Television, Satellite and Cable TV in Bulgaria
Information about terrestrial and digital broadcasting and television providers in Bulgaria...
The transmission standard in Bulgaria is PAL. In order for foreign television sets to work in the country, they should be compatible with this standard. There are three main television/video standards in use throughout the world.
- NTSC: used in the USA, Canada, Japan and some other countries
- PAL: used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa
- SECAM: used in France and Eastern Europe
There are four national terrestrial TV channels in Bulgaria, as well as a large number of local and foreign TV channels available via cable and satellite television.
There are no licence fees for the reception of television or radio broadcasts in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian National Television or BNT is the public service broadcaster in Bulgaria. It broadcasts a 24-hour programme with national coverage (BNT 1) and a satellite programme aimed mainly at Bulgarians living abroad (BNT Sat). BNT has also four regional broadcasting centres in Blagoevgrad, Varna, Plovdiv and Rousse.
Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-T)
Terrestrial television in Bulgaria is undergoing a switchover from analogue to digital video broadcasting. The digitalisation process is expected to finish by the end of December 2012. Presently, there is no terrestrial digital television with national coverage.
The Bulgarian Telecommunication Company (BTC) launched an experimental terrestrial digital broadcast which is available only in the capital city of Sofia. The package includes six Bulgarian TV channels and two national radio programmes.
The equipment required to receive this is:
- an internal or external aerial
- DVB receiver (if the TV set doesn't have a built-in digital receiver)
Cable Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-C)
CableTEL is a cable operator which provides analogue and digital cable television to households in many towns and cities in Bulgaria.
To subscribe to CableTEL's digital service it is necessary to have a subscription to CableTEL's cable TV service.
- Customer Service Tel: 0700 110 11 or 04 800 111 (for English-speaking clients)
- To subscribe to CableTEL online: Click here
Contracts are usually for a minimum of one year. When signing a contract proof of identity is required.
The equipment required to receive DVB-C consists of:
- a digital cable set-top box, which can be bought from CableTEL or from another supplier
- a smart card
The main digital package includes over 150 television and radio programmes, additional services such as Pay-per-View, Video-on-Demand and IPTV are available as well.
Satellite Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB-S)
Bulsatcom and ITV Partner are the providers of DVB-S satellite television in Bulgaria.
Bulsatcom sells economical, standard and premium packages. High definition is also an option, although the receiver needs an additional in-built hard disk. HBO, HBO Comedy and CINEMAX are each available only by separate payment.
Bulsatcom broadcasts via Hellas Sat 2 satellite and the basic equipment needed to receive the signal is:
- A satellite dish pointing at 39° east, 60 cm in diameter
- A digital receiver with a card for individual access (one receiver for each television set)
Subscriptions can be made by telephone or at one of the Bulsatcom business centres. When subscribing to a satellite contract, proof of identity is required.
- Tel: 0800 138 00
- For a list of business centres and their contact information: Click here (in Bulgarian)
ITV Partner has a wide range of individual and combined digital TV packages. However premium package channels are only available to subscribers of the basic package. A subscriber needs the following equipment to receive the signal from the Eutelsat W2 satellite:
- A digital receiver and a smart card bought from the offices of ITV partner or from shops in their distribution network
- A satellite dish pointing at 16° east, a TV satellite stand and a converter
To subscribe to ITV Partner Tel: 0800 12 500 or 02 912 500 or Click here (in Bulgarian).
All cable and satellite packages provide CNN International and Euronews in English.