By Keri Algar
SYDNEY, NSW: Current.com.au has taken an exclusive look into Australia’s biggest set top box provider, its warehouse and research and development facility to see what the future of digital TV in Australia will look like.
Representatives from the Federal Government Digital Switchover Taskforce, Channel Ten, Channel Nine and the ABC were presented with a technology and product demonstration by Altech Uec yesterday.
The South African company specialises in the design, development, supply and support of integrated hardware and software solutions for the digital multimedia industry. In Australia, Altech Uec components hide behind 90 per cent of set top boxes including Foxtel, Austar and Sky, according to business development manager Vinay Chandra. The company also has self-branded offerings.
“Eighteen months ago the company made the decision to enter the retail market in Australia and we haven’t looked back,” Chandra said. The units have been selling exceptionally well, predominantly through The Good Guys, he said.
Altech Uec established itself in Australia 12 years ago. Today it furnishes the servicing and refurbishment of units, dispatching, warehousing, testing bays, and has eight engineers. The company has a global footprint with technical development and support centres in South Africa, India, China and Australia and sales support offices in South Africa, Australia, India, Europe and the Middle East.
It is worth noting that all of the next generation boxes are 3D decoding capable and even the appearance of the menus have been designed to offer impressions of depth beyond 2D.
The DSD4121 (RRP $279) for example, is specifically designed for the Australian Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) service for regional areas; it features an 8-day electronic guide, component video output, optical digital video output, a 450 MHz core, HDMI output and is MPEG-2/4 HD compliant.