Thursday, September 22, 2011
BREAKING. e.tv and M-Net seems to be fighting with each other over the functionality of the set top box for digital terrestrial television (DTT).
You're reading it here first.
More details are slowly coming to light and it's now becoming clear that the free-to-air commercial broadcaster e.tv and the SABC on the one hand, and pay TV operator M-Net on the other are seemingly fighting and disagreeing with each other regarding digital terrestrial television (DTT) in South Africa - specifically regarding the functionality of the set top boxes (STBs) and the controversial issue of STB Control, or encryption for the past 8 months already.
Yesterday I wrote RIGHT HERE how the department of communications told parliament that M-Net objected to the set top box control system. Nobody explained exactly why.
Now Lara Kantor, senior e.tv executive shed more light on this when she told parliament that ''the key worry is about the functionality issue. That's a worry.''
''As long as we have objections from the pay TV operator [M-Net] on the functionality of the free-to-air box, we are unable to finalize that standard to progress in a meaningful way, and launch the free-to-air platform.''
e.tv and M-Net will be sharing Multiplex 2 on DTT, so the two broadcasters have to agree on things like the network operator and the configuration of that Multiplex. Because M-Net is part of the same work group, M-Net also gets a say on the free-to-air STB.
''The one red light is the disagreement on STB Control which is hampering the process,'' said Lara Kantor.
''M-Net has two arguments. One argument is that they don't believe the STB should have any mechanisms that prevents access to the TV signal,'' Marcel Golding, group CEO of e.tv told parliament. ''The second point is they believe with encryption added the boxes will be too expensive.''
''We believe that in the long term having an appropriate STB that meets the requirements of the 21st century is appropriate. And why should working people not have an appropriate box?''
ALSO READ: e.tv on free-to-air set top box control for DTT: ''We do not have any direct benefit from this system. We appeal for finality on this matter.''
ALSO READ: e.tv on digital terrestrial television (DTT) in South Africa: ''Our greatest challenge lies before us''; needs DTT ''for our own survival''.