Sat-UK #202 22.02.98: BDB

Sat-UK Report #202:
- BDB selects SECA
sunday 22nd february 1998
Email: dsedghi@TELE-Satellite.com OR dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk
Sat-UK Web: http://www.sat-uk.com/
UK Satellite Control: http://www.sat-net.com/uk-satellite/
And now the news:

---------- BDB selects SECA
(from Sat-ND - http://www.sat-net.com/pck/)
Surprise, surprise. Terrestrial digital TV in the UK will not, I repeat:
WILL NOT use Rupert Murdoch's set-top box technology. Instead, the
terrestrial digital TV venture BDB has awarded a key technology contract
to Franco-German group SECA held by Canal Plus of France and Bertelsmann
AG of Germany. BDB said it chose the SECA technology over that of News
Datacom, a unit of BSkyB's major shareholder News Corp Ltd. because the
system is tried and tested in more than 1.5 million digital set top
boxes across Europe. [Funnily enough, it's no longer used in Germany as
Bertelsmann wants to team up with its former rival, Kirch group, to set
up a digital TV monopoly. They had to accept his set-top box for their
Premiere Digital bouquet. So, who knows, maybe they have to get rid of
the SECA boxes that might already have been ordered?]
 BSkyB has reacted by expressing its "concern" [and judging from other
European set-top box wars this may also be regarded as an announcement
or even a threat] that the SECA boxes may not be compatible with Sky's
digital satellite services. BSkyB chief executive Mark Booth was quoted
as saying that "BDB have both regulatory and contractual commitments to
ensure that their box is compatible with ours. If necessary, we will
take legal action to protect the consumer" [or rather News Corp's
interests, cynics might add. You naughty cynics you! People like you
would even dare ask who on Earth had the dim-witted idea of raising Mr
Murdoch's technology to a de-facto standard.] A spokesman for BDB
claimed that SECA's technology has "the capacity to be inter-operable
with Sky's programme services." BDB plans to launch its 15-channel
digital terrestrial service in the last quarter of this year. BSkyB is
to launch its satellite service next June.

All contents (C) 1998 Dominic Sedghi, except where indicated. All
rights reserved. Contents may be reproduced providing the following
is included: "Provided by Sat-UK - www.sat-uk.com/".
Information is subject to change and/or may be incorrect.

      CONTACT ME AT dominic@bigrp.demon.co.uk

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