The German media authorities have jointly with industry associations, cable operators and TV broadcasters founded the initiative Digitales Kabel to accompany the transition to sole digital TV distribution on German cable networks.
A jointly financed project office which has now commenced its work has been set up to coordinate and support the move. The project office wants to provide cable customers with information and assistance and encourage a regionally coordinated switchover involving the housing industry, retailers and hardware manufacturers.
The members of the initiative Digitales Kabel are the media authorities, cable association ANGA, network operators Vodafone Deutschland, Telekom Deutschland and PŸUR, commercial broadcaster association VPRT and broadcast groups ARD, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and ProSiebenSat.1. Consultancy and research group Goldmedia has been commissioned to operate the project office.
With the creation of a joint project office, the parties involved have chosen a procedure that has proven to be successful during technical conversions in the past, most recently the switchover on DTT from DVB-T to DVB-T2 and analogue switch-off on Astra (19.2° East).
The removal of the analogue TV channels on cable networks makes room for further digital and HD channels as well as high-speed internet access in the Gigabit range.
Unitymedia was the first German cable operator to have completed analogue switch-off in July 2017. Vodafone initially conducted a pilot project in the Bavarian region Landshut and Dingolfing on January 9, 2018 with a second one to follow in Nuremberg and surrounding towns on May 15, 2018 before commencing large-scale analogue switch-off across its whole footprint in summer 2018.
Regional cable operators wilhelm.tel and NetCologne also announced analogue switch-off.
In federal states Bavaria and Saxony, analogue switch-off on cable is mandated by the local media law for December 31, 2018 at the latest; there is no comparable regulation in the other 14 federal states. The project office expects the full digitisation of the TV line-up on German cable networks to be completed in early 2019.