Altech UEC rolling out VAST-Certified STBs in Australia

Thursday, July 8th, 2010
Altech UEC logo

Altech UEC, the Durban based developer of digital set-top boxes (STBs) and interactive software solutions announced today through its Australian office that they have been appointed to supply High Definition (HD) satellite STBs for the initial phase of the Australian Viewer Access Satellite Television, or VAST service. VAST is a $200 million government-funded service that launched in July 2010 and is aimed at providing HD satellite television coverage for consumers that fall outside the digital terrestrial broadcast footprint.

Most Australians receive their television services from the network of terrestrial broadcast transmission towers and they will continue to do so after the switch to digital. Those viewers who live outside of this coverage will be able to access the same programmes via this new VAST service. This will ensure that all Australians can enjoy the benefits of digital television content regardless of location.

A spokeswoman for the communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, said “Altech UEC would be the only supplier of satellite set-top boxes in the first VAST roll-out. This will ensure that a compliant box is available for the new service in the initial switch-over regions of Mildura/Sunraysia and regional South Australia”. The Altech UEC VAST certified STB model DSD4121 has been designed specifically for this application and draws on the latest DVB-S2, MPEG4 HD hardware and MHEG5 middleware technology. The project was delivered under extremely aggressive timescales in order to meet the target date of 1st July 2010 for the first regional analogue switch off.

Altech UEC Australia Operations Director, Russell Futter said “UEC is extremely proud to have been appointed as the initial supplier for the first VAST roll-out and to build on our legacy of having supplied STBs for the original Aurora standard-definition digital TV service in 1998. Altech UEC has delivered over 1.7m set tops to the Australian commercial and public digital television industry and continues to support all facets of the industry.”