Sky Deuschland/HD+ deal imminent

September 10, 2010 11.05 Europe/London

IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. Sky Deutschland and Astra’s HD + platform are still in discussion about interoperability of their respective HD receivers, said Ferdinand Keyser, CEO and President of SES Astra.

“And remember, last week there was the announcement by Sky Deutschland that they will support CI Plus receivers,” he said. This would effectively remove any technical hurdles. Kayser seems confident an agreement will be reached soon.

During the yearly IBC press conference, Norbert Hölze, SES Astra, said he expects the total number of HD channels on their satellites will; reach 200 by the end of 2011. At the moment there are 150 HD channels.

“HD has become a real mass market with 150 million HD TV sets sold within five years in Europe. Half of the European households are equipped with an HD ready screen and=by the end of 2014, 76 million homes will be able to watch HD in Europe having either an IDTV or an HD receiver.”

In four years time, 34 million household will be watching HD via satellite, this corresponds to every second DTH household in Europe by 2014. The number of HD channels is expected to triple in the next few years driven by the main premium TV operators in Europe, such as Sky, Viasat, CanalSat, Digital + and Sky Deutschland.

“These figures show that TV is the real revolution,” according to Kayser, “how many iPads have been sold? Impressive numbers, but the real growth is now in television. And TV broadcasting is the real motor of television entertainment.”

Kayser also sees 3D as an important driving force with a fast market adaptation. About 25 million TV homes will be equipped with a 3D ready set by 2015. And every second TV screen shipped in 2014 will be 3D ready, according to market analysis. “There are already more than 35 sets available and at IFA so manufacturers were showing only 3D sets.”

Kayser also expects hybrid set –top boxes o become the standard. The majority of pay-TV set tops will be hybrid in the next five years with a total of 87 million to be sold by 2015 word wide.

(Source: Broadband TV News)