End-October start for switch-off of analogue broadcasting in Hungary

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 
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Dynamic growth in the MinDig TV platform usage – The switch-off of the analogue broadcasting network will start at end of October

The number of MinDig TV users increased by almost 50 per cent within a year, the service has been used by almost 350,000 households resulting that MinDig TV was the fastest growing digital television service in this period. The number of MinDig TV Extra subscribers doubled and reached at 75,000 thereby achieving the highest growth among the wireless digital television services. Antenna Hungária continues its network development, the availability of the MinDig TV platform will be enhanced in GyÅ‘r and at the northern part of the county and also the transmission of the Family package will start from Pécs in autumn. Based on the NMHH decision, the analogue M1 repeater in Barcs will be switched-off at the end of October, with this action the switch-off process of the analogue terrestrial television network will start. The number of MinDig TV users can reach half a million at the beginning of next year and the number of MinDig TV Extra subscribers will be 100,000, so the company is well prepared for the nationwide analogue switch-off process.

MinDig TV platform: growing popularity and usage, rejuvenation

The number of MinDig TV users has been increasing continuously; the digital terrestrial television service usage grew by almost 50 per cent within a year. MinDig TV service offering 7 free-to-air television channels and can be received by a rooftop or indoor antenna, is used by almost 350,000 households. With this result MinDig TV was the fastest growing digital television service in this period.

The dynamic growth is also due to the fact that this year’s most popular sport events (Formula-1 Grand Prix, Football European Championship and Summer Olympic Games) have been broadcasted by MinDig TV without a subscription fee, in HD-quality. Antenna Hungária extended the free-to-air HD-broadcast with a successful 3D test transmission in Budapest and its surroundings during the summer sport events. The digitalization has a positive effect on the age composition and the profile of users resulting more valuable target groups from the advertisers’ point of view. The migration from other pay-TV platforms to MinDig TV has also been continued.

In parallel with this, the number of MinDig TV Extra subscribers doubled within a year and reached at 75,000, thereby achieving the highest growth among the wireless digital television services based on NMHH monthly TV flash reports. Due to the impact of our communication campaigns the brand awareness is constantly growing, in case of MinDig TV this figure exceeded 90 per cent. Almost all of new flat-screen television sets (plasma, LCD, LED) available in the shops now come with a DVB-T MPEG-4 tuner and thus no stand-alone decoder has to be purchased for watching for example the free HD-quality sport events (Formula-1 Grand Prix, Hungarian football, etc.).

Antenna Hungária extended its service portfolio with non-linear services as well, the first step forward the multimedia business has been the launch of our Content Delivery Network service, our full-HD and 3D live webstreaming services provided for MTVA were successfully debuted during the summer’s major sport events.

DVB-T network expansion, enhancement of the reception conditions

Due to the network expansion in summer – launch of new transmission sites in 15 big cities – the overwhelming majority of the population is able to receive the free-to-air digital television services, ensuring excellent reception conditions in most of the big cities. As a result of the expansion 65 digital transmission sites are in operation now, the population coverage of the free-to-air MinDig TV and MinDig TV Extra Basic package has exceeded 98 per cent, while coverage of the Family Package (B Multiplex) has increased to 88.4 per cent. Antenna Hungária continues the network enhancements, the digital programs will be transmitted from a new antenna system in GyÅ‘r as of middle of October, thus improving the availability of the MinDig TV platform in the county town and in North-Western (Moson) parts. Broadcasting of the Family package (B Multiplex) will be launched in November from transmission sites located on Pécs-Misina hilltop and Pécs-Diána square. As a result of this, the full 31 television channel line-up will be available in the fifth largest city and on the Western and Southern parts in Baranya County; the network coverage will exceed 90 per cent.

Digital frequency changes, launch of the analogue network switch-off process

The National Media and Infocommunications Authority have ordered the execution of frequency changes at eleven digital terrestrial television sites. Antenna Hungária completes the frequency changes during October-November 2012, which will affect the reception of the free-to-air MinDig TV and the subscription-based MinDig TV Extra digital terrestrial television services. According to the decision of the Authority, after the execution of the frequency change, the analogue M1 repeater transmitter in Barcs will be switched-off on October 31, 2012, herewith the switch-off process of the analogue terrestrial television network will start.

Short-term plans: analogue switch-off, development of multimedia services

A strategic goal of Antenna Hungária is to increase the role of the terrestrial platform with adaptation of digital technology. So as to achieve this goal it plans to launch hybrid DVB-T solutions and to improve its content delivery network service. Based on the expectation of AH the popularity of MinDig TV & MinDig TV Extra services replacing the analogue service will increase as approaching the planned switch-off of the analogue terrestrial television networks. Based on these, the number of MinDig TV users can reach half a million at the beginning of next year and the number of MinDig TV Extra subscribers will be 100,000, so the company is well prepared for the nationwide analogue switch-off process.