HDTV promised for UAE in 2009

Various experiments have been tried locally to generate interest in HDTV in the Middle East, without much success to date. That might be about to change if the leader of a leading Gulf electronics distribution company, Eros Group, is concerned.
“The full HD service was supposed to begin last year, but was delayed. One reason was that full content in HD is not available for normal 24-hour broadcasting,” Deepak Babani, chief of Eros Group, told Gulf News. “Though the media has tried to highlight full HD, but just because the software is not available, the interest is not there. But once the software arrives, the demand for the hardware will automatically grow,” he told the newspaper.

“We have been ready for HD for two and a half years now in terms of infrastructure, but there isn’t enough content to broadcast to balance the costs,” explained Humaid Rashid Sahoo, chief of Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based cable and wireless pay-TV operator E-vision.

In the oil and gas-rich Gulf states, people are buying flat-panel screens, frequently in full 1080p standard, but are only using their HDTV sets for watching Blu-ray DVDs and for gaming consoles.