German DVB-T2 platform Freenet TV will be available via Astra (19.2 degrees East) from March 28, 2018, Holger Meinzer, Chief Commercial Officer B2B of platform operator Media Broadcast, revealed at the DVB World 2018 conference in Warsaw.
Speaking in a presentation entitled Leapfrogging to DVB-T2 with HEVC in Germany, he also said that the population coverage of Freenet TV reached 59 million (73%) last November. It will rise to 61 million (76%) this spring and 63 million (79%) in the autumn.
Meinzer in addition said that there were around 1 million paying Freenet TV customers as of the beginning of this year and that over 2 million set-top boxes had been sold. Furthermore, over 400,000 households had changed from satellite, cable or IPTV to Freenet TV while, on the other hand, around 18% of former DVB-T users had changed to other reception platforms.
Meinzer conceded that one of the biggest initial fears he had was that receiver prices for Freenet TV would stay the same and not fall below €100. However, they proved to be unfounded. He also said that there are no plans at this stage to launch Ultra HD channels in DVB-T2/HEVC.
Broadband TV News reported exclusively in June 2017 that Media Broadcast considers launching a DTH version of Freenet TV on Astra for satellite households to complement its DTT footprint. The move was confirmed last month.