IFA 2007 – BERLIN. During a special press briefing SES Astra announced full details of the much debated Entavio platform, which is due to be launched on September 1. Consumers will have to fork out €1.99 a month for “the technical access to pay-TV”. The activation fee of €9.99 will be waived till the end of the year and smart cards will be distributed direct from Entavio.
The first pay-TV operator to offer its packages via Entavio is Premiere, including its new Premiere Star bouquet of thematic channels. Entavio will start to market Premiere’s entire satellite offer on September 1, with access to the Premiere Flex offer included in the monthly fee. During a special introductory campaign, all receivers will come with a special €50 voucher good towards Premiere subscription fees. Also, Premiere Star will be free of charge for its first three months of operation. “This is a total savings of €100,” according to Premiere CEO Michael Börnecke.
The satellite opeartors also said that further operators will follow. Entavio compatible receivers from various manufacturers will meanwhile be available from the beginning of September. A total of 15 receivers are on show at the IFA from a dozen manufacturers including Kathrein, Humax and TechnoTrend. Before the end of the year, the first Entavio HD receiver and HD-PVR should hit the shops.
“Entavio is the beginning of a new generation of digital satellite television“, said Wilfried Urner, CEO, in a prepared statement. “entavio provides a very large programme choice, interactive applications, an easy access to pay-TV as well as an excellent customer service. With entavio, we have developed a concept that will be able to reflect all future technological innovations. Therefore entavio is one of the most attractive forms of digital TV access and certainly the best solution for receiving digital satellite television.”
Ever since the news about the Entavio plans leaked they have spurred controversy among German politicians, consumer groups, public broadcasters and viewers. The anger was mainly aimed at the fact that the original plan included a scheme to encrypt all commercial channels which are now available free-to-air (FTA). Entavio seems to have abandoned these plans, at least for the present.
The platform aims to offer a single standard for all broadcasters wanting to offer pay-TV programming for the German language market. However, there is as yet no single receiver solution for the Austrian market, where Cryptoworks is now the de facto standard for DTH reception.