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Television

Currently we are the only company providing national radio and television programme transmission and broadcasting services in Hungary. On the long term our intention is to become the number one provider in the field of digital terrestrial television and radio programme distribution services.

The services related to radio and television programme distribution are essentially about delivering radio and television signals from the studios of radio and television programme providers to listeners and viewers. Programmes produced by radio and television programme providers are distributed on our terrestrial and satellite broadcast systems. In addition to that, we provide digital satellite uplink services in order to establish the link between TV studios and mobile equipment, regional studios and international programme sources. Rather than producing radio or television programmes, our company distributes television and radio programmes created by other businesses, granted a broadcasting licence by the Hungarian Government.



If you have questions or would like to receive information in connection with any of our programme distribution services, please contact us at info@ahrt.hu e-mail address!

 

Digital broadcasting

In December 2008  our company launched the subscription-free digital terrestrial commercial service called MinDig TV and since 25 May 2010, we  have been offering an encoded pay-tv service as well, called MinDig TV Extra.

Within the frames of  MinDig TV service, currently the programmes of  12 television channels (M1 HDM2 HDDuna HDM4 Sport, M5 HD, Duna WorldRTL KlubTV2FEM3 Izaura TVZenebutik, C8) and 4 public radio channels (Kossuth, Petőfi and Bartók és Dankó Rádió) are available free of charge.

In addition a 24-hour  Informational channel is broadcast on the separate 99th channel within the MinDig TV service. The pilot HbbTV service of Antenna Hungária called MinDig TV Plusz can be reached from here.

Our company continually negotiates with content providers with the aim of increasing the number of channels in the subscription-fee free MinDig TV service in the future.

The platform offers an exceptional flexibility for the users: they can decide between watching the free-to-air channels only or subscribing for additional popular channels in the frame of the pay-tv service, MinDig TV Extra.
Due to the the digital terrestrial television network, MinDig TV and MinDig TV Extra channels are available for more than 99 percent of the population.

For the reception of  MinDig TV and MinDig TV Extra services the following devices are needed:  a broadband rooftop or indoor antenna enabling the reception of the UHF frequency band and channels 21-69, a DVB-T MPEG-4 decoder (set-top-box) along with a television or an integrated television set with built-in DVB-T MPEG-4 tuner. So as to receive the MinDig TV Extra pay-tv service, a Conax-card is needed in addition as well as a CA-module in case of an integrated television set equipped with a DVB-T MPEG-4 tuner.

Receivers meeting the requirements of MinDig TV platform can be purchased in most electronic retail shops. Antenna Hungária proposes to purchase a qualified, MinDig TV stickered receiver, which is compatible with the requirements defined for the reception of the Hungarian digital terrestrial television programmes. The Conax-card needed for the pay-tv channels of MinDig TV Extra is provided by the service provider and can be activated by calling the call centre (1211).

Technical parameters of services offered on DVB-T platform 
The technical settings on DVB-T platform for MinDig TV and MinDig TV Extra services:
Number of carriers: IFFT 8k
Modulation: 64QAM
Code rate: 3/4
Protective interval: GI 1/4

Coverage map - open

Technical information - open

In 2012, the major sport events (including Formula-1 Grand Prix, Football European Championship and Summer Olympic Games) broadcast on public service channels were available in HD-quality, without paying a subscription fee on MinDig TV. Antenna Hungária plans further network expansion, with special emphasis on improving reception in urban areas and extended coverage of Multiplex B, which broadcasts MinDig TV Extra Family package. (More about this - in Hungarian - here.)


By the end of 2011, further 20 digital sites (3 of them high-power backbone station) were launched. As a result of this network rollout, the number of DVB-T sites increased to 50, the population coverage of the public channels is already more than 98 percent, by this exceeding the present analogue m1 network’s coverage.

In March 2012, power increase took place at certain transmission stations. At Budapest Széchenyi-hegy: significant increase - from 50.1 kW to 100 kW – on Multiplex C (channel 62); in case of Karancs: smaller power increase on Multiplex A and B (38 and 55 channels) and further smaller power increases took place in Eger and Barcs for all three multiplexes.

