Summer launch for HD Austria
By Robert Briel

The Luxembourg based M7 group plans to launch the HD Austria DTH service as the HD companion of AustriaSat this summer.

The new service promises to bring private German language and possibly international HD channels to viewers in Austria. Viewers will be able to activate the service if they live in Austria and own an HD Austria compatible receiver with CI Plus slot using Irdeto encryption.

Current owners of the ORF Digital Sat smart cards will be able to add the new service to their card, much like the current Austria Sat platform operates.

The line-up of the new HD platform on the Astra satellite at 19.2 degrees East is not yet known, but insiders expect (or hope) that the HD Austria offer will mirror that of Astraa’s HD+ service in Germany.

AustriaSat said last February it had 10,000 subscribers 100 days after launch in October 2010. The aim is to have 100,000 subs in three years’ time. The DTH platform offers a bouquet of 14 channels.