HD+HD+ – the leading provider of high-definition, free-to-air satellite channels to the German market – has joined the FreeTV Alliance, the broadcast industry association that was announced in September this year by Fransat, Freesat and Tivùsat to promote the harmonisation of free-to-view satellite TV services and technology across Europe. ­­

Addressing the European market initially, the main goal of the FreeTV Alliance is to support the growth of free-to-view satellite TV services, by making it easier and more economical for manufacturers to develop innovative new products that deliver a superior customer viewing experience. To achieve this, the Alliance is producing a range of common recommendations and specifications based on open standards that will apply across set-top boxes and smart TVs. The first of these specifications will be launched later this year.

“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+.

The 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.

HD+ seems an unlikely member for a free TV alliance, the service is not free-to-air, nor free-to view, a new HD+ viewing card costs €65, with an annual renewal costing €60 a year or €5 a month. Access to catch-up TV services from HD+ costs €5 a month.
SES, who own HD+, argues that it is not a a pay TV service, and the fee is a “service charge” that is levied to cover the technical costs of broadcasting in HD.

Sounds a lot like Pay TV, not free TV, so why have they been admitted to the FreeTV Alliance? What the Germans need is a FreiSat service, seems strange that this has not been the case, in a country where free-to-air satellite broadcasting has a long tradition.

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By Expat