Dutch DTH prioritises HD

By Robert Briel
February 9, 2010 06.58 UK

The Dutch satellite platform Canal Digitaal is betting on HD to attract new customers. Following SES Astra’s announcement of two new transponders, the company has unveiled its plans.

“We now offer the widest and best choice of HD channels,” said Andrei Noppe, EVP of the M7 Group, during a press briefing. Contracts are now in place to carry all three public broadcasters’ channels Nederland 1, 2 and 3 in HD. “We want to be the logical choice for anyone wanting HD.”

Also, three RTL channels will be available in HD, RTL 4 HD, RTL 5 HD and RTL 7 HD, as well as all three SBS channels, SBS6 HD, Net 5 HD and Veronica HD. The three public HD channels are available as free-to-view.

The HD option is available for an additional €5 a month. “This makes us by far the most economical way of receiving HD,” said Noppe, “A basic analogue subscription costs between €15 and 16 euros, with Canal Digitaal you get a basic SD package for €9.95 plus €5.00 for the HD versions.”

At the same time, the DTH platform has introduced a simplified, four-tiered system of bouquets. The most expensive bouquet is the Top Package, retailing at €24.95.

For premium subscribers, Film1 HD and Sport1 HD will be available, included in the premium subscription price of €9.95 for the full bouquet of Film 1 and Sport1 channels. This includes four movies channels (Film 1, Film 1.2, Film 1.3 and Film1 Action) and two Sport 1 channels.

The HD offer also includes Brava HDTV, NatGeo HD, Discobery HD, History HD, VRT Een HD, Eurosport HD and MTVN HD. In addition, people can receive the free-to-air HD channels Das Erste HD, ZDF HD, Arte HD, Eins Festival HD, BBC HD, LuxeTV HD, Annixe HD and Servis HD.

Over the next few months, Noppe hopes to announce more HD carriage contracts for the platforms. “We have some room on our two additional transponders,” he said.