Analogue switch-off of German public channels on the Astra satellite will not take place until 2012, according to Nawid Goudarzi, production and operation director at RBB.
According to the German news service Digital Fernsehen, Goudarzi said at the HDTV-Digitalisierung conference in Berlin, that a switch-off was possible in 2010, but that the public broadcasters want to coordinate the process with the private broadcasters.
At the moment, there still is a large audience in Germany still using analogue satellite reception, so an early switch-off would not be in the interest of the viewers, according to Goudarzi.
However, starting this summer the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will launch a large-scale promotion campaign to push HD. At this year’s IFA consumer electronics show, HD will be the main focus.
At the conference, the German trade associations ZVEI and BVT called for an early start of HD broadcasts by ARD and ZDF. Currently only test transmissions are taking place, with regular broadcasts scheduled to begin during the Winter Olympics in 2010.
There are now 12 million HD capable TV sets in German homes, with the number is expected to grow to 17.5 million by the end of the year.