Germany gets ready to move terrestrial TV to DVB-T2

EUROPE | German Media Authorities have awarded Media Broadcast the contract to build the country's next generation terrestrial TV platform on behalf of the commercial broadcasters. It means that Germany will see terrestrial broadcasts in the DVB-T2 standard from next year.

DVB-T2 is the next generation standard used in the UK for Freeview HD broadcasts. In Germany, there are plans to switch all of the country's terrestrial TV services to DVB-T2 before the end of the decade.

The first pilot broadcasts in DVB-T2 are due to commence by May 2016, with the German public service broadcasters (PSBs) starting the switch in 2017, with the goal to have completely made the switch by mid 2019.

The PSBs have confirmed that they will be responsible for their own free-to-air terrestrial TV networks, leaving Media Broadcast to look after the commercial channels, which see the switch to DVB-T2 as an opportunity to bring HD and encrypted services to the digital terrestrial TV service in Germany.

As part of the switch to DVB-T2, the 700 MHz frequency band will be cleared for future mobile internet usage.

In the UK, there is as yet no clearly defined timeframe like the Germans have for the 700 MHz clearance and switch to DVB-T2. Any switch to DVB-T2 would however render standard Freeview equipment useless and with terrestrial TV viewing accounting for considerably larger audiences in the UK than in Germany, any switch is likely to have a greater impact.

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  1. If the UK government got on and said DVB-T only kit couldn't be branded as freeview anymore and said COM6 had to switch to DVB-T2, then this country might move on a bit towards a full DVB-T2 switch say in 2020?
    They could also switch PSB2 over to DVB-T2 in 2019 to help with the closure of com7, ITV, C4 &C5 would have to be crammed into PSB1 at that point in readiness for the full switch later in 2020
    Com5 could switch midway though 2019 with multiplexes switching frequencies from 700Mhz to the 500-600Mhz range used by Com7 and what would have been com8 if it had taken off.
    If the government get their act together in the next Parliament, it might actually happen, as five years from now is long enough to switch if freeview HD is all that is actually on sale!


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