In 2011 the digital terrestrial television platform showed the highest growth in Hungary. Number of households watching the free-to-air MinDig TV service reached 300,000. MinDig TV offers seven digital TV channels and four digital radio channels without a subscription fee, the signals can received via a rooftop or an indoor antenna. MinDig TV Extra, the pay-tv component offers, apart from the 7 free-to-air channels, 24 additional channels. Number of subscribers to MinDig TV Extra increased by 34,000 last year and is about to reach 60,000.

Another boost to the popularity of MinDig TV is that 96 per cent of new HD-ready or full-HD television sets (plasma, LCD, LED) now come with a DVB-T MPEG-4 tuner and thus no stand-alone decoder has to be purchased for watching free HD-quality television programs.


Important technical changes on the digital terrestrial television platform from the date of 1 October 2011

Based on the modification of the Authority Contract with National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH), Antenna Hungária formed a public service multiplex on MUX A as of October 1. To realise this, several programs moved from Multiplex A to Multiplex C: TV2, RTL Klub, euronews, HírTV, ATV, SportKlub, Info Channel and NeoFM. Duna TV and Duna World HD programs moved from Multiplex C to Multiplex A.

At the same time, there was a swap of frequencies in MUX A & B in four regions: Budapest, Karancs-Salgótarján, Békéscsaba and Vasvár. In these areas the public channels are available from Channel 38 (610 MHz) as of October 1, the maximum power of MUX A increased to 100 kW (max. ERP) in the Budapest region. The Authority Contract modification enabled Antenna Hungária to use Multiplex B for DVB-T services instead of the DVB-H (mobile TV). Our company executed this change on September 30, 2011, the same day the DVB-H transmission ceased to exist and a new MinDig TV Extra family package is available on MUX B in the future.

Thanks to the MinDig TV service, the free-to-air digital television reception possibility was available for 95 per cent of the population at that time, which ratio continued to increase by the end of 2011, after putting the new digital sites into operation. Three new high-power sites started to operate in North-East of Hungary in the course of November 2011: Miskolc/Avas, Fehérgyarmat/Penyige and Aggtelek/Perkupa.

There was a change in October in the technical parameters of services offered on DVB-T platform, as well: the protective interval (GI) changed for 1/4.


Background information – already history…

Antenna Hungária was one of the first operators in Europe to start the first domestic experimental broadcast in the DVB-T MPEG-2 format from its Budapest site in July 1999. Since October 2001 the company had been continuously broadcasting the three public service channels (m1, m2 and Duna TV), along with 1 kW output signals for measurements. The first rural DVB-T site was put into service at Kabhegy in 2002, with a 2.5 kW output capacity, using the antenna broadcasting the analogue television programs, as well. On 12 October 2004, Antenna Hungária started its two free multiplexes on the 43 and 51 UHF channels in Budapest and on the No. 64 UHF channel at Kabhegy. The multiplexes broadcast programs of the four public service channels - m1, m2, Duna TV and Duna II Autonómia -, along with an electronic program guide (EPG) and a super-teletext service.

The National Communications Authority issued a tender call in the spring of 2008 for the operation of five terrestrial digital television networks and one terrestrial radio broadcasting network and Antenna Hungária won both orders for such services. On 5 September 2008, the Hungarian Communications Authority and Antenna Hungária signed the contracts concerning right to operate the digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting networks. Antenna Hungária won the right to operate 5 television and 1 radio multiplexes for a period of 12 years, from among which the company started the broadcasting in December 2008 on the television multiplexes ‘A’ and ‘C’ and on ‘B’ for mobile television broadcasting (since 30 September 2011, this ‘B’ multiplex is also used for the DVB-T transmission). On multiplexes ‘D’ and ‘E’ the company can start service provision after the termination of the existing analogue terrestrial broadcasting service. On the radio multiplex, it started DAB+ broadcasting in January 2009.

