DTT prevails in Europe

Digital terrestrial TV has taken place of analog

After more than a decade, digital terrestrial television has replaced analog TV in most of Europe.

By the end of 2010, free-to-air DTT will be up and running in all 27 European Union countries with the exception of Romania, according to a report by the European Audiovisual Observatory.

Pay DTT services have launched in 14 EU member states. Most recently, Canal Plus Dos went on air in Spain this summer.

Feevee outlets are also operating in Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Hungary as well as non-EU countries including Iceland, Switzerland and Norway.

The level of success of pay DTT varies widely and the business model has proved more difficult to launch in some smaller countries, according to the EAO report.

The number of national and international channels available to DTT households has increased to more than 760 (compared to 500 in April 2009), including nearly 40 channels available on DTT networks in more than one country, among them pan-European channels such as BBC World, CNN, the Discovery channels, Euronews and the Eurosport channels.

Eight European countries, including France, the U.K., Spain and Italy, now boast DTT HD channels. HD services are set to launch in Sweden and Finland toward the end of the year and in early 2011.

In addition, national free-to-air channels are becoming increasingly available on the DTT networks of neighboring countries. Sweden’s TV4, for example, is on a pay platform in Denmark, and several Italian channels are on a pay platform in Malta.

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