OSN set to battle piracy with HD STBs
by Vijaya Cherian on Feb 1, 2010

Orbit Showtime Network (OSN) has announced the rollout of new set top boxes (STBs) free of charge from today to existing subscribers to enable them to enjoy its newly launched High Definition bouquet of channels. The STBs, however, will be rolled out in phases and will be available to all OSN subscribers within the next six to twelve months.

“We are the first operator in the region to announce a HD bouquet, which presently includes OSN Movies HD, Discovery HD and Nat Geo Wild HD,” stated Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, CEO of OSN at a press conference to formally announce the new name of the pay TV operator.

“You can enjoy this HD experience only with our new OSN STB, which will be distributed free-of-charge to all our subscribers within the year. These boxes also support Dolby Digital sound so you will be able to enjoy the full-HD experience.”
d’Halluin added that the new technology, which has been developed in-house by the operator, is “essential to view our HD channels” and will also “better secure our platform”.

The STBs, however, offer basic features for the moment, such as allowing viewers to choose between English and Arabic languages. However, HD-DVR and on-demand features will be available later.

“You must remember that we have launched this new technology six months after our merger,” argued d’Halluin.

“It usually takes at least two years to develop a new generation of technology. But in just a few months from now, we will also have the Show box HD and HD-DVR features as well for our subscribers,” he added.

OSN also announced that it will add another five HD channels to its HD bouquet by this summer.