Last year is being hailed as a “significant watershed” for digital terrestrial television in the European Union, with 22 of its 27 member states achieving the recommended deadline of switching off analogue terrestrial television by the end of 2012, according to the European Audiovisual Observatory.
Over the course of last year, countries including Ireland, the UK, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and the Slovak Republic hit the recommended deadline. Other European nations which are not formally part of the EU like Croatia, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland have also completed analogue switch-off.
Switch-off should also be completed in Greece, Poland and Bulgaria this year, while Hungary should do so in 2013 or 2014 (along with the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Albania, Romania, Russia, Montenegro and Turkey have planned to complete the process in 2015, enabling them to meet the June 2015 deadline of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) GE-06 agreement.
2012 was also a banner year for DTT pay-TV platforms, which have now been established in 21 countries, with a total of 33 pay-DTT services available, including new services launched last year in Belgium and Greece.