribution will be decreased from €150 to between €70 and €80.
The cabinet office and Bordoni foundation are putting €10 million towards the development of
interactive television services in which Gasparri said considerable interest had been expressed.
Source: Dataxis


2 November 2004
Digital turnover reaches €8 billion
According to a study published by Assodigitale, an Italian digital interest group, the Italian digital
industry is expected to have a turnover of more than 8 billion euro in 2005. If the turnover from related
industries, such as IT companies, is also included, the figure would reach €25 billion.
The digital industry refers to the combined purchases made by individuals, families, enterprise and
institutions for subscriptions, pre-paid cards and pay-to-view digital satellite and terrestrial TV, digital
contents distributed through the Internet and mobile phones, marketing services and advertising
through digital media, CD and DVD markets and digital games.
Source: SAT Expo Web Letter


28 October 2004
Name for Mediaset's kids channel
Italy‘s new free-to-air kids channel has finally got a name - Boing - and a test signal has already been
activated on Mediaset's national DTT multiplex. The channel is a joint venture between Mediaset and
Turner Broadcasting and is scheduled to launch on November 20.
In order to make place for the new arrival, VJ TV, a music video channel has been sacrificed.
Mediaset's multiplex, besides Boing, now carries the following channels: Rete 4, Class News,
Ventiquattrore TV, BBC World and Coming Soon TV.
Source: Broadband TV News


21 October 2004
Mediaset chooses Nagravision for pay-DTT
Italian broadcaster Mediaset has chosen Nagravision's conditional access systems for its pay digital
TV services scheduled to launch in 2005.



                                                   115
Under the terms of the agreement, Nagravision will secure pay-per-view (PPV) offerings over
Mediaset's digital terrestrial platform, the first commercial DTTV service in Italy. Nagravision will
download its conditional access technology on to the DTT-enabled set-top boxes already deployed and
will work with all digital STB manufacturers to enable the timely launch of the service.
Source: advanced-television.com


7 October 2004
Italy confirms MHP subsidies
The Italian government has confirmed that it will continue state subsidies of MHP digital decoders
next year, although at €120 rather than the current €150 per box. This is due to the following price of
set-top boxes.
In order to qualify for a subsidy, digital decoders must be MHP compliant and include a smartcard
reader and integrated modem.
Source: informitv.com


6 October 2004
RTV38 launches free-to-air interactive TV services
RTV38 has become the first regional television channel in Italy to broadcast digital interactive
television services (DVB-T MHP). RTV38 is one of over 600 regional Italian broadcasters. RTV38
and Irish interactive TV software company DigiSoft.tv developed the interactive applications.
The interactive applications include local government information services, interactive weather,
interactive advertising, a household & personal tax calculator, email and sms messaging. RTV38 will
also launch t-learning, interactive news, a customisable, scrolling news and sports ticker and
interactive voting services over the next weeks.
RTV38 covers the Italian regions of Toscana, Umbria, Marche, North Lazio and east Liguria with a
population spread in excess of five million people.
Source: DigiSoft.tv website


2 July 2004
Mediaset snags DTT soccer rights
Mediaset has announced a deal for the DTT rights of the home games of Juventus, Inter and AC
Milan. The deal is valid for the next three seasons. The deal is reported to have cost Mediaset €86
million
Mediaset will recoup the investment via an innovative pre-paid card system modelled on pre-paid
mobile phones. Fans will be able to buy cards one match at a time from as little as E2 each.
Source: advanced-television.com



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27 May 2004
Rete 4 gets analogue green light
Italy‘s communications regulator has given permission for Rete 4 to continue analogue transmissions
until 2006. The terrestrial network, owned by Prime Minister Berlusconi‘s Mediaset Group has been
told it will be able to carry on broadcasting until digital switchover.
The decision goes against the wishes of the constitutional court, which in 2002 had advised that the
channel should move to a digital only service in order to free up terrestrial frequencies.
Source: Broadband TV News


7 May 2004
RAI clear for DTT acquisitions
Italy‘s antitrust authority has cleared RAI to go ahead and acquire 11 independent broadcast
companies. The public broadcaster needs the companies in order to obtain additional frequencies as
part of the build out of its digital TV network.
The authority ruled that that RAI‘s involvement would not prejudice the entrance of other operators
into the market.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 April 2004
Explosion of DTT in Italy
Since the beginning of January, the date of its national launch, DTT has already seduced 150,000
Italian homes. This performance, "leads one to believe that, as early as this summer, Italy will the DTT
leader in continental Europe" according to Emmanuel Gout, adviser to the Italian minister of
communications.
Source: Le Figaro


25 March 2004
Mediaset to spend €20m more on DTT
Italian broadcaster Mediaset has said it expects to spend a further €20 million on digital television
services during 2004. The company, controlled by the family of Italian prime minister Silvio
Berlusconi, has already spent €50 million on the purchase of frequencies and the launch of its services.
Mediaset is looking at the possibility of launching a children‘s channel, possibly with an international
partner, and developing pay-TV services over the digital terrestrial network.
Source: Broadband TV News




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19 March 2004
Italian DTT boxes selling at 2,000 a day
More than 20,000 digital decoders have been sold in Italy since the introduction of a €150 state
subsidy at the end of February, with boxes selling at the rate of 2,000 a day, according to DGTVi,
Italy's digital TV operators' association.
At a recent DTT workshop organised by DGTVi, Fernando Napolitano, CEO of strategic consultancy
Booz Allen Italia, said that €500 million has already been invested in the Italian DTT market, whilst
DGTVi president and the head of RAI's DTT department, Carlo Sartori, commented that if the positive
trend should continue, up to one million decoders could be sold by the end of 2004. He added that
trials conducted by the public broadcaster in Rome, Turin and Palermo have been very encouraging.
RAI, La7 and MTV Italia have currently achieved 62 per cent coverage of the population with a digital
signal, whilst D-Free covers 54 per cent and Mediaset; 51 per cent, although this is due to increase to
70 per cent by June.
Source: DTG website


9 March 2004
Towards 400,000 DTTV Decoders Sold in Italy
Between 1 December 2003 and March 2004, four national multiplexes have been launched and a fifth
multiplex is to follow next month. Coverage stands at 50% and targeted to extend to 70% by the end
of 2004. Sales of receivers are massive.
In the first month following the DTT launch, 80,000 receivers were sold while, by late April, 400,000
set-top boxes have been sold.
Source: Dataxis Research


25 February 2004
Italy sets up DTT test centre
Sun Microsystems, Telecom Italia Media and Italian research institute CSP ICT Innovation have set
up an open laboratory to lay down a structure for Italian digital terrestrial TV
DTTLab will test new interactive DTT services and explore the possibilities of new TV standards and
their integration with other information and communications technologies. Sharing its competences
and instruments, DTTLab will give interested parties the opportunity of testing trial applications and
acquiring interactive know-how and in a real-world environment.
Source: DTG website




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6 February 2004
New sports channel for DTT
Eurosport-owner TF1 has confirmed the launch of its new Italian sports channel, Sportitalia, on 6
February. The new digital channel is a joint venture with Holland Coordinator and Services BV from
which TF1 bought a 49% share in Europa TV ahead of the launch.
Source: Broadband TV News


7 January 2004
RAI launches two DTT multiplexes
On 3 January, fifty years to the day when RAI began analogue TV transmissions, the Italian public
broadcaster unveiled its two DVB-T multiplexes. The multiplexes carry eight TV channels produced
by RAI, two run by third-party content providers, and four radio channels.
The RAI offer includes simulcasts of its three analogue terrestrial TV networks RaiUno, RaiDue,
RaiTre, its satellite services RaiSport, RaiNews 24 and RaiEducational, plus new community channel
RaiUtile and new culture/arts channel RaiDoc. Negotiations are currently going on with third-party
content providers, including Sat2000 and Euronews.
RAI's digital multiplexes currently cover 50 per cent of the population although coverage will expand
to 76 per cent by the end of the year, whereupon STB sales could reach up to 1 million according to
the Ministry of Communications.
Communications Minister Maurizio Gasparri earmarked €110 million in the 2004 budget for
incentives to encourage digital box sales, allowing a €150 contribution to each TV license fee-payer
wanting to buy a digital box. He recently commented that although receivers currently on the market
cost €200-300, prices are expected to fall as they become more widespread.
Source: DTG website


18 December 2003
Mediaset launches Italian DTT multiplex
Commercial broadcaster Mediaset has launched its first digital terrestrial multiplex.
The multiplex comprising BBC World, Italian news channel 24 Ore TV, interactive financial network
Class News, Coming Soon TV (movie previews) and VeeJay Television (music videos) will reach 54
per cent of the population. The signal is fed via a transponder on the Eutelsat Hot Bird satellite.
The business model calls for each channel to pay €0.03 for each member of the population served by
the signal, although the multiplex operator is heavily discounting the fee for the first three years of
operation. Some 50,000 DTT decoders have already been distributed in Italy.
Source: Broadband TV News




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11 November 2003
BBC World to launch on Italian DTT
BBC World has secured an agreement with broadcaster Mediaset its distribution on Italy‘s digital
terrestrial network that launches in December. Mediaset is investing €200 million in digital
technology, which is also being pursued by the public broadcaster RAI.
BBC World has secured DTT distribution in a number of international markets including Germany
and the Netherlands.
Source: Broadband TV News


10 October 2003
Italian parliament sets 2007 for digital switchover
The lower house of the Italian parliament has passed the controversial communications bill. The bill
was delayed twice in two days by a series of opposition amendments that were also supported by rebel
MPs from the conservative majority. The new legislation sets the guidelines for the introduction of
digital television leading to analogue switchoff in 2007.
Critics say that the 2007 deadline is too short a time for the handover to take place. There are also
fears that the duopoly between the public broadcaster RAI and Berlusconi‘s own Mediaset channels
will simply continue in the new broadcasting format. The bill needs to pass through the Italian senate
before becoming law.
Source: Broadband TV News


July 2003
According to RAI, DTT for 30 Millions Italians in 2004
RAI expects to reach 50% of the population with DTT services by 1 January 2004. Michele Frosi
stated that ''RAI expects to reach, in a first phase, potentially about 30 millions of viewers. In the
beginning of 2005 we will reach 70% of the population.''
Source: Yahoo Italia News


June 2003
RAI board approves DTT project
RAI's Board of Directors have unanimously approved the Italian public broadcaster's digital terrestrial
development project which will set up two national digital multiplexes. The multiplexes will initially
cover at least 50 per cent of the population, later expanding to 70 per cent coverage.
The Board also authorised RAI Director General Flavio Cattaneo to negotiate the details of the
program with the Communications Ministry. Part of the project will be financed by credits coming
from the Finance Ministry and the sale of RAI's medium- and shortwave transmitters.



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In a related development, Communications Minister Maurizio Gasparri has established an inspection
committee to oversee the introduction of digital terrestrial and interactive TV trials. The Committee,
which will define the areas for the DTT trials, is headed by Communications Undersecretary Giancarlo
Innocenzi.
Source: DTG website


                                                 LATVIA
7 July 2004
Latvian DTT debate re-opens
Latvia‘s National Radio and Television Council (NRTC) has reopened the debate into the introduction
of digital terrestrial TV by suggesting it should be done by the private sector, with only a limited
contribution from the national public broadcaster LTV.
Private broadcasters, in its view, should in fact be able to operate their own transmitters rather than
having to depend on the network owned by the Latvian State Radio and TV Centre.
Plans by the state owned Digital Latvian Radio and TV Centre (DLRTC) to set up a DTT service in
conjunction with the UK-based Kempmayer Media Limited (KML) were halted earlier this year
following allegations of fraud and corruption.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                            LITHUANIA
13 July 2006
Limited DTT service launched
Lithuania‘s telecom provider TEO LT has launched a DTT service in the capital Vilnius. The service
provides access to three commercial television programme services.
The TEO LT platform uses the MPEG-4 video compression standard. It is likely to cover 95% of the
country by 2009. Already, TEO LT has invested LTL 2.5 million (€724,000) in its DTT project. It is
indirectly owned by TeliaSonera.
According to the Radio and Television Commission (RTK), up 40 DTT services could be available in
Vilnius by the end of the year.
In October 2005, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) granted TEO LT and the
Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre licenses to operate four DTT multiplexes in Vilnius.
Also in October 2005, RTK awarded broadcasting licenses on the DTT platform to Baltijos TV, Tele-
3 and TV1 as well as the public service broadcaster. This followed from the initial invitation to tender
for DTT broadcasting licenses in 2002 which failed to attract attention and was later put on hold.
Source: Broadband TV News




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24 February 2006
National DTT licence awarded
Industry sources indicate that UAB Mikrovisatos TV, which is based in the city of Kaunas, has
secured a national DTT licence.
UAB Mikrovisatos TV is expected to launch a subscription service offering 24 television programmes.
The services are expected to be first launched in Vilnius within the next six months and gradually
extend to the rest of the country.
Last year the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) awarded the Lithuanian Radio and
Television Centre and Lithuanian Telecom digital frequencies for two national multiplexes each.
Source: Broadband TV News


5 August 2005
Preparations underway for DTT
The Lithuanian Radio and TV Centre (LRTC) and incumbent telco Lithuanian Telecom (LT) have
been awarded a tender to set up a DTT network. LRTC is the leading transmission company while LT
is the leading provider of telecom services including fixed-line, Internet and data.
Although LRTC has not yet commented on the award, LT says it does not plan to be a content
producer for the network. The first transmitters are expected to be installed in 2006. LT also expects to
invest over LTL10 million (€2.9 million) on the project and call on the experience of other companies
including TeliaSonera.
Source: Broadband TV News


4 May 2004
DVB-T pilot transmitters in Vilnius
DVB-T pilot transmissions from two transmitters in Vilnius started at the end of 2003. Both nationally
broadcast programmes and the 3 nation-wide commercial channels are simulcasted through these
transmitters.
Technical and legislative issues are still being discussed and guidelines will soon be issued by the
government.
It is expected that four multiplexes will be allowed carrying around 20 programmes in Vilnius by the
end of 2005. Klaipeda and Kaunas should also be covered with the same multiplexes by the end of
2006 with other major cities following by the end of 2007.
Source: DVB website




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                                          LUXEMBOURG
21 April 2006
DTT services available
Nationwide DTT services have been launched in Luxembourg from a single multiplex. Viewers can
access 6 television programme services, three in French (RTL TVI, Club RTL and Plug TV) and three
in Dutch (RTL4, RTL5 and RTL7). A 6 month trial service of RTL Télé Letzëbuerg has also been
launched.
Services are broadcast free-to-air and use the MPEG-2 video compression standard. With the launch of
DTT services, the analogue terrestrial transmission of RTL TVI, RTL4 and RTL5 have been ended.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                           MACEDONIA
22 December 2004
DTT trials begin
According to information supplied by the Broadcasting Council for the Republic of Macedonia (SRD),
the country began its first experimental DTT transmissions on 14 December. Employing a 100W
transmitter owned by Public Enterprise ―Macedonian Broadcasting‖ and supplied by IMP (Slovenia),
along with coders and multiplex from Tandberg, they are distributing public broadcaster MRTS‘s
three channels and a satellite service to Skopje and surrounding area.
The possibility of transmitting in two or more languages on one video signal is seen as a distinct
advantage in the country, where aside from Macedonian 25% of the population speak Albanian.
Although the public is being given the to opportunity watch the DTT transmissions in retail outlets in
Skopje, there is still no strategy for DTT and therefore unclear when a commercial service will be
launched.
Source: Broadband TV News


4 May 2004
DTT trials to be launched
Public Enterprise Macedonia Broadcasting (PEMB) is planning to launch DTT trials in the countries
capital Skopje according to recent reports and tenders for the necessary equipment will be announced
shortly.
DTT is not a high priority at the moment and an analogue switch off date has not been decided. A new
Broadcasting Act due to be passed this year should be more specific.
Source: DVB website




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                                               MALTA
23 June 2005
Debate on status of PSB on DTT platform
A debate rages in Malta over the status of public service broadcasters on the DTT platform. Following
the decision to grant DTT multiplexes to Maltacom and Multiplus, some local broadcasters fear that
their programme services may be offered to viewers for a fee. At this stage, DTT licenses have not yet
been granted to local free-to-air broadcasters although frequencies have been reserved for them.
It is expected that all television service programmes will be accessible on the digital terrestrial
platform by 2010.
Source: The Times (Malta)


11 May 2005
Two DTT multiplex licenses attributed
The Malta Communications Authority has assigned access to Rights of Use of Radio Frequencies in
the UHF Band for the Development and Implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
Transmission Networks to Maltacom Plc and Multiplus Ltd.
Each operator will be assigned eight channels on lease for a duration of eight years, with the
possibility of an extension by a further eight. These assignments are the outcome of a process initiated
by an invitation to participate in a comparative process that was issued in March 2004. Since demand
for frequencies matched supply, consideration of assignments of access to rights of use of frequencies
was made after the necessary vetting for compliance of the applications had been completed.
Maltacom and Multiplus will be expected to achieve nationwide coverage of their DTTV
transmissions within 18 months of the assignments taking place.
Source: Malta Communications Authority


2 March 2005
Tenders open for DTT licenses
The Malta Communications Authority is now accepting applications for nation-wide digital terrestrial
television licenses. Two licenses for a block of 8 channels each will be made available for a period of
8 years.
Applicants will need to present plans of how the newtwork coverage will be rollout out to cover 95%
of the population within 18 months. The deadline for submission is 15 April 2005.
Source: Malta Communications Authority




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                                         NETHERLANDS
12 July 2006
Analogue switch-off delayed
The Dutch parliament has decided to postpone analogue switch-off in the Netherlands. This is a
consequence of the recent resignation of the government led by Jan Peter Balkenende.
Analogue switch-off had initially been planned to take place nationwide on the night of 30 October.
The platform offers three channels - Netherlands 1, 2 and 3.
Source: Broadcast Magazine




2 May 2006
ASO confirmed for 2006
The Dutch government has announced that analogue terrestrial television will end on the night of 29-
30 October 2006.
With frequencies made available following analogue switch-off, it will be possible to provide country-
wide coverage for DTT services.
Source: Nozema Services


10 March 2006
Go-ahead given for KPN's acquisition of Nozema Services
The Dutch competition authority, NMa, has given the telecom operator KPN the authorisation to move
forward with its acquisition of broadcast network operator Nozema Services.
However, the approval is on condition that KPN sells off a number of transmission sites over the next
two years.
With its acquisition of Nozema Services, KPN will hold an 80% share of Digitenne, the pay DTT
service operator. It will now look to expand the DTT platform by offering services in rural areas where
cable is not necessarily available.
Source: Broadband TV News


2 December 2005
KPN to acquire Nozema
Telecom operator KPN is reportedly ready to acquire broadcast network operator Nozema Services in
a deal worth €75 million.
Completion of the transaction requires approval of the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa) as well as
from the employee councils of both companies. Because of NMa's reported concerns surrounding



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access to KPN's communications towers, the telcom operator has agreed to outsource tower access
management for analogue radio to an independent third party.
The acquisition allows KPN to obtain Nozema's 40% stake in Digitenne, the DTT multiplex operator.
KPN already had a 40% in Digitenne. The remaining 20% is held by NOB and broadcasters.
Source: DM Europe


16 September 2005
Analogue switch-off in 2006
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced that the Dutch public broadcast services
(Nederland 1, Nederland 2 and Nederland 3), will cease analogue terrestrial transmission in 2006.
By ending terrestrial analogue broadcasting, the government will be able to save €11 million per year.
It is estimated that only 77,000 households are still rely on the analogue terrestrial platform.
Source: DM Europe


9 September 2005
Astra to join Dutch Mobile TV project
European satellite operator Astra is set to participate in the DVB-H trial currently taking place in the
Hague. The trial is supported by Digitenne, KPN, Nokia and Nozema Services.
The DVB-H trial is evaluating the opportunities for mobile interactive services. As part of the
evaluation, Astra will provide a feed of TV content showing recent film trailers and Hollywood news,
integrated with an interactive movie quiz.
Source: DTG website


5 September 2005
Mobile TV pilot available in Amsterdam
At IBC this year, Nozema Services, together with Nokia and Elti, has made the DVB-H service used
in the Dutch Mobile TV pilot available around the Amsterdam RAI exhibition centre.
From 8-13 September, DVB-H demonstrations will be on show at a variety of stands including
DigiTAG, Nokia, Elti and DVB.
The Dutch Mobile TV pilot tests the technical and commercial aspects of broadcast mobile TV using
the DVB-H standard in the city of The Hague. Several hundred users will test the features of mobile
television using a Nokia 7710.
The study will also evaluate the opportunities for interactive services made possible by combining a
broadcast service with a mobile network.
Source: DM Europe




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6 July 2005
DVB-H trial begins
A DVB-H field trial has begun in the Netherlands. Project partners include KPN, Digitenne, Nozema
Services and TNO.
Based in the Hague, the field trial will test the technical aspects of the DVB-H services. This will be
followed by a further trial with a small group of users later in the year. Depending on the results, KPN
hopes to launch commercial DVB-H services in 2006.
Users will be able to access television (SBS6, BBC World, NOS 24 uur journaal, Nederland 2 and
MTV )as well as radio (Juize FM) services using a Nokia 7710 receiver. In addition, users will be able
to access interactive services via the KPN mobile phone network.
Source: Unstrung news


1 July 2005
KPN competitive in DTT market
KPN has sold 21,000 DTT subscriptions in the first quarter of 2005. Since 18 October 2004, KPN has
offered its customers with the opportunity to subscribe to DTT services. In addition, it is estimated that
KPN had sold over 25,000 subscriptions in the last quarter of 2004.
According to Telecompaper, KPN has a 39 percent share in the combined DVB-T and DVB-C market
by end of the first quarter of 2005.
Source: Telecom Paper


14 April 2005
Scarlet to offer DTT services
Telecom provider Scarlet is set to launch its DTT subscription services on 16 April. Scarlet will use
the Digitenne network and offers the same package as Digitenne and KPN.
Source: Telecom Paper


5 October 2004
Wireless Digital TV for KPN
Dutch telecom operator KPN is to become the world‘s first telecom operator to venture into the TV
market using DVB-T technology. From 18 October, customers will be able to receive radio and
television channels using DVB-T. KPN will thus offer customers in the Netherlands an attractive
alternative to cable TV.
Source: advanced-television.com




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6 May 2004
Dutch public broadcasters want to end analogue TV in 2006
The Dutch public broadcasters have told the government that they want to close down analogue
terrestrial transmissions of the three national TV networks in 2006, two years earlier than planned. The
closure of the analogue transmitters will save 14 million euro per year.
It's estimated that only between 65,000 and 100,000 people depend on these transmitters to receive
Nederland 1, 2 and 3 on a daily basis. The rest get their signals via cable or satellite. However, a
further 400,000 people make some use of the analogue transmissions when camping or caravanning in
the Netherlands.
An alternative for some viewers would be to use the digital terrestrial service Digitenne, but this
doesn't yet reach all parts of the country, and there are some rural areas it will probably never reach. It
also isn't a free service. It's now up to the government to consider the request of the broadcasters, and
look at the options for those viewers who will be affected.
Source: Radio Netherlands


22 April 2004
KPN aims to increase holding in DTV provider
Dutch telco KPN aims to increase its holding in digital DVB-T television provider Digitenne,
according to Telecom.paper.
KPN currently has a 30 per cent stake in the company and hopes to increase that to 49 per cent in order
to compete with cable providers who provide TV to 97 per cent of homes in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs must first approve such a move, but three years ago had
restricted KPN to a 30 per centholding in the company.
Nozema, the Netherlands Broadcasting Transmission Company, currently has a 30 per cent share in
Digitenne, NOB has a further 30 per cent and public broadcasters the remaining ten per cent.
Source: DM Europe.com


February 2003
DTT Rollout by Digitenne
Digitenne, the Dutch digital terrestrial television (DTT) network, will start its commercial rollout in
the north-western region of Holland in mid-April. Cities that will be covered include Amsterdam,
Almere, Haarlem and Hilversum. The platform is currently being tested.
Cheaper than the average cable fee - E8.95 per month -, Digitenne will distribute 25 television
networks and 16 radio stations. Customers will also have to pay an E29.95 installation fee, in which
the smartcard and antenna are included.




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Digitenne aims to reach around 50,000 households, a 3-4 per cent market share, in the initial region by
end 2003. Digitenne is not expected to reach national availability before 2005. NOB, Nozema, KPN
and a consortium of Canal Plus, HMG, NOS, SBS Broadcasting and MTV own Digitenne.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                              NORWAY
14 July 2006
Norkring to build DTT network
Broadcast network operator Norkring will build and operate the DTT transmission network in Norway
for the next 15 years. The DTT network will cover 95 percent of the households in addition to those
households in a satellite shadow area.
Roll-out of DTT services is expected to begin in 2007 with completion expected by the end of 2009.
Norkring's parent company, Telenor, has a one-third ownership of Norges Televisjon (NTV) which
holds the only DTT license available in Norway. The other partners in NTV include the broadcasters
NRK and TV2.
Source: Norkring press release


7 June 2006
Government awards DTT license
The government has announced that it has awarded NTV with its DTT licence. It is likely that DTT
services will begin in the summer of 2007 .
NTV, an organisation set up by NRK, TV2 and Telenor, had been the only contender for the available
DTT licence. As per the proposal made by NTV, one multiplex will offer free-to-air DTT services
while two additional multiplexes will offer pay DTT services.
It is expected that Norway will launch its DTT services using the MPEG-4 video compression
standard.
Source: Telenor


30 September 2005
NTV sole applicant for DTT licence
Norges televisjon (NTV) has applied to the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the
Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs for a licence to develop and operate a DTT platform in
Norway.
In its applications, NTV guarantees the development of three multiplexes covering 95% of
households. Of these, one multiplex will also provide coverage to households located in satellite
shadow areas. Multiplex contain between ten and seven television programme services.

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NTV proposes a development plan that will involve controlled DTT roll-out in eleven regions. Roll-
out will likely in Autumn 2006 for the first region. Analogue switch-off in the last region will be
possible by the end of 2008.
The DTT platform will use the MPEG-4 video compression standard so as to allow for the eventual
transition to HDTV.
NTV will aim to offer its audience Norwegian language services and the most popular international
services. Local television services will also be available. Both pay and free-to-air services will be
offered to viewers.
Norsk rikskringkasting AS, TV 2 Gruppen AS and Telenor Broadcast Holding AS each own one third
of NTV. NTV and its owners have the ability and will to commit themselves to a long-term investment
in the digital terrestrial network in Norway.
Source: Rolf Brandrud, NTV


25 August 2005
Joint bid for DTT licenses
NRK, TV 2 Gruppen AS and Telenor Broadcast have entered into a partnership agreement with the
aim of jointly applying for the DTT licences in Norway.
Should all partners agree to apply for the DTT licenses, such application will be submitted by Norges
televisjon (NTV), in which the three partners will hold equal ownership shares. NTV was established
in 2002 by NRK and TV 2, with the aim of securing a license to establish and operate DTT network.
The partners have also agreed to establish a new company, NTV II, which will offer pay TV services
on the DTT platform.
According to the press release issued, the partnership between NRK, TV 2 and Telenor Broadcast will
ensure top technical and editorial expertise, as well as the financial strength to complete the roll-out of
the DTT network.
In June, the government issued the invitation to tender for a single concession offering a frequency
usage license and a broadcast facilities license. The application deadline is set for 30 September.
Source: NTV press release


4 May 2005
Telenor interest in DTT
Telenor Broadcast has reported an interest in building and operating a digital terrestrial television
network in Norway. The Telenor subsidiary Norkring currently owns and operates the national
analogue terrestrial TV and radio network and would like to deliver the same services digitally.
Already, Telenor delivers television services to close to 2.9 million households in the Nordic region
via the satellite, cable, broadband and digital terrestrial platorms through its subsidiary Canal Digital.
Source: advanced-television.com


                                                   130
10 March 2005
Three-year DTT licence extension
The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Ministry of Culture and Church
Affairs is to offer a three-year extension to the country‘s DTT operating licence. The ministry invited
applications to run Norway‘s DTT services in June 2002. The sole applicant NTV, a joint venture
between public broadcaster NRK and the commercial channel TV2, has yet to be awarded the licence.
NTV had asked for the licence period to be extended because of the amount of time it will have to get
DTT services up and running. However, the ministry has now effectively re-opened the tender, leaving
open the possibility that a second player might emerge.
Source: Broadband TV News


7 April 2004
Update on DVB-T rollout
DVB-T deployment in Norway has been slow despite test transmissions being available to 25-30% of
the population around Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo since June 2000.
According to the NTV website it is thought that the development of the digital terrestrial network will
begin in the autumn of 2004. Soft launch of the commercial operation will be in the fall of 2006 and
analogue shut off region by region will be finalised by the end of 2007. The transmitter plan produced
in 2001 provides three multiplexes.
Source: NTV website


18 March 2004
Norwegian legislation establishes DTT by 2008
The Stortinget, Norway's Parliament, has passed legislation setting 1 January 2008 as the date when
nationwide DTT should be established and all analogue broadcasts switched off.
Switching off the analogue transmitters will start in 2006, and then be carried through on a region-by-
region basis. The last analogue switch-off is planned for end of 2007.
Although the law passed with a safe cross-party majority, according to sources, a major obstacle in the
Act's final voting round was that maintaining and upgrading of the current analogue transmitter
network would cost as much as building a new digital network, however to push through the
legislation, the government conceded to increase target coverage from 92 to 95 per cent, with regional
needs also well catered for. However, there will be no state subsidy whatsoever of set-top boxes.
The increase in coverage, introduced to secure support from the powerful socialist Opposition,
Arbeiderpartiet, will leave between 99 and 100 per cent of the Norwegian population with digital
terrestrial or satellite coverage.




