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Germany completes analogue switch-off on satellite

Germany has successfully accomplished its switch-off of analogue television and radio via satellite on 30 April 2012: Since 03.00 CET in the morning, DTH broadcasting in Germany is 100% digital.

The move marks the end of a chapter in German TV history 23 years after the launch of the first analogue TV channels on Astra (19.2° East).

In an extensive information campaign, public and commercial broadcasters, satellite operator Astra Deutschland, local retailers and hardware manufacturers made satellite viewers aware of the upcoming analogue switch-off.

The capacity vacated on Astra will be used for new digital TV channels and further HDTV services. German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF launched a total of 10 new HD channels on 30 April including regional channels, ZDFneo, 3sat, KI.KA and Phoenix which are available unencrypted and free-of-charge. On 1 May DMAX HD and Super RTL HD will launch on Astra's HDTV platform HD+ which viewers can subscribe to for €50 per year.

In total, Astra households can currently receive more than 280 digital TV channels and around 100 digital radio stations in German language on Astra including over 50 HD channels.

Analogue television remains available in Germany only on cable networks most of which carry an analogue package of around 25 to 35 channels in addition to a large digital TV line-up. This will remain the case in the forthcoming years with no date having been fixed yet for analogue switch-off on cable.

The three other TV distribution platforms satellite, DTT and IPTV are already fully digital.

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