Teutons cheer digital vote

News welcomed by pubcasters, RTL, Kirch

BERLIN — In a rare show of unity, Germany’s public and commercial webs have applauded a European Parliament resolution backing the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) digital standard.

Politicos singled out the operating software for digital decoders as fulfilling the criteria for an open European broadcasting standard.

It was welcomed by pubcasters ARD and ZDF, commercial rivals RTL and the bankrupt Kirch Group, all of which last year joined forces to support MHP as the European standard. The webs already have started developing interactive services and programs based on MHP.

“I am sure that now we will finally overcome the stagnation in digital TV,” ARD chief Fritz Pleitgen said.

RTL topper Gerhard Zeiler called the EU resolution “an important step in creating unhindered access to interactive TV” and added that the opportunity for developing digital TV had improved.

But with pay TV providers across Europe still plagued by financial troubles, the road remains rocky.

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