Eutelsat Participates in First Tests of HDTV Over France's Digital Terrestrial Television Network in Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

From June 1 to July 17 Eutelsat is partnering with TDF to transmit a sequence of programmes in HDTV MPEG4 to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) transmitters in France's three largest cities. The satellite channel provided by Eutelsat will deliver HDTV programmes supplied by leading French channels including France Televisions, TF1, M6 and Canal Plus to DTT transmitters in Paris, Marseille and Lyon.

The objective of the six-week period of tests coordinated by the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA), France's broadcasting authority, is to validate the full HD broadcasting chain to DTT homes from encoding, transport and broadcasting, through to reception. The capacity provided by Eutelsat is on ATLANTIC BIRD(TM) 3 which is also the satellite already used to deliver all five DTT multiplexes to over-the-air transmitters in France since the full commercial launch of DTT in March 2005.

Programmes on the test HD DTT channel began on June 1 with live coverage by national public broadcaster France Televisions of tennis matches from the centre court at Roland Garros shot by six HD cameras set up in the centre court. The satellite signal is delivered to DTT transmitters operated by TDF located on the Eiffel Tower in Paris and also in Marseille and Lyon. TF1, M6 and Canal Plus will also participate until July 17 with HD content produced on the occasion of key events including World Cup football and Bastille Day commemorations on July 14.