ARD/ZDF tests HDTV over Xmas

German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will offer their final high-definition test run over the Christmas period ahead of the regular launch of their HD channels in 2010.

From 19 December until 6 January 2010 the channels Das Erste and einsfestival will screen movies, series, documentaries and current affairs programmes in the new TV technology. Das Erste HD will, for example, show domestic TV films and international blockbusters such as the Oscar winner La vie en Rose and Catch me if you can with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Highlights of einsfestival HD include the two-part movie The Baader-Meinhof Complex, TV film Mogadischu and the documentary 24-hour Berlin.

ZDF will commence its HDTV trial on 17 December with the two-part new version of classic drama Sisi, as well as TV series such as SOKO Stuttgart, Forsthaus Falkenau and Ein Fall für zwei and the film version of the opera La Bohème.

The HDTV offer will be available free-to-air via Astra (19.2° East) and on cable networks. ARD and ZDF will commence regular HDTV transmissions at the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver on 12 February 2010.