Spanish DTT lags interactive world

Spain's homes already have more than 14 million DTT boxes but only 250,000 are capable of interactive services. This is a situation that prevents Spanish viewers from progressing towards the Information Society according to José Luis Vázquez (left), CEO of interactive TV company Mirada.

Mirada is a company born though the merger of Spain's fresh-IT and UK's Yoomedia, dedicating to creating and managing interactive services which allow digital content buyout through TV sets, mobile phones or the internet.

Spain's DTT coverage reaches 90% and penetration is at around 45.1% with 14.2 million boxes aready sold and a share of 21.9%. But the problem, according to José Luis Vázquez is that "up until now there are scarce boxes allowing access to advanced TV services in such important areas as education, health or entertainment when the deployment of the receivers already reaches most homes".

Mirada's CEO considers the only way to reach such a level or services is that these come in a series of sales or at least with the possiblity that each user can download in an easy way what he needs.

Vázquez states in the UK the key factor for the success of interactive boxes has been the application of the norm for the distribution of DTT receivers which demands the presence of an interactive layer in all the boxes. So all British homes with DTT can already access the NHS health services or can interact with children's contents designed to aid literacy for instance.

In the Italian case where the audiovisual market is little regulated interactivity levels still surpass 96% in thte receivers at a cost of €60 per unit.

For José Luis Vázquez "it's the services related to the contents that are driving the DTT interactive market in Italy. Such is the case of soccer or other services allowing the broadcasters to differentiate their programmes and at the same time to add to them new communication lines with the viewers".

Before this situation Mirada's CEO considers that "Spain will have to pay a certain price” since in his opinion "in any imaginable scenario the presence of the new receivers will be necessary in order to have the services we are developing in other markets for such important broadcasters like ITV, BBC, Disney or MTV."