While the past few years has seen relatively little increase in the worldwide market for satellite set-top boxes, research company In-Stat believes that 2012 will see sales rise by nearly 14%. In-Stat says that new technology is driving demand, with satellite boxes – including those for reception of services via ASTRA satellites – now featuring improved graphics, new features and the introduction of smart and ‘over-the-top’ services such as catch-up TV to enhance and personalize the experience for viewers.
Visit www.instat.com for more information
Eurosport has launched a Dutch-language version of Eurosport 2 for the Benelux countries. Showing 2,000 hours of live broadcast each year, including freestyle skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, team sports and motorsports, the Dutch version of Eurosport 2 will be broadcast on the CanalDigitaal and TV Vlaanderen platforms via ASTRA 19.2°E.
Visit www.eurosport.com for further information
Behavioural research from Austrian user control specialist, Ruwido indicates that the remote control handset will remain central to the control of television services in the living room in the future. Despite speculation that Apple may develop its Siri artificial intelligence software for voice command of TV sets and the introduction by Microsoft of Kinect voice control for TV on the Xbox games console, Ruwido emphasises that investigations at Ruwido France into new interaction technologies has shown that while there is a continuing need to re-evaluate how viewers interact with TV services, the remote control is here to stay.
Visit www.ruwido.com for further information
German manufacturer TechnoTrend Görler has produced a set-top box for use with free-to-air channels, HD+, Sky Deutschland, and HbbTV. The TT-micro S855 is a twin-tuner PVR-ready receiver, capable of displaying/recording two channels at once with external storage, and is equipped with a CI+ interface certified for the HD+ German high definition platform. The box has also been certified for use with CI+ modules for the Sky Deutschland pay-TV platform.
In addition, the TT-micro S855 has a broadband connection built-in and is HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) compliant, supporting Internet browsing and the HD+ SmartTV interactive apps portal.
HD+ and Sky Deutschland broadcast from the ASTRA satellites at 19.2°E.
Visit www.ttgoerler.de for more information
The German free-to-view encrypted high definition platform HD+ is now viewed in over 1.9 million homes two years after the service launched in November 2009. Of the 482,000 viewers who in the first year bought HD+ receivers with 12 months free viewing, HD+ says that nearly 305,500 have paid the €50 fee to continue viewing the HD channels for a further year, and expects the number of fee-paying viewers to reach 1 million by the end of 2012.
Twelve channels broadcast in high definition from ASTRA 19. 2°E in the HD+ platform – Comedy Central, kabel eins, N24, Nickelodeon, Pro7, RTL, RTL2, Sat.1, Sixx, Sport1, Tele5 and VOX .
Visit www.hd-plus.de for more information
Catholic broadcaster EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) has started a full-time German-language service in Europe. EWTN Katholisches TV is broadcasting 24 hours a day to German-speaking Catholics across Europe from ASTRA 19. 2°E. Founded in the US 30 years ago, EWTN broadcasts throughout the World and has been providing a part-time German service since 2000. EWTN Katholisches TV programming is uplinked by ASTRA Platform Services in Unterföhring, Germany.
Visit www.ewtn.de for more information