In the night from April 24 to 25, 2018, the deployment of the new DTT standard DVB-T2/HEVC throughout Germany will enter the third stage.
The new coverage areas are Augsburg as well as Gelbelsee, Pfaffenhofen, Hochberg and Untersberg in federal state Bavaria, Lingen, Lüneburg and Osnabrück in Lower Saxony, Bielefeld, Minden, Teutoburger Wald and Münster in North-Rhine Westphalia and Erfurt and Weimar in Thuringia.
The distribution in the currently used DVB-T standard will be terminated at the same time.
The TV channels offered by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF will be available on all locations unencrypted and free of charge.
In the six cities Augsburg, Bielefeld, Erfurt, Münster, Osnabrück and Weimar, the subscription-based commercial TV channel platform Freenet TV will additionally be offered which will thereby increase its reach by 3.8 million inhabitants.
In total, 59.9 million inhabitants (74% of all inhabitants) across Germany will then be able to receive Freenet TV through a rooftop aerial. The number of inhabitants where indoor reception is possible will rise by 1.8 million to 27.7 million.
On March 29, 2017 DVB-T2 launched in the first German regions. The second stage of the switchover took place on November 8, 2017. The nationwide transition from DVB-T to DVB-T2 is scheduled to be completed by mid-2019.