Telfonica O2 to offer first terrestrial broadcasts

PRAGUE — Mobile phone operator Telefonica O2 will be the first to offer high-definition terrestrial television broadcasting in the Czech Republic, working in partnership with pubcaster Czech TV.

Starting Monday the Spanish-owned telco will offer the CT1 public channel via its O2TV IPTV offering, which has more than 36,000 customers, as well as through Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T).

The pubcaster, which is the Czech Republic’s major digital TV license holder, first tested HD broadcasting on audiences in the city of Brno last year.

Some programs will be carried in true HD while others will be boosted in resolution.

The station is one of six awarded digital licenses last year but its right to begin broadcasting has been held up following protests from terrestrial web TV Nova, which alleged the licensing system was biased.

The number of HD televisions in Czech homes is still very low, but stations are already scrambling to offer trend-conscious consumers the latest technologies. Set-top boxes are also required to receive digital signals in most homes.

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