Telenet launches Teletenne DTT platform.
By Robert Briel

Belgian cable operator Telenet is launching its paid-for DTT platform called Teletenne.

The operator will start selling the new service from July 2. Customers have to buy the special Teletenne DTT receiver kit for €129, that can be connected to any TV set with Scart or with a HDMI connection.

The initial bouquet consist of eleven channels, VRT Een, Ketnet, Canvas, VT4, Vijf, Acht, National Geographic, MTV, Kanaal Z, Nickelodeon, NJam, Studio 100 TV and Ment TV. The number of channels will increase during the next few months. Notably absent from the bouquet are the channels from the VMMa, VTM, Knaaaltwee, Vitaya and JimTV. The channels from SBS Belgium are part of the initial package.

Reception of the three public VRT channels is free of charge. Subscription to the private channels will be €11.50 per month.
In February 2010 Telenet concluded an agreement with Norkring Belgium for the use of capacity on their DTT network (Digital Terrestrial TV), allowing Telenet to offer its subscribers in Flanders and Brussels aerial TV over Norkring’s TV masts. Teletenne can be received in the broadcast area covered by Norkring. This roughly coincides with Telenet’s service area, Flanders and Brussels.

Bart Bosmans, CEO Norkring Belgium, said in a statement: “Over the past two years, Norkring and Telenet worked together closely to be able to present this new product to the general public today. We are proud that we have given an innovative impulse to DTT technology in Flanders and Brussels and that we have built the most innovative network. Norkring will further upgrade its commercial DTT network to the very latest broadcasting standards DVB-T2 in the near future. This makes Belgium one of the first countries in Europe (after the UK) to roll out this technology on a large scale, offering a tremendous improvement in mobile TV reception in digital quality. For Norkring this is but a first step in a continuous innovation process.”

Inge Smidts, SVP residential marketing, added: “With Teletenne we want to show that Telenet follows the customer everywhere. From now on you can easily watch television in digital picture quality in your second home, bedroom, caravan or student room. Several more channels will be added in the coming months. With Teletenne we respond to changing trends whereby consumers are accustomed to having access, always and everywhere, to their favourite entertainment services.”

Initially, Teletenne will broadcast using the current DVB-T standard, but next year Norkring plans to switch to DVB-T2, at least for the subscription channels. This will allow the operator to increase the number of channels available on the terrestrial network. All reception equipment sold for Teletenne i DVB-T2 compatible, so there will be no legacy issues.