Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), the regional affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD serving federal state Saarland, has commenced offering its TV channel SR Fernsehen in HD quality on Astra (19.2° East) – three years earlier than originally planned.
Following completion of the last technical preparations on the production and transmission side, SR’s general director Thomas Kleist launched the test period of the HD satellite broadcasts today (see picture). At the same time, SR took its new operations centre into service in which the broadcaster invested €2.4 million.
SR Fernsehen occupies Astra transponder 39 (11.053 GHz H, SR 22,000, FEC 2/3) which also carries ARD channels tagesschau24 HD, Einsfestival HD and EinsPlus HD.
The regular launch of SR Fernsehen HD will take place on July 1, 2016. For technical reasons, native HD productions will only be screened between 16.00 and 22.00 CET for the time being. At all other times, the signal is up-converted.
SR Fernsehen continues to be available in SD resolution on Astra in parallel.
SR wants to inform cable operators about the launch of the test transmissions and offer them the HD signal for distribution on their networks. Whether they make use of it, is up to the cable companies.
Apart from Radio Bremen TV and ARD-alpha, ARD now offers its whole channel family in HD quality. Fellow public broadcaster ZDF already provides all channels in HD.