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Arbeiderpartiet has also managed to link the launch of DTT with the expansion of broadband services
around Norway. Areas having a long wait for broadband connections will in the meantime be served
by high-speed and interactive services via the DTT transmitters.
Despite years spent on preparing for the introduction of Norwegian DTT, the project still has only one
applicant to operate the DTT platform: Norges Televisjon, a joint venture between public broadcaster
NRK and its commercial counterpart, TV2, both of whom will both get access to the first and only
multiplex with a full national coverage, to offer free-to-air services. Multiplex space will also be
reserved for one open-access channel, run by various organisations, and one distance-learning service
for universities and higher education centres. Additional multiplexes for commercial operators are also
to be made available.
Source: DTG website


                                              POLAND
16 January 2006
New communications regulator set-up
The Polish government has established the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE). This new
body will replace the Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation (URTiP) as well as certain
powers of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT).
Responsibilities of the UKE include the reservation of frequencies for radio or TV transmission (both
analogue and digital), the provision of electronic programme guides and the regulation of the
telecommunications market.
Legislation to create this new regulator was passed on 29 December 2005 while the implementation
took place on 14 January 2006.
The Prime Minister of Poland will select the President of UKE from three candidates proposed by the
National Broadcasting Council. The UKE will be supervised by the Minister of Transport and
Construction.
Source: DM Europe


4 November 2005
DTT delay likely
Poland‘s National Broadcasting Council (KKRiT) is likely to delay the DTT multiplex licensing
process. Licence allocation, originally expected in early 2006, is likely to be announced at the end of
2006.
According to local reports, a debate has emerged regarding the video compression standard to use with
much interest in favour of the the MPEG-4 standard.




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These reports have emerged as Polski Operator Telewizyjny (POT), the Polsat/TVN DTT consortium,
has received the approbation from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) to
launch national commercial DTT services.
Source: Broadband TV News


6 October 2005
Proposal to set up panel of DTT experts
The president of the Polish of Telecommunications and Post Regulation (URTiP) has proposed that
the country‘s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) set up a panel of experts to discuss the
problems faced in launching a DTT platform.
The panel of experts would be made up of the two bodies, as well as the three national broadcasters
(TVP, Polsat and TVN) and any other interested parties.
Although the government approved a DTT strategy this May, many technical and organisational issues
still remain unresolved.
Source: Broadband TV News


22 July 2005
DTT consultation underway
The National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) has begun a public consultation process into digital
terrestrial broadcasting.
All interested parties are invited to submit their views by mid-August, with the KRRiT making its
final decision on a number of issues in September. The launch of national DTT services operated by
TVP and the POT consortium, either jointly or separately, is expected soon afterwards.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 July 2005
TVP unlikely to join POT consortium
The Polish public broadcaster TVP says it will announce its final decision on whether or not to join the
Polski Operator Telewizyjny (POT) DTT consortium by the end of this week. However, it is widely
assumed it will turn down the offer to do so.
POT is a 50/50 joint venture between the national commercial stations Polsat and TVN formed earlier
this year with the specific aim of launching a national MPEG-4 –based DTT platform. TVP favours
MPEG-2 and already has trial DTT operations in the south of the country.
Source: Broadband TV News




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27 May 2005
Polish consortium seeks DTT licences
The Polish DTT consortium POT, made up of Polsat and TVN, has applied to the country‘s National
Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) for permission to begin trials in Warsaw and the nearby city of Lódz.
A number of frequencies are available in both locations from September until the end of 2006 and
POT would like to use them to distribute a range of both its own and the public broadcaster TVP‘s
channels.
In addition, TP EmiTel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the incumbent telco TPSA, has announced that
it would be technical ready to launch a DTT service covering 55% of Poland‘s population in Q1 2006.
Source: Broadband TV News


26 May 2005
Broadcaster feud over DTT
Last month, the Polish public broadcaster TVP declined to join the Polski Operator Telewizjny (POT)
consortium, aimed to set up a DTT platform in the country, set-up by commercial broadcasters Polsat
and TVN.
According to the Polish News Bulletin, Polsat and TVN are demanding an explanation after TVP said
it wanted to deploy its own digital service. The two camps are at loggerheads over which standard to
deploy for digital broadcasting, with TVP pushing for MPEG-2 and POT lobbying for MPEG-4.
Source: DTG News


14 April 2005
Debut for DTT consortium
Poland‘s two national commercial broadcasters Polsat and TVN have officially established a joint
venture designed to introduce DTT into the country. Known as Polski Operator Telewizyjny (POT), it
will also be open to the public broadcaster TVP until June 30.
TVP, which currently operates a limited trial DTT service in the south of the country, was widely
expected to be part of the POT consortium but earlier this year decided to go its own way. Despite the
creation of POT, Polsat and TVN are still unlikely to launch a DTT platform with two national
multiplexes before mid-2006 at the earliest.
Source: Broadband TV News


1 April 2005
DTT plans on track
The Polish national commercial stations Polsat and TVN have officially agreed to create a 50/50 joint
venture named Polski Operator Telewizyjny (POT) to introduce DTT service later this year. Wieslaw



                                                 134
Walendziak, the architect of the project, has been named the president of POT and Adam Brodziak
and Tomasz Berezowski, the respective technical directors at Polsat and TVN, its joint vice presidents.
Telewizja Polska (TVP) is currently not part of the consortium although it is running experimental
DTT services in several parts of the country.
Source: Broadband TV News


17 February 2005
TVP rejects DTT venture
The Polish public broadcaster TVP has refused to join the Polski Operator Telewizjny (POT)
consortium aiming to set up a DTT platform in the country. Although the national commercial stations
Polsat and TVN have agreed to work together within POT, TVP‘s decision, according to TVN board
member Tomasz Berezowski, is likely to have put back the launch of a full DTT service by at least
one to two years.
TVP has already set up trial DTT operations in the south and south east of Poland in order to improve
coverage of its regional channel TVP3. In what was a surprisingly development, it agreed nine months
ago to work jointly with Polsat and TVN to launch a platform.
Source: Broadband TV News


21 January 2005
Poland prepares for DTT
Wojciech Halka, Poland‘s vice-minister of infrastructure, has announced that the country is likely to
approve a plan for digital terrestrial broadcasting next month and launch a platform either at the end of
this year or beginning of 2006.
The plan envisages digital rollout to take place on a region-by-region basis, with the first to be
converted being Mazowsze and Wielkopolska, and the analogue switch-off date being 2014. A
consortium made up of TVP, Polsat and TVN, the country‘s three national broadcasters, is working
jointly to launch a DTT platform.
Source: Broadband TV News


10 May 2004
Poland's TVP to form DTT partnership
According to local reports, Polish public broadcaster TVP is expected to form a DTT partnership with
national commercial stations Polsat and TVN in order to launch DTT services. The reports state that
Wieslaw Walendziak, Polsat general director and a former president of TVP, has managed to convince
the three parties of the benefits of a jointly-operated platform. While one complete multiplex would be
allocated to TVP, a second would be given over to the commercial stations.



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TVP's two competitors have, until now, been strongly opposed to DTT, chiefly on the grounds of cost,
although Polsat also operates a 250,000-300,000-subscriber digital DTH platform, Polsat Cyfrowa.
Walendziak would like to see the three broadcasters competing only in terms of programming rather
than on different platforms.
All three, however, will have to formulate a joint digital strategy that will satisfy with such bodies as
the Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation (URTiP), Office for Competition and
Consumer Protection (UOKiK), and The National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), which will have to
decide on which channels will be allocated to the two prospective multiplexes.
Once the necessary legislation is in place, it is expected that DTT services will be rolled out on a
region-by-region basis, as in Germany.
Source: DTG website


8 April 2004
TVP launches DTT trials
The Polish national public broadcaster has begun DTT trials in the south eastern voivodship of
Podkarpacie. Transmitted from Sucha Góra near Krosno, they are offering viewers the chance to
watch its two national (TVP1 and TVP2) and one regional (TVP3) channels in a part of the country
where reception to date has been poor.
The one catch is the high cost of reception equipment, which will cost around PLN500 (€105.4).
Source: Broadband TV News


                                             PORTUGAL
2 September 2005
New report on spectrum
The Government plans to provide incentives for the development of new communication services,
including DTT according to a new report published by the communications regulator Anacom.
According to the report, the government plans to promote the efficient use of the frequency spectrum
and introduce market mechanisms in order to do so.
The government also plans to guarantee the full access to communication services. Measures will be
taken to ensure the full application of the Electronic Communications Law (5/2004) of 10 February
2004.
Source: Diário Económico




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29 July 2005
DTT relaunch in 2006
The government plans to issue a public tender to award DTT licences in the first half of 2006. Several
companies, such as Media Capital and SGC Telecom, have expressed their interest in the DTT
frequencies.
DTT has been at a standstill in Portugal since 2003. The government revoked the DTT licence
awarded to Plataforma de Televisão Digital Portuguesa (PTDP) in 2001 due to delays in launching
DTT services.
Source: advanced-television.com


15 July 2005
New digital television trials approved
Anacom, the communications regulator, has approved three technical trials. Siemens, SGC Telecom
and Group Media Capital have permission to carry out trials of DVB-T, DVB-H as well as of the
MPEG-4 compression format.
Anacom will be able to access the results of the trials. This will provide them with technical
information as well as a better understanding of the marketing potential of these technologies.
Source: DM Europe


17 November 2004
Portugal to re-launch DTT
Jorge Borrego, the Portuguese Transport and Communication minister, announced that a new call for
tenders will be organised on March 2005 to award new digital terrestrial television licences.
"We won't do the same errors we made in the past", explained the Minister speaking about the licences
awarded in March 2003 and never operated.
Source: Dataxis


12 November 2004
Government reserves spectrum for digital terrestrial television
The government has begun the first step in the process of launching digital terrestrial television (DTT).
The Ministry of Communications has reserved the channels that will be made available for DTT.
The date for awarding the licenses will be decided by the government. The Ministry did not state when
the government will accept bids for the licenses.
Source: Ultima Hora




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                                                ROMANIA
2 December 2005
Ready to a launch DTT trials
Romania‘s National Audiovisual Council (CNA) will allocate frequency (Channel 54) for a six-month
DTT trial in Bucharest.
In addition, a second frequency (Channel 59) is also likely to be made available to commercial
broadcasters for DTT tests starting in April or May 2006. The CNA will select the broadcasters to
participate in the test on the basis of their content and ratings.
The Digitalisation Council was established in July 2005 in order to source frequencies for a third
national DTT network. The network will be reserved for up to 6 commercial broadcasters with
national and regional coverage.
Romania has fixed 2012 as its date for analogue switch-off.
Source: Broadband TV News


8 July 2005
DDT trials planned
The Romanian transmission company Radiocomunicatii has announced plans to launch two DTT
pilots later this year. The trials will take place in Bucharest.
It recently launched a T-DAB pilot in Bucharest. These projects are part of a €67 million government
project aimed at upgrading the transmission network. Radiocomunicatii distributes TVR‘s four
channels (TVR1, TVR2, TVR Cultural and TVR International) while also allowing national
commercial broadcasters Pro TV and Antena 1 to use transmission equipment on its sites.
Source: Broadband TV News


8 June 2004
Romania prepares digital TV
According to a local report, Romania‘s National Radiocommunications Company (SNR) plans to
invest $83.3 million (€67.8 million) on introducing digital TV services into the country and both
expanding and upgrading its network of transmitters.
Initially focused on introducing suitable transmitters in Bucharest and one other principal city, the
process will involve employing equipment supplied by Rohde & Schwarz and the Liechtenstein-based
company Marlink. The SNR invested a total of Lei625 billion (€15.61 million) in 2002, of which
Lei560 billion were for telecoms, Lei46.5 billion for broadcasting and Lei18 billion for other services.
Source: Broadband TV News




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                                     RUSSIAN FEDERATION
16 December 2005
DTT plans underway
Russia has begun planning its strategy for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. A
number of government ministries headed by the Ministry of Information and Communications are
reported to have presented a six year timetable for digital switchover.
The cost of the switchover is estimated at $4 billion, of which the government would be provide one
third of the funding. Up to $2 billion would be allocated to upgrade the infrastructure while the
remaining $2 billion would be used to help some households purchase set-top boxes.
This government plan is similar to the plan published by the Russian Television and Broadcasting
Network (RTRN) although the figures vary slightly.
Source: Broadband TV News


10 February 2005
Russia to complete digital switch-over by 2015
According to Boris Antonyuk, deputy minister of information technologies and communication,
digital switch-over will be completed by 2015 in Russia. Already, trials are underway in Moscow, St
Petersburg and Nizhniy Novgorod. Antonyuk believes that, in view of Russia's geography, the use of
existing satellite networks would be the best way of developing digital broadcasting in the country.
However, the deputy head of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS),
Svyatoslav Bunyayev, is convinced that Russia must switch to digital broadcasting much sooner.
Otherwise "our country will be doomed to being hopelessly backward". In his view, "Russia already
has all the necessary technological basis for a rapid and inexpensive switch to digital."
Source: Russian news agency ITAR-TASS


27 August 2004
Russian TV preparing for transfer to digital broadcasting
The National Association of Television and Radio Broadcasters intends to contribute to the roll-out of
digital television in Russia. According to its Director General Andrei Safronov, "we are talking about
the necessity of forming a large group that would be putting together a project to introduce digital
broadcasting and would represent the interests of all the segments of the market."
In May, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov instructed his ministers to put together a roadmap for rolling
out digital television using the DVB standard in Russia to submit to the Cabinet for approval.
Source: RIA Novosti




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3 June 2004
Russia to adopt DVB
The Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov has signed a decree confirming that the country will
adopt the DVB standard when it converts to digital broadcasting. It is understood the decree includes a
requirement for several ministries to come up with a plan by 2005 for the process.
As previously reported in Broadband TV News, upgrading Russia‘s transmission system, which is
overseen by the state-owned Television and Broadcasting Network (RTRS), will take several years
and is likely to cost in the region of €900 million.
Source: Broadband TV News
                                                SERBIA
12 May 2005
Serbia starts DTT trails
Serbia‘s national public broadcaster RTS has officially announced the start of DTT trails. Its technical
director Radisa Petrovic has stated that they are employing RTS‘s new Avala digital transmitter on
UHF channel 27, whose signals can be received in Belgrade and are carrying RTS‘s three existing TV
channels, a new TV channel (RTS 4), teletext and its radio stations.
Petrovic also stated that a second digital transmitter will be activated this autumn, allowing for the full
coverage of Belgrade. RTS has been experimenting with DVB technology since 2002 and tests began
on 6 April.


                                               SLOVAKIA
25 November 2005
DTT trials begin
A DTT multiplex offering four television programme services has been launched in Bratislava as part
of a DTT trial.
The trial is managed by the Slovak Telecom subsidiary Rádiokomunikácie. The incumbent telco,
which is 51% owned by Deutsche Telekom, has licences to undertake trials in Bratislava and Banská
Bystrica-Zvolen, while a company named Telecom Corp. is permitted run trials in Kosice-Presov.
Slovak Telecom undertook its first DTT trials – also in Bratislava – as far back as 1999, and the
government approved a detail strategy for the implementation of DTT two years later. The analogue
switch off date in Slovakia has been set for 2012, though it still remains unclear when a full service
will make its debut.
Source: Broadband TV News


7 July 2004
Slovakia awards DTT licences



                                                   140
The Slovak Digital Group (SDG), which is owned by the Czech media consortium GES Holding and
has links with its namesake in the Czech Republic, has failed in its fight to secure a DTT licence.
Licences have instead been awarded to both Slovak Telecom and Telecom Corp, who are now
expected to begin trials in the areas of Banska Bystrica-Zvolen and Kosice –Presov respectively.
From Broadband TV News


6 May 2004
DTT progress
The launch of DTT has moved a step closer in Slovakia with the news that Slovak Telecom has been
awarded digital terrestrial frequencies in Bratislava.
Last year, shortly after the government approved the new electronic communications law, Slovak
Telecom was granted frequencies in Banska Bystrica-Zvolen while Telecom Corp was granted
frequences in Kosice-Presov.
Slovak Digital Group (SDG), a wholly owned subsidiary of its Czech namesake backed by the media
company GES Holding, was the favourite to secure the frequencies but surprisingly failed to do so.
Slovak Telecom‘s licence in Bratislava is only valid until mid-2006 and both it and Telecom Corp, are
expected to begin trials shortly. Analogue switch off in Slovakia is expected in 2015.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                              SLOVENIA
21 November 2005
Digital switch-over by 2012
The Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti has announced that Slovenia would probably switch from
analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in 2012.
According to Simoniti, digital switch-over represents a substantial financial cost for Slovenia. He
stated: "I hope we can speed up the transition if we get financial support from abroad."
Source: Slovene Press Agency STA


9 January 2004
DTT in Slovenia
Digital terrestrial TV will soon be moving forward in Slovenia when a new telecom law drafted by
April 2003 is enacted by parliament later in the year. Public broadcasters started test transmissions in
2000 covering Ljubljana and the surrounding area. The SFN network is planned for expansion when
legislation is introduced.
Source: DVB website




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                                                     SPAIN
4 July 2006
RTVE launches MHP services on the DTT platform
Public service broadcaster RTVE has launched its first interactive services on the DTT platform using
the MHP standard. The services have been launched in cooperation with its partners Fresh It, Abertis
and Soluziona.
The new services include an electronic programme guide (EPG), advanced digital teletext, information
services with traffic news and weather forecasts, radio services and a service called Emplea-T which
provides such resources as job advertisements.
RTVE has announced that it will launch a massive campaign in September to promote these services
and encourage consumers to buy MHP-enabled set-top boxes.
Source: advanced-television.com


22 June 2006
Nearly 2 million STBs sold since November 2005
According to the latest information published by the government, 1,750,000 DTT receivers have been
sold in Spain since the re-launch of DTT services in November 2005.
In addition, planning has begun for projects that the digital switchover organisation, Implantación y
Desarrollo de la Televisión Digital Terrestre en España, will undertake. Members of the group include
the Government, broadcasters and the network operator Abertis.
Projects include the elaboration and implementation of the digital switchover plan, analogue switch-
off pilots and the launch of interactive services.
The Government is providing €9 million to the organisation to match the €9 million from Abertis and
the broadcasters.
Source: Noticias Pyme


16 June 2006
First HDTV on the DTT platform
Regional broadcaster CARTV toegether with the broadcast network operator Abertis and production
company Mediapro have undertaken the first HDTV trials on the DTT platform in Spain.
The tests are taking place in Zaragoza as part of the International Festival of HD and Digital Cinema.
The HD/DTT trial will last until 18 June.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                      142
10 June 2006
Cable operators to pay for provision of DTT content on their platform
The Spanish Government has presented its draft plan for the liberalisation of the cable market. The
draft plan has also provided further information to broadcasters on the DTT platform.
Cable operators will be required to pay broadcasters for the transmission their services available on the
DTT platform. In addition, cable operators are required to carry these new services.
The Government has also requested that broadcasters provide a clear transition plan for analogue
switch-off. It is asking for a detailled plan with dates on when analogue switch-off will take place in
each metropolis.
Finally, the draft plan provides further details on the DTT coverage requirements although it does not
make any changes to the coverage requirements in the National DTT Technical Plan.
The new coverage requirements as follows:
- July 2007: 85% population coverage
- July 2008: 88% population coverage
- July 2009: 93% population coverage
Source: Cinco Días


7 June 2006
Government funding for DTT activities
The Minster of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, José Montilla and the head of the Spanish
organisation responsible for promoting DTT services (Asociación para la Implantación y Desarrollo de
la Televisión Digital Terrestre en España), Joan Majó, have signed a cooperation agreement.
As per the terms of the agreement, the two bodies will collaborate in joint initiatives to promote DTT
services during the next year. They have agreed to jointly fund activities for up to €18 million in the
next few years.
The two bodies will develop plans for digital switch-over. Expected activities include analogue
switch-off pilots as well as trials of new digital services.
In addition, the Government has established targets for DTT coverage:
- By 31 July 2007, 85% of the territory should be covered by DTT services;
- By 2008, 88% of the territory should be covered;
- By 2009, 93% of the territory should be covered.
Analogue switch-off is currently planned to take place on 3 April 2010.
Source: UNO and advanced-television.com


7 June 2006
Government funding for DTT activities



                                                    143
The Minster of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, José Montilla and the head of the Spanish
organisation responsible for promoting DTT services (Asociación para la Implantación y Desarrollo de
la Televisión Digital Terrestre en España), Joan Majó, have signed a cooperation agreement.
As per the terms of the agreement, the two bodies will collaborate in joint initiatives to promote DTT
services during the next year. They have agreed to jointly fund activities for up to €6 million in 2006.
The two bodies will develop plans for digital switch-over. Expected activities include analogue
switch-off pilots as well as trials of new digital services.
Source: UNO


10 May 2006
Positive results for DVB-H trial in Seville
The results of the commercial DVB-H trial conducted in Seville by network operator Abertis Telecom,
Nokia and Vodafone España show that the service is popular with users. The trial began on 16
December.
The 300 users participating in the pilot could access 14 television services from a variety of local and
national broadcasters including, Antena 3 TV, Net TV, Sogecable, Telecinco, RTVA (Canal Sur),
RTVE, RTVV (Canal Nou) and Veo TV.
The results showed that 72.8% of participants are very or quite interested in mobile television and
80% would recommend the service.
News, sitcoms and magazine programmes were the most watched content in comparison with films,
sport and documentaries on traditional terrestrial television. Viewers used the services for an average
of 35.39 minutes on average per day during the week and 37.90 minutes during weekends.
Source: 3G Portal


21 April 2006
Abertis to carry all DTT services
Broadcast network operator Abertis Telecom has signed agreements with all national broadcasters to
transmit their DTT services. Abertis will broadcast 20 DTT programme services from 7 different
broadcasters.
Currently 80% of the population can access DTT services. Abertis has committed to provide 96%
coverage for commercial broadcasts and 98% coverage for public service broadcasts by 2010.
Source: advanced-television.com


5 April 2006
Third DVB-H trial launched




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Broadcast network operator Abertis Telecom together with telecom operator Amena, Nokia and local
broadcasters in Asturias, have launched a DVB-H trial.
In the cities of Gijon and Zaragoza, 200 users will be able to access DVB-H services using a Nokia
7710 receiver. The pilot will run until next summer.
Viewers will be able to access 15 television programme services including 40 Latino, C24,
Teledeporte, Nova and Neoz as well as the available services from local and commercial broadcasters.
Some interactive content is also available.
According to Carlos Celaya, director of business development at Amena: "in 2010 there will be more
mobile TV users than fixed televisions."
Source: advanced-television.com


17 March 2006
DTT take-up is a success
According to the Ministry of Industry, DTT take-up "is a success following the measures taken by the
Government." This reaction follows on a recent gloomy assessment of the DTT market made by
broadcasters.
The Telecommunications Secretary of State, Francisco Ros, has stated that "citizens have positively
welcomed DTT and they are betting on it."
Already, more than 1.1 million homes have access to DTT services. In addition, 9% of DTT set-top
boxes sold are MHP-enabled. In order to boos the DTT market, the Ministry of Industry is planning to
launch a largescale advertising campaign.
Source: advanced-television.com


10 March 2006
Broadcasters call for ASO delay
Spanish broadcasters are expected to ask the government to postpone analogue switch-off, currently
scheduled for 3 April 2010. Broadcasters are doubtful that this deadline will be reached.
Broadcasters are proving to be pessimistic towards the DTT market given the sharp drop in the sale of
DTT receivers in the first two months of the year. Despite Christmas sales of 500,000 - 600,000
receivers, DTT take-up has since slowed down.
However, by creating a sense of gloom around the DTT platform, broadcasters may be angling to
receive government funding. Since the allocation of DTT licences, broadcasters have complained
about the lack of financial support from the Government to develop the market.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  145
19 February 2006
Commercial DVB-H service launch in 2007
Network operator Abertis has announced plans to launch country-wide DVB-H services in early 2007.
It is confident that a market exists for broadcasting television services to handheld receivers.
In addition, Abertis, together with Telefonica and Nokia, presented the first results of their DVB-H
trial. Five hundred users in Madrid and Barcelona participated a commercial DVB-H trial.
Results showed that 55% of participants are willing to pay for a mobile television service. In addition,
75% of users would recommend the service.
Viewers spent an average of 16 minutes per day watching mobile television, mainly from their home.
The most popular content was news, followed by sitcoms and music videos.
Source: advanced-television.com and IBL News


5 January 2006
DTT beats all forecasts
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The penetration of DTT in Spain is surpassing industry forecasts. Around one million homes are
already enjoying DTT, two months after the launch of the RTVE-led platform with 18 TV channels.
This represents a penetration rate of 4.7 per cent, according to consultancy firm Corporacion
Multimedia.
The sales of set-top boxes over Christmas have doubled the number in the market, passing the
forecasts made by ASIMELEC, the Spanish Electronic Companies' Association, in November. It had
forecast that by the end of the year 850,000 homes would have access to DTT, reaching 2 million by
the end of 2006.
The STB's price ranges between €50 (basic STB) to €150 (the minimum price for a MHP-based box).
Source: Advanced-Television.com


16 December 2005
Antena 3 to invest €10-15 million in DTT
Commercial broadcaster Antena 3 is planning to invest between €10-15 million for its two new
services, Antena.Neox and Antena.Nova, on the DTT platform.
Antena.Neox and Antena.Nova launched on the national DTT platform on 30 November.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 December 2005
Broadcasters request government funding for DTT
Spanish broadcasters have asked the Government to inject more money into the market to finance the
development of the DTT platform. Already, the Government has invested €10 million.


                                                   146
While broadcasters oppose direct set-top box subsidies, fearing opposition from the European
Commission, they favour direct financial support for content and advertising campaigns.
According to Joan Majo, Head of Pro DTT, two threats can hamper DTT developments: the reliance
on the quantity of services rather than the quality of services and the massive acquisition of cheap set-
top-boxes without interactive capabilities.
Pro DTT is a non-profit association formed by broadcasters on the terrestrial platform as well as
network operator Abertis, to help promote the DTT platform in Spain.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 November 2005
High hopes for DTT market
The launch of DTT services is set to take place today. Coverage will reach 80% of the population with
plans for 95% coverage in 2010.
ASIMELEC, the consumer electronic's association, forecasts that over 850,000 households will access
DTT services by the end of the year. It also forecasts 2 million DTT homes by the end of 2006.
ASIMELEC is confident that digital switchover may be completed prior to the set analogue switch-off
date of 2010. By the end of 2008, more than 72% of households (approximately 10 million) will
access DTT services.
Already, 400,000 set-top-boxes have been sold and this will likely double in the run up to Christmas.
Source: advanced-television.com


28 November 2005
Government allocates DTT licences
With the allocation of the DTT broadcast licences, the launch of DTT services can take place on 30
November. The free-to-air platform will be made up of 20 nationwide television programme services.
Licences have been allocated as had already been agreed with broadcasters. Public broadcaster RTVE
will operate 5 services while the commercial broadcasters on the analogue terrestrial platform, Antena
3, Telecinco and Cuatro will each broadcast 3 services. Veo TV and Net TV, broadcasters on the DTT
platform will each operate 2 services.
In addition, the government has announced that a new analogue channel, La Sexta, will be launched in
April 2006. La Sexta will operate 2 services on the DTT platform.


25 November 2005
Viewers preparing for DTT re-launch




                                                  147
According to the National Telecommunications Installers Association (FENITEL), an average of
1,000 resident associations per day are converting their television equipment in order to be able to
access DTT services.
These resident associations are spending an average of €800 - €1,000 in order to change their aerials
and purchase set-top boxes.
Broadcasters plan to launch a massive DTT advertising campaign in mid December.
Source: advanced-television.com


21 November 2005
Catalan government to support digital switchover
The government of Catalonia has announced that it will invest €4 million in 2006 to help fund digital
switch-over projects.
Funding will be used to support a communications campaign informing viewers on the advantages of
digital television as well as support to local broadcasters.
Catalonia plans to end its analogue terrestrial transmissions in November 2009 and become the first
region in Spain to do so. The government has planned analogue switch-off using an "island-by-island"
approach. The region will be divided into 44 "islands" based on technical criteria.
Source: EFE


17 November 2005
Increased sales of DTT set-top boxes
The upcoming launch of free-to-air DTT services is driving up the sales of set-top boxes.
In the last ten months, approximately 400,000 units have been sold. This ends the three years STB
sales stagnation following the closure of the pay-TV DTT platform, Quiero.
According to the industry, the majority of set-top boxes sold range in price between €79 and €119.
Manufacturers are hoping to sell 300,000 set-top boxes during the Christmas season.
Source: advanced-television.com


14 November 2005
Service line-up announced
With DTT services ready for a re-launch on 30 November, commercial broadcasters have started to
announce their services.
Each of the commercial broadcasters currently on the analogue terrestrial platform will receive 3 DTT
licences. This means that they will be able to launch 2 new television programme services as well as
simulcast their existing analogue terrestrial channel.