The DVB-T television multiplexes will reach 98 per cent, the radio network will reach 94 per cent of the population when completed.

As a consequence of the launching in December 2008 of the new MinDig TV service, the experimental system broadcast with the aid of the MPEG-2 compacting technique having been in operation from 1999 and containing each of the four public service channels was stopped on 13 October 2008 at Kabhegy and on 31 October 2008 in Budapest. Accordingly, this format of broadcasting was brought to an end, so the MPEG-2 devices cannot receive the MinDig TV service any more.

As far as the channels available through the new MinDigTV service are concerned, at the time of its launch, the HD format program of Duna TV and the SD format of Duna II Autonómia were broadcast. Since 2009, the program of RTL Klub (from 8 May) and TV2 (from 1 June) in SD format, the HD format program of m1 and m2 (from July 1) and the SD format program of euronews in English, German and French (from 28 August) have also been available on the multiplexes ‘A’ and ‘C’ of the digital terrestrial television service.

In December 2008, at its launch, DVB-T provided a nearly 60 per cent coverage of the population, from three sites (Budapest, Szentes, Kabhegy). The network was expanded in December 2009 by opening ten more sites, bringing coverage to 88 per cent, whereby the digital network exceeds the 86 per cent coverage of the existing nationwide commercial analogue channels. By end 2010, the coverage rate of the network exceeded 95 per cent, and it is supposed to be available for a 97 per cent of the population by the end of 2011.

In February 2010, Antenna Hungária Group received the necessary radio licences for two of its transmission sites to increase the maximum Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of Multiplex A and C. At Széchenyi-hegy transmission site Antenna Hungária increased the maximum ERP from 6.3 and 10 kW to 40 kW (on 5 Feb), and at the transmission site located in the 10th district (Száva utca) it grew from 0.6 kW to 2.4 kW (on 10 Feb). These steps will enable much better reception conditions of the subscription-free MinDig TV digital terrestrial television service for the citizens living in the Budapest area.

Pilot transmission in MPEG-2 format (1999-2008)

Antenna Hungária started the first pilot transmission from its Budapest site in DVB-T MPEG-2 format on July 9, 1999.

Since October 2001, our own equipment was used for the transmission of the three public service programs (m1, m2, Duna TV) and measuring signals for the testing purposes at 1 kW transmitted output. During the experiments the company continuously monitored the quality of reception.

Antenna Hungária launched the first DVB-T site in the countryside at Kabhegy in 2002. Transmission took place with an output of 2.5 kW using the same antenna as the analogue television programs do.

Our company put into operation its two free-to-air multiplexes (MUX) on 12 October 2004, on the UHF channels 43 and 51 in Budapest and on the UHF channel 64 at Kabhegy. The programs of the four public channels - m1, m2, Duna TV and Duna II Autonómia - could be received on the MUXs, along with an electronic program guide (EPG) and a superteletext service for these channels.

The National Communications Authority issued a tender call in the spring of 2008 for the operation of five terrestrial digital television networks and one terrestrial radio broadcasting network and Antenna Hungária won both tenders for such services. On 5 September 2008, the National Communications Authority and Antenna Hungária signed the contracts concerning the right to operate the digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting networks. The 'MinDig TV' called digital terrestrial commercial service was launched in December 2008 in DVB-T MPEG-4 format on two multiplexes.

As a consequence of the launching in December 2008 of the new MinDig TV service, the experimental system broadcast with the aid of MPEG-2 compacting technique having been in operation from 1999 and containing each of the four public service channels was stopped on 13 October 2008 at Kabhegy and on 31 October 2008 in Budapest. Accordingly, this format of broadcasting was brought to an end, so the MPEG-2 devices cannot receive the MinDig TV service any more!


