Although no official announcements have so far been made, the Dutch cable operator Ziggo is set to become the first to introduce the CI Plus standard.
In the past few weeks major consumer electronics manufacturers including Philips, Samsung and JVC have been showing CI Plus capable television sets during their dealer presentations.
With signed NDAs, all parties keep their mouth shut, but the specifications of the new TV sets speak for themselves. At Philips, for instance, all sets will be equipped with both a DVB-T and a DVB-C tuner incorporating CI Plus.
The CI Plus standard is now in its final phase before full specification. Once the standard is set, delivery of the new sets can start.
Ziggo is the first European cable operator to fully embrace the CI Plus standard, which will easily be implemented because the operator uses a retail model for the set-top boxes and integrated TV sets and PVRs. This sets the operator apart from UPC, which uses a rental model.
At the moment, UPC, in conjunction with Philips, is running a promotion with a retail model with an HD set-top box, which is available in the shops. As a market trial, the cabler started a year ago to sell HD cable tuners in retail at €249; starting now, the two companies are running a special promotional campaign with the set-top selling for €199 which includes a free 12-month subscription to the HD bouquet.