Monday, December 11, 2006

Flash: The Dutch step into the digital era

It is 00.01 a.m. In another half hour the Dutch take a leap into the digital era. From now on Dutch TV will be distributed digitally. Distribution of TV signals on the basis of Digital Video Broadcast Terrestrial (DVB-T) protocol will be 11 million euro a year cheaper, while on the other hand more digital channels will become available.

The Netherlands is one of the first countries going digital TV. This is possible as most Dutch households receive cable TV, inclusing 1 million households are digital TV. All public broadcast companies will distribute their broadcasts uncode, free to air without a smart card or a subscription.

In total some 220.000 households will be unable to receive the digital TV signals: 74.000 households and the rest recreational venues (boats, recreational homes). They will not receive any broadcast, unless they buy a decoder to receive the public broadcasts, a subscription to Digitenne, the KPN digital TV distribution organisation, or digital satellite.

Does it change anything? We will not notice anything as our household is on the cable with UPC. The present cable signal is lousy and snowy since a week. A complaint to the customer service of UPC a week ago and a visit of an engineer, who checked the in-house situation, have not changed the situation, as the block signal has gone weak (most likely due to some fiddling of a UPC engineer on the blockhead). In short, things change when UPC has the intention and time to do so. Service to the customer; forget it.

BTW This is the 600th posting since May 1, 2005. Every day one or more postings have been launched ever since.

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Blog Posting Number: 600

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