Almost three million German analogue DTH satellite households need to convert to digital before the final switch-off date of April 30, 2012. “That means 9,000 analogue households need to go digital per workday,” according to Wolfgang Elsäser, managing director Astra Deutschland, during the presentation of the 2010 Satellite Monitor results.
The satellite operator is meeting the challenge with a big campaign, which includes educating the public as well as cooperating with consumer electronics retailers. “Retailers are our way to the market,” said Elsäser.
With sales of 3.2 million satellite receivers during 2010, the digitalisation of DTH households is well under way. The number of digital satellite homes grew by another 1.6 million during the past year, up from 12.1 million to 13.7 million. “2011 will be another good year.”
Germany is the most important market for Astra, serving 94% of all German TV homes. DTH reach increased with 450,000 homes from 16.2 to 16.65 million.
According the Satellite Monitor, terrestrial reception is stable at around 2 million homes, while cable lost 430,000 households, 18.2 million, down from 18.6. IPTV is on the increase, up from 0.6 million to 0.9 million.
In terms of digitalisation, 82% of all DTH homes in the country are now digital, both DTT and IPTV are 100% digital while cable lags behind with just 38% of all cabled homes now digital.
Elsäser believes HD will further drive digitalisation, “We now have 25 HD channels for the German speaking market, while a year ago there were only 12.” Astra expects there will be over 30 HD channels at the beginning of 2012. “Expect some announcements from Sky Deutschland”.
The HD+ platform is also developing nicely with 1.5 million smart cards shipped to manufacturers 400,000 HD+ set top boxes sold and a further 100,000 CI modules for the service.