After the analogue switch-off in December 2010, Croatian TV viewers will once again have to upgrade their equipment in order to continue receiving terrestrial TV. Croatia is planning to switch to a second generation DTT network (DVB-T2) by 2020, in order to redistribute part of the radio-frequency spectrum for mobile broadband, in line with EU regulations.
Speaking at a conference in Zagreb, the assistant director of the Croatian telecommunications sector regulator, Željko Tabaković, said that everyone will have to make additional investments. Viewers will have to buy a new TV or set-top box; TV broadcasters will have to purchase HD equipment; network operator OiV will have to upgrade the antenna transmission system, while mobile operators will have to purchase the second digital dividend and invest in networks.
According to Hakom’s calculations, 1.2 million TV viewers should buy a DVB-T2 set-top box or new TV. The current price of such devices is HRK 250 (€32.50), which means the total investment will be around HRK 300 million (€39 million). Furthermore, 11 of the 13 surveyed broadcasters have confirmed that they plan to migrate to an HD signal, mostly using the 720p standard.
The concessions for the frequency spectrum used by DTT multiplexes A and B, which will be required for the digital dividend, expire in 2019. However, Hakom points out that the decision is primarily political and needs to be synchronised with the other EU Member States.