RAI goes HD on Astra

December 19, 2013 08.29 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Italian broadcaster RAI is to launch a four-channel HD bouquet on Astra at 19.2 degrees East following an agreement with SES.

However, Italian nationals will be disappointed that the channels will, although free-to-view, will be restricted to Italy. They will be encrypted using the same system adopted by Tivusat at the nearby Eutelsat Hot Bird neighbourhood.

SES satellites at 19.2 degrees East transmit over 850 TV channels, of which more than 150 are in HD, said Ferdinand Kayser, Chief Commercial Officer at SES. We are pleased with the result we have achieved in Italy. Recognising SES role as a driver of HD growth in Europe, RAI trusts SES to provide capacity to enable its HD expansion in Italy. We are looking forward to working closely with this prominent customer and becoming a driver of HD growth in Italy as well.

The precise channels to be broadcast have not been confirmed.