CSA fixed terrestrial HD timetable

French media regulator the CSA has fixed the timetable for the rollout of HDTV on the country’s digital-terrestrial TV platform.

Three HD channels from commercial broadcasters TF1 and M6 and an HD version of public channel France 2 will be delivered via a new multiplex, R5, to be progressively rolled out as different regions switch off analogue services.

R5 will be deployed immediately after switchover via the main transmitter sites in the regions that switch off analogue services this year, with the exception of Alsace, where HD services will be launched on September 28. Other transmitter sites will begin offering the new multiplex early in 2012. All regions that complete switchover in 2011 will receive the HD services immediately when they complete switchover.

The CSA expects the HD services to reach 90% of the population by the end of November next year, and 95% at the end of the first quarter of 2012.

HD versions of Arte and Canal Plus are already available throughout France on DTT via other multiplexes.

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