Pilot transmission in MPEG-4 format and HDTV pilots (2008)

Antenna Hungária in cooperation with the Hungarian Television had launched HD-channel transmission on its digital terrestrial pilot system in Budapest on the channel 38 during the Beijing Olympic Games in August 2008. The channel could be received by DVB-T MPEG-4 HD set-top-box or an integrated television set.

Antenna Hungária launched again the transmission of the m1 HD program in Budapest on its pilot DVB-T system since 6 October 2008. The HD program was available on the channel 51 using MPEG-4 compression format. For testing purposes the m1 HD program using MPEG-4 compression was available until November 16, 2008 on the above mentioned channel.

On December 23, 2008 Antenna Hungária started the test broadcasting of m1 and m2 programs for a temporary one month period, which was extended until February 28, 2009. Both programs were available subscription-free in HD format in the MinDig TV digital terrestrial television service, in the Budapest region on the channel 55, in the Kabhegy region on the channel 64, and in the Szentes region on the channel 60.

Digital broadcasting has been gaining more and more ground in the world of television broadcasting. This technology has the potential to radically change television habits. A pan-European platform, usually known as DVB, was created in 1993 in order to develop this system. The task of this organisation is to co-ordinate the introduction of standard digital television broadcasting in the various countries.

Based on the recommendation of DVB the following licences were created:
- DVB-T digital terrestrial broadcasting
- DVB-H digital mobile television
- DVB-S digital broadcasting through satellite
- DVB-C digital program allocation through cable networks

Thanks to the solutions of DVB-T, or digital terrestrial broadcasting, a wider range of programs, excellent quality and reliable reception can be offered to the viewers. In addition, DVB-T also represents a 'safe future' system that can create new market and business opportunities. Its universal introduction will enable us to free up frequencies for providing new services.

Why DVB-T?

- Because, using the MPEG-4 compaction technique, it enables the transmission of 8-10 excellent-quality programs in the usual analogue television channels, depending on the requirements of the service provider, and because it also makes it possible to introduce the HDTV system. 

- Because due to the efficient utilisation of the data speed the number of programs can be increased and/or frequencies can be freed up to provide other services.
- Because it makes it possible to construct a single-frequency network (SFN). In order to ensure the economic utilisation of the frequency range, every transmitting station and relay station will broadcast a program package on the same frequency.

- Because assuming the same coverage area, the real investment cost is lowest in the case of DVB-T. Constructing a DVB-T network is cheaper than a cable network, and the DVB-T network can even be built upon the analogue infrastructure.

What does digital television offer to the viewers?

- More content, new channels: number of FTA channels could be increased.
- Faultless, noiseless picture and sound quality: no ghost image, flashing or colour distortion.

- With the most modern technology HD programs can also be achieved.

- More convenient handling: electronic program guide (EPG), where the viewer can select the desired program from a menu list. The selection can be made according to the program's name or classification.

What does DVB-T mean for the service providers?

- Coverage: the number of channels with nationwide coverage will increase significantly, thus creating broadcasting opportunities for new service providers.

- Conditional access program transmission: efficient encoding can be attached to the digital signals, which will make it possible to match the service to the demands of the viewers, and to efficiently protect the content.
- New advertising opportunities: the significant increase in the number of programs also enables the launching of advertisement channels.
- Planability: thematic program channels can be started to satisfy specialised and particular demands.

The DVB-T receiver

For digital broadcasts you need a broadband aerial which is suitable for the receiving of UHF frequency (UHF IV, V), namely the channels 21-69. The conventional TV set is not compatible in itself, for digital broadcasts you need a DVB-T MPEG-4 HD set-top-box, which receives and processes the arriving digital signals before emitting them through its output, having converted them into analogue signals. Different set-top-boxes are needed for the reception of terrestrially, via satellite and via cable distributed programs due to the different modulation techniques. Today there already exists a dual-mode television set (IDTV = Integrated Digital Television) which is suitable for direct reception of digital terrestrial broadcasts as well, because the units required for receiving both the analogue and the digital reception are present in the same device.

You can get more information about the available DVB-T receivers in Hungary on the MinDig TV homepage.

