Spain's pay-DTT boxes due in September

Iñaki Ferreras

If Spain's government recently approved a new law allowing pay-DTT, it now remains to be seen whether the manufacturers of set-top boxes will have products ready to cover a brand new market willing to spend money for premium content at a low cost.

The Association of Electronics and Communications

Spaniard Companies (ASIMELEC) said that "for the moment this new market hasn't begun to roll on because the manufacturers haven't had time to make the new boxes". Manufacturing is likely to start in September.

ASIMELEC's general manager José Pérez said the new law regulating pay-DTT "has been recently regulated although the new standard is nearly defined. However we don't know how many boxes will be in the market".

What seems to be clear is that the distributors and retailers will facilitate the purchase of the boxes.

But Jesús Banegas, president of the Association of Information Technology and Communications Enterprises (AETIC) of Spain said the boxes to receive the pay-DTT soccer channel Gol TV will not have Spanish technology but a foreign one. For Banegas the approval of the new law wasn't necessary at a so-early stage since it will damage Spanish companies.

"Pay-DTT was an opportunity for our industry, which by the way is well positioned and had the government acted in another way it would have been a great opportunity for Spain to lead this sector worldwide," said Banegas. In his view it would have been wiser to leave a six month period to approve this measure although he recognized the Spaniard industry is working "quickly and running" to satisfy the market's demand.

Banegas thinks the rushing through of the approval of the new law will have negative consequences in the "universalization" of the decoders because according to him "we still can't guarantee the decoder approved will be universal and unique. If this happens every home will have a different model whis is negative for the users because they will have to use different conditional access decoding cards".