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Telecinco will offer a service devoted to fiction programmes (Telecinco Estrellas) and a sports service
(Telecinco Sports). Antena 3 will offer one children's service and one service aimed at women while
Sogecable will offer a news service and a music service.
Source: Cinco Días


11 November 2005
New services in Catalonia
Televisió de Catalunya (TVC) has announced the launch of a new television programme service on the
local DTT platform. The service is to be launched on 30 November alongside the re-launch of the
nationa DTT platform throughout Spain.
The new service, to be called Canal 300, will offer sitcoms and movies. Already, TVC offers viewers
with three television programme services, TV3, C33 and 3/24, on the DTT platform. It is expected that
TVC will expand its offering to 7 television programme services in the next two years.
Source: Efe.es


7 November 2005
DTT launch back on track
Fears that the commercial broadcaster's threat to challenge the government's decision to allow
Sogecable to offer its services unscrambled would delay the launch of DTT services have abated.
Commercial broadcasters Tele 5 and Antena 3 have announced that they will not legally challenge the
Government's plan to allow Sogecable to launch its free-to-air channel "Cuatro" as a replacement for
its pay channel Canal+. In exchange, the Government has guaranteed that DTT licences will be
granted to the broadcasters without the need for a public tender.
The Government will also impose tougher advertising limits on the public broadcaster TVE.
This means that TVE will operate six DTT services while the commercial broadcasters on the
analogue terrestrial platform (Antena 3, Tele 5 and Sogecable's Cuatro) will each operate three DTT
services. The digital broadcasters Veo TV and Net TV as well a new analogue channel will each
receive two DTT licences.
Source: advanced-television.com


27 October 2005
Launch of DVB-H pilot
The DVB-H commercial pilot has been officially launched in Spain. 500 users in Madrid and
Barcelona are able to access 15 different television service programmes on the trial DVB-H network.
Network operator Abertis Telecom together with Nokia and Telefonica Moviles has launched the trial.
It will run until 28 February 2006 to coincide with the conclusion of the 3GSM World Congress to be
held in Barcelona.


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Technical trial have been ongoing since this past July.
Source: vnunet.es


17 October 2005
Launch of DTT promotion organisation
The non-profit organisation, Asociacion Pro TNT, charged with promoting DTT in Spain has been
launched by broadcasters on the DTT platform as well as the network operator Abertis.
The broadcasters include RTVE, Telecinco, Antena 3, Sogecable (parent company of Canal+), Net TV
and Veo TV as well as the representative of regional broadcasters Forta.
As per the revised National DTT Technical Plan approved in July 2005, broadcasters are required to
set-up an organisation dedicated to the promotion of DTT services.
The organisation will create a DTT observatory to oversee digital switch-over. It will also produce
reports about the DTT developments in the market.
Source: CincoDias.com and advanced-television.com


12 October 2005
Broadcasters request aid to promote DTT
Broadcasters have asked the Government to provide funding to help promote DTT.
According to the General Director of Veo TV, Eduardo Sanchez, the Administration should play a
more active role by contributing "financial resources for advertising campaigns aimed at encouraging
viewers purchase set-top boxes".
For Jose Maria Guirado, CEO of Net TV, state aid would give a real boost to the DTT market.
Digital broadcasters Veo TV and Net TV along with the broadcasters on the terrestrial analogue
platform will join network operator Abertis to set up a joint company aimed at promoting DTT
services.
The DTT launch in Spain is set to take place on 30 November.
Source: advanced-television.com


5 October 2005
Soria selected for digital pilot project
The city of Soria, located in the central part of Spain in the region of Castilla y Leon, has been selected
for a DTT pilot.
The pilot will examine the implementation of DTT in order to better understand some of the key issues
associated with digital switch-over. The government will invest €2 million for the project which is
expected to last two years.
Source: EFE



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28 September 2005
Tele5 announces DTT services
Commercial broadcaster Tele 5 has announced its television programme services to be launched on the
DTT platform.
Tele 5 is likely to receive two DTT licences, in addition to a DTT licence to simulcast its analogue
terrestrial service on the DTT platform.
One service, Telecinco Sport, will be dedicated to sports coverage. The second service, Telecinco
Estrellas, will be dedicated to fiction programmes. The broadcaster is planning to survey its vieers to
determine which fiction series and sports programmes they would most like to watch.
Tele 5 is likely to launch its DTT services by the end of November as part of the re-launch of DTT
services in Spain. Viewers will have access to 20 free-to-air national DTT services.
Source: advanced-television.com


20 September 2005
Allocation of DTT licences in Catalunya
The regional government in Catalunya has allocated 37 DTT licences to local broadcasters. The
remaining 59 licences will be allocated to private broadcasters.
The licences will be made available to local broadcasters by 31 December 2005 while private
broadcasters will need to wait until early 2006.
DTT licence holders will be obliged to promote the Catalan culture. However, the percentage of time
given to the Catalan language has not been specified.
The licences are valid for a period of 10 years. The Catalan government hopes to switch-off its
analogue terrestrial signal in 2008. Analogue switch-off in Spain is set for 3 April 2010.
Source: EFE


14 September 2005
DTT licencing issues in Madrid
A local television broadcaster, Localia, has challenged the recent DTT licensing process in Madrid.
A subsidiary of Spanish Canal+ owner Sogecable, Localia operates local television broadcasting
throughout Spain. However, it failed to receive a DTT licence in order to broadcast on the local DTT
platform in Madrid.
In its petition, it is asking the Court to suspend the 30 local DTT licences awarded by the government
in Madrid. It claims that the process has lacked transparency.
Public tenders to award local and regional DTT licences are taking place throughout Spain. In the
latest to call for applications, the region Castilla-Leon will soon award 84 local DTT television
programme service licences.
Source: advanced-television.com


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6 September 2005
Net TV and Veo TV only on DTT platform
The Government has refused requests made by Net TV and Veo TV to broadcast on the analogue
terrestrial platform.
Net TV and Veo TV have been broadcasting on the digital terrestrial platform since June 2002. In
order to increase their audience share, they have requested for permission to broadcast on the analogue
terrestrial platform until the digital terrestrial market fully takes off. However, the government has
stated that not enough frequencies are available for two new analogue channels.
In a similar decision, the government has also decided to refuse that regional broadcaster TeleMadrid
turn its second digital television programme service into an analogue channel.
A launch of new television programme services on the national DTT platform is set to take place on
30 November 2003.
Source: advanced-television.com


10 August 2005
Allocation of regional DTT licences
Local and regional governments have commenced the allocation of DTT licenses. Spanish law holds
that all local licenses should be awarded by the end of the year so that DTT broadcasts can begin as of
January 2006. Local switch-off is expected in 2008.
In Madrid, 40 local DTT programme service slots have been allocated. Of these programme service
slots, 30 have been attributed to private groups while the remaining 10 are to be operated by town
Councils. Private broadcasters will include Canal 7, Unedisa, Libertad Digital, Cope, and
Intereconomia.
In Galicia, two regional DTT licences have been awarded to La Voz de Galicia and Cadena Cope.
DTT licenses have also been allocated in the Baleares.
Source: advanced-television.com


1 August 2005
Revised DTT technical plan approved
The Spanish government has approved a revised DTT Technical Plan that will allow for the launch of
a free-to-air DTT platform by Christmas 2005. Viewers will be able to access 21 television
programme services on the national platform in addition to regional and local services.
Prior to analogue switch-off, public broadcaster RTVE will operate 6 DTT television programme
service slots while current commercial broadcasters on the analogue terrestrial platform (Antena 3,
Telecinco and Canal Plus) will each operate 3 DTT television programme service slots. Digital
operators Net TV and Veo TV as well as the new analogue terrestrial channel will each operate 2 DTT
television programme service slots.


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Analogue switch-off has been moved forward from 2012 to April 2010.
Source: advanced-television.com


20 July 2005
Government calls for DTT Group
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Francisco Ros, has called for the creation of a non-profit
organisation with the role of promoting DTT services.
According to Ros, this organisation should be set up by private broadcasters. The participation in such
an organisation could become a requirement for broadcasters requesting a DTT license.
Ros also noted that, at this stage, the government does not plan to make subsidies available to
households for the purchase of DTT set-top boxes.
Source: El Mundo


13 July 2005
DTT launch before Christmas likely
According to several media reports, it is likely that 21 national television service programmes will be
available to viewers before the end of the year.
Following discussions between the government and broadcasters, an agreement to revise the National
DTT Technical Plan has been produced. As part of the plan, 5 multiplexes will be available to share
between existing broadcasters and one new entrant.
Among the current broadcasters on the terrestrial analogue platform, public broadcaster RTVE will
receive 6 television programme service slots while private broadcasters TeleCinco, Antena3 and
Canal+ will each receive 3 television programme slots.
NET TV and VEO TV, which both broadcast only on the DTT platform, will each receive one
additional television programme service slot. In addition, the recepient of the new terrestrial analogue
slot will receive two television programme service slots on the DTT platform.
Following analogue switch-off in 2010, the commercial broadcasters will be allocated one full
multiplex while RTVE will be allocated two multiplexes.
This plan is subject to final approval by the government.
Source: Cinco Días and El Mundo


12 July 2005
RTVE pushes for DTT
The director of digital television at RTVE, Eladio Gutiérrez, continues to advocate the launch of DTT
services in Spain. He declared that RTVE is ready to dedicate one television programme slot to
content for children.



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RTVE is ready to provide content for eight television programme slots. Gutiérrez hopes that a national
DTT launch, with 2 multiplexes reserved for RTVE, will take place in October.
The government plan to re-launch DTT services in Spain has not yet been approved by the Parliament.
Source: IBL News


5 July 2005
Valencia opens DTT license tenders
The regional government in Valencia has announced that it is accepting tenders for local and regional
DTT services. 25% of all programming must be in the regional valenciano language.
Candidates have until 1 August 2005 to submit their tenders while a final government decision is
expected by the end of the year. Analogue switch-off is set to take place in 2010 for regional
broadcasting and in 2008 for local broadcasting.
Source: El Mundo


4 July 2005
Government approves DVB-H pilot projects
The Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade has given the necessary authorisation for several DVB-H
pilot projects in Spain.
The pilot projects will test the new technology in order to determine its technical and commercial
potential. The government has approved a DVB-H trials to take place from September 2005 to
February 2006.
Approximately 500 users in Madrid and Barcelona will be able to access DVB-H services using a
Nokia 7710 receiver. Broadcasters involved in the trial include TVE, Antena 3 TV, Sogecable,
Telecinco, Telemadrid and TV3 as well as Abertis (network operators), Nokia (manufacturer) and
MNO Telefonica Moviles (mobile operator).
Source: Ministry Press Release and advanced-television.com


28 June 2005
Media interest for local DTT platform
The president of the media group Promecal, Antonio Miguel Méndez Pozo, announced that his group
would be interested in broadcasting on several local DTT platforms. Promecal edits several regional
newspapers including Diario de Burgos and broadcasts two local channels and six radio programme
services.
For Méndez Pozo, he would like to broadcast on the local DTT platforms in the areas where his media
group already has a presence. This would include the Automomas regions, as well as Castilla y León,
Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra y La Rioja. He would also like to be present on the DTT platform in
Madrid in association with the Cisnerso Group of Venezuela.


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Méndez Pozo judges the government's audiovisual policy to be contradictory, supporting the launch of
new technologies but simultaneously launching a new analogue channel.
Source: IBL News


24 June 2005
Seven national multiplexes to be launched
The new media law approved by the government will allow for the launch of 7 national DTT
multiplexes and one new analogue channel covering 70% of the population. While the plan for
allocating the DTT licenses has not yet been decided, it is expected that the launch of DTT services
will take place before the end of the year in a coordinated effort between national and local
broadcasters.
Of the available multiplexes, two will be reserved for the public broadcaster RTVE. In addition,
Antena 3, Tele 5, Sogecable, Net and Veo TV will be able to keep the licence allocated to them in
2002. One multiplex will be reserved for broadcasting to mobile devices.
The new law confirms that analogue switch-off in Spain will take place in 2010.
Source: Cinco Días


21 June 2005
Local DTT plans underway
The local government in Andalusia is beginning the process for the the launch of local DTT services.
Licenses will likely be issued by the end of the year. Local DTT is expected to cover 92% of the
population with a total of 62 frequency channels available.
It is likely that additional frequencies will be available following the revision of the National
Technical Plan. The Plan is likely to be developed this summer, after which, the local government will
put in place the regulations for the management of the licenses. Analogue switch-off in Spain is
expected in January 2008.
Source: efe.es


13 June 2005
Catalonia counts down to digital
The Catalonia region is speeding up plans to migrate to its local broadcasts to digital. The migration
process will begin in 2007 and should be completed in 2009.
The Catalonian Government has decided on this new deadline since it is estimated a delay in the
launch of DTT will cost more than €100 million per year. Catalonia, along with Andalucia, south of
Spain, are the regions with the greatest number of allocated local DTT multiplexes.
Source: advanced-television.com



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3 June 2005
Approval of DTT law
The Parliament has approved the controversial DTT law proposed by the government and rejected the
recent amendments suggested by the conservative party. The new legislation may allow for the launch
of new analogue television services, sets 2010 as the analogue switch-off date and grants 17 Spanish
regions (the so-called Comunidades Autonomas) with a second DTT multiplex.
Source: advanced-television.com


27 May 2005
Spain amends DTT law
The Senate has made changes to the government's proposed DTT laws. The amendments to the law
include:
- Retaining the current limit of three national television channels on the terrestrial analogue platform.
- Bringing forward the analogue switch-off deadline from 2010 to 2008.
- Granting all 17 regions a second multiplex for regional services.
- Making it easier for current local broadcasters to obtain a DTT license compared with new entrants.
The Parliament will need to give its final approval on the law, including the Senate amendments. This
is likely to happen before the summer break begins.
Source: advanced-television.com


19 May 2005
Action against 63 local broadcasters
The Ministry of Industry started sanctions against 63 local television broadcasters for illegal use of the
radio frequency spectrum. These television stations have been broadcasting without the necessary
license. By clearing the radio frequency spectrum, the government will be able to prepare the National
Technical Plan on the allocation of local DTT services. The plan is expected to be completed before
the summer.
Similar action has also been taken against 79 illegal radio broadcasters in preparation for a new
Technical Plan for FM radio.
Source: Cinco Dias


2 May 2005
Approval underway for new DTT law
The proposed law on DTT in Spain has passed its first hurdle. The proposal law has been approved by
the Parliament and is expected to be approved by the Senate before the summer begins.




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The proposed law will allow for the licencing of DTT licences, bring forward analogue switch-off
from 2012 to 2010 and likely increase the current number of analogue channels. A new technical plan
for DTT is will probably be adopted in the coming months.
Source: advanced-television.com and efe.es


20 April 2005
Countdown to DTT re-launch
Francisco Ros, the General Secretary for Telecommunications, has announced that the Government
will allocate licenses for three and a half multiplexes, providing 14 television service programmes,
"over the next weeks". Licenses will likely be provided to current the broadcasters - RTVE, Antena 3,
Tele 5, Canal Plus, Veo TV and Net TV- although the possibility of new entrants has not been
discarded.
In addition, the Government is currently negotiating with public broadcaster RTVE regarding its role
in the development of DTT. RTVE has asked for the allocation of two multiplexes in order to lead the
DTT market.
Source: advanced-television.com


7 April 2005
Analogue licenses risk delaying DTT
The Government's proposal to grant two new analogue television licenses could risk delaying the re-
launch of DTT services, according to industry leaders appearing before a Parliamentary committee.
Silvio Gonzalez, General Director of Antena 3, said he was surprised that the Government wants "to
boost a new technology by awarding more licences with an old technology (analogue)". According to
Andoni Oztuzar, general director of regional channel ETB "what we do now in analogue will
condition the development of digital TV."
Source: advanced-television.com


5 April 2005
Opposition party's DTT proposals rejected
The proposals on the roll-out of DTT services put forward by the opposition party, Partido Popular,
have been rejected by the Spanish Parliament.
Among its proposals, the Partido Popular wanted to advance the date of analogue switch-off from
2010 to 2008. It also wanted to launch an initiative to encourage the European Commission to pilot the
digital switch-over process.
Source: efe.es




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21 March 2005
Tele 5 calls for Italian DTT model
Tele 5, controlled by Italian broadcaster Mediaset, has called for the adoption of the Italian DTT
model in Spain. Its CEO, Giuseppe Tringali, called for the Spanish Government to finance DTT set-
top-boxes "as it is happening in other European countries."
Source: advanced-television.com


17 March 2005
Catalonia requests additional multiplex
In a meeting with the Spanish minister for Trade and Industry, the Head of the automomous region of
Catalonia, Josep Bargalló, requested 2 multiplexes for his region. Currently, the regional DTT plan has
set aside 1 multiplex for Catalonia. While the national government did not make any promises, the
request may be feasible. However, further negotiations will be necessary.
Bargalló also declared that the region of Catalonia should become a leader in digital switch-over in
Spain. If possible, he would like Catalonia to become the first region in Spain to shut down its
analogue transmission.
Source: IBL News


8 March 2005
Opposition party proposes new analogue switch-off date
The Partido Popular, the leading Spanish opposition party, has called for analogue switch-off in 2008.
This would bring forward analogue switch-off in Spain, currently to take place in 2010. The Partido
Popular claims that this initiative would help accelerate digital switch-over.
The Partido Popular has also called for European Commission to help pilot the digital switch-over
process.
Source: IBL News


25 February 2005
Reduced VAT to encourage sale of DTT set-top boxes
The Spanish Government plans to approve a package of measures to encourage the sale of DTT set-
top-boxes and boost the market. One initiative is the reduction the VAT applied to DTT boxes. The
Electronic Association Asimelec estimates that it will cost Spanish households between €200 - €300 to
access DTT.
Source: advanced-television.com




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22 February 2005
Government to set-up watchdog committee to boost DTT
The Government has decided to create a new committee charged with leading DTT in Spain. The
committee is charged with implementing decisions to foster and develop DTT. The new body will be
composed of representatives from broadcasters - public (RTVE), regional (FORTA) and private
(UTECA) - as well as radio stations, electronic manufacturers, installers and wholesalers.
The Ministry of Industry will establish a DTT Technical Forum, responsible for carrying out the
technical actions approved by the Committee.
Source: advanced-television.com


17 February 2005
Commercial broadcasters against new DTT law
Tele 5 and Antena 3 TV are critical of the Spanish government's new digital television law. The
broadcasters accuse the government of "endangering the future of DTT and the rapid development of
an essential technology for Spain". They oppose the government's decision to lift the ban on the
number of nation-wide broadcasters since it means that rival Canal Plus may enter the free-to-air
analogue terrestrial market.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 February 2005
New public television financial model proposed
The Government-appointed experts group charged with formulating a new public television model, is
finalising its report that includes changes in the financial structure of RTVE. They propose increasing
the State's stake in RTVE to represent 50% of RTVE's revenues whereas revenue from advertising
would make up 40% and programmes sales around 10%.
The experts group has proposed for RTVE to lead the development of digital terrestrial television in
Spain.
Source: advanced-television.com


8 February 2005
Spain liberalises TV market and boosts DTT
The Spanish cabinet has approved legislation that aims to foster the development of digital terrestrial
television. The law, now to be approved by the Parliament, will be followed by a new DTT Technical
Plan that the Government has undertaken to approve in the first half of the year.
As part of the law, the cabinet has decided to bring forward to 2010 the date for analogue switch-off.
This is two years earlier than initially planned. The re-allocation of Quiero's three and a half
multiplexes (14 channels) will most likely take place this Summer. The DTT roll-out will commence


                                                  159
in Q3 with the launch of a free-to-air DTT platform that will initially offer up to 22 channels, 14 with
nation wide coverage, 4 regional and 4 local TV stations.
Source: advanced-television.com


28 January 2005
Private broadcaster's criticize government's DTT plans
UTECA, an association of private broadcasters including Tele 5, Antena 3 TV and Canal Plus, has
criticised a draft bill intended to foster the DTT market. They state that the bill "contains fragmentary
and weak measures lacking in a clear, transparent and defined objective". In addition, UTECA fears
that the government may award new analogue TV licences "in drastic contradiction with the expansion
of DTT".
Source: advanced-television.com


26 January 2005
DTT boost from European public broadcasters
Public television groups from Spain (RTVE), Italy (RAI), UK (BBC), Germany (ARD and ZDF) and
France (France Television) have pledged to develop digital terrestrial television throughoutEurope.
In a meeting in Madrid, top executives gave their support to DTT and committed themselves to be the
driving force behind its massive introduction in the market. The broadcasters also gave their support to
RTVE at a time when a new public TV model is being drawn up by a Government-appointed group of
experts. The conclusions of the report are expected in the next two weeks.
Source: advanced-television.com


14 January 2005
Spain's public broadcaster wants to lead DTT
Spanish public broadcaster RTVE wants to take a leading role inthe development of DTT in Spain.
"RTVE knows, can and wants to lead the new television", said RTVE's Director-General, Carmen
Caffarel, who also demanded a leading role in the re-allocation of Quiero's frequencies scheduled for
next summer.
Source: advanced-television.com


31 December 2004
National DTT launch in Autumn 2005?
The government has unveiled a new plan to foster DTT in Spain. By facilitating the development of
DTT, the government hopes allow for 20 digital terrestrial programme channels to be available nation-
wide autumn 2005. As part of the plan, the deadline for analogue switch-off will be brought forward
from 2012 to 2010.


                                                  160
To increase investment in DTT, the plan will enable media companies to invest in both analogue
television channels as well as in digital television channels during the transition period. The plan also
encourages competition in the cable television sector.
These measures will require parliamentary approval.
Source: La Nueva España


21 December 2004
Spanish broadcasters urge DTT re-launch
Commercial broadcasters Antena 3 TV and Tele 5 have urged the Spanish government to boost the
DTT market, which has been in stalemate since the collapse of pay-TV platform Quiero in 2002.
In an unprecedented move, both channels have launched a joint advertising campaign to promote BTT,
at a time when the Government is considering to award two new analogue TV channels with nation
wide coverage.
Source: advanced-television.com


10 December 2004
Spanish Government draws new local DTT map
The Spanish government has increased the number of local DTT channels that will operate throughout
the country from 2006,thus responding to the demand made by several Regional Governments for
more local TV stations.
By changing the Local DTT Technical Plan, approved by the previous Administration, Spain will now
have a total of 1124 local TV stations against the initial plan for 1064. In addition, local analogue
switch-over has been postponed to January 2008.
Source: advanced-television.com


4 December 2004
Local analogue switch-off delayed until 1 January 2008
Yesterday, the Spanish Cabinet approved a law that modifies the Technical Plan for Local Digital
Terrestrial Television (DTT). The modification provides a new deadline for the switch-off of local
analogue terrestrial signals from 1 January 2006 to 1 January 2008.
In addition, the modification establishes a new deadline for the completion of licensing allocations;
local governments now have until 4 August 2005 to award local DTT licenses.
Source: La Nueva España




                                                  161
3 December 2004
Spanish Government undertakes to approve a new TV law
The Spanish government is to introduce a new TV law to regulate the whole TV market and put an
end to the existing chaotic and diverse TV legislation.
"To face all coming challenges in the future, the TV sector needs this global regulatory framework that
will be established by the (new) Audio Visual Law," said Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, vice
president of the Government at the closing session of a seminar, organised by the Private TV Stations
Association UTECA, celebrating the 15th anniversary of private TVs in Spain.
The new legislation will allow the creation of an Audio Visual Council as an independent body
responsible for guaranteeing free and fair competition. "It is the right time for Spain to have a new TV
model," claimed Alejandro Echevarria, president of Tele 5 in his opening speech at the seminar,
adding that in the TV market "there are many problems still to be resolved."
Source: advanced-television.com


26 November 2004
First tenders for Spanish local DTT
Several regional governments have called for public tenders for local DTT licences in the coming
months.
The Government of Madrid has announced a public tender to award 34 local DTT channels for a
period of five years. Another ten stations will be managed by local town councils, making a total of 44
local DTT channels available.
The Regional Administration of Navarra will grant 20 local DTT channels. In the Baleares Islands, the
Government has called a tender to grant up to 28 local DTT channels.
Source: advanced-television.com


16 November 2004
DTT industry urges the Government to re-launch the market
Electronic manufacturers and broadcasters have urged the new Government to clear the way for a
definitive resurrection of the DTT market in a seminar organized by DigiTAG. The DTT industry sent
a clear message to the Administration: it is now time to re-launch the business once and for all,
otherwise DTT may be left on the shelf.
Manufacturers and broadcasters made it clear that both the technology (set-top-boxes) and TV
contents are already available in the market. The Administration‘s role in the DTT market is key to
breaking the stalemate in the business since the collapse of pay-TV platform Quiero. Sources from the
Ministry of Industry claim that the Government is determined to unblock the situation and pave the
way for a re-launch of the market next year.



                                                  162
It is expected to approve a new DTT technical Plan and re-allocate Quiero‘s three and a half
multiplexes. The launch of a free-to-air DTT platform could take place in the third quarter of 2005.
Source: advanced-television.com


21 October 2004
Two new analogue television channels
According to recent news reports, the Spanish government may issue two new licenses with nation-
wide coverage to commercial television broadcasters. It is believed that one of the licenses will be
awarded to the media group Prisa for the free-to-air transmission of Canal Plus.
The final decision is expected in February when a report will be issued on the reform the public
broadcaster RTVE.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 September 2004
Spain's local stations want a say in the new local DTT map
Spanish TV stations are determined to have a say in the development of the DTT market. They have
asked the socialist Government to negotiate with them the new DTT map by creating a Local TV
Committee composed of the national TV stations and the Administration.
Local TV networks are demanding a better and fairer allocation of digital TV licences and the
possibility for a simulcast period beyond 2008.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 August 2004
Government delays launch of local DTT
José Montilla, the Minister of Trade and Industry, announced that the date set for analogue switch-
over will be 1 January 2008 rather than 2006 as originally set out in the Local DTT Technical Plan.
By doing so, the government is providing more time for the launch of local DTT programmes
originally set for 9 December 2004. Certain changes may also be made in the allocation of multiplexes
to the regions.
Source: Cinco días.com


23 August 2004
The second phase of DTT in Catalonia
The second phase of the "Maresme Digital" in Spain has begun. As of 23 August, 100% of the
population in the Maresme region near Barcelona will have access to digital terrestrial television. This
covers 170,000 homes. The project was launched in July with an initial coverage of 85% of homes in
the region.


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Source: IBL News


12 July 2004
Catalonia begins transmission of DTT
The Spanish region of Catalunya has begun the transmission of digital terrestrial television in the
Barcelona area of Maresme. While the first phase of the project covers 85% of the area, coverage will
increase to 100% during the second phase when 6 additional transmitters are put into place.
Altogether 170,000 homes will receive 4 digital channels.
Source: Nueva España


8 July 2004
PP wants digital transmission of Canal Sur
During the next meeting of the Administrative Council for Andalucia's local television, RTVA,
representatives from the right of centre political party, Partido Popular (PP), will call for the digital
transmission of Canal Sur. They also plan to critize the delays in digital switch-over taking place in the
region when compared to other regions such as Cataluna and Madrid.
Source: efe.es


7 June 2004
Spain's high bill for DTT
The Spanish TV industry will have to pay out a lot of money for developing digital terrestrial
television over the next years. It is estimated that an investment of E10 billion will be needed to
develop the market up to the end of 2011, when analogue switchover is scheduled.
So far, according to the industry, E 250 million have been wasted in a market that is at standstill since
the collapse of pay-TV platform Quiero in 2002. Even worse, digital transmissions of present
broadcasters RTVE, Antena 3 TV, Tele 5, Net TV and Veo TV serve an "invisible" audience as they
cannot be received due to the lack of set-top-boxes available in the market. This digital broadcasts cost
around E3.6 million year.
To try and unblock the situation and boost the DTT market, AETIC, an electronic and
telecommunications association, recommends the new Government re-allocates Quiero's three and half
multiplexes (14 channels) amongst existing broadcasters to allow them more capacity for added-value
services. In a second phase, says AETIC, operators and broadcasters should undertake to offer and
invest in new content and added-value services, with RTVE leading the DTT development.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  164
3 June 2004
Spanish operators seek new DTT map
The future of the Spanish local DTT market is still undecided. The new Government's hesitation is
provoking uncertainty in the business.
TV operators, local TV associations and even some regional Governments (in Catalonia and
Andalucia) are asking the socialist administration to overturn the present DTT rule, approved by the
previous conservative Government, and design a new local DTT map "fairer and adapted to reality".
Local TV stations and new potential DTT bidders are very worried by the fact that, if the present
legislation is not blocked on time, the licensing process will start by mid July - with regional
authorities awarding DTT licences. Once this happens, successful bidders will have to compromise on
investments and will be forced to start digital transmissions in January 2005, with only five months to
get ready.
Many in the industry believe that the launch of local DTT should follow - and not precede - the
development of DTT on a national scale, with nationwide DTT broadcasters, and above all, state-
owned group RTVE being frontrunners.
The present local DTT legislation has divided Spain into 266 regions, each one able to operate one
multiplex, allowing thus the existence of more than 1,000 local DTT stations.
Source: advanced-television.com


25 May 2004
Government announces creation of "Telecommunications Users Representative"
Jose Montilla, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Tourism and Commerce, appeared before Parliament
to provide his objectives and plans for Spain's Information and Communications sector.
As part of his presentation, the minister announced the creation of the "Information &
Communications Technology Representative" to defend consumers, presented a catalogue of rights
and a code of good practices for network operators and service providers and stated that the
development of broadband is a priority. In terms of broadcasting, the minister announced a new law to
create a National Council for Broadcasting. He also announced a "Digital Plan" that will allow for the
re-launch of DTT and digital radio.
Source: terre.es


21 May 2004
Spain's Government prepares new TV law
The recently elected socialist Government is taking its first decisions regarding the TV market. The
new Administration is preparing a new TV law, called 'Ley General Audiovisual' (General Audio-
visual Law), to regulate the entire TV industry, putting an end to the existing chaotic and diverse TV
legislation.


