German commercial channels to encrypt on DVB-T2

June 3, 2014 14.20 Europe/London By Jörn Krieger

Sendeturm Köln Colonius (Media Broadcast)For the DVB-T2 platform to be rolled out from 2016, Germany’s commercial broadcasters aim for a uniform, mainly encrypted offering marketed nationwide while the public broadcasters will stay free-to-air.

This was reported by the media authorities following a meeting in Berlin at which the market players discussed their timing and frequency plans for the transition from DVB-T to DVB-T2. Thomas Fuchs, the media authorities’ coordinator for networks, technology and convergence, invited representatives from public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, commercial TV groups RTL and ProSiebenSat.1, the commercial broadcasters’ industry association VPRT and transmitter network operator Media Broadcast to this first round table session.

The participants agreed that digital terrestrial television (DTT) can only be sustained and further developed in the long run through a transition to DVB-T2. They decided that DVB-T2 will solely be deployed using compression system HEVC. It also emerged that all market players are now in favour of the DVB-T2 introduction.

According to the media authorities’ digitalisation report, 11% of the German TV households used DTT reception in 2013, corresponding with almost 4.2 million households. For 2.1 million households, DTT is the only TV reception method.

DVB-T2 new (October 2010)The gradual DVB-T2 deployment is scheduled to commence in mid-2016 and expected to be completed on a nationwide scale in 2020. At the end of the transition process, transmission capacity will be vacated which may then be handed over to mobile network operators. The participants called on the federal states to preserve the frequency spectrum required for the switchover period until 2020.

The media authorities want to coordinate and direct the further transition process. The focus will initially be on the detailed planning of the timeframe and the frequency issues followed by the communication to consumers and hardware manufacturers.