The Switch To Digital Terrestrial TV DVB-T2 HD

Digital terrestrial television will soon be able to be enjoyed in HD quality! In order to expand the mobile broadband internet, the broadcasting frequencies used for DVB-T transmission are beingt re-tuned, which means there is to be an update to the digital antenna television. Together with the increasing desire for television with HD content, the effort to reduce transmission frequencies so far is now showing its benefits. In many regions of Germany, as of 29 March 2017 the DVB-T will be replaced by its successor DVB-T2 HD. Let's examine the new standard and what to look out for...

The Reception of DVB-T2 HD

The conversion to DVB-T2 HD was first initiated 31st of May 2016. Since then, the six German channels: Das Erste, RTL, ProSieben, SAT.1, VOX and ZDF are available via DVB-T2 HD in the German metropolitan areas. In the expansion stages that took place in November 2017 and March 2018, the regions will be expanded to provide the entire program range. In addition, public-sector broadcasting will have converted additional regions to DVB-T2 HD by mid-2019.

In the regions where DVB-T2 HD is not switched, the DVB-T distribution remains the same. On the Teletext page 199 of the channels The First and RTL you can check whether they use DVB-T. Users of satellite or cable TV and IPTV are not affected.

In order to look further at the public and private programs, you need appropriate devices to receive them. They are marked with the green DVB-T2 HD logo as orientation aid. (For aesthetic reasons, we chose the above pictures for the white versions.) For reception are equipped with DVB-T2 HD receiver, but there are also extensions,

  1. Antennas, for example 17216 and 17215 from Oehlbach
  2. Digital receivers, so-called set-top boxes or receivers, for example ISIO HD or T2 IQ from TechniSat

Most of the antennas used so far for DVB-T can also be used for DVB-T2 HD. For portable and mobile reception, further types of receivers are under development, but concrete information is not yet available.

Numerous UHD TVs of the latest generation are already DVB-T2 HD capable, so in this case, of course, no additional receiver is necessary.
The new DVB-T2 HD receivers can also receive DVB-T programs in order to make the transition as easy as possible. This, in turn, is not possible.

The Encryption of Programs

The radio coverage covers the costs of terrestrial broadcasting and thus the public broadcasting programs can be received on the appropriate equipment at no extra cost. However, most of the HD programs are broadcast by private broadcasters. These are available exclusively through the program package of freenet TV, which costs 69 euros annually. For decoding the CI + Modul is required.

In the conurbations, up to 40 free and paid programs are offered in predominantly high-definition HD quality (1080p50), which however are not additionally broadcast in standard resolution (SD).

The Standards HVEC/H.265 and HbbTV

DVB-T2 HD combines the new digital terrestrial TV transmission standard DVB-T2 with the new standards for video compression HEVC / H.265. The older H.264 standard is compatible with DVB-T2, but not with DVB-T2 HD. This is an important difference for playing the programs. Devices which only decode H.264 and those which carry only the identification DVB-T2 are not suitable for DVB-T2 HD. Therefore, be sure to buy a device that can decode the HVEC / H.265 encoded signals.

The HbbTV offer can also be used with DVB-T2 HD, if the corresponding receiver is HbbTV-capable and connected to the Internet. When buying a DVB-T2 HD set-top box, therefore, should be paid attention to their HbbTV functionality in order to continue to be able to access digital additional offers such as media centers or regional news services.

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