Open-standard digital TV sets: ITC requires ONdigital to commit to firm timetable

28th October 1999

The ITC has required ONdigital to commit to a firm timetable for the public availability of the plug-in conditional access modules which will enable their services to be received on open-standard integrated digital TV sets. The ITC will audit a set of agreed interim milestones towards a latest final launch date of May 2000.

The timetable aims to prevent any further delays to the provision of the modules. ONdigital’s multiplex service licences require that they support the reception of their pay television services on open-standard digital television sets by means of a plug-in module.

ITC Chief Executive Peter Rogers said:

"As digital TV will eventually be taken up by all viewers in the UK, I believe that it is essential that a free market develops for digital TV sets which are not linked to any one operator’s proprietary technology. The open-standard digital TV set fulfils that objective. We applaud those manufacturers who have already put open-standard sets on the market. Today’s announcement will give them valuable support."

Notes to Editors

  1. Condition 10(6) of the multiplex service licences requires that ONdigital "shall do all he reasonably can to facilitate the reception of the Licensed Service on open-standard digital television sets and shall not discriminate against any person, or class of such persons, purchasing such a television set". The condition goes on to require ONdigital to give technical support for the implementation of plug-in conditional access modules. It also defines an open-standard digital television set.