Eutelsat’s Fransat subsidiary has announced that over 800,000 set-top-boxes have been shipped to receive digital terrestrial TV (DTT) channels by satellite via the Fransat platform.
A further 200,000 Fransat connections have been installed in community buildings (such as hotels, retirement homes, hospitals, clinics). Users selecting satellite reception of France’s DTT channels are mainly located beyond range of the national digital terrestrial TV network, in areas where terrestrial reception is made more difficult by the landscape or by interference in frontier areas.
Analogue switch-off has been completed in 10 regions in metropolitan France. A further 14 regions, accounting for two-thirds of French TV viewers, will transition in 2011. This second wave includes mountainous regions in the south of France (Auvergne, Alpine regions, Provence, Corsica, Rhone valley, Midi-Pyrenees) where a satellite solution will be needed to provide complementary coverage, ensuring that no home is excluded from access to digital terrestrial television.
Yves Blanc, chairman of Fransat, remarked on the performance: “We are extremely gratified by the response to Fransat during our first year of active contribution to France’s move into a digital broadcasting environment. Fransat is clearly meeting a need to complement France’s terrestrial network so that all homes can benefit from digital. We are committed to further evolving the platform, with the addition of regional and thematic channels.”