Kabel Deutschland to use CI+ from NDS
Jörn Krieger

Germany’s largest cable company Kabel Deutschland (KDG) will introduce the new generation common interface system CI+ in early 2010, Wolfgang Zeller, head of service engineering technology, announced at a luncheon held by international technology concern NDS during broadcast technology trade fair IBC in Amsterdam.

With the CI+ module, designed for the NDS encryption system VideoGuard, customers will be able for the first time to receive KDG’s encrypted digital offer via their TV sets with built-in digital receivers, without a separate set-top-box being necessary. This also marks VideoGuard becoming available for the first time on a CI module.

Furthermore, Zeller announced that KDG will introduce an HDTV personal video recorder (PVR), a video-on-demand service with HDTV content and an IP-based return channel for interactive offers. Cable customers will then, for example, be able to use the catch-up services of public broadcasters ARD and ZDF on the TV screen. The number of HDTV channels will also be increased.

With the offensive, KDG wants to catch up with platform operators in other countries. Zeller frankly admitted that the company’s digital service portfolio was 10 to 15 years behind large market players such as BSkyB. The majority of customers still use analogue television, there are no HDTV PVRs and no interactive services on KDG cable networks, he said.

“But this also has its good sides,” stressed Zeller. “There is a lot of potential here – and KDG is firmly committed to make use of it.” According to Zeller, the company intends to quickly take a leading role in the area of digital services on cable networks and has therefore opted for NDS as its technical partner. He added that the goal is to push forward the digitalisation of the German cable market with NDS technologies.