Croatia sets 2011 switchover deadline

The Croatian Government has set 2011 as the deadline for the complete switchover to digital terrestrial broadcasting, one year before the EU's 2012 deadline.

The Government's Strategy for conversion from analogue to digital broadcasting, establishes that the transition will initiate on 1st September 2008 and be concluded by 1st January 2011. According to the State Secretary for e-Croatia, Igor Lucic, digital technology will provide a higher quality picture, digital teletext, EPG, and new interactive services such as electronic banking and electronic shopping. It will also enable the introduction of 4 new national TV channels, the first of which is HRT 3 Sport, which launches on 1st January 2009.

Currently, 10 per cent of Croatian households are ready for digital TV, Lucic said, adding that 1.2 million TV license payers will receive coupons worth HRK 135 (E18) as the government’s financial support for the purchase of digital TV receivers. During 2008, the government is planning to spend HRK 15 million (E2 million) to raise awareness of digital conversion and for receiver subsidies. Next year, the sum will rise to HRK 41.5 million (E5.7 million) and in 2010, the government will earmark HRK 106 million (E14.5 million) for this purpose

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