From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The European Union has decided to lend a helping hand to countries in the Western Balkans seeking to introduce digital terrestrial television.
A E13 million project has been approved by the European Commission in Serbia which has set a deadline of April 2012 for the analogue switch off (ASO). According to Serbia's Minister of Telecommunications and the Information Society, Jasna Matic, E8 million has been earmarked for the procurement of equipment, while the remaining E5 million will be spent on technical assistance, support and promotion of DTT. Serbia has opted for the DVB-T2 standard with MPEG-4 compression.
In Montenegro, the EU has presented E1.2 million worth of DTT transmission equipment to public broadcaster RTVCG. According to the EU Ambassador in Montenegro Leopold Maurer, the EU will allocate an additional E3 million from the IPA program for the introduction of DTT. Montenegro has set December 31st 2002 for the ASO and has also opted for MPEG-4 compression.