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Digital Switchover Help Scheme

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what estimate he has made of the cost of adding the return path function to the set-top box as part of the digital switchover help scheme; (202845)

(2) what assessment he has made of the proposal that the next wave of the digital switchover help scheme procurement process should include an invitation to market test return path capability.

The Emerging Technologies Group (ETG) is responsible for keeping the core receiver requirements for the digital switchover help scheme (DSHS) under review. In recent weeks the ETG has been considering the viability of including return path capability in the DSHS set-top-box. There are however, a number of concerns about this vision, the main one being that there is not an open standard for return paths. The ETG proposes therefore to establish a dialogue with manufactures to explore the scope for the development of an open standard before taking a view on the most practical and economic way forward.