Jörn Krieger | 05-09-2013
German telco Deutsche Telekom has taken 24 new high definition (HD) TV channels on board its IPTV platform Entertain, including all those operated by commercial TV group Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and some which have so far not been available in HD.
With a total of more than 80 HD channels, Entertain now has the largest HD TV offering in Germany.
Free-to-air channels RTL HD, VOX HD, RTL II HD, Super RTL HD and RTL Nitro HD as well as CNN International HD, Deluxe Music HD and iMusic HD, are included in the HD Start package which provides the HD versions of 18 commercial TV channels for €6.95 per month. The move marks the first time that international news channel CNN has been available in HD quality in Germany. German music channel iMusic has also not previously been offered in high definition.
Pay-TV channels RTL Crime HD, Passion HD and RTL Living, as well as 13th Street HD, auto motor und sport HD, BonGusto HD, Cartoon Network HD, Disney Junior HD, Disney XD HD, Fuel HD, Lust Pur HD, Sony Entertainment Television HD, E! Entertainment HD, RCK TV HD, Romance TV HD and Universal Channel HD, expand Entertain's genre packages such as Big TV, Film, Lifestyle and Musik. To receive the channels in HD quality, customers have to sign up for the HD Option for €4.95 per month on top of the genre package subscriptions. This marks the first time that series and movie channel Sony Entertainment Television and rock music channel RCK TV have been offered in HD quality.
The HD version of German news channel n-tv, operated by RTL group, will also become available on Entertain when it launches on 1 October. The new HD channels which German public broadcaster ARD will launch in December will also be carried by Entertain.
With the distribution of the full RTL channel portfolio, the TV group and Telekom put an end to their fierce dispute which led to some RTL channels being removed from Entertain on 1 December 2012. The row was due to technical restrictions like the prevention of ad-skipping on recorded programmes which RTL wanted to push through, but Telekom rejected them in the interest of its customers. The restrictions through which RTL wants to protect its advertising-funded business model are now also in place on Entertain just like on other platforms carrying the RTL channels. At trade fair ANGA COM 2013, Telekom already hinted that the company was in "promising talks" with RTL regarding HD distribution.