It seems SES Astra’s scheme to persuade German viewers to buy into its “technical plan” to encrypt HDTV signals is winning people over. Ahead of its quarterly financial numbers (released on Friday 11th May) SES says that HD+ now reaches more than 2.6 million homes (as at March 31st). Some 3 million new HD+ set-top boxes/receivers have been sold since the scheme was floated at the end of 2009.
SES says that more than half-a-million (513,207) viewing homes are happily subscribing to its bouquet of HDTV channels, and that it now expects that number to cross the 1 million mark by the end of this year.
New ‘subscribers’ are entitled to a 1 year ‘free’ viewing period. HD+ now has on board 14 encrypted commercial channels, plus 14 free-to-air public channels.
“HD+ is a main driver of the dynamic development of HD in Germany,” said Wilfried Urner, CEO of HD+. “The switch-off of the analogue satellite signal at the end of April has further spurred this positive development. HD+ is one of the most compelling HD line-ups today. With HD+, the Astra Satellite System operated by SES continues to be the most important platform for HD programmes, with a total of more than 50 channels – including pay-TV – on our satellites. The dynamic development leads us to expect more than one million paying HD+ customers by the end of the year.”