Antenna Hungária 'MinDig TV' digital terrestrial television service launched on December 1

Monday, December 1st, 2008
Antenna Hungária logo

Antenna Hungária’s MinDig TV, the subscription-free digital terrestrial television service, was launched on December 1, 2008 at 5:30 PM with Duna TV HD and Duna II Autonómia SD format programs.

As a first stage in the launch of the digital terrestrial platform, Antenna Group concluded a contract with Duna TV for the transmission of two free of charge channels, Duna TV in HD and Duna II Autonómia in SD format from December 1, 2008. This platform aims at fulfilling an important social mission which is to provide info-entertainment for free for every Hungarian citizen, with more content, better quality and new features such as HD or Electronic Progam Guide.

Regarding commercial channels, negotiations are still ongoing with several media group. However it became apparent that the lack of clear rules for their operations in the new digital era, as a consequence of the absence of a New Media Law complicates the decision making when it comes to deciding on joining the MinDig TV platform. Moreover, Antenna Hungária proposes solutions that respect the Competition Law and is not willing to sign agreements breaching that Law.

As illustrated in all other European countries where such a platform has been introduced, the launch of digital terrestrial platforms is a complex and long process. It can be derived from the same examples that all free-to-air digital terrestrial platforms have been successful, independantly from the time it took to set them up. Antenna Hungária concentrates on making digital terrestrial television a success story in Hungary as well, like in the other of the European countries.

Regarding the content AH-Group has signed contract only with Duna Television until now, by this Duna TV HD and Duna II Autonómia SD format programs are available from the service start. AH is having advanced negotiations with Hungarian Television and commercial channels about joining the platform, the company relies on that the subcription-free service can be extended with further HD and SD format programs in the coming weeks. AH hopes that the situation will be clearer soon in connection with the New Media Law and other open issues, which would be a great help to finalize the offer of the MinDig TV service.

As a result of the implementation works that are executed in a very tight schedule – the investment will be approximately 25 billion HUF in the next 4-5 years – MinDig TV subscription-free digital terrestrial television transmission was launched from Budapest, Kabhegy and Szentes transmitter stations on December 1 at 5:30 PM with circa 60% coverage of the Hungarian households.

To join the service as a viewer, a wideband rooftop antenna in good condition, and a DVB-T MPEG-4 HD set-top-box or an integrated television set (IDTV) equipped with a DVB-T MPEG-4 HD tuner are needed. There is a coverage database on the website which informs the interested about the reception possibilities.

Set-top-boxes and integrated television sets with MinDig TV sticker will be available for sale in retail stores from December. The sticker guarantees, that the equipment is suitable for the reception of digital terrestrial television signals, equipments with sticker will appear in the offer of the following strategic and cooperation partners: P-Sat, Infopatika, Strong, eBolt, Sony Bravia, Bétacom.

The introduction campaign of the digital switchover and the new service starts in December also with upgraded visuals.