Telenet withdraws older decoders – and your recordings

Telenet withdraws older decoders – and your recordings
The Telenet digibox

TV and internet service provider Telenet has announced it is to withdraw older models of its digiboxes and digicorders, which fail to meet the latest standards.

The decision concerns decoders that were distributed between 2007 and 2013, which will no longer be able to receive the TV signal correctly. The company has introduced a range of options for customers to replace their old digicorders with newer models.

All the digital channels that a customer receives at home are always securely encrypted,” the company explains in a statement. “This is done by means of a device that the customer can either rent or buy from Telenet: a digicorder, a digibox, or a CI+ card. In this way, Telenet guarantees the copyright owners of the movies, series and programs that their content arrives securely at the customer’s home and cannot be further disseminated. For the oldest active version of decoders, the supplier has informed Telenet that it no longer provides this ‘key’. For that reason, Telenet is obliged to stop sending the digital signal to those decoders with effect from 31 March.”

Most customers who rent their decoder have already taken advantage of the offer to replace the old model with a new one free of charge. However some 15,000 customers are still using old models, usually as a second device in the home. Those customers can still exchange old for new without additional charge.

However one remaining problem is recordings that were made with old models. Those remain on the device’s hard drive, and cannot be moved. The user can still watch the recordings using the old device, but part of the contract for the exchange option involves turning in the old device, so the recordings will be lost.

No such problem for those who bought a decoder in the past, which now remains their property. Some 30,000 bought decoders of the old type are still on the market. For owners, Telenet is offering the chance to switch to a rented device of the latest generation, free of charge until 31 June. After that, the cost is €9.37 a month for a digicorder (which has a hard drive and live pausing) or €4.53 a month for a digibox (which does not). If owners prefer to buy outright they get a discount of €35 on a digicorder or €15 on a digibox.

“All customers with [the old] type of decoder will be notified personally from 3 February by letter and email,” Telenet said. “Banners to inform customers will also appear on the channels from 17 February. From 31 March, customers will no longer be able to watch TV with those decoders. Nevertheless, no one will really be without television: the twenty-odd channels of the basic cable offering will still be available.”

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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