Platforma HD, Russia's New HDTV Platform Selects Eutelsat's EUROBIRD™ 9 Satellite

Monday, September 8th, 2008
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PARIS — Platforma HD, the new Russian all-HDTV platform has selected the EUROBIRD™ 9 satellite operated by Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) to deliver new HD content across western parts of Russia to the Urals. The new platform was launched in August in order to offer Platforma HD’s first subscribers the Beijing Olympics in HD with the Eurosport HD channel.

Platforma HD has signed a contract with Eutelsat for a full transponder on EUROBIRD™ 9. This capacity is already broadcasting the new platform’s initial offer of four HD channels which aggregate the international channels Eurosport HD and National Geographic HD with two leading Russian HD channels, HD Life, which is produced by the Red Media production company, and Kinopokaz HD, a new channel produced by Pervy TVCH. The platform is available to Direct-to-Home subscribers with 60-90cm antennas and is also distributed to cable operators in cities in western parts of Russia.

Platforma HD has selected DRE (Digiraum) encryption for the system. Two types of decoder are already available: the HUMAX HDCI-2000 and General Satellite’s HD-9000. Both boxes enable reception of channels broadcast in DVB-S2, in Standard Definition and in HD. After a six-month free trial period subscribers will pay a monthly fee of 300 roubles (seven euros).

Platforma HD’s choice of EUROBIRD™ 9 also gives subscribers the possibility of receiving other free-to-air channels broadcast from Eutelsat’s newest video neighbourhood, including Melody Zen and Luxe TV which both broadcast free-to-air in HD. With the addition of an off-the-shelf dual-feed LNB homes can also choose to receive the 500 international digital channels broadcast free-to-air from Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD™ neighbourhood.

Commenting on the launch of the new platform, Konstantin Yashin, Chairman of Plaforma HD declared: “With the launch of Russia’s first all-HDTV platform our ambition is to respond to the enthusiasm of Russian consumers to have the best TV viewing experience. Our objective is to attract 200,000 subscribers in the first two years of operation. To win subscriber loyalty, Platform HD is committed to continuing to strengthen its HD offer with more international and Russian HD content”.

Olivier Millies-Lacroix, Eutelsat’s Commercial Director added: “The launch of Platforma HD takes to 55 the number of HD channels broadcast on our fleet. It is a new illustration of the dynamic of the digital broadcasting market in Russia which is experiencing buoyant take-up of Standard Digital channels and now new HDTV content.”