NDS to deliver CI+ to KDG

Wolfgang ZellerIBC 2009 – Amsterdam. Wolfgang Zeller, Kabel Deutschland’s head of service engineering technology, has confirmed the cabler’s intention to adopt CI Plus technology early in 2010. It will be the first time that NDS has permitted its conditional access to be used in conjunction with a common interface.

Speaking at a press lunch organised by NDS, Zeller outlined ambitious plans that will see the operator introduce a four-tuner HD PVR, VOD and catch-up TV services from public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, subject to contract. The on demand and HD channels will run in MPEG-4.

“We are in very good shape with NDS to deliver CI Plus to the market early next year. So finally our customers can use their nice IDTVs,” he said. “We don’t have that much time any more and we needed a partner that was able to keep pace with us.”

Broadband TV News understands that KDG will use CI+ technology from the Chinese supplier SMiT.

Zeller is looking to take advantage of the new integrated digital TVs (IDTVs) that are being introduced into the German market and feature a digital cable tuner. He anticipated a commercial launch on February 1.

NDS has become a surprising convert to the use of the common interface module having previously refused to let its security system sit in anything else than an approved set-top box. “We felt the Common Interface as it was originally conceived provided a huge digital hole,” NDS chairman and chief executive Dr Abe Peled told Broadband TV News. “In the US the Cablecard changed all that and while there were other issues it closed that gaping hole. We can see the logic, but you have to get across the same user interface, and this is not the optimum”.

NDS recently announced an agreement it Access Systems Europe to deliver pay and FTA channels to connected TVs with recourse to a set-top box. The system uses the NDS Infinite TV hybrid content platform and Access’ Netfront Browser.