Hungary completes digital TV switchover

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
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At 12.30 on Thursday, Hungary’s digital switchover was complete

At 12.30 on Thursday, 31 October 2013, terrestrial analogue television broadcasting came to a close in the entire area of Hungary, bringing the process of digital switchover to a conclusion. Over the past year, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság – NMHH) installed the electronic devices required for the reception of digital broadcasts in more than 135,000 socially disadvantaged households.

On the 31st of October 2013, the digital switchover was completed and, in accordance with European Union requirements, analogue terrestrial broadcasting was terminated across Hungary. The 31 October switchover affected the North-Western and South-Eastern territories of the country. The 14 counties located in the middle of Hungary switched to the contemporary digital technology as early as 31 July.

The stakeholders of the digital switchover were those who have used indoor or rooftop antennas thus far, and the only broadcasts they were able to receive without a subscription fee were the analogue programmes of M1, RTL Klub and TV2. After 31 October, in order to continue to watch television free of charge, they must connect a digital converter box (a set-top-box) with an antenna to their existing TV set, or install a satellite receiver. Those wishing to access other channels in addition to those received without a subscription fee, can select from different subscription options.

The NMHH has launched a subsidy programme for socially disadvantaged families in order to ensure that no one is left without access to television. So far, specialists of the authority have installed digital receivers free of charge in more than 135,000 households entitled to the subsidy, or provided access to preferential subscription packages.

Meanwhile, those living in the territories of the second phase can still apply for the subsidy and request the installation of digital receivers for another month after the switchover, i.e. until 30 November. The NMHH helps everyone with the switchover; it evaluates applications on a continuous basis, and continues the installation of devices in the entitled households even after the termination of the analogue service.