Marking a breakthrough in the German OTT market, the free-to-air channels of one of the two large commercial TV groups are now available in HD quality through the open internet.
25.2 million households in Germany receive HDTV. This corresponds with a growth of the share of HD households among German TV households from 53.1% to 65.7% within one year.
The number of households in Germany receiving digital TV services has risen to 35 million, or 92.3% of the total.
The number of DTH satellite households in Austria has grown in the past year from 2.05 million (2014) to 2.12 million households.
The local TV channels in German federal state Baden-Württemberg will broadcast their channels in HD quality on the cable network of Unitymedia from September 2016.
Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR), the regional affiliate of German public broadcaster ARD serving federal state Saarland, has commenced offering its TV channel SR Fernsehen in HD quality on Astra (19.2° East) – three years earlier than originally planned.
The countdown has started: Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR will switch off the SD versions of its TV channels for DTH satellite households on Eutelsat Hot Bird (13° East) and transmit the channels exclusively in HD quality from February 29, 2016.
The German Parliament has recently upgraded the technical infrastructure of its TV channel Bundestag TV to enable productions in HD quality.
Austria wants to commence transition of the digital terrestrial transmission of the TV channels of public broadcaster ORF from DVB-T to successor standard DVB-T2 in autumn 2016 and complete the move in February 2019 at the latest, but current plans target a completion already in Q3 2017.
German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF have acquired the exclusive domestic free-to-air TV rights for the European Men’s Handball Championships 2016 in Poland and 2018 in Croatia.