Austria subsidises HDTV cable boxes

Jörn Krieger

The Austrian government wants to promote the market penetration of digital television on cable networks and is offering analogue cable customers who switch to digital TV a €40 voucher when they buy a digital receiver, media authority RTR announced in Vienna.

In order to qualify, the receiver must be suitable for HDTV reception, but in contrast to earlier grants the current promotion does not require the boxes to be compatible with the MHP technology for interactive services. The vouchers can be obtained either from the cable operator or in the retail outlet where the receiver is purchased. The promotion, which is limited to 33,333 boxes, has a budget of up to €2 million for the vouchers and associated costs. It will run between 1 September 2009 and 28 February 2010.

The reason for the action is digital television’s limited acceptance amongst cable households in comparison with DTH satellite households. Altogether 58% of Austrian households currently receive digital television.