Both Pace Micro Technology and Humax are ramping up supplies of their HD-ready free sat set top boxes in an effort to make up for the shortfall in Sky’s HD receiver rollout.
Both the Pace DS810 (pictured above) and Humax HDCI-2000, while unsuitable for any Sky programming, can be used to receive the BBC HD trial service, which will screen World Cup matches. With the correct dish installation both can be configured to pull in additional free-to-air channels from Astra1, Astra 2 and Hotbird.
However, the BBC’s head of HDTV Seetha Kumar has issued a warning to buyers tempted to pick up a non-Sky HD box: “It is early days and there’s no guarantee these boxes will wholly work 100 percent of the time,” she said. “We are testing things all the time, and buyers should realise that our trial at the moment is limited to one year.”
In related news, Pace has been selected as a launch partner for SKY Italia’s HDTV service. The company was also a chosen partner for the German HD launch spearheaded by Premiere. Pace will supply its DS815NS set top box, pictured below. The newly launched service will provide full coverage in HD of the 2006 FIFA World Cup for Italian Sky subscribers. And by all accounts there are plenty of boxes to go around…