TIHANY -2012. Pay-TV operators are being given the opportunity to take part in the latter stages of the transition to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Hungary, which according to the law has to be completed by the end of 2014 but the authorities would like to see finalised next year.
Speaking to Broadband TV News, Ferenc Kéry, president of the Hungarian Cable Communications Association (HCA), outlined plans by the regulator NMHH to hold a tender for DTT reception equipment in each of Hungary’s six regions.
Cable operators, as well as DTH and IPTV providers, will then be given the opportunity to provide a basic package of four must-carry national TV channels and four radio stations, plus anything else they may wish to offer, for a fixed – and indeed low – fee.
They will also have to sell set-top boxes, which along with roof antennas will be subsidised. Early indications are that the needy sections of the population, when given the choice, will still opt for DTT rather than cable services.
Kéry also spoke to Broadband TV News about the controversial issue of regional channels and their carriage on cable networks.
Services such as Parliament TV and D1 TV have been reclassified as regional and can now ask the regulator NMHH to force operators to sign a carriage agreement with them.
The only stipulations of these agreements are that they are for only a year, the channels are carried in the basic package and offered free of charge.