                                                 165
"It is about a law that will gather around in just one single piece of legislation all the regulation about
television and radio", explained the minister of Industry, Jose Montilla.
The minister also announced the creation of a national Audiovisual Council, called Consejo Superior
de Medios Audiovisuales, an independent regulatory body to guarantee pluralism and quality of media
contents. This watchdog entity would assume most of the current responsibilities taken by the
Telecommunications Market Commission.
Another priority will be DTT. Montilla said that the Government is working on a new Technical Plan -
to be introduced shortly - to re-launch DTT. One of the first measures to be taken by the new
Government will be the re-allocation of failed DTT operator Quiero's three and a half multiplexes (14
channels).
Source: advanced-television.com


19 May 2004
FIDECA: cheap boxes will resurrect DTT in Spain
FIDECA, a forum formed by consumers and media experts, has asked manufacturers to launch cheap
set-top-boxes, at E100, as a way to make DTT popular.
The forum emphasised that it is vital to "eliminate most of the technological barriers and employ a
single decoder that receives free-to-air signals" at a very low price, to resurrect the DTT market,
stalled since the collapse of pay-TV platform Quiero in 2002.
In its opinion, the state-owned group RTVE - that operates the leading channel La Primera and La 2-
should lead the development of DTT in Spain the same way "as other similar public televisions are
doing in other countries".
Today, Spain's DTT market is at standstill. A Government move to boost the business is expected over
the next months. The reallocation of Quiero's three and a half multiplexes (14 channels) is regarded as
being essential to give new life to the market. RTVE has asked for eight digital channels in order to
lead a free-to-air digital platform, similar to UK's Freeview, that initially would offer 20 to 30
channels.
Source: advanced.television.com


22 April 2004
Spanish regional Govts reject DTT legislation
Spain's regional Governments are challenging the Central Administration over the recently-approved
Local DTT Technical Plan.
The Regional Authorities of Catalonia (north eastern Spain) have appealed against the new local DTT
rule arguing that the allocation of multiplex has been very unfair to Catalonia.
The new legislation, approved by the former conservative Government two days before the General
Elections, allocated 266 multiplexes throughout Spain -that is to say, more than 1,000 local DTT


                                                   166
channels - of which 20 were granted to Catalonia, fewer than expected. In its appeal, the Catalonian
Government has asked for more multiplexes as those 20 only represent 7.5 per cent of all multiplexes,
despite the fact, according to it, that around 13-14 per cent of all local television stations are currently
operating in this region.
The Government of Andalucia (south of Spain), has also announced a similar appeal against the local
DTT rule.
As a result, the new socialist Government is considering changing the local DTT legislation and
putting aside the Technical Plan approved by the previous Administration.
Source: Advanced-Television.com


20 April 2004
Making possible the legalization of 1,064 local digital TV stations
According to the Plan, local governments are expected to open the bidding for the licensing of 1,064
television stations by the end of the year. These television stations will be transmitted using DVB-T
and cover 87% of the Spanish population. Should the local regions meet the objectives as per the plan,
this could put pressure on the entire audiovisual sector.
However, the insufficient number of set-top boxes on the market and the lack of interesting
programming means that the process is currently paralyzed.
Source: Expancion.com


23 March 2004
Catalonia takes local TV rule to Court
The regional Government of Catalonia in the north east of Spain has taken the local TV rule approved
in this year's budget to the Constitutional Court on the grounds that it allegedly breaks its jurisdiction
over regional and local TV stations.
The Catalan authorities have appealed against a provision that states that regional and local televisions
must broadcast 4 hours daily (32 hours per week) of original programmes between 13.00 and 16.00
and between 20.00 and 23.00 and that their contents should be related with the region being covered
by these channels.
"Regulating on contents and channels does not respect our constitutional jurisdiction", argues the
Catalan Government.
Source: advanced-television.com


18 March 2004
Spain approves local DTT
The Spanish cabinet has given its approval to plans that would create 1,000 local digital stations across
the country. Like its neighbour Italy, Spain has thousands of unlicensed television channels, and


                                                   167
closing them would be politically difficult. The plan would divide the country into 266 districts; each
would have its own multiplex, comprising four channels each. Tenders will be held within Spain‘s
autonomous regions.
Source: Broadband TV News


                                              SWEDEN
28 June 2006
DVB-H trial to be launched in Stockholm
A commercial DVB-H trial is set to take place in Sweden from October to December 2006. Trial
partners include ATG, Boxer, Nokia, Sveriges Radio, Sveriges Television/UR, Telenor and Teracom.
The 400 trialists will be able ti access 14 television and 4 radio programme services with a Nokia N92
DVB-H receiver. High quality indoor and outdoor coverage will be available in the Stockholm city
region.
Nokia is involved in a second DVB-H pilot in Sweden with TeliaSonera Sweden.
Source: Nokia press release


19 June 2006
DVB-H trial in Stockholm and Gothenburg
Nokia and TeliaSonera Sweden will work together in a DVB-H trial in the cities of Stockholm and
Gothenburg. The trial will use Nokia N92 mobile receivers and the Nokia Mobile Broadcast System
3.0 platform.
The DVB-H trial is expected to begin in early August and last until the end of the year.
Source: Nokia press release


11 April 2006
DTT penetration increases
The pay DTT service provider, Boxer, has announced an increase in the number of subscribers for the
first quarter of 2006.
By 31 March 2006, Boxer had 569,000 subscribers. This compares with 531,000 subscribers at the end
of 2005. This represents an increase of 38,000 new subscribers.
Analogue switch-off is well underway. Northern Smaland, Gästrikland and Gotland are now
completely digital. Further areas set to end analogue television include Dalarna and Hälsingland in
May.
Source: Boxer press release




                                                  168
24 February 2006
New DTT services to be launched
The Swedish government has allocated the licences for 7 new television programme services. These
new services will be placed in the existing DTT network.
Viasat‘s entertainment channel TV6, music channel The Voice, Storstads-TV and Axess TV will be
available as part of the free-to-air service. BBC Prime, a film channel from NonStop Television and a
new service from Kanal 5 will be offered as part of the Boxer pay-DTT package.
Boxer has announced that it will make its services available as of 31 May.
Source: Broadband TV News


13 January 2006
DTT subscribers grew by 42% in 2005
DTT service provider Boxer has announced that it has increased its subscriber base by 42% with the
addition of 156,000 new users. As of 31 December 2005, Boxer had a total of 531,000 subscribers.
In September 2005, Sweden began the switch-off of its analogue terrestrial network. Further switch-
off is expected in 2006 before completion in autumn 2007.
Source: Boxer press release


9 December 2005
DVB-H trial ready for launch
Teracom, together with Nokia, is planning to commence a DVB-H trial in Stockholm starting in the
New Year. The service will provide viewers with access to 16 television programme services.
This pilot follows on their recent DVB-H trial conducted from the Kaknästornet transmission site near
Stockholm.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 November 2005
Recent HDTV and DVB-H demos
As a world first, Teracom made a public demonstration of HDTV on the DTT platform using the
MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard. Other partners in the demonstration included the
manufacturers Sagem and Thomson.
According to Bengt Broman, Managing Director of Teracom "Now that we have shown that the
service works, we can start offering Swedish households HDTV transmissions via the normal digital
TV network. We believe that the programme companies are interested in transmitting special events
via HDTV, e.g. the football World Cup. We have now shown that this does not present any technical
problems."



                                                 169
According to the Managing Director of the pay DTT operator Boxer TV Access, Crister Fritzson, "We
see the possibility of introducing HDTV on special channels for special events and films for
households ready to invest in advanced equipment and special subscriptions, but at the same time we
will be continuing to develop our usual offering.
Teracom also showcased DVB-H for the first time in Sweden. A number of television programmes
were transmitted via the DTT network to a Nokia multimedia terminal.
At the beginning of next year, Teracom will begin a full-scale DVB-H pilot project in Sweden.
Source: Boxer press releases


3 November 2005
DTT viewers increase
The Swedish DTT service provider, Boxer, has added 33,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2005.
By the end of September, Boxer had a total of 483,000 DTT subscribers. In 2005, the number of DTT
subscribers will have grown by 108,000.
Source: Broadband TV News


7 October 2005
TV4 Fakta joins DTT platform
TV4 Fakta has launched on the Boxer DTT platform. The documentary and features service is the
latest digital offering from the Swedish broadcaster TV4.
The television programme service sits in the second multiplex largely occupied by TV4 and its digital
services It is part of Boxer‘s big basic offering priced at SKr159 per month.
Source: Broadband TV News


18 August 2005
Digital penetration reaches 38%
According to research by Mediavision, 38% of Swedes between the ages of 15-74 have access to
digital television. Compared with 2004, digital television penetration has increased by 6%.
Of the digital viewers, 35% use the DTT services provided by Boxer. With analogue switch-off set to
commence in September, 85% of those interviewed were aware of digital switch-over.
Source: Boxer website


11 April 2005
Continued DTT growth
According to a press release issued by Boxer, its subscribers increased by 35,000 in the first quarter of
2005. Boxer provides the pay-DTT platform in Sweden. Overall, Boxer has a total of 410,000
customers.


                                                    170
DTT is currently the fastest growing digital platform in Sweden. Analogue switch-off is expected to
begin this September. Approximately 20% of homes rely on the terrestrial network as their primary
means of receiving television.
Source: Boxer


21 March 2005
Commission requests Sweden to end broadcasting services monopoly
The European Commission has formally requested Sweden to abolish the monopoly of state-owned
company Teracom as regards analogue terrestrial broadcasting and transmission services.
According to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, "Sweden is depriving broadcasters of their
right to perform certain services themselves, e.g. transmission, or to choose from whom to buy these
services."
Source: European Commission Press Release


15 March 2005
2005 analogue switch-off plans finalised
The dates for analogue switch-off in three Swedish regions have been confirmed. On 19 September,
the region of Gotland with shut down its analogue transmissions for SVT1, SVT2 and TV4.
The region of Gävle will shut off its analogue transmission of SVT2 and TV4 on 10 October while the
analogue transmission of SVT1 will end on 24 October. Finally, the region of Motala/Linköping will
end its analogue transmission of SVT1 and SVT2 on 21 November and the analogue transmission of
TV4 will be shut off on 5 December.
These analogue switch-off plans are in accordance with the national analogue switch-off set to take
place on 1 March 2008. Starting on 8 April, an information campaign will begin. Households will
receive a 12 page brochure on DTT.
Source: Ny Teknik


20 January 2005
88% increase in DTT
Boxer, the Swedish DTT provider, ended the year 2004 with a total of 375,000 subscribers. With
175,000 new subscribers in 2004, Boxer increased its total number of subscribers by 88%. 55,000
subscribers joined Boxer in the final quarter of 2004.
DTT growth is expected to continue in 2005 as Sweden begins to prepare for analogue switch-off.
Three regions, Gävle, Motala/Linköping and Gotland, have been selected to begin analogue switch-off
in the second half of 2005.
Source: Boxer press release



                                                  171
15 October 2004
Strong third quarter for Boxer
At the end of September, Boxer had a total of 320,000 digital television subscribers. During the third
quarter, Boxer registered 50,000 new subscribers during the third quarter, and a total of 120,000 new
customers since the beginning of the year. This growth is expected to continue during the fourth
quarter.
Source: Boxer press release


24 September 2004
Satellite & DTT receiver distribution
Canal Digital, the digital satellite bouquet controlled by Telenor, is providing equipment, free of
charge, to its customers in Sweden, enabling them to access Sweden's DTT channels.
A new, twin receiver decoder - the ComboBox - gives Swedish viewers access to all TV channels
distributed via satellite from Canal Digital, as well as all the channels carried on the countries DTT
network.
The ComboBox allows access to encrypted broadcasts, with pay-TV operator MTG encrypting all
their channels with effect from September 1. Canal Digital's customers will still be able to access
MTG's free-to-air channels via a cardholder (CA module), and a programme card from Swedish
terrestrial network distributor Boxer.
Source: Dataxis


2 September 2004
Viasat encrypts DTT channels
The Modern Times Group announced that it will encrypt the broadcasting of its television channels in
the DTT network. Viewers can continue to watch TV3, ZTV and TV8 without a subscription fee, but
will need a card from Boxer which operates the DTT pay-TV service. Existing Boxer custoemrs will
not be affected.
The encryption has been necessitated by a rival operator‘s move to offer Viasat‘s TV3, ZTV and TV8
channels in its own package by including Viasat‘s unencrypted signal, without seeking or reaching an
agreement with Viasat. Subscribers to the rival operator‘s platform will not be able to watch Viasat‘s
entertainment channels.
Source: MTG website




                                                 172
16 July 2004
European Commission opens enquiry on DVB-T financing in Sweden
The European Commission has started investigations around the financing of digital terrestrial
television in Sweden. Complaints were received from satellite operators who believe that the financing
constitute unfair state aid.
The outcome of the enquiry will be followed with much interest by other EU members who may want
to use similar models as Sweden.
Source: European Commission press release


1 April 2004
Boxer increases its customer base
In a press release issued on 25 March, Boxer TV-Access has announced the increase of its customer
base to 230,000 digital TV customers. Of these, 30,000 joined in the first quarter of 2004.
Already the fastest growing digital operator in Sweden during 2003, Boxer expects its growth to
further accelerate this year.
According to its CEO Crister Fritzson, Boxer TV's success is due to its offering of the most sought-
after Swedish and international channels. Boxer provides its customers with access to the most popular
Swedish TV channels, a clear differentiator with satellite TV offerings.
Founded in 1999, Boxer TV is owned by Teracom and Skandia. It offers individual households or
entire buildings with access to digital TV and interactive services at a low cost using a regular TV-
antenna.
Sweden will shut down its analogue terrestrial network in February 2008.
Source: Boxer press release


12 March 2004
MTG channels join Swedish DTT
TV3 and ZTV were scheduled to be switched onto Sweden‘s digital terrestrial network Friday. The
two MTG channels were awarded licences at the beginning of the year by the Swedish government.
The two channels will increase their penetration by approximately 200,000 household. They will
broadcast in the clear for the first 12 months of transmissions as a result of MTG‘s refusal to strike a
deal with platform operator Boxer. TV8, another MTG channel, is expected to launch by April 30.
Source: Broadband TV News




                                                  173
6 February 2004
New channels confirmed for Swedish DTT
Platform operator Boxer has confirmed the launch of a series of new channels into its extended basic
package. The majority of the channels will be available in the new fifth multiplex that will go live to
50% of the population from April 2004.
The new Boxer channels are BBC World, Disney Channel, Non-Stop Television and Discovery Travel
and Adventure. Disney Channel will benefit from a place in one of the four established multiplexes
that between them offer 90% penetration. This allows the family entertainment channel the chance to
launch on February 15. Boxer now has 200,000 subscribers.
MTG has confirmed that it will indeed return its three channels, TV3, ZTV and TV8, to DTT. Initially
the channels will transmit in the clear as part of a one-year agreement. MTG‘s long-term aim is to
create a rival pay package to that operated by Boxer through its Viasat distribution subsidiary.
In order to comply with Swedish broadcast regulations TV3 will need to blank out commercials
around children‘s programmes in its DTT transmissions. Its satellite broadcasts are uplinked from the
UK in order to circumvent the rules.
From Broadband TV News


28 May 2003
Analogue TV switchoff in 2008
Sweden plans to end its analogue television broadcasts on 1 February 2008, as per a parliamentary
decision.
The issue has been controversial amid concerns that consumers would be forced to buy digital boxes
and cards to be able to watch public service channels, which are free of charge in the analogue system.
While it did agree on the 2008 date to end analogue broadcasts, parliament decided to send parts of the
bill back to the government, urging it to provide more thorough proposals concerning consumer issues,
expansion of networks, and licensing.
Source: AFP


20 January 2003
First DVB-T/HDTV transmissions
The first HDTV on-air trials and demonstrations have been conducted by SVT and Teracom from
December 9 to December 13, 2002.
The transmissions were broadcast at UHF-channel 28 from a test transmitter site in Stockholm
(Kaknas Tower).
Source: SVT and Teracom




                                                  174
                                            SWITZERLAND
2 August 2006
Analogue switch-off completed in the Ticino region
The Italian speaking region of Switzerland, Ticino, completed the switch-off of its analogue platform
on 24 July at 12:45. This makes it the first region in Switzerland to have completed digital switch-
over.
A massive information campaign that began in February 2006 provided viewers with the necessary
information on how to prepare for analogue switch-off.
In addition, information was also available at retail outlets, via a hotline and on three websites
(www.televisionedigitale.ch, www.digitalesfernsehen.ch, and www.televisionnumerique.ch).
Analogue switch-off began in March 2002 when two of the four available analogue channels were
switched off across Switzerland. The process of switching off the remaining two analogue channels is
now underway.
The next regions to complete analogue switch-off are the Engadine in November 2006 and the French-
speaking part of Switzerland in June 2007. Analogue switch-off will take place in the German-
speaking part of the country in November 2007.
Source: SRG SSR website


4 May 2006
DTT to launch in Zurich
At the end of May, viewers in Zurich and its surrounding region will be able to access DTT services.
Services include DRS-1, DRS-2, TRS-1 and TSI-1.
The launch of DTT services is taking place region by region. Already, the French and Italian speaking
regions can access DTT services. Full coverage is expected by the end of 2007.
Source: Teltarif.ch


31 January 2006
Regional analogue switch-off begins
The Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, Ticino, will become the first region to completely switch-
off its analogue terrestrial television signals. Switch-off is set for 24 July 2006.
The launch of DTT services in the Ticino region took place on 1 August 2003, alongside the simulcast
of 2 analogue channels. DTT roll-out continues throughout the country with national coverage
expected by 2008.
Public broadcaster SRG SSR is planning a massive communications campaign in the Ticino region
with information on its analogue switch-off plans.
Source: SRG SSR



                                                    175
3 November 2005
Launch of DVB-H trial
Telecom operator Swisscom has launched a DVB-H commercial trial in the city of Berne. Some 100
people are able to access 26 television service programmes from a Nokia 7710 smartphone.
Broadcasters can decide to offer interactive content. In addition, links to broadcaster's Internet sites are
also made available to viewers.
The trial focuses on the possibility of using the DVB-H standard to provide mobile television services
in Switzerland. Swisscom has not yet announced plans for a commercial launch of services.
Source: Telecom Web


26 October 2005
Swisscom completes Antenna Hungária purchase
Followng the approval from competition authorities, Swisscom has completed the purchase of
Antenna Hungária for €189 million. It now holds a 75% stake (plus one share) in the company.
Antenna Hungária has 910 employees and an annual revenues of approximately €103 million.
Swisscom hopes to combine its know-how with that of Antenna Hungária to help contribute to digital
switch-over in Hungary.
Source: DM Europe


31 August 2005
Kudelski launches 'push VOD' venture with Disney
Walt Disney Television International and the Kudelski Group have announced a joint venture to
develop and market Push Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) services.
This new offering will be designed to run on standard satellite, cable, terrestrial and IP digital video
recording hardware platforms. It will be made available to digital television operators worldwide,
although excluding the United States, Canada and Japan.
The complete set top box system will offer a selection of movie and other TV content delivered to its
hard drive for users to view with full on demand functionality, plus the capacity for subscribers to
record personal content from existing channels.
Operators will also be able to add their own local content to the service.
Source: Kudelski Group website


24 August 2005
Kudelski reports record-setting 2005 first half results
The Kudelski Group announces the best-ever first semester in its history, with record-breaking income
and profitability. Total revenue increased by 20% compared to the first semester of 2004 to reach CHF
330.2 million.


                                                   176
The European digital television business has shown impressive momentum, with an increase of 32%
compared with 2004. Within two years, the Group has more than tripled the size of its European
business.
In particular, the Group is setting the industry innovation standard in the emerging terrestrial market.
Already, it provides services to such companies as Mediaset in Italy and TopUp TV in the United
Kingdom.
Source: Kudelski press release


22 July 2005
Swisscom buys Antenna Hungária
Swisscom has acquired a 75% plus one vote stake in the Hungarian transmission company Antenna
Hungária for a reported HUF46.758 billion (€191 million).
This concludes the privatisation process that began in late 2004. The shortlist of bidders included
Swisscom, Austria‘s ORF and the Australian Macquarie consortium.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 July 2005
Swisscom Broadcasting bids for Antenna Hungariá
Swisscom Broadcast has submitted a binding offer for the majority stake in Antenna Hungária.
Currently, Antenna Hungariá is held by the Hungarian government. Swisscom has not provided details
regarding the amount of its bid or the content of the offer.
Source: DM Europe


19 May 2005
Upcoming launch of DTT services in Leman region
The officially launch of DTT services in the region of the Leman (Geneva lake) will take place on 1
June. Already, testing has been ongoing since early April. Viewers in the region will be able to access
all television service programmes offered by the Swiss public broadcasters, SRG SSR idée suisse.
DTT services are currently available in the regions of Engadine and Ticino.
Source: Werbewoche


3 September 2004
Nagravision record revenues
In the first half of 2004, the Kudelski Group realised best ever revenues of CHF 275.2 million up by
55 per cent, an operating profit of CHF 35.1 million and a net profit of CHF 22.8 million. Kudelski
expects the positive momentum in the first half of 2004 to continue for the whole of 2004 and for
2005.


                                                   177
Article from advanced-television.com


19 May 2004
Further DTT planning
The Léman Basin, Fribourg region and Ollon, Bex and Lutschental are set to begin DTT transmission
by the end of 2004. The Bantiger, Aioie, Niederhorn, Chrischona and Val d‘Herens regions should
follow in 2005 with Jaun and Lenk in 2006.
However, many of these plans can only go ahead if spectrum-planning agreements are completed
satisfactorily with France. The next significant meeting will take place in July.
In Geneva and other areas around main transmitters, indoor portable reception will be possible.
Source: srg-ssr/idéesuisse


30 June 2003
DTT go-ahead in Switzerland
The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation has got the green light from the Swiss Federal Council to
introduce DTT in the country, reports Europemedia.
The Council's decision creates the legal conditions necessary for the SRG to create an initial network
of four channels broadcasting its own programming. The network will first be implemented in regions,
which have little or no cable access, with transmission starting later in the summer. Nationwide
coverage is expected to have been achieved by 2009.
The Council, however, rejected a proposal made by SBC to increase its licence fee to finance the
transition. Instead, private broadcasters will be given permission to use the network, but on the
condition that they contribute to cut its costs and maintain its technical quality.
Source: advanced-television.com


                                               UKRAINE
15 May 2006
DTT services to be launched by end 2006
The National Council of Ukraine for TV and Radio Broadcasting has allocated four DTT multiplex
licences. It is likely that DTT services will begin at the end of 2006.
As per the terms of the licence, the multiplexes are to be used for test transmissions, lasting no more
than one year, followed by the launch of commercial services. The licenses are granted for a 10 year
period.
The multiplex licences have been allocated to Ukrainian Digital TV Network (UDTVN) and JSC, Era
Production, Express Inform and Gamma Consulting. The service offering in each multiplex is as
follows:
Channel 41 multiplex licence held by Era Production:

                                                    178
- Era and National TV service
- K-1
- K-2
- TRK Kyiv
Channel 43 multiplex licence held by Express Inform:
- Channel 7
- Mriya TV
- Megasport
- Channel 5
Channel 51 mulitplex licence held by UDTVN and JSC:
- KDTRK
- Tonis
- 1+1
- Gravis
Channel 64 multiplex licence held by Gamma Consulting:
- Operator's own service to be created
- ICTV
- Novy Kanal
- M1
In addition, UDTVN is planning to launch a DVB-H trial in June 2006.
Source: UDTVN


15 February 2006
Recent DTT developments
According to information received from DigiTAG member UDTVN, DTT developments are
underway in the Ukraine.
The National Television and Broadcasting Council of Ukraine has invited applicants to tender for 4
frequencies in Kyiv to be used for DTT services. The licence is valid for a 7 year period of which one
year can be used to conduct HD and DVB-H tests. Applications must be received by 28 February
2006. In addition, President Yushchenko has signed a new television and broadcasting law. The new
law provides the framework for the introduction of DTT services. It does not, however, provide
specific dates for either the introduction of DTT services or analogue switch-off.
Source: UDTVN




                                                  179
22 March 2004
Parliament passes DTT resolution
On 4 March 2004, the Ukrainian Parliment, Verkhovna Rada, adopted a resolution obliging the
Government to provide for a gradual transition to digital broadcasting starting in 2005.
The resolution also sets forth that digital broadcasting frequencies be allotted on a preferential basis.
Source: Kvant-Efir


                                         UNITED KINGDOM
27 July 2006
Ofcom opens consultation on pricing of spectrum
The broadcast regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on spectrum fees to be charged for terrestrial
television and radio broadcasting. Ofcom would like to introduce spectrum fees to help ensure the
most efficient use of spectrum.
By applying spectrum fees, or Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP), Ofcom aims to ensure that
spectrum holders fully recognise the costs that their use imposes on society (i.e. the opportunity cost).
Ofcom proposes to introduce AIPs for DTT services in 2014, following analogue switch-off.
However, AIPs may not please broadcasters. Because of the constraints placed on spectrum usage by
broadcaters, there may be only limited benefit in applying incentive pricing. In addition, spectrum fees
may not necessarily take into consideration the value generated to society by public service
broadcasters.
Interested parties have until 27 October 2006 to respond to Ofcom's consultation.
Source: Ofcom website


21 July 2006
Engineering work underway in preparation for DSO
Network operator Arqiva has begun engineering work on two masts, Caldbeck and Selkirk, that
transmit to the Border region. Switchover will commence in the Border region in the area of
Whitehaven in 2008.
The new 337 metre high mast at Caldbeck is the third tallest structure in the UK. New digital
transmitting antennas will be installed at Selkirk in 2006.
According to Steve Holebrook, Arqiva‘s managing director of Terrestrial Media Solutions: "DSO is a
wide-ranging and complex project and, whilst viewers won‘t begin to see the benefits until 2008, the
engineering work is now underway.
Following analogue switch-off, DTT services will be available to 98.5% of the population.
Source: Broadband TV News




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19 July 2006
Ofcom opens consultation on digital switchover
The communications regulator Ofcom has proposed inserting new conditions, relating to digital
switch-over, to the current multiplex license regime for DTT services. Interested parties are invited to
submit their responses to the proposed changes by 27 September 2006.
With these proposals, Ofcom aims to ensure that the multiplex operators and holders of DTT service
licences are under clear duties to cooperate with, and participate in, the digital switchover process.
Proposed changes include:
- Minimum obligation on the licensee as to the coverage to be achieved by the service following
analogue switch-off.
- Cooperation and coordination with other parties.
- Annual report and information relating to digital switchover.
- Communications with viewers (i.e. regarding the rescan of set-top boxes).
- Insertion of date for the final completion of switchover of 31 December 2012 (except for the Channel
Islands where it will be 31 March 2013) as well as the regional switchover timetable as presented by
the Government in September 2005.
Source: Ofcom website


13 July 2006
Sony calls for digital-only TV prior to ASO
At a conference organised by Intellect, the trade group for hi-tech industry, Sony called for an
industry-wide agreement to end analogue TV sales a year ahead of analogue switch-off in each region.
Sony also urged manufacturers to end production of analogue televisions by 2008.
According to Sony UK managing director Steve Dowdle: "Despite the increase of digital, analogue is
not slowing - if it carries on at the same rate, we will be on our way to a digital switchover disaster."
Source: ERT Weekly


13 July 2006
Ofcom report on consumer interaction with digital communication services
Ofcom has published a new report on consumer engagement with digital communication services. The
research shows that while consumers value many of the benefits of digital communications services,
they are sometimes hindered by a lack of awareness of these benefits.
The research also highlights the different attitudes consumers have towards digital communications.
To help understand these differences, Ofcom has developed a model of five consumer segments based
on attitudes towards technology and digital services: enthusiasts; functionalists; economisers;
abstainers; resistors.
Each segment is described in detail in the report which is available on the Ofcom website.


