Mid-East to Get 3D TV

YahLive, the Abu Dhabi-backed satellite service provider, sees itself supplying HDTV and 3D services when it launches next year. Mohamed Youssif, the chief executive of YahLive, said the newcomer to the region’s satellite industry would carve out a niche by targeting broadcasters looking to be at the forefront of the next generation of TV.

“We are focusing on making Yah-Live the hot spot for high definition,” he said. “We believe that is the future, and not long after that we will have 3D. We feel that this is technology that will come much faster to our region than many people think.”

The Gulf region is already beginning to see some 3D sets trickle in, and manufacturers such as Sony say they’ll start shipping their 3D-equipped Bravia units by July this year.

YahSat is banking in part on the availability of transponder capacity drying up, and certainly NileSat and ArabSat have been largely unable to satisfy demand to date, allowing players like Eutelsat and Noorsat (which uses Eutelsat capacity) to encroach on the Middle East.

YahSat’s fresh capacity will add many transponders of extra bandwidth to the region. “The industry is looking for someone to bridge the gap,” Mr Youssif said. YahSat is a joint-venture between Abu Dhabi government investors and SES Astra.

By Chris Forrester, Rapid TV News