BELGRADE BUSINESS BREAKFAST: The Romanian multimedia company RCS&RDS, which has a presence in the DTH and cable markets of several Central and East European markets through its Digi operations, has revealed its plans for a next generation set-top box.
The modular receiver, which is being developed with the assistance of the manufacturers Hyundai and Humax, could play a key role in Serbia’s transition to digital broadcasting, due to be completed on April 4 next year.
According to Marcel Popa, the general manager of Digi Sat, the Serbian branch of RCS&RDS, the box will be a hybrid allowing for the reception of both the Digi DTH service and terrestrial DTT channels, the latter free of charge. This is particularly important in the Serbian market, where the public channels are absent from the DTH platform Digi Sat (though not Total TV) and Popa called for some sort of ‘Must Carry’ to be introduced. Popa was speaking at the Belgrade Business Breakfast, organised by Broadband TV News, in association with Telenor Satellite Broadcasting.
It will employ DVB-S2 and MPEG-4 compression and allow for the gradual introduction of additional services as HD, PVR, VOD and PPV at a later date. The use of DVB-S2 also allows a migration path that would ultimately save the platform valuable bandwidth on the Intelsat 10-02 satellite (one degree West).
The box, which is described as a “multi system receiver”, will also be deployed in other RCS&RDS markets.
A decision as to what middleware it will use will be made centrally in Bucharest.
Serbia’s transition to digital broadcasting could also be helped by the incumbent telco Telekom Srbija, which already offers the services of a contribution TV network.