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Source: Ofcom website


12 July 2006
Delays to BBC/ITV Freesat launch
In a presentation to the House of Commons' culture committee, the BBC director general Mark
Thompson admitted delays to the BBC and ITV free-to-view digital satellite service. It is not expected
that the service will be launched before Autumn 2007.
Currently, the single biggest protest issue against the BBC is complaints from viewers unable to
receive services on the free-to-air DTT platform (Freeview).
The free satellite service will allow viewers outside of the Freeview coverage zone to access all of the
BBC's services in the run-up to switchover and beyond. DTT services are currently available to 73%
of the population.
BSkyB already offers a 'Freesat from Sky' service for a one-off payment of £150.
Source: DTG website


12 July 2006
Ofcom publishes overview of DSO work ahead
Ofcom has published a report detailing the work necessary to ensure a smooth transition to an all-
digital broadcast environment. The report provides an overview of the responsibilities of Government,
Digital UK and Ofcom.
Government has the following responsibilities:
- Setting the timetable for switchover,
- Establishing a Targeted Help Scheme for those most likely to face difficulties in switching, and,
- Encouraging manufacturers and retailers to develop and market digital television equipment.
Digital UK has the following responsibilities:
- Communicating with viewers about plans for switchover in their region, addressing concerns and
building viewer confidence,
- Providing information and advice to viewers to help them prepare for switchover, and,
- Working with retailers to train staff on switchover.
Ofcom has the following responsibilities:
- Ensuring commercial broadcasters meet their licence obligations to support switchover,
- Delivering a frequency plan to ensure that digital terrestrial television will be available to at least
98.5 per cent of homes post switchover, and,
- Providing market data and consumer research on digital television and switchover.
Source: Ofcom website




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7 July 2006
Ofcom opens consultation on multiplex data limits
The communications regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on the transmission of non-TV data
services. Currently, non-TV data services are limited to 10% on each DTT multiplex.
Parliament set the data limit to ensure that the DTT multiplexes would be used mostly for television
services rather than data distribution or other communications services.
The Broadcast Act of 1996 empowers Ofcom to set a tighter limit if necessary while the Secretary of
State can relax the limit. With the advent of interactive services, Ofcom believes that there is likely to
be an increase in the demand for data services.
As such, it plans to publish guidance on what capacity can be used for data services. Responses to the
consultation should be sent to Ofcom by 14 September.
Source: Ofcom website


30 June 2006
Ofcom expresses satisfaction with RRC results
Ofcom has expressed its satisfaction with the international frequency plan (GE-06) adopted at the
second session of the Regional Radiocommunications Conference (RRC).The RRC was held under the
auspices of the International Telecommunications Union.
As per the GE-06 Plan, the United Kingdom will be permitted to use all necessary transmitter sites to
deliver Public Service Broadcasting DTT services to 98.5% of the population and other commercial
DTT services to up to 90% of the population.
According to Ofcom Chief Executive Stephen Carter: "This accelerates the move to all-digital
broadcasting. After months of detailed negotiations involving more than 100 countries, this successful
outcome is testament to the hard work and dedication of the UK delegation."
Source: Ofcom website


19 June 2006
Freeview poised to overtake Sky
In a report published by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the free-to-air DTT
platform (Freeview) is on course to overtake BSkyB's pay satellite service by the end of the year.
Currently, the DTT platform holds a 27.3% market share of main household television sets while Sky's
market share stands at 31.5%.
According to the report, "If digital terrestrial continues to increase its market share by 2% per quarter,
as seen in 2005, it will surpass digital satellite as the UK's most popular television platform by Q4
2006."
IPA is a marketing trade body representing 250 advertising and media buying agencies in the United
Kingdom.


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Source: DTG website


9 June 2006
HDTV/DTT trial has officially begun
The six month technical trial of HDTV services on the terrestrial platform has begun. 450 homes in the
range of the Crystal Palace transmitter in London can now receive HDTV services.
Services are provided by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five. The BBC's offering will be a simulcast
of its new HD channel - also available on satellite and cable - while ITV will broadcast its World Cup
games, select dramas and classic films in HD.
Channel 4 plans to offer imports from the United States including Lost and Desperate Housewives
plus movies from FilmFour. Five will air CSI, original programmes such as Tim Marlow at MOMA
and movies such as Cocktail.
Source: Digital Spy


7 June 2006
DTT overtakes analogue television
According to the latest figures published by Ofcom, 18.2 million households received digital
television by the end of March 2006. At the end of 2005, 69.5% of households accessed digital
television, in comparison with 72.5% at the end of March 2006.
For the first time, the number of households using the DTT platform has surpassed the number of
analogue terrestrial households. Almost 7.1 million households rely on DTT for their primary
television set compared to around 6.4 million who are yet to take-up digital television.
Key trends for the first quarter of 2006 include:
- The number of households relying on DTT as the only digital platform had grown to around 7.1
million by the end of March 2006. Ofcom estimates that all homes using DTT equipment to be around
8.8 million.
- DTT only households grew by 600,000 over the quarter. This growth was fuelled by 1.2 million sales
of DTT set-top boxes and IDTVs. This exceeds the 860,000 sales for the corresponding period in
2005.
- 10.9 million DTT receivers have been sold by the end of March 2006.
- Estimates suggest that 38% of Freeview sales are intended for secondary television sets in the home.
These figures have been reported in Ofcom's Communications Market: Digital Progress Report for the
first quarter of 2006 (January-March).
Source: Ofcom Communications Market report




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6 June 2006
Five to launch new services on Freeview platform
Commercial broadcaster Five has announced plans to launch two new television programme services
on the free-to-air DTT platform. The new services include Five US, which will air imported sitcoms
such as CSI, and Five Life, which will target women with lifestyle shows and soaps.
Capacity for these new services have been made available from the restructure of pay DTT operator
Top Up TV. Initially offering 11 linear pay DTT programme services, Top Up TV will now offer on-
demand video service.
With a new Top Up TV Anytime digital TV recorder updated each night, viewers will be able to
access up to 80 hours of programmes. Content likely to be made available includes English and
Scottish Premier League football matches in conjunction with Setanta.
Broadcast capacity freed up by moving to an on-demand model will be used by Five's new services.
Five acquired a strategic stake in Top Up TV last year.
Source: DTG website


29 May 2006
Results of Bolton DSO trial
The government has released the results of its trial to test the process for supporting vulnerable
viewers through switchover. Over 400 households from the Hulton ward of Bolton participated in the
trial begun in July 2005. Each trial household was home to at least one person aged 75 or over or one
person with significant disabilities.
Results of the trial showed that the vast majority of older people thought switching over was easy and
liked watching digital television. 98% of participants felt watching digital TV was better or the same
as watching analogue and 93% thought the process of switching to digital TV had been easy.
The trial also highlighted the importance of support from family and friends in installing and using the
equipment and the need to give older and disabled people time to adapt to using new television
equipment.
Other results included:
- 69% of participants were able to install equipment themselves or with the help of friends and family.
- Once their equipment was installed, 67% said they most liked the extra channels, whilst 20% most
liked the improved reception.
- 92% found the specially prepared and clearly written instruction booklet helpful.
The trial was run jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the BBC.
Source: Government's Digital Television website




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26 May 2006
HD/DTT trial underway in London
High definition test transmissions for ITV, Channel 4 and Five have started broadcasting on low
power from the Crystal Palace transmitter in London.
According to Digital Spy forum members, the multiplex, located on UHF channel 27, is currently
carrying two 576i SD streams and one 1080i HD service. These transmissions are part of a previously-
announced HD trial in the capital.
Source: Digital Spy


25 May 2006
Setanta confirms plans to launch Freeview service
Sports broadcaster Setanta has confirmed its plans to launch a new subscription television programme
service on the DTT platform. This service will be offered via the pay DTT platform operator Top Up
TV.
The new service will provide coverage of live Premier League and Scottish Premier League games.
Setanta has not yet decided whether viewers will need to take their subscription for an entire year or
for part of the year.
Source: Digital Spy


22 May 2006
Arqiva to build BBC's DTT network
The BBC has selected broadcast network operator Arqiva as their preferred supplier for DTT
transmission services. It is likely that Arqiva will design, build and operate two high-power
multiplexes managed by the BBC. The contract is currently subject to final agreement of terms.
As part of the digital switchover project, the two multiplexes managed by the BBC will replace the
currently available analogue low-power digital transmission networks. These transmission services
will become operational during 2008 and will continue until 2031.
Already, Arqiva provides its broadcast services to Digital 3 & 4.
Source: Arqiva press release


18 May 2006
Raising PVR awareness
The free-to-air DTT consortium, Freeview, has unveiled plans to raise consumer awareness about
personal video recorders (PVR). With support from the consumer electronics industry, Freeview will
launch the Freeview Playback brand.




                                                 186
The Freeview Playback initiative aims to overcome consumer confusion by ensuring that
manufacturers and retailers use a common product description for the category. The Digital Television
Group will ensure that Freeview Playback products carry a quality assurance for consumers.
Research conducted on behalf of Freeview shows that while consumers show high interest in being
able to record digital programmes there is little awareness of PVRs and the uptake of digital terrestrial
PVRs has been limited.
According to Freeview general manager Cary Wakefield, "Freeview's success to date has been based
upon offering viewers a simple way to get digital television. Working with the industry, Freeview is
committed to delivering a strong brand to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of digital TV
recorders and to make the technology easy to understand. The launch of Freeview Playback is crucial
to driving consumer understanding and uptake and will help to clearly define the category."
The Freeview Playback brand is expected to be in the market by September.
Source: DTG website


12 May 2006
Success of ITV on the DTT platform
ITV chief executive Charles Allen announced that ITV2 and ITV3 were the two top-rated digital
services on the DTT platform during the first 15 weeks of 2006. ITV4, launched six months ago and
aimed at 25 to 44-year-old males was also "performing well".
Allen also stated that ITV had raised its target for advertising and interactive revenues from its digital
service portfolio to £250 million per year by the end of 2008. Advertising revenues at ITV's digital
channels grew 50% to £39 million in the second quarter of 2006.
Source: DTG website


12 May 2006
Cellcast launches interactive service on DTT platform
Pay-DTT operator, Top Up TV, will offer its subscribers with new services offered by the interactive
digital broadcaster Cellcast. Interactive content will be available on Smile TV and a new interactive
service, Top Up Active, will be launched.
Top Up Active will be available on Channel 107 of the free-to-air DTT platform instead of the static
'placeholder' traditionally used to promote the available pay services. The new service will provide
radio-style broadcasting combined with interactive chat and games.
For Cellcast, the combination of talk-radio, participation TV and interactivity creates 'visual radio' for
the DTT platform.
According to Andrew Wilson, CEO of Cellcast, "This revolutionary approach pushes the interactive
opportunity on Freeview to its limits. Where Teletext and similar services use their bandwidth to direct
viewers to the content, this application focuses on user generated content to entertain the viewer."


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Source: Cellcast press release


10 May 2006
BBC poll shows viewers want free-to-view HDTV
Research presented by the BBC suggests that an overwhelming majority of people who know about
HD expect the BBC to broadcast their services in HD and to make the services available on all
television reception platforms.
The online survey of a representative sample of about 1,500 respondents conducted by GfK NOP
showed that 73% of the sample had heard about high definition television. Of those that were aware of
high definition:
- 93% expected those broadcasts to be free to air, and,
- 95% expected high definition broadcasts to be available on all platforms – satellite, cable and
Freeview.
According to BBC Director of Television Jana Bennett, "It's clear that licence fee payers expect high
definition broadcasts from the BBC, the same way they have moved to colour television, widescreen,
digital radio and online services with us in the past."
Source: BBC press release


5 May 2006
Digit Al unveiled
Digital UK has launched its seven-year, £200 million information and support programme for digital
switchover. The campaign aims to raise awareness that switchover is happening, encourage consumers
to look for the digital ‗tick‘ logo when buying new equipment, and explain that Digital UK is on hand
to provide independent advice and support.
The campaign will feature Digit Al, a computer generated robot that to help guide viewers through
switchover. Matt Lucas from Little Britain fame will provide the voice for Digit Al.
The campaign began on 5 May with simultaneous television slots booked across terrestrial and digital
TV services. On commercial channels, Digit Al, interrupts iconic Sony and Guinness advertisements
to tell viewers about switchover and the Digital UK helpline and website.
National and regional TV and radio communications will continue throughout May, supported by
national and regional press advertising from 8 May. Regional activity, including BBC television trails,
is focused on the first three regions to switch – Border, West Country and Wales.
In the first phase of the campaign, more than three million public information leaflets are to be
delivered to homes in Border, West Country and Wales. Information will also be available in retail
stores and citizens advice bureaux nationally.
Source: Digital UK press release



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26 April 2006
Ofcom publishes report on communication services across regions
The broadcast regulator Ofcom has published its Communications Market report on the Nations and
Regions of the United Kingdom. The report examines the availability, take-up and consumpution of
communication services across the different regions of the UK.
The report shows that the take-up of digital television is highest in Wales with a penetration rate of
72%, closely followed by the North West and the North East. London has one of the lowest levels of
digital TV take-up with only 58% of households accessing digital television. Northern Ireland has the
lowest digital television penetration rate with 53%.
DTT availability is highest in the North West (94%), North East (89%) and London (86%) while
fewer than 60% of homes are able to receive DTT services in Wales, Northern Ireland and the East of
England.
The consumption of television also varies among regions. While digital television is watched for an
average of 19 hours per week across the country, viewing is higher the North. It is the highest in
Scotland, at nearly 22 hours per week, followed by North East, Wales and the North West. People in
the South West watch the lowest amount of digital television, at just under 16.6 hours per week.
Source: Ofcom report


20 April 2006
ITV Play launches on DTT platform
Commercial broadcaster ITV has launched a new service, ITV Play, on the DTT platform. ITV Play
replaces the Men and Motors service and is available everday from noon until 4 in the morning.
According to Jeff Henry, Chief Executive of ITV Consumer, "We are aiming to invest in the
participation TV sector to build a strong, long-term sustainable business for ITV, utilising our well-
known programme brands to produce compelling interactive formats."
The service will be ITV‘s first non-advertising funded channel.
Source: advanced-television.com


19 April 2006
Ofcom allows pay DTT services on all multiplexes
Following a public consultation, the broadcast regulator Ofcom has decided to allow pay DTT services
to be offered on the multiplexes B, C and D. Previously, only multiplexes 2 and A could offer pay
DTT services.
When the licences for multiplexes B, C and D had been allocated in 2002, they included the provision
that the services "shall be provided on a free-to-air basis save with the prior consent of Ofcom". This
provision has now been removed.



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In the public consultation, the BBC, commercial broadcaster Five and pay DTT operator TopUp TV
favoured the removal of the free-to-air provision while Channel 4 opposed it.
Source: Ofcom website


7 April 2006
ITV to join HD/DTT trial
Broadcaster ITV has announced plans to participate in this summer‘s DTT HDTV trial to take place in
London. Other broadcasters participating in the trial include BBC, Channel 4 and Channel Five.
The six-month HD/DTT trial will try to gain a better understanding of terrestrial HD broadcasting
given the limited amount of frequencies available and will test a range of consumer equipment. The
trial will use local frequencies in London based on a test and development licence allocated by the
broadcast regulator Ofcom.
Five hundred volunteers will participate in the trial and be able to access a selection of specially
recorded HD programming, including live World Cup coverage from Germany.
According to Simon Fell, controller of emerging technologies at ITV, "ITV is already commissioning
and recording a wide range of HD programming. This trial will allow us to evaluate the technology
and give us valuable insight into viewer attitudes to HD, helping to show the possibilities for HD
broadcasts over DTT post-switchover."
Source: advanced-television.com


29 March 2006
Parliament publishes report on ASO
The House of Commons Committee on Culture, Media and Sport published its report Analogue
Switch–off: A signal change in television.
The report commends the government for its adoption of a firm and early timetable for analogue
switch-off. It suggests that the timetable is technically realistic, but will require maximum support
from Ofcom, effective management by Digital UK and clear leadership by the Government.
The report recognises that the analogue switch-off process will be highly complex and require the
coordination and cooperation throughout the industry.
The report makes several key recommendations. It states that the government and Digital UK should
ensure that the public understands the decision for analogue switch-off, the options available and the
costs and benefits of the process.
It also recommends that the Government reconsiders its current targeted assistance programme as it is
judged to be too restricted.
The report expresses its concern with the emphasis on low cost DTT set-top boxes in an effort to
persuade people that switch-off will be relatively inexpensive. Instead, it recommends that the



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Government and Digital UK should make clear that the more advanced boxes and other digital
platforms, including broadband, may offer significant additional benefits.
Because of the need for clear political supervision and accountability, the report recommends that a
Minister within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should lead the digital switchover
process.
Finally, the report recomments Ofcom's decision on spectrum allocation take place without
unnecessary delay so as to give certainty to all the industries affected.
Source: UK Parliament website


17 March 2006
Digital TV penetration reaches nearly 70%
According to Ofcom's report on the DTV market for the fourth quarter of 2005, the United Kingdom
has the highest digital television penetration of any country in the world. As of 31 December 2005,
digital television was viewed by just under 70% of all British television households, up from 65.9% in
the previous quarter.
Preliminary sales data for DTT set-top boxes suggest that by the end of February 2006 digital
penetration had exceeded 70% of UK homes.
In 2005, more than 2.7 million households began viewing digital television for the first time. By 31
December 2005, the total number of households viewing digital television services on at least one TV
set in the home stood at 17.5 million. In addition, almost one in four adults live in homes where all
television sets are now used exclusively for digital television viewing.
Key DTT trends for the fourth quarter of 2005 include:
- More than 1.1 million households took up digital television, making it the quarter with the highest
DTV growth. Of these, DTT accounted for over 800,000 households.
- More than 10.5 million Freeview boxes had been sold by the end of 2005.
- In the last quarter of 2005, more than 1.9 million Freeview set-top boxes and integrated digital
televisions were sold – almost 500,000 more than the corresponding period in 2004.
- Freeview accounted for seven out of every ten households watching digital television services for the
first time in 2005.
- The average price paid for a DTT set-top box has halved since mid-2003, to around £41 at the end of
December 2005.
This information has been published in Ofcom's Communications Market: Digital TV Progress
Report. The report examines data provided by the main digital television platform providers for the
October-December 2005 period.
Source: Ofcom website




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8 March 2006
Ofcom publishes report on STB ease-of-use
The Ofcom report describes recent user and expert evaluations of available digital television products
and services.
Based on this feedback, two prototype checklists have been developed. The first checkist examines the
design of easy to use digital television receiver equipment including on-screen guides and remote
controls. The second checklist examines the provision of easy to use installation and set-up
instructions for digital terrestrial television receivers.
The objective of these checklists is to provide an informed starting point for equipment manufacturers
to develop and refine their own good practice design guidelines for digital television receiver products
and services.
While the checklists have been developed on a technology neutral basis, and are potentially applicable
to all digital television platforms, they are expected to be of most use for the DTT platform where
there is greater scope for variability between the user interfaces and equipment usability provided by
different equipment manufacturers.
The full report can be found on the Ofcom website


7 March 2006
Digital penetration reaches 70%
According to culture secretary Tessa Jowell, more than 70% of British households have switched to
digital television.
Jowell stated that "Ofcom will shortly publish data showing that the proportion of households with a
digital television has now reached 70%. That is an important landmark. We must now ensure that the
principle of universal free-to-view television continues, and, to ensure that no one is left behind, we
will provide specific help to the very elderly and disabled who are at most risk."
Jowell said the Government's trial in Bolton would determine the nature of that assistance, and
stressed that "the most vulnerable will not be excluded from the benefits of a digital society."
Source: DTG website


28 February 2006
66% of households access digital TV
Ofcom has issued its report on the communications market in the United Kingdom. According to the
report, a total of 5.8 million homes relied on the DTT platform by 30 September 2005.
In the six month period up to 30 September 2005, the number of DTT households grew by 14%
(716,000 new households). This compares with a 2% growth for pay satellite households (123,000
new households). Free-to-view satellite grew by 100,000 households while digital cable grew by
101,000 households.


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It is estimated that 66% of households (16.5 million) now have digital television.
Source: Ofcom's Communication Market report


27 February 2006
Arqiva calls for clarity on HD/DTT
Broadcast network operator Arqiva has called on policy makers to decide whether HDTV services will
be provided on the DTT platform. It is reported that Arqiva has warned Ofcom that delays in the
decision could result in a bill of £70 million.
Ofcom is currently investigating options for liberated spectrum following digital switchover as part of
its Digital Dividend Review.
Certain transmitters in Scotland, Wales, the West Country and north-west England will need to be
modified for switchover this summer by Arqiva. However, the upgrade work does not include
preparations for HDTV.
According to Arqiva's terrestrial media chief Steve Holebrook, a delay now could leave large areas of
the UK without digital terrestrial HD until 2013.
Source: DTG website


26 February 2006
Freesat launch delayed
The free-to-air satellite services to be launched by the BBC and ITV in June 2006 has been delayed.
The continued high sales of DTT set-top boxes is understood to have prompted a strategy re-
evaluation by ITV executives in recent weeks.
According to media reports, ITV would like to concentrate on marketing Freeview service instead,
having recently joined the Freeview consortium.
The Freesat service is aimed at the estimated 25% of households unable to currently receive a digital
terrestrial signal. When the service was unveiled, only BBC and ITV digital channels were signed up.
It is now expected that Freesat services will be launched next year.
Source: The Independent


24 February 2006
Digital UK to launch advertising blitz
Digital UK has announced its plans for its £5 million advertising campaign set to begin on early May.
The campaign will promote the upcoming switch to digital television.
The campaign will include the delivery of brochures to 300,000 homes in the Border TV region, set to
become the first area to begin analogue switch-off. The area covers Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria
and the Isle of Man.



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Little Britain star Matt Lucas will become the face and voice of the campaign. Lucas has signed a 7
year contract with Digital UK to become Digit Al, a robot who will serve as a guide to digital
television.
Source: The Scotsman


16 February 2006
Another Freeview 'may day'
Ofcom has launched an investigation following a second search and rescue operation instigated by a
DTT set-top box.
Coastguards were alerted after an emergency 1215 distress call was picked up at RAF Kinloss in
Scotland. The distress call was traced to a home near Plymouth.
A similar incident occurred in Portsmouth in early January.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 February 2006
FilmFour to launch on DTT platform
Channel 4 has confirmed plans its plans to launch FilmFour as a free-to-air service on the DTT
platform in July. It will provide viewers with six movie—classics and Hollywood releases every day
from 15.00 - 3.00.
FilmFour was first launched in 1998 as a subscription service. However, Channel 4 CEO, Andy
Duncan, hopes that advertising revenues will exceed subscription income generated from FilmFour's
subscribers.
Channel 4 has learnt from the experience of its entertainment service E4, which launched as a
subscription channel but became free-to view as of last May. E4's advertising revenues are expected to
double to £90m per year by 2007.
The service will also be available free of charge on the satellite and cable platforms.
Source: DTG website


6 February 2006
New digital switch-over campaign
In order to benefit from the excitement surrounding the World Cup, Digital UK will launch a national
advertising campaign to promote digital switch-over.
The campaign aims to persuade television buyers to "go digital" when watching England's matches in
the tournament. It is estimated that the campaign is worth £15 million and that £5 million will be spent
in the month of May.
Four years ago, prior to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Sony recorded a 30% increase in its
television sales in the United Kingdom.


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Source: advanced-television.com


4 February 2006
Digital TV advisory council to be set up in Cumbria
As part of its preparation for analogue switch-off, Digital UK will set up an advisory council in the
Borders television region this year.
The council is tasked with providing advice on digital switch-over with the aim of ensuring a smooth
digital transition. Representives to the council include local government, consumer groups, voluntary
organisations and retailers.
Digital UK will also appoint a regional manager to keep the public informed on switch-over.
According to Ford Ennals, chief executive for Digital UK, "This approach ensures that we are working
at the coal-face to identify and address issues at a local level. Our role working through the advisory
councils is to ensure that switchover happens on time in a way that makes it simple for local TV
viewers on a region-by-region basis."
The Border region will be the first region in the United Kingdom to shut off its analogue terrestrial
television services scheduled to take place in 2008.
Source: The Carlisle News & Star


2 February 2006
Government rejects switchover funding proposal
The Culture Minister Tessa Jowell has rejected repeated calls to finance much of the cost of digital
switchover via general taxation and not the BBC licence fee.
A Parliamentary committee has proposed that since the Government will benefit from the sale of
liberated analogue spectrum, the Treasury should fund switchover and not licence fee payers.
In her rejection of this proposal, Jowell stated that "The Government believes it appropriate for the
BBC to meet the costs of developing its digital terrestrial network for digital switchover. It is also right
that BBC meets a significant share of the costs of informing licences fee payers affected by switchover
so that they know what is happening, and when and what they have to do in order to continue
receiving television services."
She added: "Given the importance of ensuring universality of access to BBC services, the Government
believes it is appropriate for the BBC, as part of its role in building digital Britain, to fund the costs of
providing assistance as part of the wider leadership role in the completion of digital switchover."
Source: DTG website




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31 January 2006
10 million DTT receivers sold
According to Stephen Carter, chief executive of Ofcom, over 10 million DTT receivers may have been
sold in the United Kingdom.
At Christmas, it is estimated that around 1 million set-top boxes have been sold. At the end of
September 2005, Ofcom estimated that 8,914,800 DTT receivers had been sold, many for secondary
television sets. It estimated that 5,775,768 housholds relied only on the DTT platform.
Source: advanced-television.com


27 January 2006
BBC calls for public service alliance group
According to media reports, the BBC is seeking to persuade commercial broadcasters ITV, Channel 4
and Five to support its push for HDTV on the terrestrial television platform.
BBC has begun a lobbying campaign calling for the government to allocate spectrum for HDTV
services on the DTT platform. Spectrum may become available following analogue switch-off.
While Channel 4 had confirmed the talks, they are still at an early stage. Its CEO Andy Duncan has in
the past questioned the BBC's HDTV effort and instead called for the allocation of further capacity to
C4 following digital switchover.
Source: DTG website


23 January 2006
Channel 4 calls for DTT channel
With the debate as to whether Channel Four should receive financial support from the Government
given its public service remit, Channel Four has announced its preference to receive a free block of
digital terrestrial spectrum.
The broadcaster would also like to receive government support for its migration to digital
broadcasting.
According to Andy Duncan, CEO of Channel Four, "we must be confident of a lifeline if the business
model proves insufficient to deliver public service plurality in a much tougher environment down the
line."
Source: advanced-television.com


19 January 2006
Dixons to stop selling CRTs
Consumer electronics retailer Dixons has announced plans to phase out the sale of the traditional
cathode ray tube television sets.



