The commercial TV channels on the DVB-T2 platform launching in Germany on May 31, 2016 will be offered under the name Freenet TV.
Mobile communications provider Freenet which took over DVB-T2 platform operator Media Broadcast in early March 2016 will thereby expand its brand into the TV market.
Initially, RTL, Sat.1, ProSieben and VOX will be broadcast in a preliminary package in Full HD quality (1080p50) in several urban areas in addition to the existing DVB-T portfolio. Public channels Das Erste HD and ZDF HD will also be part of the line-up. While the public channels will be free-to-air, the commercial channels will be encrypted from day one.
Suitable receivers are branded with the Freenet TV logo and will be available from retailers from mid-May 2016. CI+ modules will follow at the end of May 2016. They can be used to upgrade existing DVB-T2 HD TV sets for reception of the encrypted commercial channels.
With the beginning of the regular service in spring 2017, around 20 commercial channels will be offered by Freenet TV, along with up to 20 public channels. There will also be HbbTV-based interactive services bringing internet content to the TV screen. USB sticks will enable reception on PCs as well as mobile access on laptops.
The commercial channels will initially be available at no charge. When the regular service commences, viewers will have to pay a low one-digit euro figure per month for reception. Freenet TV will employ a cardless encryption system from Irdeto which doesn’t require smartcards. This enables reception on mobile devices.
Freenet TV won’t ask its customers for a contractual commitment, instead offering access for example through prepaid models.