ARD/ZDF reveal analogue switch-off date
German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will terminate the analogue satellite distribution of their television channels via Astra (19.2° East) on April 30 2012, after which services will be broadcast only in digital.
The announcement was made by Michael Albrecht, DVB co-ordinator of ARD, and ZDF’s legal director Carl-Eugen Eberle at the 12th cable congress held by German cable association FRK in Leipzig. The move will take place independently of whether commercial TV broadcasters follow suit, however Eberle stressed that he hoped they would join them.
ARD and ZDF indicated at international consumer electronics fair IFA in Berlin at the beginning of September that they would switch off their analogue satellite signals in early 2012, but did not at the time give a concrete date.
However, whether analogue television will also be discontinued in 2012 on cable networks appears unlikely. Barely 30% of German cable households have so far made the switch to digital television, whereas the figure is already at 70% for DTH satellite reception.
Large cable operators Kabel Deutschland and Kabel BW recently stressed their intention to continue to distribute analogue TV for years to come. Customers can thereby decide themselves if they want to make the change to digital or remain with analogue, they said.