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Dixons will instead favour contemporary flat screens. This decision follows the falling sales of CRTs
as the price for plasmas and LCDs drops. In recent months the demand for CRTs has collapsed,
despite falling prices, as retailers look to dispose of existing stock.
Already, Dixons has decided to no longer stock videocassette recorders. Dixons is a part of DSG
International, which also owns the UK chain Currys; Elkjøp in Norway and Electroworld in East
Europe.
Source: Broadband TV News


19 January 2006
Setanta Sports to be rolled out countrywide
Setanta Sports, the broadcaster of Scottish Premier League, has announced plans to roll out its services
on the DTT platform across the United Kingdom. The service will be available on the pay DTT
platform operated by Top Up TV.
The service has already been launched in the Scottish and Grampian regions and proved highly
successful.
According to Roger Hall from Setanta Sports, "Further to the successful trial of the service in the
Scottish and Grampian regions, we are delighted to make the service available to all 6.4 million
Freeview customers."
Source: Digital Spy


18 January 2006
Strong interest in mobile television
Interim results from the DVB-H trial in Oxford have shown a high level of consumer interest in the
services.
With access to 16 television programme services 24 hours per day, 83% of the users have indicated
that they are satisfied with the services provided. In addition, 76% have indicated that they would take
up the service within 12 months.
Results show that users access DVB-H services for an average of 23 minutes per session, with one or
two sessions per day. Demand is high in the morning and in the early evening.
Users have indicated that they want made for mobile programming as well as some long-form content
(e.g. movies). In addition, 70% of users would like to be able to access digital radio services.
Final results are expected in the spring of 2006.
Source: advanced-television.com




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16 January 2006
DTT set-top box triggers air-sea rescue
Ofcom engineers are investigating how a faulty DTT set-top box instigated an RAF air-sea rescue
mission. The set-top box in Portsmouth apparently generated a mayday signal identical to that used by
emergency beacons.
On 5 January, the signal was picked up by satellite and forwarded to RAF Kinloss in Scotland.
Coastguards on the south English coast were alerted and a helicopter sent to the rescue.
After a two-hour sea search off Portsmouth, it was established that the signal was coming from the
mainland. RAF chiefs called Ofcom and the communications regulator quickly determined that the
signal was generated from a home.
Source: DTG News


11 January 2006
DTT STB sales up 25%
According to Broadcast Minister James Purnell, approximately 800,000 DTT receivers were sold in
the weeks before Christmas 2005. This is a 25% increase with sales in the run-up to Christmas 2004.
In a House of Common's committee investigation into the Government's switchover plan, Purnell
stated that the sales demonstrated that the digital switchover message was "starting to get out there".
Source: DTG Website


14 December 2005
Ofcom to review ASO progress in 2010
Ofcom has announced its plans to review the progress of digital switchover in 2010. This review will
take place two years before London is expected to end analogue broadcasting in 2012.
Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter stated that switchover in London could be delayed if switchover
prevented viewers from watching the London Olympic Games. The Games are to begin a few weeks
after London's analogue transmitters are due to be switched off.
According to Carter, this delay would be "manageable."
Already in July 2005, Barry Cox, chairman of Digital UK, warned that London's winning bid for the
2012 Olympic Games could delay digital switchover in the capital. Digital UK is the industry-funded
body charged with coordinating switchover programme.
According to Cox, "We are trying to work out how we handle it, effectively suspending work for a few
months. But if when it comes to it we do the regional roll-out a lot faster than planned, then we may
have switched over before the Games. It is a very complicated plan and you have to assume prudence
would tell us to delay it."
Source: DTG Website



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9 December 2005
Digital television accessed by over 65% of households
As of 30 September 2005, Ofcom estimates that 65.9% of households receive digital television
services in the United Kingdom. This is an increase of 2.9% compared with 30 June 2005 when digital
television penetration stood at 63%.
DTT registered a quarter of strong growth with the sale of over 1 million set top boxes and IDTVs.
This exceeded sales for the corresponding period in 2004 which stood at 660,000.
The total number of households relying on the DTT platform for their television reception is estimated
to have grown to around 5,775,000 by the end of September 2005. This is a quarterly increase of
almost 600,000.
Source: Ofcom


29 November 2005
Channel 4 acquires DTT slot
It has been confirmed that Channel 4 has acquired the new television programme service slot on the
DTT platform. The slot has been made available by multiplex operator National Grid Wireless.
The broadcaster is said to have paid £12 million a year for the slot. It will carry timeshift service
More4+1.
According to Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan, "Capacity on Freeview is a scarce commodity
and this deal allows us to accommodate our full current line-up of free channels on the platform and to
keep our options open for further channel launches in the future."
Source: DTG Website


21 November 2005
RTL investment in Top Up TV
Through its British subsidiary service, Channel Five, the RTL Group has made a strategic investment
in pay DTT service Top Up TV. This will allow Channel Five and RTL to explore opportunities to
launch further free and pay DTT services.
Five hopes that this will enable them to launch new DTT services in 2006. Already, Five is a
contender for a Freeview slot recently announced by National Grid Wireless (formerly Crown Castle).
According to David Chance, chairman of Top Up TV, "We have an excellent relationship with Five
and extending it in this way is a natural next step for our continued growth."
Source: advanced-television.com




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20 November 2005
Channel 4 likely Freeview slot winner
Accordng to reports in The Times, Channel 4 is thought to have acquired the Freeview slot recently
made available by network operator National Grid Wireless (formerly Crown Castle).
Channel 4 is believed to have agreed to pay more than £10 million a year for the 18-hour window,
which becomes available on 24 November. The slot will like host More4 before being replaced by a
new entertainment service in early 2006.
Channel 4 and other terrestrial analogue broadcaster Five had both sought the Freeview slot. This is
the most expensive Freeview auction to date.
Source: Digital Spy


17 November 2005
Ofcom to open Digital Dividend Review (DDR)
In the coming years, Ofcom will assess how the digital dividend can be used most efficiently in the
United Kingdom and how it should be auctioned with a view to ensuring that the spectrum is acquired
by users who are likely to make best use of it.
Ofcom plans on completing the following tasks:
- consider the potential uses for the available spectrum;
- set out the technical limits on spectrum use to prevent potential interference;
- draw up packages of frequencies that give flexibility to the market;
- design an efficient auction/allocation process.
Ofcom will hold a series of briefing seminars throughout 2006, with the first due to take place in
January or February. Ofcom will also work closely with the main Government departments with an
interest in the use of spectrum – the DTI, DCMS and the Treasury.
The proposed timetable is as follows:
Digital Dividend Review (DDR) begins - November 2005
Programme team and consultants in place - end 2005
Stakeholder meetings begin - Jan-Feb 2006
Outcome of RRC - June 2006
Digital Dividend Review completed - Q3 2006
Ofcom publishes final proposals - Q4 2006
Digital switchover programme begins - 2008
Digital switchover programme completed - 2012
Ofcom estimates that the digital switchover programme will release up to 112 MHz of spectrum in the
UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band for new uses.
Source: Ofcom Website



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11 November 2005
Freeview slot could be worth £10 million
Bids as high as £10 million have reportedly been lodged with mulitiplex operator National Grid
Wireless for its up-for-auction Freeview slot.
Bidders include ITV and Channel 4, which each won new slots in the last two auctions, as well as
Five, Disney, Sit Up TV, MTV Networks, Top-Up TV and Chart Show Group. At The Races, Ideal
Shopping Direct, Travel Channel and Quiz TV are also believed to have submitted bids.
Source: DTG Website


10 November 2005
BBC's Freesat may face delays
Set-top box manufacturers have warned that Freesat service proposed by the BBC and ITV may be
delayed for a year. The broadcasters have yet to provide detailed set-top box specifications to
manufacturers.
According to Paul Geurten, senior business manager for digital TV at Philips, "The only thing we've
heard up until now is that there has been a press release saying the BBC and ITV are starting a service
like [Sky's] Freesat."
ITV announced in September that it would work with the BBC in launching a free-to-view digital
satellite service in the first half of 2006.
Source: DTG Website


9 November 2005
BBC Two to lead analogue switch-off
BBC Two will be the first service to switch-off its analogue terrestrial television signal when the
process begins in 2008.
The analogue switch-off of BBC Two will be followed by a several week "grace period" before the
remaining four terrestrial channels cease analogue transmission.
According to Ford Ennals, chief executive Digital UK, "You'll probably have a ticker tape at the
bottom of your TV giving you a countdown as to when switchover happens. On the day after
switchover you'll be told that if you want to get BBC Two now it's available digitally for you and you
need to make sure you switch."
Analogue switch-off will take place on a regional level between 2008 - 2012.
Source: Digital Spy




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8 November 2005
BBC announces HDTV trials
In limited technical trials, the BBC is planning to simulcast highlights from its BBC ONE's schedule
in HDTV from mid-2006 on the major television platforms. While the first trials will use the satellite
and cable platforms, the BBC is also seeking to run an HDTV trial on the terrestrial platform.
The techical trial will likely take place in the London area. The BBC is considering to collaborate with
other broadcasters as part of this trial.
According to Jana Bennett, Director of Television, "High definition may take time to grow in Britain,
but as with the other technologies we helped to build, the BBC wants to prepare now to be able to
deliver the benefits of HD to all its licence payers in the long term."
The BBC trial will start on each platform once they become technically viable, and it is expected that
these trials will last for about a year. There will be no impact on any current standard service.
Source: BBC press release


3 November 2005
New Freeview slot available
National Grid Wireless (formerly Crown Castle) has made a new television programme service slot
available on Multiplex D.
Bidding has begun for the slot which has a minimum asking price of £5.5 million per year. Interested
broadcasters include Flextech, Viacom, Five, ITV, Channel 4 and Disney.
The slot will run for 18 hours per day, from 6.00 - 24.00. It is expected to become available on 1
December.
Source: Digital Spy


2 November 2005
Limited ASO timetable awareness
A survey conducted for the television retailer You Me TV has found that only 37% of viewers are
aware of the analogue switch-off timetable for their region. Awareness is lowest in Scotland and
among those aged over 60.
Analogue switch-off is set to take place region-by-region between 2008-2012. The Border television
region is set to launch the process in 2008 while the Channel region will become the last region to
switch-off its analogue terrestrial signals. Analogue switch-off in Scotland is scheduled to take place
in 2009.
Digital UK, the organisation tasked with coordinating the switchover, has stated that awareness is high
in the Border television region.
Of those surveyed, 62% said that the Government should assist households in paying for digital
switch-over while a third thought the BBC should provide support.


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Source: DTG Website


27 October 2005
Ofcom opens consultation on pay DTT
The broadcast regulator Ofcom has opened a consultation on the current provision on free-to-air
broadcasting as part of DTT multiplex licences.
The licences awarded to the Freeview consortium for multiplexes B, C and D contain the requirement
that services "shall be provided on a free to air basis save with prior consent from Ofcom." The other
multiplexes licensed by Ofcom (multiplexes 2 and A) do not carry this restriction.
Given the rapid development of the DTT platform as well as the successful pay DTT option, Ofcom
supports the removal of the "free-to-air only" requirement on multiplexes B, C and D on the basis that
it is no longer necessary.
Ofcom would like to remove regulation where it is not necessary and promote competition. It also
considers that finding the right balance between pay and free-to-air services can be left to multiplex
licensees.
Interested parties have until 12 January 2006 to respond to this consultation.
For further information, please see the Ofcom website


14 October 2005
Digital UK seeks advertising agency
Digital UK, the organisation tasked with coordinating Britain's 2008-2012 switchover timetable, is on
the hunt for an advertising agency to handle its consumer marketing campaign.
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was engaged two months ago to manage the rebranding of SwitchCo to
Digital UK. According to Campaign magazine, that contract has now ended and Digital UK chief
executive Ford Ennals is now inviting agencies to pitch for a two-year account.
Source: DTG website


14 October 2005
New appointment to Digital UK
Digital UK has appointed Jon Steel as the head of its media relations.
Most recently, Steel served as the commissioning editor responsible for publications and speeches in
the BBC's corporate communications team.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  203
11 October 2005
Crown Castle changes its name
Crown Castle UK is changing its name to National Grid Wireless. The move follows the acquisition
by National Grid Transco of Crown Castle UK in September 2004.
Steven Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of National Grid Wireless, commenting on the change of
name, said: "We are also continuing the development of the wireless infrastructure needed to meet the
growing demand for 3G services and the UK wide rollout of the digital terrestrial television network.
The new name emphasises our business and Group-wide commitment to delivering services safely,
responsibly, reliably and efficiently."
Source: advanced-television.com


9 October 2005
ITV and C4 to join Freeview consortium
ITV and Channel 4 are expected to announce that they are joining the consortium that promotes
Freeview. Membership of the consortium, which currently consists of the BBC, Crown Castle and
British Sky Broadcasting, will likely give the two broadcasters more of a say in the marketing of the
service.
The BBC's television promotion of Freeview has helped with its success. Additional on television
promotion by ITV and Channel 4 could provide an added impetus to the increasing momentum of the
platform, particularly in the run up to Christmas, which is seen as a key sales period.
The addition of ITV and Channel 4 to the Freeview consortium may also support any plans to market a
‗Freesat‘ free-to-air satellite service to compete with BSkyB.
Source: informitv


7 October 2005
ITV to change DTT line-up?
ITV has set 11 February as the launch date for its will new children's television programme service.
The service will draw on material from its daily CITV strand as well as new commissions and
acquisitions.
However, finding space on the DTT plaftorm for this new service will not be easy. It is likely that this
children's service will use the daytime hours of ITV4, another ITV service set to launch later this year.
The ITV News service may again be removed from the DTT platform in order to allow Men and
Motors to continue broadcasting after the launch of ITV4.
Source: Broadband TV News




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6 October 2005
Freeview 'to overtake Sky within two years'
According to research by media buyer Zenith Optimedia, Freeview will overtake Sky in 2008 to
become the largest digital television platform in the United Kingdom.
Their research claims that by 2008 Freeview will have 8.8 million households compared with Sky's
8.7 million households. Freeview is growing a much faster rate than originally anticipated.
According to the study, by the end of 2010 only 4% of British homes will rely on the analogue
television platform.
"The 2012 switch-off target looks eminently achievable, though the taxpayer may have to pay up to
convert the last analogue hold-outs," stated the report.
Source: DTG website


5 October 2005
Report claims fewer digital refusniks
Approximately 9% (or about 2.3 million) of homes will still have analogue TV sets in 2012, the
ultimate digital switchover date, according to a report issued by the media regulator Ofcom. This is
half the number of digital "refuseniks" predicted just two years ago.
The report, commissioned by Ofcom from Scientific Generics will likely be published in the coming
weeks.
According to Ford Ennals, head of Digital UK, "in the last year, 2.5 million more people in the UK
have gone digital with an 18% increase in the second quarter of this year." The government would like
as many people as possible to voluntarily take up digital television, but will provide financial
assistance to the elderly and disabled.
Digital UK was also heartened by a significant increase in awareness of digital TV after it ran its first
national print advertisements following the government's announcement on the digital switchover
timetable.
According to a weekly poll conducted by BMRB, awareness of switchover jumped from 50% to 68%
in the week following theannouncement.
Source: The Guardian


30 September 2005
EPG reshuffle set for October
Changes are planned for the EPG on DTT platform, Freeview, on Tuesday, 18 October. This will be
the biggest change to the EPG layout since the launch of Freeview in 2002.
The biggest challenge will be to encourage viewers to rescan their set-top boxes and iDTVs. One
planned measures is to put pop up messages on the display screen as of the evening on 18 October.



                                                   205
As part of the new EPG, radio services will move to positions 700+, pushing the interactive streams to
300+. Children‘s programming moves to 70-79, while news moves to 80-89. The Adult channels
move to 97 and 98. Teletext and other interactive services will occupy 100+.
Source: Digital Spy


23 September 2005
DVB-H trial to begin in Oxford
The commercial DVB-H trial in the Oxford region is set to launch next week. 400 viewers in the area
will be able to access 16 television programme services.
Trial partners include Nokia, Arqiva and O2. The Nokia handsets used will incorporate a specially
designed programme guide that will allow viewers to set an alarm notifying them when selected shows
begin.
The trial is scheduled to run for six months.
Source: VNUnet.com


22 September 2005
Sky to launch new service on Freeview platform
BSkyB has confirmed plans to launch a new service on the Freeview. The new service, to be named
Sky Three, will replace the currently existing Sky Travel service.
The new service will offer general entertainment. It will also enable Sky to benefit from the growing
Freeview audience.
According to Sky Network's managing director Dawn Airey, "by launching simultaneously on
Freeview, Sky Three will reach an even wider audience and offer digital terrestrial viewers the
opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of popular programmes from Sky."
Source: DTG Website


19 September 2005
Switch-over budget to be agreed
The budget for Digital UK, the non-profit organisation tasked with coordinating digital switch-over, is
yet to be agreed. However, according to its chief executive Ford Ennals, the initial estimates of £300
million are "likely to be too high."
Digital UK came to the forefront last week following the announcement by culture secretary Tessa
Jowell confirming the 2008-2012 region-by-region switchover timetable proposed by Ofcom.
Ennals stressed that Digital UK will not favour any particular delivery platform.
Source: DTG Website




                                                  206
16 September 2005
Digital UK formally launched
With the government's confirmation of its digital switch-over plans, Digital UK has officially launched
its operations. Digital UK, previously known as Switchco, will coordinate digital switch-over.
Digital UK will launch a major national information campaign to raise public awareness of
switchover. In addition, every household in each region will receive two written notification of the
switch-over plans. A web site (DigitalUK.co.uk) and information line have also been set-up.
Source: DTG website


16 September 2005
Government confirms analogue switch-off timetable
In a keynote presentation to members of the Royal Television Society (RTS), Culture secretary Tessa
Jowell has confirmed the timetable for the completion of digital switchover.
Proposed digital switch-over timeline:
- Border: 2008 (2nd half)
- West Country: 2009 (1st half)
- HTV Wales: 2009 (2nd half)
- Granada 2009 (2nd half)
- HTV West: 2010 (1st half)
- Grampian: 2010 (1st half)
- Scotland: 2010 (2nd half)
- Yorkshire: 2011 (1st half)
- Anglia: 2011 (1st half)
- Central: 2011 (1st half)
- Meridian: 2012 (1st half)
- Carlton/LWT: 2012 (1st half)
- Tyne Tees: 2012 (2nd half)
- Ulster: 2012 (2nd half)
- Channel: To be announced
Jowell said that a support scheme funded by the BBC through the licence fee would help purchase
digital equipment for households with one person aged 75 or over, or households with one person with
a significant disability. Low income households would receive some form of assistance in a scheme to
be determined by the BBC and the Government.
Switchover will be co-ordinated by Digital UK, the industry-funded body formerly known as
SwitchCo.
Source: DTG website



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15 September 2005
Digital television household penetration reaches 63%
In a report published by Ofcom, the number of digital households increased from 61.9% in the first
quarter of 2005 to 63% in the second quarter of the year.
Over 700,000 DTT set-top boxes and iDTVs were sold within the second quarter compared with
496,000 of sales during the second quarter of 2004.
Ofcom estimates that the number of DTT only homes has grown to almost 5,178,000 by the end of
June 2005. This is an increase of over 118,000 homes compared to the first quarter of the year. Ofcom
estimates that 7,892,500 DTT set-top boxes and iDTVs have been sold.
Source: Ofcom website


8 September 2005
BBC/ITV Freesat confirmed
The BBC and ITV have confirmed the launch a free-to-view satellite service. It is likely to be
launched in early 2006.
Freesat will carry the television programme services of the BBC and ITV including radio and
interactive services. Other services on the Freeview platform may also be included.
The satellite service will complement Freeview's coverage. According to BBC director general Mark
Thompson, this announcement "paves the way" for nationwide free digital television.
ITV's Chief Executive Charles Allen also confirmed that ITV will broadcasting its services on the Sky
digital platform "in the clear" in the next few months. ITV currently encrypts its transmissions via
satellite, using the service provided by Sky.
Source: advanced-television.com


6 September 2005
Talks underway for Freesat
It is reported that ITV and the BBC have held advanced talks about a partnership for a free satellite
television service. Plans may be announced within the next two months.
Previously, the BBC had been in discussion with Sky for a similar service. However, a service had not
been formally proposed by both organisations.
With ITV, BBC and other broadcasters on the Freeview platform, the Freesat offering may be able to
offer an attractive proposition.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                 208
1 September 2005
New report on spectrum usage
The Independent Audit of Spectrum Holdings has commissioned a report from consultants Analysys
Mason on future commercial demand for spectrum.
The report makes scenario-based demand projections focusing on the next 10 years but extending to
20 years, for cellular, fixed link, broadband wireless access, satellite and terrestrial TV broadcasting
services, and concentrating on the major uses and users of the spectrum below 15GHz.
Led by Professor Martin Cave, the Independent Audit of Spectrum Holdings has been tasked by the
government to conduct a comprehensive audit of spectrum usage with the aim of releasing the
maximum amount of spectrum to the market and increasing opportunities for the development of
innovative new services.
Source: Independent Audit of Spectrum website


25 August 2005
Government set to approve switch-over plans
In an interview with Broadcast, Creative Industries Minister James Purnell has stated that the
government is sset to confirm the region-by-region digital switch-over timetable proposed by Ofcom.
It is likely that Culture Minister Tessa Jowell will confirm the timetable during her presentation to the
Royal Television Society's Cambridge convention. Following this announcement, SwitchCo will begin
its £300 million advertising campaign to prepare viewers for digital switch-over.
The advertising campaign will be in time for Christmas sales.
Source: DTG website


24 August 2005
Survey shows more ASO communications needed
A survey conducted by the London Business School has found that 60% of executives interviewed in
the television industry are not aware of the government's analogue switch-off plans.
In addition, 41% of executives felt that not enough activities were being undertaken to educate
industry executives about the switch-over process. The report gathered opinions from executives in
leading broadcast companies, including the BBC, ITV, BSkyB and Channel Four.
Source: advanced-television.com


22 August 2005
BSkyB attacks BBC's Freeview promotion
In its submission to the Government's review of the BBC's funding and regulation, BSkyB claims that
the BBC's apparent favouring of the DTT platform over other digital platforms such as satellite and
cable contravenes European Commission rules on state aid.


                                                  209
According to reports, BSkyB's submission claims that "the proposed obligations on the BBC to build
out the DTT network using state funds clearly merits careful scrutiny by the European Commission."
The BBC has denied favouring the DTT platform.
Source: DTG website


19 August 2005
VLV calls for free satellite service
The broadcast lobby group Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV) has repeated its call for the
Government to back a free-to-air satellite service.
According to VLV chairwoman Jocelyn Hay, more than 5 million homes (27.5%) can not receive
Freeview. This leaves many viewers with the options of either using BSkyB's subscription service or
free satellite service costing £150 for installation and viewing card.
Hay has thus called on the Government to team with Ofcom, ITV, Channel 4 and Five in order to
enable the launch of "an independent free-to-air digital satellite service along the lines of Freeview".
Already in June, VLV published a policy paper calling for a free-to-air satellite service.
Source: DTG website


19 August 2005
New children's programme from ITV
ITV is set to launch a free-to-air children's television programme service on Freeview within the next
six months. It will share the slot recently allocated to ITV4.
The new ITV service compete with the BBC's two children's offering - CBeebies and CBBC. The
name of the new service has not yet been determined.
According to Nigel Pickard, ITV director of programmes, it "is a great opportunity for ITV to
reinforce its position as a valued and trusted provider of children's programming in an increasingly
competitive market and to bring ITV to a new generation of viewers."
ITV seeks to distribute the new service on the digital cable and satellite platforms.
Source: advanced-television.com


17 August 2005
ITV purchase of SDN approved
The Office of Fair Trading has approved ITV's £134 million acquisition of Freeview multiplex
operator SDN.
In April, ITV had announced its purchase of SDN, which operates 10 digital terrestrial television
programme services, including Five, QVC, UKTV Gold, ABC1, Discovery and Cartoon Network, on
its multiplex.



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With its acquisition of SDN, ITV will receive revenues from the services on its multiplex, as well as
have the opportunity to launch more digital services in the future.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 August 2005
Report on digital switch-over for housing sector
The Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) has published a Good Practice Briefing on
Digital Switchover together with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The report sets out the implications of digital switchover for the housing sector, giving clear and
objective advice on the options available. It is aimed at housing professionals - social and private
sector landlords, managing agents, housing management and technical staff - who are responsible for
the management, procurement and maintenance of properties.
While of particular relevancy for professionals who are responsible for properties that have communal
TV systems, the report may also be of interest to residents' groups who want to discuss digital switch-
over with their landlord and managing agent.
Source: Digital Television website


8 August 2005
Xtraview to end on August 31
Top Up TV's television programme service, Xtraview, is to close down at the end of August. The
service, available for £1-per-day, allowed viewers to test a sample of the services offered by Top Up
TV.
According to a Top Up TV spokeswoman, "it was always the case that Xtraview was a temporary
service to allow Freeview customers to sample Top Up TV. Xtraview has been extremely successful
and we look forward to exciting projects ahead."
Source: Digital Spy


7 August 2005
BBC agrees to help "vulnerable" with digital switch-over
The BBC has agreed to help vulnerable segments of the population switch to digital television. As part
of the agreement, the BBC will set aside £400 million.
According to news reports, the BBC will also receive funds in order to take on a leadership role in
digital switch-over. It is possible that the additional funding may be provided by an increase in the
license fee.
A spokeswoman for the government stated that "the BBC has already volunteered to play a leadership
role in the process of digital switchover. It will help the most vulnerable to cope with switchover. The



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vast majority of citizens will need only a source of good information to help them through switchover.
However, we are fully aware that some people will need more than information.
Source: The Business Online


28 July 2005
Norfolk campaigns for better DTT reception
Councils across Norfolk are lobbying the government to improve Freeview reception in the area.
Approximately 35% of households in Norfolk can access DTT services, while, on the national level,
DTT coverage is possible for 75% of households.
The Norfolk County Council has addressed a joint letter to the culture minister Tessa Jowell in the
hopes of bringing the issue to her attention.
Many Norfolk residents live in weak reception areas and may need to wait until analogue switchoff in
2010 before they can access Freeview service.
Source: Digital Spy


27 July 2005
New sports service on Top Up TV
Pay-lite operator Top Up TV has announced that Sentanta Sports will broadcast on its DTT platform.
Setanta plans to offer live pay-per-view Scottish Premier League matches.
Setanta Sports began broadcasting on 27 July. Coverage will initially be limited to the Scottish and
Grampian regions before progressing to a national roll-out in the Autumn.
The new service will offer live coverage of the 38 Scottish Premier League matches as well as pre-
match information. Each football match will be charged £6 or £8.
Source: Digital Spy


21 July 2005
Results of digital switch-over trial
Following the digital switch-over trial in Ferryside and Llansteffan, the government has published a
report on the results. The report shows that the trial was an success and received overwhelming
support from participants.
The report and accompanying research that the trial was achieved on schedule and without any major
transmission issues. Other results include:
- 81% of trial participants were able to install their equipment without help from the trial team.
- Friends and neighbours have an important role to play in helping people switch to digital. - 99.2% of
respondents to the end-of-trial questionnaire voted to keep digital television.
- New technology was embraced by all ages, with people over 90 years old using digital recording
facilities.


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A second report was prepared based on research conducted on vulnerable households.
Source: Digital Television Project


21 July 2005
Commons committee to probe switch-over
The new House of Commons media committee has announced an inquiry into plans to switch off
analogue terrestrial transmitters between 2008 and 2012. Headed by Tory MP John Whittingdale, the
committee will scrutinise the Government's policies on digital switchover.
The new committee stated its interest in receiving evidence on:
- The policy objectives and economic benefits of digital switchover, and the relative roles of the
different platforms in the delivery of digital television
- The feasibility of, and the steps needed towards achieving switchover to the Government's timetable
and with sufficient geographical coverage
- The costs associated with the digital switchover process and how these are to be met
- The protection of vulnerable groups in terms of financial and practical assistance.
Source: DTG website


20 July 2005
Switch-over becomes big business
Millions of pounds worth of contracts will be up for grabs as work gets underway to prepare digital
switch-over. Switchco has stated that it expects to tender the contracts for these services 'with the next
few months'.
A wide range of marketing and consumer support services will be contracted, for an expected total
value of £18 million per year.
The following services will be needed:
- management of a call centre operation to field enquiries from the public on digital switch-over
- media planning and buying
- consumer public relations, market research and public affairs services
Source: DM Europe


15 July 2005
Arqiva buys Inmedia
Arqiva is expanding its business with the acquisition of Inmedia Communications from The Carlyle
Group for £68.5 million. The company says the combined business will offer a broader capability and
enhanced customer service.




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There is some overlap in the two businesses, with both offering satellite uplink facilities. Although
both also have studio facilities available, Inmedia has made the greater play for start-up channels and
in addition benefits from a more international client base.
Source: Broadband TV News


15 July 2005
ITV4 set for launch in November
Commercial broadcaster ITV is to launch a new television programme service aimed at male viewers
on 1 November 1.
ITV4 will feature a mix of American and British drama, comedy, movies, sport, sci-fi and factual
programming. It is designed to complement the programming of sister services ITV1, ITV2 and ITV3.
With its new offering, ITV hopes to widen its audience base by appealling to a more male audience
than ITV2 and a younger audience than ITV3 (25-44).
The new service will likely be included on the slot allocated to ITV in April on the DTT Freeview
platform.
Source: advanced-television.com


14 July 2005
SwitchCo banks on games
Switchco, the organisation responsible for co-ordinating digital switch-over, is looking for an
advertising agencies. Agencies have been asked to provide a proposal to promote the 2012 Big Switch
project.
The project seeks to highlight the greater choice and interactivity available with digital television in
the context of the Olympic Games to be held in London.
The government is anxious to convert the digital refuseniks and avoid becoming unpopular by
rendering television sets useless just as the Olympic Games begin.
Source: advanced-television.com


13 July 2005
Ofcom publishes Market report
In its second annual Communications Market report, Ofcom has identified a range of new trends in
communications services.
More than 60% of British households receive digital television. Every month more than 250,000
households switch to digital for the first time or purchase additional set-top boxes for their home. In
2004, 70% of digital television growth was driven by Freeview. By the end of 2004, almost 20% of
households (4.6 million) received digital television via Freeview alone.



