Details emerge on Spain pay-DTT box
Iñaki Ferreras

Spain's Ministry of Industry along with the Association of Industries for Telecommunications and Information Society (AETIC) are developing a common DTT set-top box for future pay DTT. The set-top is set to include other advanced DTT services such as HDTV and interactive applications.

On May 15 the industry is expecting the government to launch a new law allowing payment on DTT. The project will count on the work of the companies specializing in electronics in order to develop a standard for a universal decoder compatible with future pay DTT in Spain. The project will be finished in June with the idea of launching the first prototypes before August.

One of the working group's major goals is that the technical specifications of the new box will have the highest levels of compatibility with the decoders that at present are available in the market. According to AETIC's president Jesús Banegas: "With this move we try to avoid a scenario where different broadcasters have their own decoders which is confusing for the end users".

However some audiovisual industry market sources critiziced the project, alleging there are interests behind it, among them technological developer Sidsa (CA KeyFly's creator). These interests are trying to build a vertical market for pay DTT decoders instead of a horizontal one which for most of the industry is the most convenient model because every user buys the most convenient decoder for him and inserts the Smart Card he wants in it.