Eutelsat’s subscription-free Fransat platform will start to carry six new HD channels on December 12.
These six new DTT channels broadcast in HD will launch in France on December 12: Chérie 25, HD1, L’Équipe 21, Numéro 23, RMC Découverte and 6Ter.
However, only 25% of French homes in mainland France will be able to receive the new channels at launch through terrestrial reception. Terrestrial reach will be progressively expanded until full coverage is achieved in mid-2015.
All French homes will however be able to receive these new HD channels by satellite from day one.
Homes already equipped with a Fransat HD box will automatically receive the new channels using the channel numbering fixed by France’s national broadcasting authority (the CSA).
Homes with a Fransat SD box can upgrade to an HD box to get the full line-up of content. For the 75% of French homes equipped for terrestrial reception, access to the expanded line-up will be possible with a satellite dish and a Fransat HD box, available in over 8,000 retail outlets across metropolitan France.
Jean-Luc Deroudilhe, CEO of Eutelsat’s Fransat affiliate said in a statement: “We are delighted to provide nationwide coverage of these six new national channels from day one and to increase the HD offer to 10 subscription-free channels. The signal quality and digital choice available through Fransat continues to attract viewers, with almost two million TV sets now connected to our platform.”
The Fransat platform is broadcast via the Eutelsat 5 West A satellite at 5 degrees West. It is expected that the alternative TNTSat platform from the Canal+ Group on Astra will also offer the six new HD channels.