The cabler will launch its HD offer with the carriage of Das Erste HD, ZDF HD and Arte HD as free-to-view channels on its network. At the moment, there is some question as to who should bear the additional costs of distributing the HD versions of the public broadcasters. The operators are of the opinion that they should receive monetary compensation for the carriage, as the pubcasters are also paying for the DVB-T broadcasts and for the additional satellite capacity. (See Broadband TV News passim).
Negotiations with the two private broadcasters in the country, the RTL Group and ProSiebenSat.1, are also under way concentrating on the conditions of carriage. Five private HD channels, RTL HD, Vox HD, ProSieben HD, Sat.1 HD, Kabel1 HD, are available on the HD+ platform on the Astra satellite.
The broadcasters are now seeking a similar protection of their signals on the cablenets, possibly using CI Plus. This could in theory mean restrictions on ad-skipping and PVR recordings. A fact that has already led to major complaints from consumer groups and hostile articles in the German press.
PrimaCom serves about 1 million households in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The cabler has also announced it will soon start selling a 250 GB PVR from Kaon with pricing to be announced.