France has pulled ahead of other European countries by setting aside terrestrial capacity for high definition television. Strategy Analytics new research piece “Digital TV Transition: Europe Watches France’s Mandates As Terrestrial HDTV Arrives” says the country has taken an important step towards HDTV on the ‘TNT’ platform by allocating capacity for HD channels and mandating the incorporation of HD tuners into HD Ready TV sets.
France has led Europe on the development of both HD television and mobile TV, despite coming late to DTT, due to pressure from the burgeoning IPTV networks. Other countries including Norway and Croatia are planning for HD, but with the advantage of using MPEG-4 technology, which makes for a better use of capacity.
Strategy Analytics says the French decision will have ramifications for other European countries. The French decision will put pressure on other countries to accelerate their own HD over DTT policies. However, the report cautions that French plans to switch off analogue signals in 2011 are still ambitious.