German technical services provider Media Broadcast will set up and operate the DVB-T2 transmitter network for ARD and ZDF on which the public broadcasters will distribute up to 20 TV channels in Full HD quality (1080p50).
Through the new multi-year contracts, Media Broadcast will continue is distribution services for ARD and ZDF following the transition to DVB-T2.
The company will also handle signal contribution for most regional ARD affiliate broadcasters and ZDF to the DVB-T2 transmitter sites – for ARD through ARD’s distribution network and for ZDF through its own Media Broadcast backbone. The signals are monitored 24/7 at Media Broadcast’s Network Operation Center (NOC).
On the DVB-T2 transmitter network which will commence its regular service on March 29, 2017, the new DVB-T2 standard will be used in combination with compression system HEVC for the first time worldwide.
While the public channels will be transmitted unencrypted, most commercial channels will be encrypted on the Freenet TV platform operated by Media Broadcast and offered to consumers for a yearly fee of €69.
Since May 31, 2016 a preliminary DVB-T2 package has been on air in urban areas containing Das Erste HD, ZDF HD, RTL HD, Sat.1 HD, ProSieben HD and VOX HD. The commercial channels can be watched free of charge until the beginning of the regular service.
In total, around 40 TV channels will be offered in Full HD quality via DVB-T2, one half commercial channels and the other half public channels.