WATCH VIDEO. French viewers who are dependent on digital terrestrial reception, and who only have an MPEG-2 receiver, will face black screens on April 5, 2016, when the country’s DTT network switches off its MEPG-2 broadcasts.
Viewers need to have a MPEG-4 HD receiver in order to continue receiving signals from the DTT network, which in France is called TNT. At the moment, only sales of the correct reception equipment is allowed, but there remains a large number of legacy receivers, affecting possibly as many as six million viewers.
Catherine Morin-Desailly, the president of the culture, education and communication commission of the French Senate, has written a letter to the government alerting them to the situation and urging them to launch an awareness campaign to make viewers understand they need to buy a new DTT receiver in order to continue to watch digital terrestrial television.
The switch-off is part of the campaign to offer all digital terrestrial channels in HD quality.
People living in areas not covered by the terrestrial transmitter network can receive the full bouquet of channels from two DTH platforms, TNTSat on Astra and Fransat on Eutelsat. The free-to-air channels are free-to-view on satellite requiring a subscription-free smart card.
PLEASE NOTE – the video from French news channel BFM Business is only available in French