Pay-TV pilot on DTT in Spain

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007 

Six companies have joined forces to launch a pay-TV trial on Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) in the village of Alcázar de San Juan, with plans to introduce pre-paid pay-per-view content, mainly football events and films, throughout the country from next year.

The TV producer Mediapro, the technology company SIDSA, the electronic manufacturer SIEMENS-InOutTV, the Consultancy firm SDIdigital and the operator Telecom Castilla-La Mancha, along with the Town Council of Alcázar de San Juan, have launched the pay-TV pilot by offering on pay-per-view the football match Livorno-Lazio from the Italian Football League, as well as successful films from the producers Filmax and Manga Films.

It is one of the first pay-TV initiatives on DTT in Spain and forms part of the project called “DTT Digital Alcázar”, the first successful case in the South of Europe of “DTT digital island”, promoted by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, the Junta de Comunidades of Castilla La Mancha and the Alcázar de San Juan’s Town Council, with the technical support of SDIdigital and the collaboration of the operator Telecom Castilla La Mancha.

The pay-TV transmissions may be received through Siemens set-top-boxes -with the InOutTV service integrated- with more than 500,000 units already sold in the country, representing 15 per cent of the total.

The broadcasts are encrypted using the KeyFly system, a Conditional Access System that includes a reinforced key in a chipset connected to the DTT set-top-box that prevents hackers from identifying the codes as they are not in the waves, but in the heart of the chipset.

All DTT broadcasters interested in the initiative will have the opportunity to market, in a simple and safe way, their own events as the KeyFly system and the pay platform Bulevar Digital, already compatible with Siemens-InOut TV decoders, may co-exist with other Technologies. KeyFly is a technology developed by the Spanish company SIDSA and is already being used by, among others, Al Jazeera Sports TV in its pay-per-view transmissions and by the Spanish TV group RTVE for its international transmissions.

To buy the event, the viewer must send a SMS message to a number that appears on the promotional spot of the programme on the tuned channel so that the system can allow that particular set-top-box to have access to the programme. In less than 10 seconds the promotional spot will disappear being replaced by the acquired programme in a easy, safe and fast way.

With this technology, the companies plan to launch for the 2008-2008 season a wide selection of sports and premium pay-per-view events, meeting the demands from the different DTT operators who fear that they cannot finance their channels only through advertising given that the high competition in the market since the launch of DTT to be intensified even more after the analogue switch-off in 2010.

To carry out the pilot, the consortium has relied on the distribution chain Expert in Alcázar de San Juan to deliver the KeyFly keys to unblock the content when being broadcast.