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idTVs come with ONdigital preloaded

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6 Channels for a year, at no additional cost

ONdigital is giving a huge boost to the integrated digital TV (idTV) market. From now on every integrated digital TV (idTV) sold will include a year's subscription to the customer's choice of six of ONdigital's primary channels, at no extra cost to the price of the idTV.

From 22 May 2000 every free to air idTV that is sold will now be able to receive ONdigital's Pay TV services through a credit card sized module that fits into a specially designed slot built into every idTV. The price of the TV will include a subscription to 6 ONdigital Primary channels through the module for a year. The price of idTVs that have ONdigital's conditional access system incorporated will also include a year's subscription to 6 ONdigital Primary channels for 12 months.

Guy Laurence, ONdigital's Sales and Marketing Director told a meeting of TV manufacturers and retailers today:  "Integrated digital TVs truly are tomorrow's television today. It is the logical progression of TV, making customers ready for today's and tomorrow's television. And it's not like last year when there were so few idTVs around. Today there are 25 different idTV models; virtually as good a range as for analogue sets. The challenge for us and the retail industry is to ensure that consumers have a better understanding of what idTVs are and that staff are properly trained to sell them.

"The new Conditional Access Module - the ONdigital CAM - is now on production lines; it will enable all idTVs to receive ONdigital's pay TV channels. Like ONdigital boxes, it will be free to customers while they remain subscribers. ONdigital will preload every idTV in the market with six Primary ONdigital channels, using the CAM. And those people who have already bought idTVs will also get a special offer.

"The next year will bring immense developments. We expect to add millions of homes to coverage, as a result of the work we are now doing on transmitters. We will launch internet access this year - not a restricted walled garden approach like our competitors, but full internet access. And that will be available through every idTV, too.

"Over the next few years, the challenge for the TV manufacturing and retail industry is to make every home a digital TV home. The Government wants to start switching over the analogue signal by 2006 - or even earlier if the Prime Minister's target of delivering Government services to everyone digitally by 2005 is to be achieved. Digital TVs are the only way to do it.

"We need to work together, to use simple language that doesn't confuse customers, to train the staff. We need to remember that there is a market of tens of millions of TVs in this country alone. There has never been a marketing opportunity for TV like this. Even when colour was introduced, the market was much smaller. All we have to do is seize the opportunity."

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