From Sotires Eleftheriou in Paris
Presenting its new launch campaign to the press, the French pay DTT operator DTT Numeric outlined its strategy and future plans. The service was “soft launched” last September as a “low cost” pay TV DTT service, with a subscription of E8 a month plus E5 for the rental of a standard definition decoder, providing 7 premium channels, in addition to the 18 free DTT channels. It will now beef up its distribution network to around 1,000 distributors and launch a national advertising campaign, aimed at the 9 million households equipped with DTT. It hopes to attract 400,000 subs within the next few years, from the 7,000 at present.
Looking ahead there will be a PCMCIA decoder card, for use with new (especially flatscreen) TVs with a built-in DTT tuner. This should be available by the end of this year, priced probably at E38 and removing the need to pay a rental for the decoder. Another innovation is a PVR with VOD features. Films and other programmes will be recorded on the decoder's hard disc during downtime on the local DTT transmitters. This is expected in about eighteen months time. Further into the future, TV Numeric is working on a triple play service using Wimax.