There will be much to discuss at the next Broadband TV News Business Breakfast, due to be held in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, on June 8.
Just over two years ago, when the city hosted its first such event, the transition to digital broadcasting in Hungary was still very much in its infancy. Indeed, the launch of the DTT service MinDig TV operated by Antenna Hungária was still over half a year away, as was Magyar Telekom’s DTH platform Sat TV. UPC had just launched its digital cable service, while IPTV was struggling to make any kind of impression on the marketplace.
Fast forward to the present and we have a very different picture. Following a slow start, due to principally insufficient content, the FTA MinDig TV has started to find its feet and has just been enhanced by a complementary pay-TV service named MinDig TV Extra. Sat TV has meanwhile been a resounding success story, ending Q1 this year with just under 200,000 subscribers, and UPC’s digital cable service had almost 186,000 customers.
The latter, in particular, has driven the take-up of such services as HD and PVR in Hungary.
IPTV, too, has finally established a foothold in the market thanks largely Magyar Telekom’s service and, to a lesser degree, Invitel.
Hungary is also keeping up with developments elsewhere in Europe in the 3D sector. Earlier this month, UPC undertook the first transmission in the format at an exclusive press showcase, while the DTH platform Hello HD has said it is better prepared than any other player to launch a 3D service in Hungary.
Statistically speaking, Hungary is now well on the way to adopting digital services. Only earlier this week, the country’s National Communications Council (NHH) announced that as of the end of March almost half (48.2%) of the country’s 3 million homes that received subscription services had digital TV. Of these, 776,000 opted for satellite and 435,000 for cable or IPTV.
These are certainly interesting times for Hungary’s TV industry as it enters the final stages of its transition to digital broadcasting.
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