It’s now 16 months since we first became aware of an upcoming new DTH platform targeting the Slovak and Czech markets.
Known as Pantelio, it was backed by the German-based company Panaccess, itself a provider of high-end one-way and two-way CAS and DRM solutions, and undertaking tests on Belarus’s Belintersat located at 51.5 degrees East.
The plan, as evidenced in a promotional video, was for the new platform to eventually offer 50 HD and 50 SD channels, HbbTV, local TV, a seven-day TV archive and VOD. Importantly, it would also be operated as a B2B product and not sold directly to TV viewers. The projected number of subscribers in the two countries within four years of launch was 100,000.
Things then went quiet for some time. Though the platform was apparently up and running, it failed to make any real impression in what are two of CEE’s most competitive DTH markets.
Fast-forward to this June and we learned from local industry reports that Pantelio had switched to Hispasat 30W-5 at 30 degrees West. This was apparently a good move, as it offered much better reception, requiring only a 60cm dish.
And so we find ourselves where we are today, with events that can probably be best described as a re-launch. Strangely enough, it has not, yet perhaps, been widely reported in the Czech and Slovak industry media, though Broadband TV News was informed about the development through a press release.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of all this is that it is the first time Hispasat has involved itself in such a DTH platform in CEE. Along with its partners Panaccess and Belinter Media, it will be on hand at IBC 2018 in Amsterdam over the next few days to discuss the project.
Broadband TV News will be present at the event and report back with any more details made available.