Satellite TV more popular than cable television in Germany

MUMBAI: Luxembourg-based satellite fleet operator SES has revealed that satellite television in Germany, the company‘s most profitable national market, has almost caught up with cable television in subscriber totals.

Satellite reception is growing in popularity in Germany while cable television is declining.

Germany has become special for SES because of the switch-off of analogue television there on 30 April when the country will go all-digital.

Analogue television uses much more satellite capacity per television channel than does standard digital TV, meaning at the cut-off date, SES will find itself with a large number of unused satellite transponders.

As of July-end last year, SES was beaming analogue broadcasts into Germany on 33 transponders mainly from satellites at SES‘s 19.2 degrees east orbital slot while 32 other transponders were providing digital services in Germany.

As of now, SES has resold nine of these 33 transponders to broadcasters to use after 30 April. Seven of these nine transponders have been booked for use starting later in 2012, while two others would be used starting in 2014.

That would leave 24 transponders carrying analogue television, compared to 10 channels or so for standard digital television and around five channels per transponder for high-definition television, depending on the signal compression used.

Already 85 per cent of German satellite customers have moved to digital broadcasts. SES has said that for 99 per cent of its customers, only the receiver needs to be replaced that would cost around 30 euros.

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