The German public broadcaster ZDF has chosen the EBU recommended HD standard 720p/50 and will increase the amount of HD showcase programming on satellite.
The broadcaster will increase the amount of showcase programming from this year’s consumer electronics fair IFA onwards. It will also broadcast a large number of HD programmes over the Christmas holiday season and start regular HD broadcasts with the 2010 Winter Olympics.
ZDF’s production director Dr. Andreas Bereczky explained that the chosen format is best suited for fast moving pictures, while 1080i/25 is better for still pictures. The BBC has chosen the 1080i/25 variety, according to Bereczky, because this decision was taken a few years ago.
The decision to opt for 720p/50 was met with scepticism by the German market.
In contrast, the Dutch public broadcasters have chosen for 1080i/25. This decision was taken following viewers’ complaints about the 720p/50 standard which was used last year during the Olympics.
The decision to use 720p/50 will also likely cause further confusion on the German market, as the Astra-led HD+ platform has chosen 1080i/25 as its standard.
ZDF will offer the HD channel to all cable nets and other platforms, but Bereczky said he expected that some of the smaller operators will not be able to feed the HD signal to their customers.
He also confirmed that the broadcaster is involved in “intensive talks” with IPTV provider Deutsche Telekom for inclusion of the channel in the T-Entertain service. For the moment, DVB-T carriage is not possible.