France’s largest cable operator Numéricable has started to distribute the terrestrial HD channels in the DVB-T standard in 20 more towns in France. TF1 HD, France 2 HD, Arte HD and M6 HD are carried without encryption, allowing anyone with a regular DVB-T tuner to receive the channels.
The service is now available in Brest, Chateaulin, Nantes, Rennes, Avignon, Bastia, Cannes, Grenoble and Bordeaux, as well as in 11 additional villages in the Alsace. The move is of particular interest to people in the Alsace, as all analogue broadcasts will cease on February 2nd.
The move is part of Numéricable’s effort to bring all free-to-air terrestrial channels on its network, including the 18 national digital channels. With regards to the Alsace, the offer also includes the regional variations of France 3, the regional channel Alsace 20 and the German cross-border broadcasts.
Viewers need to have access to the Numéricable network, but are not required to have a subscription in order to receive the DVB-T channels. However, they can subscribe to broadband and telephony services from the cablers with prices starting at €19.90 a month. The operator plans to have all digital terrestrial channels available on its entire network by trhe end of 2011, when analogue switch-off in the country will have been competed.