Nearly 1500 DTT channels make it to air across Europe

An overview of digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in Europe released last week shows there are now a total of 1460 channels available on DTT platforms across Europe, and that by the end of the year, DTT will be available in all European Union countries with the exception of Romania.

The findings, part of a report on DTT milestones in 2010 from the MAVISE TV database developed for the Directorate General Communication of the EU by the European Audiovisual Observatory, also reveal that while the rollout of DTT is gaining momentum, some problems have arisen, particularly with lukewarm acceptance of pay DTT service in some areas, which has led to postponement or outright cancellation of the pay service in some countries.

Overall, however, the snapshot of DTT deployment in Europe shows a positive picture. This year alone, eight European countries will complete their transition to DTT broadcasting. Beyond EU members, five other European nations have adopted DTT. The findings also reveal that HDTV is an important part of the transition to DTT. HD channels currently are available on DTT in eight European countries.

Of the nearly 1500 DTT channels available, 50 percent are local or regional, 39 percent are national and 11 percent are international. Currently, local or regional channels on the DTT platform are available in 13 countries. Italy, Spain and Denmark have a large number of local DTT channels, according to the findings.

Pay DTT services currently are available in 14 EU countries including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden. They also are available in the non-EU countries of Iceland, Albania, Norway, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland.

According to the findings, smaller countries, including Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland, have postponed pay DTT plans. Romania has delayed its pay service rollout due to cancellation of DTT tenders.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.