ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace completes digitalisation of TV broadcasting in the Czech RepublicWednesday, December 14th, 2011
ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace confirms its position as a technology leader by completing digitalisation of TV broadcasting in the Czech Republic; As one of the first countries in the CEE region, successful completion of digitalisation brings about full liberalisation of the TV market
PRAGUE — The technologically demanding transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting has been successfully completed in the Czech Republic as one of the first countries in Central and Eastern Europe. ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace completed as of 11 November 2011 the construction of all of the three digital networks of which 99.6 percent of the population of the Czech Republic is covered with a digital television signal.
Digitalisation has offered viewers more TV programmes, a higher-quality picture and sound, and/or certain additional services. Reception of the terrestrial digital broadcasting, which contains both public service and commercial television stations, is free for their viewers. Therefore, the terrestrial platform remains a preferred option of television broadcasting in the Czech Republic . It serves more than 50 percent of homes. Moreover, the existing capacity of the network facilitates an extension of the number of television channels available for broadcasting.
“However, completing the digitalisation project does not mean the end for us; on the contrary, it marks the beginning of yet another important development stage, namely, full liberalisation of the TV market, which would allow a completely free entry to the Czech market by new international entities. Yet another priority is represented by the introduction of HD television broadcasting and the expansion of pay TV. We are happy to confirm our position as the technology leader and to intermediate in offering Czech viewers fully fledged HD television broadcasting using the new successor DVB-T2 standard”, says Mr Kamil LevinskÃ½, CEO, ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace.
The total amount of funds invested by ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace into the construction of the digital networks has reached the one billion crown mark since the start of the digitalisation project back in 2007.
In addition, the date of 11 November 2011 marks the commencement in the Czech Republic of liberalisation of the television market ; that was the date for the termination of the force of the legislative restrictions under which the television markets could be accessed exclusively by holders of allocated licences. Under the new state of affairs, the television market has been fully liberalised and licences to TV broadcasts can be obtained by any applicant, subject to compliance with certain basic administrative conditions.
Currently, ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace operates three multiplexes:
- Multiplex 1 covers 99.6 percent of the population of the Czech Republic ; it is operated on behalf of public-service operators and it includes four TV channels and 8 radio programmes.
- Multiplex 2 covers 99.6 percent of the population of the Czech Republic ; it is owned by ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace and offers five TV channels.
- Multiplex 3 covers 95.7 percent of the population of the Czech Republic and it is operated by Czech Digital Group, a.s., a subsidiary of ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace. It contains two TV channels and one radio programme. Czech Digital Group has opened its multiplex broadcasting to a broader range of prospective broadcasters by introducing a new product portfolio facilitating broadcasting of TV programmes in different wave bands, different time blocks or different regions in the Czech Republic; therefore, it is fully prepared to offer broadcasts by way of new channels.
History of television broadcasting in the Czech Republic
ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace has been operating television and radio broadcasts for 48 years. The historical first experimental transmission occurring in the Czech Republic commenced in 1948 and it lasted almost one month.
Thanks to the increasing volume of television sets and higher interest on the part of viewers, the introduction of television broadcasting took place relatively quickly in the Czech Republic . In 1963, Správa radiokomunikacÃ (Radio communication administration – the predecessor of today’s ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace) operated 12 basic and relay transmitters.
Until 1960, only one monochrome channel was broadcast for the duration of two hours a week. In 1964, the testing of colour television broadcasting began. Ever since, the on-going quick technology advancement has today culminated in the completed digitalisation of television broadcasting.
The network comprising the analogue television transmitters contained a total of 225 transmitters and almost 1,350 transponders and gap-fillers.
ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace launched experimental digital television broadcasting using the DVB-T system in the territory of Prague in 2000. This venture was described as “temporary A multiplex”; as of the date of transfer of such transitional broadcasts into Final Network 2, it covered 42 percent of the population.
The new digital television transmitter network comprises a total of 26 basic transmitters (Multiplex 1 and 2) and 17 transmitters serving Multiplex 3, and many tens of gap-fillers.
Links: ÄŒeské Radiokomunikace