France’s VOD via DTT could launch next year

France could see the launch of video-on-demand via its digital-terrestrial platform next year following the successful conclusion of a closed trial by transmission services provider TDF and broadcasters TF1, Arte, France Télévisions and NRJ12.

The trial saw TDF use the DTT platform to download content to DVR set-top boxes in 50 homes for on-demand and catch-up viewing. In the case of VOD, programmes are downloaded over the airwaves to the hard disk of the box at a speed of 1Mbps using spectrum on the R6 multiplex. Viewers have a chance to pay to view the shows for between two weeks to a month after they are  downloaded. For catch-up viewing, the set-top receives instructions to record a show during its live transmission and no additional spectrum is required.

Any launch of a service would require the deployment of new set-tops, possibly by pay-TV providers including Canal Plus and TV Numeric, or possibly via a retail model based on common specifications. 

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