TV Nova embraces switchover

The Czech Republic’s leading terrestrial, TV Nova, is embracing the digital switchover pushed by the government. The station announced Thursday it will start digital broadcasting Monday, with the signal reaching 48% of the Czech population.

The Radiokomunice company has constructed a digital transmitter atop Bukova mountain, allowing more than 1 million viewers in north Bohemia access to the upgraded signal.

Nova, which had argued vigorously that the Czech population is not yet equipped to receive digital and accused the state of pushing an ill-conceived early deadline of 2009 for the switchover — moved up from 2012 — will continue its analog broadcasting, which tops the ratings with 50-plus shares common in prime time shows.

“We are happy that we provided these people with a choice,” said Nova topper Petr Dvorak. The station is also waging an information campaign to inform viewers about picture improvements and other services the new technology promises.

Technically, the station has been broadcasting digitally since June 2000, although classed as an experimental signal, transmitted through Czech Digital Group.

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