Since 2005 DVB-H service was launched as a trial in several countries in Europe (and outside of it) and there were some countries in which it was launched also commercially. However, since 2010 service providers experienced in more countries that the interest in mobile DVB service declined. Professionals share the opinion that DVB-H service did not fulfil the business expectations.

In Hungary, Antenna Hungária started the technical preparations of television programmes watchable on mobile phones in 2005 in the frame of the WING TV project, in which 8 European countries were cooperating. Having completed the commissioning of the pilot television transmitter, Antenna Hungária carried out the mobile television standards related measurements. After completion of the WING TV project, negotiations concerning the way of cooperation with thee mobile operators started.

Antenna Hungária and T-Mobile started a joint mobile television test on April 1, 2007. As part of the agreement concluded by the two companies, a comprehensive technical test was started in April 2007 for several months. The experts of the two companies tested how the broadcasting network of Antenna Hungária could be connected to T-Mobile's mobile technology to be suitable for DVB-H service. Thus providing high quality telecasting on any mobile device that is equipped with a television receiver.

Since November 2007 until January 2008 AH transmitted 14 channels in Budapest under a friendly user test with the participation of T-Mobile and Vodafone. In addition to television programs some interactive services – file downloading, voting - were also tested in the trial. Through the test, Antenna Hungária intended to improve the technological solutions for the future commercial service, to realize the smooth introduction of them and to work out the conditions of a high-level service.

The National Communications Authority issued a tender call in the spring of 2008 for the operation of five digital terrestrial television networks and one digital terrestrial radio broadcasting network. Antenna Hungária won both tenders. On 5 September 2008 the National Communications Authority and Antenna Hungária signed the contracts for the operation rights of the digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting networks by means of which in December 2008 the DVB-H commercial service was launched in Budapest on one multiplex from three sites (the Széchenyi Hill station, the one in Száva Street and Hármashatár Hill).

Thanks to the set transmitter power and transmission parameters the reception was good in the biggest part of Budapest, even inside buildings and outdoor coverage exceeded the borders of Budapest. All three transmitters broadcast the programme on the same frequency, UHF 38 television channel. The transmitters made a synchronised, single frequency network (SFN). The mobile television network had a 16% population coverage in Budapest and its surroundings.

Within the frames of the trial service the owners of mobile phones with DVB-H receiver had the opportunity – free of charge - to choose from the programmes of Duna TV, Duna II Autonómia, ATV, Hír TV, the programmes m1 and m2 of Hungarian Television and from the three public service channels of Hungarian Radio (MR1-Kossuth, MR2-Petőfi, MR3-Bartók).

Similar to many countries, it was not successful to develop the business model within the frames of which the commercial DVB-H service could start.

The modified authority contract made with the National Media and Infocommunications Authority on 19 July 2011 provided the opportunity for Antenna Hungária to use multiplex B for DVB-T services instead of DVB-H transmission.

On 29 September 2011 our company stopped DVB-H transmission.

Beginning of television broadcasting in Hungary

The first television pilot transmission broadcasting the program of the Hungarian Television in Budapest started in 1954, in Hungary. Regular transmissions began in 1957 and - with the launch of the second TV channel - colour broadcasting was started in 1969.

Up to 31 October 2013, our company was responsible for broadcasting one public and two commercial television channels, using a surface network covering the whole of the country. 17 backbone and 122 relay stations were operated for M1 (Hungarian Television), ensuring 97% population coverage. For transmitting tv2 14 backbone transmitter equipment and 56 relay stations, and for RTL Klub 12 backbone transmitters and 35 relay stations were used. Both commercial transmitter networks covered 86% of the population.

The distribution of television programs was done through our own national digital microwave backbone network. The NICAM system, which served as a value-adding service, was available country-wide for all three television channels.

Using an appropriate roof-antenna or on favourable terms, an in-door antenna the population could receive terrestrial television broadcasts without any subscription fee.

More on our historical overview pages!