ARD to push digital DTH

Jörn Krieger

German public broadcaster ARD will launch a digitalisation campaign to promote the switch from analogue to digital television amongst DTH satellite households.

"Within ARD we have agreed on a fast transition from analogue to digital satellite television. We are now giving priority to discussions with market players for determining a concrete analogue switch-off date", ARD chairman Peter Boudgoust said in Bremen. Boudgoust also stressed that ARD considered it important to lead viewers through the change to the digital television age and inform them about the different reception methods for ARD's digital package.

A key element of the campaign will be presentations and information given at consumer electronics fair Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) to be held from 4 - 9 September in Berlin. Visitors to ARD's stand will be given information regarding the transition from analogue to digital television, accompanying programme offers and individual reception possibilities including high definition television (HDTV). In the run-up to ARD and fellow public broadcaster ZDF's entrance into regular HDTV transmissions from February 2010, test transmissions in HDTV will be screened from the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, IFA and during the Christmas period.

Of the 16.2 million satellite households in Germany, around 70 per cent receive digital television. At the beginning of May satellite operator Astra Deutschland launched a nationwide digitalisation campaign in order to encourage the remaining analogue households to make the change.