ARD and ZDF start HD test transmissions

By Robert Briel

July 14, 2009

The German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have fired up their HD transponders on the Astra satellite at 19.2 degrees East in the run-up to the first regular HD broadcasts.

The broadcasters will cover the World Light Athletics games from August 15-23 in native HD during a special HDTV showcase.
More showcase programming will be broadcast during the IFA Consumer Electronics show in Berlin early September, and regular broadcasts will launch with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

Initially, the HD broadcasts will only be available on satellite, but cable operators Unitymedia and Kabel BW are in an advanced stage of negotiations to carry the HD signals.

Kabel Deutschland an the IPTV provider Deutsche Telekom T-Entertain are also in discussions.

The German broadcasters will use the HD standard 720p/50. This should give best results for fast moving pictures (such as sports events) with 50 frames of 720 lines being broadcasts every second. (Picture courtesy of Kabel + Satellit, Germany)