Serbia has decided to opt for the MPEG-4 and DVB-T2 standards in its forthcoming transition to digital broadcasting.
Speaking about the transition, Jasna Matic, the minister for telecommunications and information society, said that the country would complete it by April 4, 2012 rather than the 2015 suggested by the ITU in order to be synchronised with the EU and neighbouring countries.
She also said that the state will allocate between $15-40 million (€10.7-28.6 million) for set-top boxes, with the higher figure required if they are supplied to all citizens and lower one for just the socially disadvantaged.
All those eventually eligible will nevertheless be required to be already paying the (obligatory) receiver licence fee. Although boxes currently cost between $60-70, they are expected to retail for €50 by 2011.
Serbia has become one of the first countries to commit to the DVB-T2 standard. The UK will be introducing it this autumn for a HD multiplex, though boxes will only become available in large quantities from early 2010.