Swiss on time with digital TV

SRG SSR setting up nationwide DVB-T

BERLIN — Switzerland looks set to finalize its digitization of terrestrial TV this year.

Analog terrestrial signals in most of German-speaking Switzerland are scheduled to be switched off by Nov. 26, while one region, Oberwallis, will switch over in February.

Pubcaster SRG SSR is setting up the nationwide DVB-T (digital video broadcasting-terrestrial, also known as digital terrestrial television, or DTT) transmission network, which is to be completed by October.

With the conversion of the last major transmitter at the end of May, SRG’s domestic channels SF 1, SF 2, TSR 1 and TSI 1 will be available free-to-air via DVB-T in practically all of German-speaking Switzerland.

In neighboring Austria, 80% of the country’s households are to be digitized by the end of 2007, with a complete switchover due by 2009.

In Germany, major urban areas such as Berlin-Brandenburg have gone completely digital, with DVB-T the only available means of terrestrial transmission. By 2008, some 85% of the country will be DVB-T.

Most of German TV households receive TV via cable or satellite, however, making DVB-T unnecessary for most TV viewers .

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