Antenna Hungária on the right track for the digital transition - MinDig TV hits 200,000 homes mark

AH with its investment of 25 billion Forints creates a state-of-the-art digital television environment affordable to all Hungarian citizens,

AH with its investment of 25 billion Forints creates a state-of-the-art digital television environment affordable to all Hungarian citizens, while decreasing steadily public broadcasters’ transmission costs and saving billions of Forints for the state budget.

Antenna Hungária is continuing to develop its free-to-air and pay-tv digital terrestrial television services. Currently 95% of the population can enter the world of digital TV without having to pay a subscription thanks to the MinDig TV service. These viewers can also get access to the best-value-for-money pay-tv service on the market thanks to the MinDig TV Extra service.

A massive growth was recorded in the sold number of DVB-T MPEG-4 compatible receivers in the past months. This growth was driven by the following factors: significant network expansion as of the end of last year, growth of the service awareness following the communication campaigns, successful promotions of the MinDig TV Extra service, continuous expansion in the choice of the MinDig TV stickered devices and distribution partners and further decrease in receiver prices.

Antenna Hungária uses the monthly sales statistics of GfK Hungária Kft. for the compilation of its monthly research. According to the sales figures, there was a sharp increase in the equipment penetration of the DVB-T services, as there are more than 600,000 households with a DVB-T MPEG-4 receiver (set-top-box, integrated TV set, PCI card or USB stick) at home. The actual usage of the MinDig TV service has reached an important milestone, MinDig TV service is being used by more than 200,000 households, representing around 25% of the total number of terrestrial households. The awareness of the digital terrestrial television service grew too, almost 80% of the Hungarian households have already heard about MinDig TV.

In parallel, the subscription-based MinDig TV Extra service offering 11 additional channels to the existing 7 free-to-air channels, has reached another milestone: 25,000 subscribers were acquired within 10 months. This great achievement, was made possible because of an extensive retail network, with already more than 450 shops distributing MinDig TV Extra. A key partner, TESCO has recently decided to join the distribution network with its 116 stores as of April. AH continues to expand the customer care office network also: five additional customer care centers are planned to open in the coming months (Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs, Győr).

Through the cooperation of Antenna Hungária Group, Cofidis and TESCO-GLOBAL Zrt., a new favorable installment construction is available for the enquirers of MinDig TV digital terrestrial television service. Thanks to the financing construction of Cofidis, the monthly installment amount of the MinDig TV stickered TechniSat HDT4 digital terrestrial set-top-box will be 780 HUF only, the price of a pack of cigarette. The favorable installment construction will be available in the 27 Budapest-based and countryside stores of TESCO.

Since last December the DVB-T services can be received virtually everywhere. Nevertheless Antenna Hungária continues the network expansion: the 30th digital site, located on the Karancs peak, will be launched by the end of April, the population coverage of the digital network will increase to 95.6%. This expansion enables the reception of MinDig TV and MinDig TV Extra services for the vast majority of Nógrád county. In 2011 the focus will be on the North-Eastern regions of Hungary, three new high-power sites will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011: Miskolc/Avas, Fehérgyarmat/Penyige and Aggtelek/Perkupa.

Antenna Hungaria is investing approximately 25 bn HUF in the digital transition process on the basis of its current licenses and contracts. The company relies on the hope that all the open questions regarding the Hungarian analogue switch-off strategy, the set-top-box subsidy mechanism, the communication campaign will be addressed and answered in the coming weeks.

„Antenna Hungária is ready to deliver a smooth digital switchover, in order to strengthen the competition on the television program distribution market and contribute to the fast realization of the digital dividend. Since TDF, the mother company took over, Antenna Hungária has, mainly by its efficiency efforts, decreased the transmission costs for the public service broadcasters in the past 4 years. This allowed the public broadcasters to finance the transmission of their programs during the ongoing digital switchover with 10% less money paid than in 2007. Additionally the digital switchover has an overall positive effect on the state budget: after analogue switch-off, AH will provide state-of-the-art transmission services to public service broadcasters for approximately half the money spent in 2007 for that purpose. This clearly demonstrates that Antenna Hungária‘s shareholders and employees actively play a leading role in the modernization of Hungary and have done their part in the drastic cost-reduction of the operations of the State” – emphasized Jean-Francois Fenech, Chief Executive Officer of Antenna Hungária.

In this year Antenna Hungária focuses on further enlargement of its free-to-air and pay-tv offers: for this, Multiplex B (presently used for DVB-H test transmission in and around Budapest) should be converted to DVB-T purposes, subject to a decision by the National Media and Communications Authority. According to the estimations of AH, the number of MinDig TV households will grew up to 350,000 by the end of 2011, and prices of the necessary devices – set-top-box or an integrated TV-set – will decrease further, with the result that almost everybody could afford to buy a DVB-T MPEG-4 set-top-box for Christmas.

Antenna Hungária

Further information:
Antenna Hungária
András Tóth, Head of Communication
Tel: +36 1 464-2110
E-mail: totha [kukac] ahrt [pont] hu 

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