IFA 2007 – BERLIN. Last Friday ZDF intendant Markus Schächter laid out the roadmap to HD for the public broadcaster. During the yearly technical update from the public broadcasters, he said: “We are waiting until the infrastructure conditions make a meaningful distribution possible. We, that is ARD and ZDF, have agreed to start simultaneous transmissions from early 2010. That year we will have the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and the World Cup in South Africa.”
The broadcaster emphasised that it is very active in the field of new media, including mobile TV, online on-demand programming and the nationwide rollout of DTT, but that as a public broadcaster they must carefully weigh each decision, as it is public money they are spending. The 2010 deadline should be a clear enough roadmap.
These remarks can be seen as a response to criticism made by some leaders in the consumers electronics industry. By contrast, publishers and private broadcasters are criticising the public channels for spending too much on new media.
UPDATE – Just before the closing of this year’s IFA the German consumers electonics association ZVEI and public broadcasters ARD and ZDF agreed on a common road map to HD. However, the launch date will still be 2010. Additional costs for the broadcasters will be around 20% for production in HD. The broadcasters expect SD/HD simulcast to last ten to fifteen years.