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for receptionof simpliTV
simpliTV is the name of
an Austrian provider of ter-
restrial HDTV channels. Ever
since the analog switch-off
date in Austria, ORF1, ORF2,
ATV, Puls4, Servus TV, ORF3,
ORF Sport+ and 3sat have
been available nationally
via DVB-T. In some regions,
ATV2, gotv, SchauTV, Okto,
Tirol TV, LändleTV, LT, dorftv
and other regional stations
canbe received inaddition to
that national offering. With
DVB-T being the established
digital terrestrial transmis-
sion standard in Austria, all
those channels can only be
viewed in standarddefinition.
In order to introduce ter-
restrial HDTV in Austria,
the simpliTV platform was
launched. It is a fully-owned
subsidiary of ORS, the tech-
nical service provider for the
country’s public broadcast-
ing corporation ORF. Using
DVB-T2, simpliTV broadcasts
terrestrial HDTV all across
Austria. Organised as a pay
TV operation, however, this
means that even generally
free-to-air channels such
as ORF1 HD, ORF2 HD and
Servus TVHD are only avail-
ablewith permanent encryp-
tion in place.
If you’re interested in sim-
pliTV, youmay opt for either
of the two following solu-
tions: One is the so-called
simpliTV box, which is basi-
cally a DVB-T2 receiver with
built-in CI+ decryption soft-
ware. Alternatively, you can
go for a simpliTVCI+module
that you can use with your
existingDVB-T2 receiver or a
CI+ enabled TV panel. Sim-
ply insert the module into
your device’s CI+ slot and
you’re all set to enjoy terres-
trial HDTV right away.
Let’s take a closer look at
CI+ at this stage. It is the
successor to the well-known
CI standard and adds ad-
ditional control and content
management features to its
basic decryption function.
For instance, content pro-
viders can have a say as to
whether users are allowed
to use the fast forward or
rewind features during play-
back of recorded content.
In addition, the CI+ stand-
ard calls for encrypted con-
tent storage on external
storage media, which means
you cannot simply record a
film and then burn it into a
DVD or Blu-Ray disc. What’s
more, content providers are
free to tag their broadcasts
with an expiration date, so
that – for example – record-
ed content is only available
for playback for a period of
90 minutes after the initial
broadcast. Once that time
has expired the recording
becomes nothing more than
wasted hard disk capacity.
As far as simpliTV is con-
cerned, many of those tech-
nically possible restrictions
are not implemented. The
only thing you should know
is that recordings are saved
with full encryption in place.
Other than that, no CI+ con-
tent management features
are enforced. Whether or
not the situation will remain
unchanged in future largely
depends on the actual TV
stations and content provid-
ers, rather than simpliTV as
amere distribution platform.
We use the Neotion CI+
module for receiving sim-
pliTV. This module is ad-
dressed directly and without
a smartcard – every time it
is slotted into a receiver the
Neotion modules verifies
that the receiver is in actual
fact CI+ compatible, and as
soon as the terrestrial signal
comes in the module looks
for firmware updates. In our
case the Neotion identified
a firmware update that was
available over the air and in-
stalled it right away on our
test module in a matter of a
During our test all avail-
able signals were decrypted
flawlessly and without inter-
ference of any sort. Channel
switchingwasnot slowerwith
encrypted DVB-T2 channels
than with other existing FTA
DVB-T channels.
We performed a number
of reception trials at our test
location in Vienna. Our large
rooftop UHF antenna obvi-
ouslyyielded splendid results
for the simpliTV UHF chan-
nels 36, 53 and 60. But then
again, even a small indoor
antenna with active signal
amplification delivered a rea-
sonable signal for reliable re-
ception. This involved some
hunting for the optimum in-
door position of the antenna,
however. The final spot more
or less reflected the build-
ing’s or room’s reception
properties rather than purely
aesthetic considerations, so
as always it’s a case of ‘win
some, lose some’.
We did not find any fault
with the video and audio
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