Germany’s second-largest cable operator will remove further analogue TV channels and increase its HD line-up in return.
“The digitalisation of TV is making progress. Today, around 85% of our customers watch digital television. And the figure is increasing daily,” Christian Hindennach, senior vice president consumer of Unitymedia, said in Cologne. “The upcoming switch-off of analogue channels is the last step before we will close down our analogue offer completely.”
The removal of further analogue channels will take place in federal state North-Rhine Westphalia on April 25, 2016 and in Hessen and Baden-Württemberg on April 26, 2016 – during night-time in both cases.
The affected channels include Sat.1 Gold (North-Rhine Westphalia and Hessen), RTL Nitro (Baden-Württemberg) and Bayerisches Fernsehen in Baden-Württemberg. In Unitymedia’s whole footprint, Channel 21 and sonnenklar.TV will be removed. In some cases, Juwelo, Servus TV and DMAX are affected. The removed channels will remain available in digital at no extra charge.
The HD offering will be expanded by Sat.1 HD’s regional windows for North-Rhine Westphalia and Hessen in May 2016. For this purpose, Sat.1 will drop the encryption of its HD signal on Unitymedia’s cable network each day between 17.00 and 19.00 CET.
The other additions are Sat.1 Gold HD as part of the fee-based HD-Option and subscription channel A&E HD which will be offered within pay-TV packages Digital TV Highlights and Digital TV Allstars.
Further HD channels will join the line-up during the course of this year. For example, Unitymedia will add regional channels to its unencrypted HD proposition; their analogue carriage will be reduced in return from May 2016.
Unitymedia commenced gradual analogue switch-off on July 1, 2015. A website has been set up to inform affected viewers about the transition to digital TV. In total, the Liberty Global subsidiary carries more than 100 unencrypted digital TV channels including – from April 2016 – 17 HD channels.