German public broadcaster ARD has confirmed that it will postpone the switch-off of its SD channels on the Astra satellite system (19.2° East) originally scheduled for January 2021.
With their decision, ARD’s directors react to the changed conditions during the Corona pandemic, the broadcaster announced in Cologne. People who do not yet have HD-capable TV sets or set-top boxes would have had to purchase compliant equipment to receive the HD signals.
According to the statement, joint channels Das Erste, tagesschau24, ONE and ARD-alpha as well as the regional channels of ARD’s affiliates will continue to be offered in SD/MPEG-2 format beyond 2020, in parallel to the HD broadcast.
Earlier, fellow public broadcaster ZDF also decided to continue SD transmissions on Astra and renewed its contract.
Astra Deutschland confirmed that ARD has secured transponder capacity on Astra (19,2° East) under a new agreement. “The current crisis shows very clearly how important it is to be able to reach all viewers nationwide. We are therefore pleased that ARD has decided to maintain SD transmissions,” said Christoph Mühleib, managing director of Astra Deutschland.