ARD-alpha, the educational TV channel of ARD’s Bavarian affiliate Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), is now available to DVB-T2 households in parts of Germany.
Due to the limited amount of capacity on the DTT network, the channel doesn’t reach viewers’ TV screens as a regular DVB-T2 channel, but as on OTT service through the internet. The distribution is handled as a so-called internet link service (ILS) using the HbbTV standard.
In the local coverage areas of BR and Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), several regional TV channels from ARD affiliates have been available as ILS services since the DVB-T2 launch in Germany.
To receive the ILS services, the DVB-T2 reception device – TV set or set-top-box – has to be compliant with HbbTV standard 1.5 and include MPEG-DASH functionality.
ARD wants to introduce ILS services in all of its regional coverage areas in future. The next steps are made by Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) and WDR who have commenced offering ARD-alpha as an ILS within their local footprints on July 24, 2017.
The additional channels can be found in the regular DVB-T2 channel listing. New ILS services are either included automatically or after a channel search; they can be identified in the list through a mark such as ‘internet’.