02.03.2010 09:20 AM
Germany: Astra HD+ adds Trio of HD Channels

Three main channels whose availability is being made possible by the ProSiebenSat.1 Group have joined the Astra HD+ DBS platform serving Germany, following a delay of about a month. Channels Sat.1, ProSieben and Kabel Eins became available to HD customers on Jan. 31.

The trio of HD outlets joined channels RTL and Vox from the RTL Deutschland Group, which started broadcasting on the DBS platform last November.

Satellite subs are being required to purchase dedicated Astra HD+ receiver boxes — which include smart cards activated for an initial 12-month period. (After the first year, subs will be required to re-activate their smart cards for about $70 annually.)

Astra said for owners of legacy boxes, a special module (brand name "CI Plus") will become available later this spring for a price "less than" $140," including the Astra HD+ smart card. (Legacy receivers will also need a software update.)

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