DVB-T2 HD How viewers prevent blackouts

DVB-T2 HD How viewers prevent blackouts

DVB-T2 HD How viewers prevent blackouts
In the night of March 29, 2017, the signal will be switched from DVB-T to the new DVB-T2 HD standard.  Source: dpa

These days, many televisions stay black – at least for a few seconds. “Your picture will soon be gone,” warns a commercial: “DVB-T will be switched off!” The Freenet company is calling on viewers to convert as quickly as possible to DVB-T2 HD, the new standard for aerial television that is coming to an end in many regions March will be broadcast.

There is no need to panic. With the dramatic message, the company wants to boost business – especially at Christmas time, the money for electronics is easy. Nevertheless, it makes sense that viewers who watch TV via antenna should soon worry.

Because if you wait too long, you could actually be without a picture for a short time after the changeover: “We fear that there will not be enough devices in March,” says Wolfgang Breuer, head of Media Broadcast, which has been part of Freenet since March. But giving thought also means thinking about alternatives, whether satellite, cable or the Internet.

What will change for consumers in 2017

The name suggests it: DVB-T2 HD is a further development of digital antenna television DVB-T. With the new standard, it is possible to transmit images in high-resolution HD format – unlike satellite, cable and Internet TV, this has not yet been possible with an antenna. In addition, more programs will be offered in the future. A number of private channels should also be available, albeit for a fee.

The introduction of the new standard has been certain for a long time. Since then, with the right devices, viewers have been able to focus on the aerial television. The complete changeover will take place in many regions on March 29th, with further locations to follow later. “In the expansion stage, 80 percent of Germans should be able to watch DVB-T2 HD,” promises Media Broadcast Manager Breuer – with the old standard it is around 67 percent. The operator provides more detailed information on the website.

But as the advertising says: without a new receiver, most screens will remain black. Because old devices usually cannot cope with the efficient compression standard HEVC (H.265), which reduces the amount of data in DVB-T2 HD so that better image quality is possible despite less bandwidth. As a result, millions of reception boxes will soon become electronic waste.

So what should viewers do?