ARD plans analogue DTH switch-off in 2010

The German pubic broadcaster ARD plans to switch off all analogue DTH broadcasts on the Astra satellite on December 31, 2010, said Michael Albrecht, digital controller of the ARD, during the FRK conference in Leipzig.

A similar switch-off date for ZDF could also be set, but no final decision has been made, said ZDF legal officer Carl Eugen Eberle, according to Digital Fernsehen. He hopes to achieve a “concerted action” with the private broadcasters, who are also still available in analogue on satellite, resulting in a “reasonable communication with the audience.”

“Chaos in the analogue shutdown,” both men agreed, could not be allowed to happen. Two and a half years is seen as sufficient to communicate and market the final switch-off. In 2010 both ARD and ZDF hope to introduce HD, so they will need the capacity to be freed up by then.