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In 2004, total revenues in the British communications market were £55.9 billion, accounting for 4.1%
of GDP. The majority of this was derived from telecommunications, although the television industry
experienced the fastest revenue growth (up 9% from £9.3 billion in 2003 to £10.1 billion in 2004),
mainly driven by increased consumer spending on subscriptions, teleshopping and interactive services.
The combination of mass-market appeal, rapid growth, falling prices, increasing connection speeds
and innovation in video technology means that by 2010, the number of households able to view
television over broadband is likely to exceed the number of households dependent on analogue
terrestrial broadcasts for all their television viewing.
Source: Ofcom website


6 July 2005
IDTVs, Freeview boxes top reliability league
A survey of 14,000 homes, consumer magazine, Which?, suggests that consumers are happy with the
reliability of their widescreen integrated digital television sets (IDTVs) and Freeview set-top boxes.
IDTVs had a high reliability rating, with just 4% up to six years old needing a repair while 10% of
non-IDTVs needed to be repaired in the same period. Of the five IDTV brands in the survey, Sony
came top when members were asked whether they would definitely recommend their brand of
widescreen IDTV to a friend, with 59% of 396 Sony owners saying yes. Which? magazine's best buy
IDTV was the Sony KD28DX200.
The survey found 94% of respondents' Freeview set-top boxes up to four years old had not required
any repairs. Nokia and Sony boxes were the best performers.
Source: DTG Website


5 July 2005
ASO to benefit Freeview
In a YouGov poll of industry executives attending the Edinburgh International TV festival in August,
62% of respondents indicated that Freeview is best placed to benefit from government plans to switch-
off the terrestrial analogue transmissions in 2012.
Only 22% indicated that Sky Digital will benefit from analogue switch-off while 10% opted for cable.
In a poll conducted two years ago, 56% thought Sky would become the dominant commercial force in
broadcasting.
Six in ten respondents also indicated in the YouGov that Freeview would overtake Sky Digital within
five years. But six in ten respondents also indicated that Freeview needed to improve its programme
offering.
Source: DTG Website




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1 July 2005
Intellect calls for switch-over timetable
The Director General of electronics consumer group Intellect, John Higgins, called for certainty
around the digital switchover timetable. He confirmed that for industry to respond and support
switchover, it is necessary to have a confirmed timetable as soon as possible.
Intellect considers Autumn 2005 to be the cut off point in terms of manufacturer preparation and
consumer education. It calls on Government to:
1. Provide certainly in the form of a Government announcement which confirms the switchover
timetable and Government‘s commitment to it.
2. Support and promote the digital tick logo (DTV logo) along with SwitchCo and the BBC.
Higgins stated that "if consumers are to make the correct purchasing decisions then effective public
information is vital. In 2004 the UK consumer electronics industry sold around 5.5 million analogue
televisions, 3.5 million set top boxes and 500,000 integrated digital TVs (idTVs)."
Source: Public Technology.net


30 June 2005
DTT trial for elderly
Broadcast Minister James Purnell announced the Government's plans for a trial to assess the impact
that switching to digital television will have an elderly and vulnerable people.
The trial will involve 250-300 households with residents over the age of 75. The trial will attempt to
assess the most effective ways to offer assistance to vulnerable segments of the population during the
switch-over process. Methods to be piloted include leaflet distribution, telephone helplines and support
from carers and social workers.
In addition, potential problems that participants may encounter with electronic programme guides and
remote controls will also be addressed. It has not yet been announced when the trial will begin.
Source: DTG Website


28 June 2005
Ofcom publishes its approach to spectrum management
Ofcom has set out its approach to the future management of radio spectrum in the United Kingdom in
its Spectrum Framework Review.
The Review advocates a market-led approach to managing spectrum. This is in contrast to the previous
regime under which the regulator decided the type of organisation that should have access to specific
parts of the spectrum, and how they should be used.
The Spectrum Framework Review set out four key recommendations:
- Allow the market to decide on the best use and user for much of the spectrum.



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- Allow licence holders to trade spectrum in an open market and change the use they make of it in
order to develop new technologies and offer innovative services.
- Clearly define the rights of spectrum users, giving them the confidence to plan for the future.
- Increase the amount of licence-exempt spectrum where feasible and appropriate to allow businesses
to develop new technologies and services without the need for a licence.
Over time, Ofcom stated that it apply this market-led approach to more than 70% of the radio
spectrum. In addition, it will continue to monitor and act against interference between spectrum users.
Trading and liberalisation will be introduced in a phased way, with Ofcom's intervention taking place
when necessary to make sure that these initiatives do not result in excessive harmful interference for
other users.
While not providing a plan for the use of spectrum following digital switch-over, Ofcom recommends
the use of market mechanisms in order to allocate the available frequencies. Ofcom has, at this stage,
noted its preference for technology neutral auction process.
Source: Ofcom website


17 June 2005
Cable and DTT to bid for soccer rights?
According to the Financial Times, terrestrial broadcasters and cable operators, NTL and Telewest, are
considering to make a joint offer for the live television rights of Premier League football. This is a
direct challenge to BSkyB which paid £1.1bn for its existing three year deal. The pay DTT service
Top Up TV would like to broadcast live Premier League games on its platform.
In addition, the European Commission would like the live coverage of Premiership football shown on
multiple platforms. Already, the EC and the League have agreed that the next contract will not be held
exclusively by one broadcaster.
Source: advanced-television.com


14 June 2005
ITV DTT deal faces scrutiny
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the British fair trade regulator, is to investigate the purchase of
DTT multiplex operator SDN by commercial broadcaster ITV. The £134m deal between ITV and
SDN was made in April.
Source: advanced-television.com




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10 June 2005
Strong increase in number of DTT households
Ofcom published its Digital Television Update for Q1 2005 which showed that digital television
penetration has reached 61.9% of UK households. This is an increase of 2.5% points from 59.4% from
the previous quarter.
According to the report, the number of DTT-only households saw a strong increase at the end of
March 2005, with DTT households now estimated to have passed the 5 million mark for the first time
(estimated 5,059,350). This is an increase of 466,430, from 4,592,920 at the end of the previous
quarter, December 2004.
In calculating DTT households, Ofcom has made an adjustment to take into account the number of
households which have digital television on more than one set. Latest estimates suggest that 25% of
Freeview set-top boxes are in households that already have digital (either Freeview, Sky or cable) on
their main set. Sky and cable subscriber figures already account for multi-set users.
Source: Ofcom website


8 June 2005
New name for ntl Broadcast
Following the sale in December 2004 of ntl Broadcast to Australia's Macquarie Communications
Infrastructure Group, a new name and corporate identity for the transmission company has been
unveiled. ntl Broadcast will now be known as Arqiva.
Arqiva CEO Tom Bennie said: "This is a strong and thriving company with a proud heritage of
innovation and technical firsts in the broadcast and mobile communications industries. Arqiva stands
for the 'energy' behind the 'connections' we provide to our customers and represents the talented and
committed individuals at the heart of our business."
Source: DTG website


3 June 2005
MGt wins Freeview contract
MGt has secured a new two-year contract to provide a package of customer-related services to
Freeview, the DTT consortium, backed by the BBC, BSkyB and Crown Castle.
The Scottish company will use its Profile CRM system to assist in calls from potential Freeview
customers often requiring just a simple postcode check. These and other routine enquiries will be
answered via advanced speech recognition (ASR) technology.
A dedicated team of customer service agents will deal with more complex queries. MGt will manage
the service and technology integration in partnership with other suppliers including Fluency, Opal
Telecom and Linney Direct.
Source: Broadband TV News


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2 June 2005
Eurosport on Top Up TV
Top Up TV, the pay-lite offering on the DTT platform, will soon offer British Eurosport as part of its
package. Eurosport replaces E4 following a decision by Channel 4 to make their service available on
the free platform.
Eurosport plans to broadcast for nine hours each day, between 14.00 - 23.00 and will show a range of
sports, including motorsport, athletics and women's football.
Source: advanced-television.com


1 June 2005
Ofcom publishes statement on DTT coverage plans
Ofcom has set out coverage plans for DTT transmission following digital switchover. Based on a wide
range of options related to the technical conditions for DTT broadcasting, Ofcom has decided the
following:
- Anticipated DTT coverage to reach at least the same proportion of households (98.5 per cent) after
switchover as are currently reached by analogue television broadcasts;
- extra capacity for additional services on DTT for viewers which could be used for interactive
services, radio, television or other services such as HDTV.
Source: Ofcom website


31 May 2005
E4 joins Freeview
Multiplex operator Crown Castle has confirmed that Channel 4 has secured the latest vacant space on
Freeview. As a result of "improvements in infrastructure technology," Channel 4's television service
programme E4 is being made available on multiplex C from 1 June.
ITV has secured one extra slot via this method, and at least two more slots are now rumoured to
follow.
Source: Digital Spy


27 May 2005
Top Up looks to replace E4
The UK's digital terrestrial pay-TV operator, Top Up TV, has reportedly drawn up a shortlist of
television service programmes to replace Channel 4's former pay service E4 in its premium line-up.E4
is moving to Freeview, the free-to-air DTT platform, along with E4+1.
Source: DTG website




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11 May 2005
Survey suggests low switchover awareness
Research for Ofcom's independent consumer panel shows that, in a survey of 2,500 adults, fewer than
one in three has heard of the term 'digital switchover'. And just one adult in five is able to correctly
describe the meaning of digital switchover.
The survey, conducted last October, found awareness and understanding is lowest for those aged 65 or
over, and for those in low-income households.Among those aged over 65, 78% are unaware of
switchover. Among rural households unawareness is running at 70% compared with 75% unawareness
for those in dense urban areas.
Source: DTG website


4 May 2005
Cabot sets its sights on European digital TV market
Following a second successive year of record growth, UK digital TV software company Cabot
Communications has announced its strategy to conquer the European digital TV market. The company
already dominates the UK DTT software market, with over 60% of all free-to-air digital set top boxes
running on its DTV middleware. Cabot plans to match this success with a 20% share in the European
market by 2010.
The rapid expansion of the European digital TV market fuelled impressive growth for Cabot in FY
2004/05, with annual turnover increasing by 139%, to £4m, with profits of £450k. This growth was
driven by demand for its pan-European digital TV stack, Aurora, which meets the unique transmission
requirements of every European DTT network, significantly reducing software development costs and
speeding up product launches for set top box and digital TV manufacturers.
In the last six months, Cabot has secured a number of contracts with leading manufacturers, including
JVC, and is now active in over 10 countries, including France, Germany, Sweden and Finland.
In order to meet future demand from manufacturers, Cabot increased its staff in FY 2004/05, from 31
to over 65 people. The company invested in a new customer service centre in Urla, Turkey, and
increased its core development team by five senior engineers.
Cabot has been active in interactive content creation, delivery and services for over ten years. Its TV
stack is currently deployed in over three million digital receivers across Europe. The company was one
of the pioneering contributors to the MHEG-5 UK interactive standard and is an active participant in a
number of digital TV forums, including DTG, DVN and DigiTAG.
Source: Cabot press release


3 May 2005
ITV 'interested in Top Up TV'



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After reaching a deal for Freeview multiplex operator SDN, ITV is rumoured to be interested in pay-
TV service Top Up TV, which offers Freeview subscribers the chance to watch additional channels for
a monthly fee.
The Financial Mail quoted an un-named company source saying ITV "would be happy to look at the
details of the business if its founders were looking to sell it". Top Up TV is thought to have around
150,000 subscribers, and approaching the break-even target of 250,000.
Source: DTG website


28 April 2005
Ofcom publishes final statement on broadcasting transmission services
Ofcom has published its final decision for its broadcasting transmission services market review. It has
concluded that Crown Castle and ntl:broadcasting hold positions of significant market power (―SMP")
for the provision of access to the mast and site network used for providing analogue and/or digital
terrestrial broadcasting transmission services within the United Kingdom. As such, Ofcom has
imposed the following conditions on Crown Castle and ntl broadcasting:
- requirement to provide network access to their respective masts and sites on reasonable request;
- requirement not to unduly discriminate in that provision of network access;
- requirement to provide network access to their respective masts and sites on cost-orientated terms;
- requirement to publish a Reference Offer for that provision of network access.
Source: Ofcom website


27 April 2005
ITV acquires Freeview multiplex
In a deal worth £134 million, ITV has purchased SDN, a DTT multiplex operator. SDN is licenced to
broadcast television service programmes on Multiplex A, one of the six multiplexes available for the
DTT platform.
Multiplex A currently broadcasts 10 television service programmes including Channel 5, Disney and
QVC. ITV has five television service programmes on Freeview - on Multiplex 2 and Multiplex D.
Source: ITV press release and DTG News


26 April 2005
E4 launch on Freeview
Channel 4 has announced that it will launch its digital entertainment channel, E4, on the Freeview
platform to coincide with the start of the sixth series of Big Brother at the end of May. The broadcaster
also announced that it will also launch time-shifted channel, E4 +1, on Freeview.




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E4 will continue to be avaiable on cable and satellite. Following on its existing deal with BSkyB, E4
will continue to transmit on satellite as part of the Sky Digital package. However, E4 will withdraw
from the Top Up TV package, a pay DTT service.
Source: Digital Spy


25 April 2005
Top Up tests 'pay-per-day' service
DTT pay operator, Top Up TV, is trying a new 'pay-per-day' service called Xtra. The new service will
allow viewers to call a premium rate line in order to authorise the £1-a-day payment for the service
and thus eliminate the need for a smartcard.
According to Top Up co-founder David Chance, this would be a "cheap and flexible service".
Source: DTG website


22 April 2005
Price rise for average Freeview units
The average price of Freeview set-top boxes is on the increase, buoyed by the increasing popularity of
combi receivers, PVRs and Top-Up-TV compatible units. The average price of a Freeview receiver
has risen substantially, from £85 last autumn, to £90 today. Simultaneously, the price for a basic
Freeview unit continues to fall, from £66 last November, to £61 in April 2005.
Source: Broadband TV News


14 April 2005
Analogue switch-off plans in next three months
Ofcom has announced that it will publish its planning options for digital switchover in the next three
months.
Ofcom will "ensure mechanisms are in place to achieve switchover between 2008 and 2012 and that
the resulting release of spectrum is dealt with in a way that is market driven as far as possible and
consistent with Ofcom's strategic approach".
However, it will not announce the use of specturum released by switchover until after the Regional
Radio Conference in June 2006.
Source: advanced-television.com


13 April 2005
SwitchCo officially launched
Formed at Government's request, SwitchCo is made up of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, five, Teletext and
S4C and the digital terrestrial television multiplex operators Crown Castle UK Ltd and SDN.



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They will provide funding and be represented on SwitchCo's management board alongside two
representatives from the supply side of the industry (receiver manufacturers, retailers and aerial
installers). SwitchCo will work closely with the DCMS, the DTI and Ofcom.
Barry Cox will serve as chairman while Ford Ennals, previously from Universal Music, will serve as
chief executive. Andy Townend, former controller of distribution at the BBC, will become director of
commercial and business affairs.
Source: SwitchCo press release


13 April 2005
More Freeview slots available
Crown Castle is expected to make three new slots available on the Freeview platform by the end of the
year. Crown Castle holds the licence to two of the six multiplexes used for the DTT.
It is reported that the additional capacity has been achieved through the use of more efficient video
compression technology.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 March 2005
First switch-off in Wales
The analogue transmission to 460 homes in the Welsh villages of Ferryside and Llansteffan will be
switched off this week. This will be the first area to switch-off analogue television in the United
Kingdom.
A survey of the 1,200-strong population found that 98% of respondents want to switch to digital
permanently.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 March 2005
Digital television penetration just under 60%
Ofcom has published its Digital Television Update for the fourth quarter of 2004. The update shows
that by 31 December 2004 a total of 59.4% of UK households received digital television compared
with 55.9% at 30 September 2004.
The number of DTT households is estimated to be around 4,592,920. At the end of September 2004,
the number of DTT households was estimated to be 3,914,920. This means that the number of DTT
households increased by 678,000 in the fourth quarter of 2004.
An adjustment has been made to the DTT platform estimate to account for the number of households
which have more than one television receiving digital broadcasts. Latest estimates suggest that 25% of
sales of Freeview set-top boxes in the last quarter of 2004 were bought for use with second televisions
by households which already receive digital broadcasts.


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Source: Ofcom website


24 March 2005
ITV gets extra Freeview channel
As expected, ITV has obtained one of the two remaining vacant Freeview slots in a deal worth more
than £5 million. Channel 4 is reported to be "on the brink" of signing up for the final slot. Crown
Castle has awarded ITV the first 18-hour slot, on which it plans to launch a version of Men & Motors
from 1 April.
Source: advanced-television.com


15 March 2005
BBC attacked for Freeview ads
According to Intellect, a trade body for electronics manufacturers, the BBC is misleading consumers
and hampering progress towards the digital switchover by pushing cheap Freeview boxes.
With its recent campaigns using the tagline of "you can teach an old television new tricks", Intellect
believes that the BBC encourages viewers to purchase a cheap set-top box rather than a digital
television set or more sophisticated set-top boxes.
Laurence Harrison, the consumer electronics director at Intellect, said: "We feel very strongly that the
BBC should be focusing more on widening consumer choice, rather than taking consumers down the
narrow road of the set-top box and the £50 option."
Source: The Guardian


7 March 2005
New Freeview slot may be available
According to news reports, Crown Castle may be ready to invite bids for new television programme
service slot on its digital terrestrial multiplex C. In late January, broadcasters submitted bids to Crown
Castle for a service slot available in its multiplex D. Bidding reportly reached £5 million.
Source: advanced-television.com


7 March 2005
Switchover plan approval by end 2005
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has stated that key decisions on the timing of the switchover to DTT
will be taken by the end of 2005. While Ofcom has already proposed a timetable for the analogue
signal to be switched off region by region between 2008 and 2012, the Government has yet to commit
itself to final details for the plan.
Source: DTG website



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14 Feb 2005
Top Up on target?
The Chairman of Top Up TV, the pay DTT component in the United Kingdom, has told a trade paper
that its number of subscribers is "going according to plan". While very cagey about numbers, it is
believed that Top Up TV has approximately 150,000 subscribers.
Source: advanced-television.com


10 Feb 2005
Costs and benefits of digital switchover
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have issued a
report evaluating the cost and benefits to the United Kingdom of completing digital switch-over. The
report shows that overall benefit of analogue switch off by 2012 at between £1 billion and £2.9 billion
in today‘s money.
These results give a clear message that switching-off, rather than maintaining dual transmission
systems, is in the economic interest of the UK. While a preferred year for analogue switch-off does not
exist, it would be better to do so sooner rather than later.
Source: Digital Television Project


9 Feb 2005
Ofcom digital switchover update
Ofcom has published its most detailed proposals for digital switchover. It includes a region-by-region
timetable starting with Border, Westcountry and HTV Wales, all of which are due to be completed by
the end of 2008. The report also includes an important analysis of the transmission options available.
Source: Ofcom website


5 Feb 2005
Teachers' TV launches on DTT
Teachers‘ TV, a television service aimed at education professionals, is launching on digital television
in the UK. Broadcast around the clock on satellite, cable and broadband, the television service will be
available on the terrestrial television network at night.
It will be supported by a web site, with downloadable resources including lesson plans and
worksheets, and many programmes will also be available online.
With an annual budget of £20 million, Teachers‘ TV is funded by the government but editorially
independent.
Source: Informitv




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3 Feb 2005
MP's praise BBC's role in Freeview
An influential committee of MPs has praised the BBC's role in rescuing the UK's digital terrestrial
platform, and the way it then set about promoting Freeview.
In its first report on BBC spending, the Public Accounts Committee stated: "When ITV Digital went
into administration in 2002, there was widespread uncertainty about the future of digital terrestrial
television. The BBC's investment helped ensure that digital terrestrial television continued and was
available subscription-free."
Source: DTG Website


28 Jan 2005
Bidding war for new Freeview slot?
ITV and Channel 4, may face a bid battle of several million pounds in order to acquire a newly
available Freeview channel. Sealed bids, due next week, may also be submitted by US networks ABC
and NBC. Demand for DTT is rising and, based on BBC estimates, 5 million households have
Freeview.
Source: advanced-television.com


21 Jan 2005
New Freeview slot available
Channel 4, Five, and Disney could be among the bidders for a new channel being made available on
Freeview. Crown Castle is making the space available for an additional programme service channel,
which could start broadcasting on 1 April.
Crown, which owns two of the six multiplexes used to transmit the service, said technology
developments made it possible to squeeze in the new channel alongside the existing 31 services.
Source: advanced-television.com


16 Jan 2005
Freeview reaches five million households
It is estimated that the Christmas sales have taken the total number of Freeview households up to the
five million milestone. The BBC estimates that 1.5m digital terrestrial receivers were sold in the UK in
the three months up to 25 December, with sales reaching 190,000 a week in the run-up to Christmas.
Source: informitv.com


13 Jan 2005
Increase in profits for Freeview shopping channel



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Ideal Shopping Direct says that its profit is likely to reach £4 million (€5.7m) following the launch of
its Freeview channel last April. There are currently just four shopping channels on the UK digital
terrestrial platform as opposed to more than 40 on Sky Digital.
Source: Broadband TV News


23 Dec 2004
Spectrum trading and liberalisation to begin
Ofcom has introducing spectrum trading to enable holders of Wireless Telegraphy Act licenses to
transfer all or part of their rights and obligations under the licenses to another party. Spectrum
liberalisation, whereby licence holders can request a variation to certain licence conditions, will be
implemented at the beginning of 2005.
Terrestrial television broadcast spectrum is not included in the Ofcom's policy towards spectrum
trading and liberalisation.
Source: Ofcom website


16 Dec 2004
Freeview among top digital TV operators worldwide
According to research published by IMS Research, Freeview is one of the top 10 digital TV operators
worldwide. The research is based upon the total number of subscribers.
"While at this time Freeview is a unique case, it has proven that it is possible for DTT to go head to
head against cable and satellite operators," commented Jack Mayo, market analyst at IMS Research.
Source: advanced-television.com


16 Dec 2004
Growth of Freeview clouds outlook for Sky
In this article in the Independent, Ciar Byrne compares the growth figures between Freeview and Sky.
As the latest figures suggest, Freeview is emerging as a real threat to BSkyB.
Nearly four million homes now have Freeview, according to the recent OFCOM report compared to
just over 7.1 million households that subscribe to Sky. And while Sky signed up 53,000 new
subscribers in the three months to September, more than 10 times as many people, some 590,500, went
out and bought Freeview boxes.
Source: The Independent


14 Dec 2004
Sky launches Freeview text service




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BSkyB is to extend the reach of its Sky Text service by making it available on Freeview. The UK
satellite television operator is a shareholder in Freeview, the free-to-air digital terrestrial television
service, together with the BBC and Crown Castle.
The launch of Sky Text on Freeview will add a further 3.7 million households to the potential
audience for the service, which offers news, sport, finance and weather information. Sky says this will
expand the potential audience and therefore advertising revenue opportunity for Sky Text.
The Sky Text service will be accessible to digital terrestrial viewers through the ‗text‘ button on their
remote control while watching Sky News, Sky Sports News or Sky Travel channels.
Source: informitv.com


14 Dec 2004
Second set adoption leads digital television growth
Ofcom published its Digital Television Update for the third quarter of 2004. The Update shows that
increasing numbers of UK households that have at least one television receiving digital broadcasts are
buying additional set top boxes to convert second sets in the same household.
For example, overall sales of Freeview continue to increase – but around a quarter of new sales are
going to homes that have already switched. This emerging change in purchasing patterns means that in
the most recent quarter, the net increase in digital television penetration per household has risen to
slightly under 56%.
Key trends include:
- By 30 September 2004, digital television penetration increased to 13,858,901. This represents an
increase in overall penetration of 2.1%, with an additional 560,000 households adopting digital
television during the quarter.
- Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) uptake increased with the total number of households
receiving Freeview at the end of September estimated to be nearly four million (3,915,000)
households.
- The total number of free-to-view digital homes is now more than 4.2 million, an increase of 12.5%
from the previous quarter. This figure comprises the number of viewers using Freeview, those using
satellite ‗Solus‘ cards and ex-Sky subscribers, who continue to use their satellite box for viewing free-
to-view channels.
Source: Ofcom website


6 Dec 2004
“No HD on DTT”
The UK‘s television regulator has said there will be no HDTV broadcasts on digital terrestrial network
television before 2013 at the earliest.



                                                  228
Andrew Sterling, Ofcom‘s strategy development manager, speaking at a Sony-organised HDTV event
in London on Dec 2, said satellite (and cable) could move much faster and he praised BSkyB‘s
satellite initiative, but ―until the analogue to digital switch-over has happened, there‘s too little space
to offer HD services.
Source: Broadband TV News


6 Dec 2004
Welsh trial gives thumbs up to DTV
The big digital switchover appears to be off to a promising start. The residents of Welsh communities
Ferryside and Llansteffan have given a generally upbeat view on an experiment there to give everyone
a free Freeview set-top box, ahead of the switch-off of the local analogue signal in February.
Four hundred and fifty homes in the two villages on either side of the Tywi estuary were chosen last
December for the joint Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Trade and
Industry trial to determine key issues behind digital switchover.
Source: DTG website


25 Nov 2004
Sony delivers warning on digital TV
Sony has warned that broadcasters and the Government are hampering the cause of digital switchover
by promoting set-top boxes at the expense of television sets with in-built digital capability.
Steve Dowdle, managing director of Sony UK, warned the Government that Sony will not sign any
memorandums of understanding on digital switchover until there is a neutral chair of Switchco and
proper representation for manufacturers on the board.
Source: MediaWeek


24 Nov 2004
Ofcom Consumer Panel publishes recommendations
Socially isolated people will need the most help in making practical changes to adopt digital
television, according to a report published by the Ofcom Consumer Panel.
The Ofcom Consumer Panel is an independent body set up to advise Ofcom on consumer interests in
the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.
From its analysis of existing research, the Panel concludes that people at risk of social isolation – those
who do not have an adequate network of friends, family, neighbours or carers to turn to for support –
are likely to face the biggest difficulties in finding out about switchover, in understanding what it
means and therefore taking effective steps to adopt digital television.
Source: Ofcom Consumer Panel website



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23 Nov 2004
Ofcom publishes Spectrum Framework Review
Ofcom has published the Spectrum Framework Review, its strategy for securing the optimal use of the
civilian radio spectrum. The proposals will enable radio spectrum licence holders to make more
efficient use of their spectrum allocation and encourage innovation and investment in wireless
communications services across the UK.
The Spectrum Framework Review sets out four key recommendations to address this problem:
1. Allow the market to decide the best use for new spectrum allocations.
2. Allow licence holders to trade spectrum in an open market and change the use they make of
spectrum rights to develop new technologies and offer different services to customers (also known as
liberalisation).
3. Clearly define the rights of spectrum users, giving them the confidence to plan for the future.
4. Increase the amount of licence-exempt spectrum which allows businesses to develop and bring to
market new technologies and services without the need for a licence.
Ofcom is accepting responses to its Spectrum Framework Review until 15 February 2005.
Source: Ofcom website


18 Nov 2004
Freeview fever not over
UK DTT Freeview is set to break the five million homes barrier by the end of the year, with some
industry experts predicting it will overtake Sky Digital by Christmas 2005.
According to reports, sales estimates from manufacturers and retailers for 2004 show that by the end
of the year they expect to have shifted three million Freeview boxes, taking the total to over five
million. Current sales are running at an estimated 50,000 a week for the boxes, which offer viewers 30
channels for a one-off payment of between £40 and £80.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 Nov 2004
Ofcom publishes review of broadcasting transmission market
Ofcom has published a public consultation on its proposals on the UK broadcasting transmission
services market which delivers broadcast content to viewers and listeners.
As part of the EU regulatory framework, Ofcom has identified the market for terrestrial broadcasting
transmission as appropriate for regulation, and has defined discrete markets in two areas: for access to
masts and sites; and for managed transmission services.
The closing date for responses to the broadcasting transmission services consultation is 22 December
2004.
Source: Ofcom website


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9 Nov 2004
Extra costs take digital bill to £1bn
The cost to consumers of converting Britain to digital TV is likely to be £1bn, a third more than
estimated, according to research commissioned by Freeview.
Of 1,000 people interviewed by TNS Research in August and September, 29% said they had to spend
an extra £80 to £100 to have their TV aerial upgraded after they bought their Freeview box.
This figure contrasts sharply with the figure of 10% published in the draft report of the Digital TV
Project. The project is a partnership of government departments, TV equipment manufacturers and
broadcasters; its final report is due to be delivered to ministers at the Department of Trade and the
Department of Culture, Media and Sport at the end of this month.
Source: The Guardian


7 Nov 2004
UK likely to miss deadline for analogue TV switch-off
The British government is likely to miss its stated target to switch off analogue television signals by
the year 2012, according to research by business information company Informa Group.
The UK will not have shifted its television viewing population on to digital platforms until 2015, a
year after countries such as Canada, Norway, Ireland, Finland and the United States, according to the
study, which analysed the digital broadcasting progress of 43 countries worldwide.
The UK, Denmark, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sweden and Japan will be in the "second tier" of
countries achieving full digital penetration, says the Informa survey.
Source: The Business Online.


3 Nov 2004
World’s first interactive news bulletin
The BBC is providing what it terms the world‘s first interactive television news bulletin. The Ten
O‘Clock News Extra service is available on digital satellite, terrestrial and cable television and offers
added depth and context to the news.
Viewers will be able to access more information on up to three of the stories in the news, including an
additional video feed, by pressing the red button on their remote control. The material will be available
from Monday to Friday during the bulletin and for a short period afterwards.
Source: informitv


29 Oct 2004
Ofcom publishes Communications Market Quarterly Update
Ofcom published its Communications Market Quarterly Update providing the latest data available up
to 30 September 2004.


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The reports shows that Freeview was the largest contributor to growth, adding more than 400,000
households in the second quarter of 2004 compared to cable and satellite which added 135,000 new
households.
In addition, more than 55% of UK households received digital television by the end of June 2004.
Source: Ofcom website


15 Oct 2004
Consumer Expert Group report on DTV published
The Consumer Expert Group has published its first report entitled "Persuasion or Compulsion?
Consumers and analogue switch-off".
The report makes a number of detailed recommendations on the steps that need to be taken to ensure
the public is ready for digital switchover. The Group was appointed by the Broadcasting Minister
Andrew McIntosh to advise Government on consumer issues relating to digital television and
analogue switch-off.
Source: Digital Television Project website


30 Sept 2004
New package from Top Up TV
Top Up TV has launched a new package known as Top Up TV to Go. £100 buys the package that
includes the recently launched Thomson set-top box capable of receiving the 30 Freeview channels
and the 10 provided by Top Up TV. The package also includes the smart card, £20 connection fee and
the first months‘ subscription normally priced at £7.99.
Source: Broadband TV News


29 Sept 2004
ABC1 debut
An new channel, ABC1, launched on Freeview last Monday (27 September). An entertainment
channel owned by Disney, it is on air from 6am to 6pm daily.
Source: advanced-television.com


29 Sept 2004
Digital TV logo launched
The UK government has launched the new Digital TV logo. The logo will soon start to appear on
digital television products such as set-top boxes and integrated digital televisions products in the
coming weeks and months.




