The first example of the set-top box to be sold by alternative pay-TV provider REAL Digital made an unheralded appearance in a quiet corner of the IBC show floor. David Henry, Managing Director of REAL Digital, had anticipated a September 1 launch, but middleware problems meant that target was missed. Nevertheless, Korean STB manufacturer Digital Stream, one of two suppliers along with Fortec Star, had a model on display.
REAL Digital announced in August that UK electronics specialist Maplin would be the first retailer to support REAL Digital by negotiating an order for Fortec’s single tuner ‘REAL Digital’ STBs.
Fortec Star has been working very hard to deliver its first shipment on time, however there has been a short delay whilst the final finishing touches are made,” commented MD David Henry. “We were very pleased a few weeks ago to see they had fully implemented the MHEG-5 interactive engine for the first time in any of their products. It’s very exciting to see it available for our customers already and we hope people start showing their interest. We are even more focused on getting REAL Digital TV ready as soon as we can and are coordinating the launch of the service with the first delivery of boxes.’
The planned launch has been refocused for later in the month. Marketing manager Paddy Latham said the company had every intention to launch on September 1 and was not pleased we have to delay. “But instead of rushing, we would prefer to reschedule giving enough time to get it right. We can see there is interest building and we will try to keep everyone involved. But like David said, it’s really exciting to see it available already, even on pre-order,” he added.