UPC Direct to add HD channels

By Chris Dziadul
April 14, 2010 10.17 UK

BUCHAREST BUSINESS BREAKFAST: UPC will introduce HD channels on its UPC Direct service in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia on May 1.

However, according to Magnus Ternsjö, MD of UPC Broadband’s DTH business (UPC DTH S.a.r.l, in Luxembourg), it will only do so in Romania on its platform Focus Sat at later date. He also said that UPC has no plans to re-brand Focus Sat as UPC Direct.

UPC is swapping a total of eight transponders, five of which were on Astra, to a total of 10 on Thor and adding simulcrypt of Canal Digital. The platform will be ready on May 1 following a period of dual illumination and UPC expects 90% of customers to be switched in three months, with the last being in September.

Ternsjö in addition said that 10-20 channels will be added to its satellite service, depending on the market.

A new Filmbox premium service will also be made available in most markets, and a new PVR introduced this autumn.