SES Astra has confirmed the November 1 launch of its new HD platform HD+ and said viewers will receive the first 12 months for free.
Everyone who buys an HD+ certified receiver will receive a smart card with 12 months of viewing. After the free period, consumers may be able to extend the validity of the card for €50 per year. This may be done via a dedicated web site, in retail or using a special HD+ hotline. Viewers may also buy a new smart card.
Three manufacturers – Humax, Technisat, Videoweb and Technotrend – will have HD+ certified receivers in the shops before year’s end (See also Broadband TV News passim). SES Astra has also said receivers which have CI Plus capability will be compatible with the platform. This includes TV sets with CI Plus slot from manufacturers including Loewe, Metz, Samsung and Sony.
On November 1, RTL and Vox will start their HD broadcasts on the HD+ platform, to be following in January by Sat.1, ProSieben and kabel eins. SES-Astra emphasised reception of other HD channels including ARD, ZDF and Arte, will also be possible with the HD+ receivers without the need of an active smart card.