HD+ platform will be prepaid

By Robert Briel | June 24, 2009

SES-Astra will not be involved with subscription management of the new HD+ platform. The service will only be sold on a prepaid basis in retail, with the possibility to extend the viewing window in a number of ways.

HD+ reception will also only be possible with satellite receivers that have CI Plus capability, according to Astra Deutschland CEO Wolfgang Elsäßer, speaking at the Medienforum in Cologne.
Also, according to German press reports, Nagravision has been chosen as the CA system. So far there have been no official announcements on such an agreement.

These decisions come at the same time as Sky Deutschland is rolling out its new service, with the platform instructing dealers and installers to supply only HD satellite receivers to new customers. Such sets will not be compatible with the HD+ platform.

SES-Astra has chosen to adopt a relatively open platform by insisting on CI Plus, but so far there is little sign that Sky will also commit to CI Plus. This is a dangerous development in the still very young German HD market.
Usually consumers react with caution when there is no clear single technical standard. On the other hand, the two platforms would face an investigation from the Bundeskartelamt should they dictate a single system on the market.

HD+ will initially offer RTL and Vox, but more broadcasters are expected to come on board.