HD+ Germany joins Free TV Alliance
German free-to-air satellite TV provider HD+ has agreed to join the Free TV Alliance, a group formed at IBC 2014 aiming to standardise satellite TV services and technologies in Europe. Founding members in Amsterdam were Fransat France, Freesat UK and TivuSat from Italy.
“HD+ is proud to be joining the FreeTV Alliance as we believe this will be a highly effective forum to contribute to the development of the free-to-air TV market,” said Georges Agnes, managing director at HD+.
Launching the Free TV Alliance at IBC, TivuSat CEO (and first group chair) Alberto Sigismondi said: “Until now, the major free-to-view satellite TV operators have focussed on building a business within their national boundaries. As the TV and consumer electronics industries become increasingly globalised, now is the right time for us to work together to ensure free-to-view satellite remains at the forefront of the television market.
“The FreeTV Alliance’s priorities include providing concrete help, support and advice to manufacturers so they can more easily include satellite technology into their devices, which in turn will allow operators to offer an even more competitive service to consumers. We will be able to combine our collective resources to deliver the best customer experience whilst minimising costs to manufacturers and so act as a collective group to agree upon common standards and features.”
FreeTV Alliance members are now working together to establish preferred technologies and common specifications for multiscreen TV solutions as well as providing guidance to broadcasters and content providers deploying advanced hybrid TV services combining satellite reception and IP based interactivity.
At the launch in Amsterdam, Sigismondi told The IBC Daily, “We are hugely excited by the prospects. In putting together this Alliance we want to take the whole effort of free satellite TV to the next level. The TV manufacturers are already building in digital satellite TV tuners to their sets. In Germany, for example, almost every set has a double front end and can handle cable or satellite reception. In Italy it isn’t quite so many sets, but we are getting the message out.
“The bigger challenge is on the growing number of hybrid broadcast platforms and we’d like to promote a wider adoption through a common approach to other important aspects, and it is these new services that have been fragmented on a market by market basis. We think this can be significantly improved. By getting together we are going to seek a common approach to next-generation developments and have a common view. That way, the consumer electronics industry will take us more seriously because it will be easier for them to supply a common set of solutions.”