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The logo has been developed by DCMS, DTI in conjunction with the Digital TV Project‘s Market
Preparation Group. This has involved extensive work with manufacturers, retailers, broadcasters and
other stakeholders.
Source: Digital Television Project website


28 Sept 2004
Over-50s tuned in to multi-channel TV
A report by Zenithoptimedia shows that British people in their fifties are emerging as enthusiastic
consumers of multi-channel television, whether on cable, satellite or digital terrestrial systems.
The report found that 56% of people aged 50-59 received multi-channel television last year, higher
than the national average of 54%. Of those aged in their 60s, the proportion dropped to 45% of people.
Among those aged 70+ only 29% received multi-channel television.
Source: advanced-television.com


28 Sept 2004
Digital television awareness grows
Freeview awareness has grown significantly over the last two years, from 39% to 84% of UK adults.
Although awareness is slightly lower for those over 65, the difference is less marked than with other
technologies, and nearly 1 in 5 Freeview adults is over 65, compared to 1 in 13 for Sky.
In Freeview homes, awareness of the Top Up TV subscription service is also relatively high, at around
70%. The survey was conducted by Continental Research in July 2004.
Source: informitv.com


22 Sept 2004
Top Up TV launches ad campaign
UK digital terrestrial operator Top Up TV, which offers a ‗pay-lite' package to Freeview customers, is
launching a multi-million pound advertising campaign on terrestrial analogue and digital networks.
According to Matt Seaman, Top Up TV Sales and Marketing Director, "going on analogue terrestrial
TV will give us additional reach of Freeview customers who wish to upgrade their existing
incompatible box for a ‗box with a slot' in time for Christmas."
Source: advanced-television.com


20 Sept 2004
55% of UK households receive digital television
Ofcom published its Digital Television Update for the second quarter of 2004. The report examines
the latest subscriber figures provided by the main platform operators.



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The update shows that by 30 June 2004, digital television penetration had increased to 55% of UK
households, up from 53% from the previous quarter.
A further 4% of households subscribed to analogue cable during the quarter, bringing the total number
of households receiving some form of multi-channel television to over 59%.
Key trends include:
- By 30 June 2004, digital television penetration increased to 13,704,459. This represents an increase
in overall penetration of 2.4%, with an additional 630,000 households adopting digital television
during the quarter.
- Freeview (Digital Terrestrial Television) uptake increased by 12.1%, with the total number of
households receiving Freeview at the end of June estimated to be nearly four million (3,889,000)
households.
The total number of free-to-view digital homes is now almost 4.2 million, an increase of 13.4% from
the previous quarter. This figure comprises the number of viewers using Freeview, those using satellite
'Solus' cards and ex-Sky subscribers, who continue to use their satellite box for viewing free-to-view
channels.
Source: Ofcom website


16 Sept 2004
Ofcom brings UK closer to switchover
Ofcom has begun the consultation process that could lead to the commencement of digital switchover
in the UK by 2007. The consultation period comes ahead of the issue of new licences for Channel 3
(ITV), Channel 5 and Public Teletext that will replace the existing analogue licences and run until
2014. It is anticipated that digital switchover will complete by 2012.
Source: Broadband TV News


13 Sept 2004
ntl and O2 to trial DVB-H in the United Kingdom
NTL Broadcast division and MNO O2 have revealed their plans for the UK's first consumer trial of
multi-channel television for mobile phones.
The trial, set to begin in spring 2005, will involve around 500 demographically weighted users in the
Oxford area where nine transmitters will cover about 120 square kilometres. The users will receive
Nokia multimedia phones with a digital tv receiver built in. On it they will see a package of 16 TV
channels including sport, news, comedy, music and animation.
Source: advanced-television.com




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7 Sept 2004
HomeChoice wants DCMS backing to aid switch-off
Video Networks, which relaunched its video-on-demand television service HomeChoice in May, is in
talks with the Government about offering subsidised digital television services to help the planned
2012 analogue switch-off.
With government help, Video Networks could launch a slimmed-down, cheaper package of around 20
digital channels which could be broadcast via telephone wires as opposed to broadband. HomeChoice
could be useful in blocks of flats where ordinary terrestrial aerials cannot be converted to Freeview
and satellite dishes cannot be fitted.
Source: advanced-television.com


23 August 2004
BBC reports record interactive viewership for Olympics
Over 6 million viewers have pressed the red button on their remote controls to use the BBC's
interactive Olympic services. The service allows viewers to choose up to four extra sports to watch
during the Olympic Games with digital satellite or cable television while those with Freeview boxes
have two extra options.
According to BBC Sport's Andrew Thompson, Head of New Media, Sports News and Development,
"The Olympics are perfect for interactive television because there are so many events happening at the
same time. Before we had the interactive option, hundreds of hours of footage disappeared down a
black hole.
But now with interactive television, viewers have up to four extra sports to choose from and, judging
by the initial figures, they are taking full advantage of that."
Source: DM Europe


6 August 2004
ABC1 to premier in the UK in September
Walt Disney is set to launch a version of its ABC television network in the UK next month. The ABC1
network will initially be available only on Freeview, but there are plans to expand onto pay-TV
platforms as well.
While there will be no advertisements during the first few months of the schedule, Disney eventually
plans to sell air time. This will be Disney's first advertising-only funded channel in the UK.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                    235
2 August 2004
Digital switch will cost £1bn
According to advanced-television.com, the cost of switching off analogue television siganls in the
United Kingdom could cost £1 billion. This would include £100 million needed to convert analogue
transmitters while the rest would be needed for marketing and set-top box subsidies.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 July 2004
UK DTT EPG, finally
The UK's digital terrestrial television (DTT) platform has rolled out its long-awaited extended
electronic programme guide (EPG).
Since the platform's launch in 1998, digital terrestrial EPGs have only offered viewers information on
programmes currently on air, and those about to follow them - the so-called Now-Next guide. But this
week, after extensive trials, a full eight-day EPG is being rolled out on a region-by-region basis and
should be completed by the weekend.
Source: advanced-television.com


29 July 2004
UK high-tech industry calls for switchover certainty
Intellect, the trade association for the UK hi-tech industry, reacting to Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell's
statement suggesting that digital switchover was more likely in 2012 rather than 2010, has welcomed
the emergence of a proposed digital switchover timetable.
Nevertheless, association members have voiced their concern over the continued lack of certainty and
reiterated their requirement for confirmation of the switchover timetable as soon as possible.
Source: advanced-television.com


23 July 2004
UK delays analogue switch-off until 2012
The UK Government has distanced itself from its earlier pledge to switch over to digital television by
2010 after warnings from industry figures that the target was unrealistic.
The Government acknowledged that broadcasters believe that 2012 is a more appropriate cut-off date.
Sources at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said that the 2012 figure was likely to
be written into the BBC's royal charter and that the date would form the basis for a firmer timetable on
digital switchover.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  236
20 July 2004
ITV to quit analogue broadcasting?
ITV is threatening to hand back its broadcasting licence and make all its programmes, available only
to digital viewers, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.
The broadcaster is in dispute with industry regulator Ofcom, wanting to end its obligation to pay the
Government £200 million a year for its analogue licence.
Source: advanced-television.com


18 July 2004
Regulator warns UK unlikely to meet digital TV deadline
According to Stephen Carter, chief executive of OFCOM, Britain is unlikely to be ready for the
planned switchover from analogue to digital television in 2010. Rather, he says that 2012 is a more
realistic date for 95% of homes to be receiving digital, the government‘s trigger level for the
switchover.
"If you want to turn the analogue signal off in 2010, you have to start making the transmitter
deployment and regional deployment decisions in 2006, which means that you have to have done all
the planning in 2005 - that‘s next year."
Source: Scotland on Sunday


14 July 2004
NAO OK's BBC's investment in Freeview
The National Audit Office (NAO) review of the BBC's investment in Freeview – presented to the
BBC's Audit Committee in May – concluded that "the BBC had clear and sound reasons for investing
in Freeview and that the BBC contributed significantly to the quick and successful launch" in October
2002.
Source: advanced-television.com


29 June 2004
National Grid bids for Crown Castle
National Grid Transco, formed out of parts of the privatized UK gas and electricity utilities, has
confirmed it is in talks to the purchase the £1.1 billion (E1.65 billion) portfolio of mobile phone masts
and television and radio broadcasting towers from Crown Castle International, the Times reported.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  237
29 June 2004
Ofcom consults on digital costs
Britain's media and telecoms regulator, Ofcom, is launching a consultation on a proposed new method
for reviewing the financial terms of ITV licences, which will examine the impact on broadcast licence
valuations of new obligations to meet government targets for digital switchover.
The consultation, with an August 6 submissions deadline, will help pave the way for the regulator's
plan to "move beyond the loose confederation of interests that has got [Ofcom] so far, to a more
focused and purpose built vehicle for [digital] implementation".
Source: DTG Website


23 June 2004
UK channels cater for blind
The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are set to improve the digital television viewing experience for blind
and partially sighted viewers.
The broadcasters will provide audio description (AD) commentary, providing extra information for
visually impaired viewers during quiet moments in programmes. They have been working in close
collaboration with the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) to develop the AD system known
as Receiver Mix.
Source: DTG Website


22 June 2004
ITV to join Freeview consortium?
British commercial broadcaster ITV may be looking to become a member of the consortium that runs
Freeview, the UK DTT platform backed by BSkyB, the BBC and Crown Castle International.
Discussions between Mick Desmond, ITV's head of broadcasting, and executives within the Freeview
consortium are understood to have explored the prospect of ITV becoming an additional partner in
DTV Services, the company responsible for promoting and marketing Freeview.
Source: advanced-television.com


17 June 2004
BBC: Freeview now in 4 million homes
New figures released by the BBC show that Freeview is now available in 4 million homes. There has
been some debate as to the total number of DTT households in the UK, due largely to questions over
the installed base inherited from ITV Digital, and the differences in methodology between Ofcom and
Barb.
Source: Broadband TV News



                                                 238
3 June 2004
BBC unveils Wimbledom plans
The BBC has announced its plans for interactive coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis championships.
The service will be available on all digital platforms; satellite and cable viewers will have access to
coverage from five extra courts while Freeview homes will have two additional courts.
Source: Broadband TV News


2 June 2004
Ofcom publishes digital update report
The Ofcom report shows that digital television and broadband continue to grow. Key developments in
the digital television market include:
- By 31 March 2004, digital television penetration was estimated to have increased to 53% of UK
households, up from 50% from the previous quarter. This represents an increase of 2.8%, with an
additional 710,000 households adopting digital television during the quarter, bringing the total number
of households to more than 13 million (13,072,261).
- Freeview uptake has increased by 18.6% on the previous quarter, with household numbers estimated
to have grown to around 3.5 million (3,468,100).
Source: Ofcom website


27 May 2004
ABC to launch in the UK
Walt Disney is to launch its ABC brand onto the Freeview platform in the UK. It is expected to
annouce its launch shortly ahead of an autumn debut. It joins fellow American broadcasters Fox and
NBC who have both launched multichannel television services outside of the United States.
Source: Broadband TV News


26 May 2004
Welsh towns pioneer digital TV
Two small towns in west Wales are set to become the first in the UK to switch off the analogue signal
and convert to digital TV. Ferryside and Llansteffan, which face each other across the Towy estuary in
Carmarthenshire, have been picked to pilot a UK government trial.
If the residents agree, the analogue signal received through aerials will be turned off at later this year.
The government hopes to convert the whole of the UK to digital by 2010.
Source: BBC News




                                                   239
21 May 2004
UK government starts digital switch over talks
The UK government has invited broadcasters to talks aimed at agreeing on a timetable for the switch
from analogue to digital television. Tessa Jowell, the secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport,
said that since more than half of all households currently received digital TV services, and "in view of
the progress to date, switch-over between 2006 and 2010 remains attainable".
However, officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport refuse to be drawn on a likely date
for the switch-over.
Ofcom has warned that digital take-up was unlikely to exceed 80 per cent without intervention from
the government. "We need to move from policy discussions to implementation," it said.
Source: advanced-television.com


20 May 2004
Top Up TV signs up 20,000 viewers
Top Up TV, the pay DTT service, has signed up 20,000 subscribers within its first month. Offering 10
television service programmes for a small monthly fee, Top Up TV needs 250,000 customers in order
to reach its break-even target.
Source: Guardian


19 May 2004
Top Up TV taps SCM for CA
Top Up TV has selected SCM Microsystems to supply security modules using the Nagra conditional
access security system for its new digital broadcasting service in the UK.
Ian West, vice-chairman and CEO at Top Up TV saw the module supply as "a great opportunity to
enable UK consumers with integrated digital televisions and those with compatible Common Interface
set-top boxes to be able to watch additional channels on Top Up TV."
Source: advanced-television.com


18 May 2004
First boxes for Top Up TV by the end of June
The first set-top box capable of accepting Top Up TV cards will arrive from Thomson by the end of
June.
But confusion still surrounds plans to upgrade existing Freeview boxes. Two months after Top Up's
launch the only receivers capable of getting the service still remain On Digital and ITV Digital boxes.
Source: ERT Weekly




                                                  240
10 May 2004
TopUp TV increases reach
Digital pay-TV venture Top Up TV hopes to be available in a further 500,000 homes from next month
as new Freeview boxes compatible with its technology come to the market, and a new £40 (E60) set-
top box adaptor module hits the shops.
Source: advanced-television.com


3 May 2004
BBC issues report on switch-over
The BBC issued a report on "Progress Towards Achieving Digital Switchover" which it delivered to
the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In the report, the BBC provides suggestions to
consider in planning switch-over in the UK.
The report recommends further state intervention if ministers want to achieve "digital switchover" by
2010. The BBC said the development of a satellite service would be "the final part of the jigsaw" by
capturing consumers unable to receive Freeview's digital terrestrial signal and unwilling to pay for
British Sky Broadcasting's subscription satellite service.
Source: BBC website


28 April 2004
£300m for digital switchover?
The UK Department of Culture Media and Sport has asked for £300m (E454m) to boost the chances
of a digital switchover by 2010. According to The Times the request is part of the latest internal
government spending negotiations.
Broadcasters and manufacturers have long campaigned for government assistance and the DCMS now
recognises there has to be a dedicated body to manage the switch and it will require funding.
According to reports up to £100m will be earmarked for a marketing campaign with most of the rest
destined for conversion subsidies for pensioners and others.
Source: advanced-television.com


27 April 2004
Ideal World launches on Freeview
UK Shopping channel Ideal World which already broadcasts on digital satellite and ntl:home's digital
cable network has launched on Freeview channel 22.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                   241
26 April 2004
Freeview continues to boost UK Digital TV
Nearly half of all UK households are now receiving Digital TV, either by satellite, cable or DTT.
Recent gains are largely down to the growth of Freeview, according to the quarterly DART (Digital
Audience Research Tracker) survey by Ipsos-RSL.
Source: advanced-television.com


19 April 2004
C4 mulls multi-channel expansion
UK's Channel 4, the state-owned commercial broadcaster, is putting £90 million (E135 million)
behind a series of new ventures, including the launch of several digital channels, as it aims to retain its
share of viewing in the multi-channel market.
The £90 million investment fund, has been set up following two years of restructuring and downsizing
at the organisation's 4 Ventures unit, which houses its digital channels, multimedia, rights and services
businesses.
Source: advanced-television.com


9April 2004
Pay DTT arrival with Top Up TV
Top Up TV launched on March 31 in order to provide Freeview homes with pay DTT services. E4,
Discovery, UK Gold, Discovery Home & Leisure, UK Style, Turner Classic Movies, UK Food,
Bloomberg, Cartoon Network and Boomerang are all included in the Top Up TV package for a
monthly subscription of £7.99, in addition to a one-off connection fee.
Top Up TV offers a low priced pay package. However, viewers will need to use an old ONDigital or
ITVDigital box in order to receive the services.
Source: Dataxis Research


7April 2004
BBC starts new digital campaign
BBC has launched its latest digital marketing campaign targeted at analogue viewers yet to go digital.
Since the start of the BBC's digital campaign in October 2002, the digital market has grown by 32%,
with millions more people now able to watch the BBC's digital channels on cable, satellite and
Freeview.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                   242
5 April 2004
Ofcom publishes switch-over report
Ofcom, the media regulator, has warned the government that financial incentives would be required to
persuade TV viewers and broadcasters to switch from analogue signals to a digital network.
The regulator stated that the change-over from analogue to multi-channel digital coverage - likely to
be introduced region by region - depended on "clear and unambiguous incentives".
Source: Ofcom website


1 April 2004
New report on digital switch-over attitudes
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport released
an independent research report on the impact of the switch-over to digital television.
The report examines how an announcement of a firm table for switching off analogue terrestrial
transmissions would affect and be perceived by different sectors of the British population.
Source: Digital Television Project website


30 March 2004
Government publishes report on digital switch-over impact
The Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport released an
independent research report on the impact of the switch-over to digital television.
The report examines how an announcement of a firm table for switching off analogue terrestrial
transmissions would affect and be perceived by different sectors of the British population.
Source: DTG website


25 March 2004
Freeview to win over Sky by 2007
UK digital terrestrial service Freeview is set to replace digital satellite platform Sky as the UK's
favourite way of watching multichannel television by the end of 2007, according to industry research
from ZenithOptimedia.
The free-to-air service, backed by the BBC and Crown Castle, is currently available in three million
homes compared with Sky's 7.2 million, and it is expected to be adopted by almost 10 million
households in four years time, with Sky in 8.9 million UK homes and cable in just 3.5 million.
The study also suggests that 87 per cent of households will have gone digital by 2008, leaving only a
small minority of analogue viewers.
Source: advanced-television.com




                                                  243
23 Feb 2004
Ofcom's Digital Television Update quarterly report
Ofcom has published the first of its Digital Television Update quarterly reports. This report shows that
by 31 December 2003 digital TV penetration was estimated to have reached 50.2% of UK households,
up from 48.0% at 30 September 2003.
Key developments include:
- The total number of digital television households grew by 2.2% over the quarter, with an additional
423,000 going digital during the quarter.
- Freeview saw an increase, with household numbers estimated to have grown to around 2,996,700 in
the same period.
- In addition to Freeview households, latest estimates suggest there are around 211,000 free to air
digital satellite homes. This figure has fallen during the year as a result of the BBC's decision to stop
encrypting its signal on satellite and the resulting withdrawal of the solus card scheme.
In total there are now more than 3.2 million free to air digital households.
Source: Ofcom website


15 Jan 2004
UK Government Minister urged to set analogue switch off date
Tessa Jowell, the UK culture secretary has refused to name a date for analogue switch off despite
pressure from Ofcom. The official position continues to be "some point between 2006 and 2010 if a
number of conditions were met, including 95 per cent of households having digital receivers."
But at the Oxford media convention she was criticized for refusing to be more specific on how and
when switchover would occur. Stephen Carter, Ofcom's chief executive, outlined the need for a more
detailed plan for analogue switch-off, "it is a very significant policy decision and the government has
to make it," he said. "The time has now come to say: what's the decision and what's the structure to
take it forward? It would be jolly useful to have a target deadline to aim for," he said.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 January 2004
Public attitudes towards digital TV
Research by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry has unveiled that 13 per cent of viewers do
not want to switch from analogue to digital amid strong doubts over the quality of programming in the
multichannel universe.
The research warned that if the government pushes ahead with its plans to convert all households to
digital television by 2010, while not addressing viewer's concerns, this opposition could harden.




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The Government says the analogue signal will not be switched off until 95 per cent of consumers have
access to digital TV. The report was based on research involving consultations with stakeholders, eight
focus groups and a survey of 4,000 typical viewers.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 November 2003
Over half of Britain has digital TV
More than 50 per cent of British homes have DTVs, according to new statistics compiled by the
Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (Barb). The study shows that, by the start of November, 50.4
per cent of viewers had access to Sky digital, Freeview or digital cable TV.
The UK Government, whose aim is to switch the population to digital between 2006 and 2010 so it
can sell off the present analogue signal spectrum, welcomed the milestone. The digital adoption is
reflected in growing audiences for multi-channel programmes.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 November 2003
UK IDTV prices continue to fall
The price of integrated digital television sets is continuing to fall, according to the latest survey by the
idtv.co.uk website. Since the summer, when the last survey of UK retail prices was conducted, the
average price of IDTVs has fallen by £115 (€167) from £955 to £840.
The price-fall was at its greatest in the mid-market where 32-inch screens are an average £110 cheaper
than in June. 28-inch screens dropped by only £10 whereas the 36-inch sets remained virtually
unchanged. The most commonly available screen size was 32 inch, which is available at and average
price of £839.22. The average price for a 36 inch IDTV is £1456.48.
Source: Broadband TV News


22 September 2003
Analogue switch off to generate TV boom period?
A report issued jointly by the UK‘s DCMS and the Department of Trade and Industry unveiled that
selling off the analogue television signal will produce a benefit of only E2.1 billion-E2.8 billion.
The money gained from switching off the analogue signal, covering a period from 2010 to 2026,
includes projected revenues from at least 14 new digital national TV channels.
It means the TV industry could be heading for a boom period, with extra revenues of up to E1,106
million a year. "When analogue transmission ceases, there will be a release of 14 channels of clear
radio spectrum," the report said.
Source: advanced-television.com



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4 August 2003
Freeview homes on the rise
The number of homes with the DTT Freeview service has almost doubled since October. Some 1.51
million homes received digital terrestrial at the start of July, compared with 763,000 nine months
earlier according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
Digital viewers are forsaking cable TV - only 2.16 million homes were connected at the start of this
month, down from a high of 2.52 million at the start of the year.
In contrast, the number of digital satellite subscribers numbers is increasing, with 6.47 million homes
signed up at the beginning of July. Digital viewing now accounts for 40 per cent of homes in the UK,
up from 36.2 per cent this time last year.
Source: advanced-television.com


25 June 2003
One in five homes have digital free-to-air
The commercial TV regulator, ITC, reports that free-to-air digital services account for 60 per cent of
the growth in the UK digital TV market since the launch of Freeview.
By 31 March 2003, digital FTA penetration is estimated to have increased to 43.9 per cent of
households. One in five digital households are now receiving free-to-air services only.
Overall in the quarter (January-March 2003):
- DTT grew reaching 1.6 million households
- Sky added more than 143,000 paying subscribers, leading the pay TV market with 6.4 million UK
households
- Cable also contributed to the growth in digital penetration by adding over 56,000 digital subscribers
bringing the total number of digital cable homes to 2.1 million.
Source: advanced-television.com


11 June 2003
100k a month for Freeview
More than 100,000 people a month are signing up to Freeview, says the BBC, making it the fastest
growing new consumer technology.
The BBC claimed 1.6m homes now have Freeview, split equally between those with legacy ITV
Digital boxes and those who have bought new STBs since the service launched last October.
Around 74 per cent of Freeview viewers are over 35, while 40 per cent are over 55. Most have no
interest in pay-TV and were attracted by the simplicity of the technical set-up and the low cost
according to the BBC's report.
Source: advanced-television.com



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10 June 2003
Freeview lures over-55s to digital TV
Four in 10 viewers buying decoders for the BBC-backed terrestrial digital TV service Freeview are
aged over 55, it emerged today.
It means Freeview is finally delivering what the government was hoping for - a rival to Sky TV and a
service that can attract digital refuseniks with free channels such as BBC3 and BBC4.
Freeview, revealed that an estimated 1.6 million households were now receiving Freeview, which
offers 30 television and radio channels for a one-off payment of around £99.
Source: the Guardian


26 May 2003
Freeview, new games channel
Freeview has launched its first interactive games channel, Free2Play, after a carriage deal with
YooMedia.
The channel, launched last Friday, includes a quiz game based on Channel 4's Big Brother to coincide
with the start of fourth season of Channel 4 reality show. By pressing red during the show's 10-week
run, viewers will be able to take part in a quiz.
Source: advanced-television.com


30 April 2003
Freeview EPG delayed
Freeview is to delay the launch of its EPG until early 2004. The BBC, Crown Castle and BSkyB
promised it as part of their original application for the licence to run the service. Shops selling the
digital box are unhappy with the delay.
Without an EPG viewers are less likely to change up and down manually between the 30 channels
available, say dealers. Over the week up to Easter, though the audience for multichannel TV
outweighed viewing figures for BBC1 and ITV for the first time, Freeview viewers were significantly
less likely to view non-terrestrial channels than their cable TV and Sky Digital counterparts, according
to Barb.
Source: advanced-television.com


24 April 2003
ITC's final annual report praises DTT
In its final annual report before Ofcom becomes the official media regulatory body, the Independent
Television Commission ITC has strongly endorsed the free-to-air DTT platform Freeview.
"In areas covered by Freeview, where either satellite or cable cannot be received having an alternative
digital platform available is particularly important," says the report.


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Source: ITC website


14 April 2003
ASA rejects complaints about 'Free'view ads
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said that the BBC can legitimately describe digital
terrestrial television service Freeview as "free."
The authority launched an investigation after viewers complained that adverts about Freeview were
misleading because they describe the channels as "free" when they had to pay a one-off E150 for a
Freeview adapter as well as the cost of the licence fee.
Source: advanced-television.com


9 April 2003
Encouraging digital take up puts switch off on target
Reports in the Independent suggest that Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State at the Department of Media,
Sport and Culture, has been shown reports that will allow the Government to meet its 2010 target for
analogue switch off.
The study suggests that by 2007, 78% of households will have digital access (currently around 40%)
which could put them in line for a 2010 switch off (the Government have said that they require 95%
before switch over).
A similar report from the ITC/BBC suggested recently that the take up would only be 58% by 2007. In
addition the issue of multiple TVs has yet to be accountered for and the potential backlash from all
those households with second and third TVs which are not taking into account in all these statistics.
Source: Digital Spy


9 April 2003
Freeview viewers prefer traditional TV
The appeal of the digital channels available on Freeview has been called into question by new research
showing that owners of the digital terrestrial boxes spend more than 80% of their viewing time
watching the five traditional terrestrial channels.
Digital channels accounted for 17% of all viewing in Freeview homes during March, according to
audience research body Barb. During the corresponding period last year, subscribers to ITV Digital,
the defunct pay service that Freeview was set up to replace, spent double the amount of time watching
digital channels.
Source: the Guardian




                                                      248
8 April 2003
Good digital progress in UK
A joint report by the Independent Television Commission and the BBC on "Progress Towards Digital
Switchover" claims good progress.
The report confirms over 40 per cent of households now have digital television and nearly all viewers
have access to at least one delivery platform and therefore the UK enjoys the highest level of digital
television penetration in the world.
Source: advanced-television.com


24 March 2003
Dixons aiming to sell a million Freeview boxes
Three million Freeview decoders will be sold this year, suppliers and retailers now believe, with
Dixons understood to be ready to order 1 million digital terrestrial set-top boxes.
Source: the Independent


3 March 2003
Government campaign for digital TV
The UK government has launched a campaign to push consumers towards digital television as part of
its drive towards the switching off the analogue service by 2010.
Stephen Timms, the e-commerce minister, was reported as saying that ministers would work with
television manufacturers to ensure consumers understood the benefits of digital service and were
prepared to buy digital adaptors, or connect to cable or satellite services.
Source: advanced-television.com


21 February 2003
Freeview stimulates multi-channel industry
Freeview‘s aggressive marketing campaign is providing a positive stimulation for the multichannel
industry, according to the latest Continental Research digital TV report.
According to Continental Research, the number of adults aware of Freeview has increased from 39 per
cent in July 2002 to 58 per cent in January 2003. Awareness is at its greatest among men, who rate at
65 per cent, compared to 51 per cent for women.
The number of people willing to pay the £99 to purchase an adaptor has also risen – from 14 per cent
of adults in terrestrial only homes last summer to 26 per cent today.
Source: Broadband TV News




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13 February 2003
Freeview launch for Radio 1 - 4
Radio 1 - 4 are to join the Freeview lineup on Friday, completing the BBC's 11-strong lineup of digital
radio stations, it has been announced today.
The channels join Five Live, Five Live Sports Extra, 1Xtra, 6 Music, BBC 7, BBC World Service and
BBC Asian Network, all of which were launched as part of the initial Freeview lineup in September
last year.
Latest figures show that an increasing number of people are choosing to listen to radio through their
television. 7.8 million UK adults (16% of the population) claim to have listened to the radio via their
television, whilst around 4.5 million adults (9%) listen to radio through television on a weekly basis.
Source: Digital Spy


23 January 2003
New betting channel on Freeview
Bid-up.tv, the auction channel from Sit-Up TV, has launched on Freeview. The channel 38 per cent
owned by Telewest - is on channel 23. It already broadcasts on Sky Digital and digital cable.
Source: advanced-television.com


20 December 2002
ITC reaches decision on DTT transmission mode
The Independent Television Commission (ITC) has decided that digital broadcasters should continue
to be given the flexibility to broadcast their digital terrestrial television (DTT) services using either the
‗16-QAM‘ or ‗64-QAM‘ transmission mode.
This decision follows a consultation amongst all interested parties and most recently an independently
commissioned assessment involving field trials and research to provide practical in-home evidence of
the comparative performance of the two modes.
Source: ITC press release




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