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Orbit releases new digital decoder

Following a period of prolonged media silence, Orbit has hit back in October with two announcements regarding its pay-TV platform.

Following a period of prolonged media silence, Orbit has hit back in October with two announcements regarding its pay-TV platform.

The first – part of a number of planned enhancements – is the introduction of the American channel CNBC. Additional announcements are expected regarding the addition of English film channels, and two Arab channels. Details were not available at the time of writing.

Perhaps of more significance is Orbit’s launch of a new digital decoder, the XD300. Offering current customers the decoder for free, Orbit will now be able to provide interactive services such as an EPG, channel guides and dual language facilities.

Among the planned launches for 2002 is pay-per-view programming and closed captioning in Arabic and French. The announcement arguably puts Orbit in line with its competition in terms of new services.

“The market is becoming more sophisticated and developed, and Orbit will continue to be the leading player as we offer the best of both Arabic and Western programming,” commented Johnny Malek, vice president marketing for Orbit.

Also of interest was the company’s plan to launch Internet services via satellite later in 2002. Moreover, Orbit asserts that it is the only company within the Middle East to offer completely free box upgrades in order to facilitate new services.

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