DVB-T2: Watch TV anywhere in Full HD

As digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) over ten years ago launched in Germany, it was full-bodied as “TV everywhere” advertised -; the Info page, the public broadcaster still testifies. But the promise of digital image quality with a simple antenna could redeem Freeview never, the stations offer remained as scarce as the data rate available. The default resolution was a mere 720 x 576 pixels, in normal operation it was partially even further down.

This resulted in particular with fast movements such as in sports typical blurry images and frequent formation of small blocks. In times of DVD, Bluray and Internet streaming in at least Full HD (1080p) it falls really hard to make friends with it. The previous resolution of DTT was simply no longer appropriate and therefore came over via IPTV, cable and satellite increasingly behind. All this is now to be better with the new DVB-T2 standard HD, and actually speaks been many indications that it is really better.

stream TV content to any device on the network; Tips


Since 31 May, the first six stations over DVB-T2 in Full HD resolution are broadcast with 1920 x 1080 pixels and 50 frames per second (1080p50). Here are the main public programs ARD and ZDF, as well as the private channels ProSieben, RTL, Sat.1 and VOX. Officially thus start trial operation in the “first stage”, and in fact one can not speak of a full-scale operation with only six stations. On the other hand, according to the German project office about 24 million people – receive the new standard with indoor antenna, roof antenna that number will reach around 54 million people – about 30 percent of the population. As these figures already indicate the reception possibilities depend crucially on whether the antenna is inside or outside the apartment or the house or even mounted on the roof. In the above drawing card of reception areas, this distinction is made with three different shades of green.

As of October 2014

Start walking should it end of May in the metropolitan areas of Bremen / Unterweser, Hamburg / Lübeck, Kiel, Rostock, Schwerin, Hannover / Braunschweig, Magdeburg, Berlin / Potsdam, Jena, Leipzig / Halle, Dusseldorf / Rhein / Ruhr, Cologne / Bonn / Aachen, Rhein / Main, Saarbrücken, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Munich / Southern Bavaria.

Since 5/31/2016

In the first quarter of next year usually starts operating with about 40 programs, “predominantly in HD”. In it, there are also the ZDF offshoot ZDF Neo HD, ZDF HD Info, 3Sat HD and HD KiKa and ten ARD programs. The coverage area will also be expanded in this second stage, however, it will take until mid-2019, to the whole of Germany is supplied with DVB-T2 (more in the case “at a glance”).

As of October 2014; first test projects in Berlin, Cologne / Bonn and Munich

Since 31/05/2016; trial operation with a limited range of programs in all major metropolitan areas, except Dresden. With indoor antenna about 24 million people DVB-T2 can receive, with roof antenna more than 50 million. In addition, can be so in the initial phase of the private channels free view in Full HD. ARD and ZDF will see the games of the European Football Championship in France over DVB-T2 also in 1080p.

1st quarter 2017

Q1 2017; In the metropolitan regions offer the full program will open with about 40 channels, more regions are added. The receipt of the private channels in Full HD is chargeable from summer 2017th

By mid-2019, the public service broadcasting is to the rural areas in DVB-T2 HD. The existing DVB-T signal is regional variation after the activation of DVB-T2 – off from the first half of 2017 – in each case, after a short parallel operation.

By mid-2019

However, the date 1st quarter 2017 is also important because the private station similar for their HD coverage after then incipient three-month free trial period a “technical fee” charge as the HD satellite channels, ie from the summer of next year. What this will be, is not yet determined exactly. Presumably, there are the fees for the release of a similar magnitude as for “HD +” over DVB-S – there are 60 Euro per year. The HD-reception of the public broadcaster, however, remains on and permanently free.

For those who want to continue to watch TV on the existing DVB-T, the following is important first. The existing DVB-T signal is regionally differently each off after a short parallel transmission to the new DVB-T2. The shutdown starts after receiving the full operation in the first half of 2017, it is to be fully completed by the middle of 2019.

But who wants to receive high definition DVB-T2, definitely needs new receiver technology – backwards compatible with legacy DVB-T tuners, the new signal is not fact. You therefore need either a TV with integrated DVB-T2 tuner, or you get a high-resolution TV signal via antenna means of a DVB-T2 receiver in the living room, which then prints the image via HDMI cable to the existing TV set. Such receiver or set-top boxes start at prices of around 40 euros. However, the cheapest models have neither a CI + slot (Common Interface for decryption module and smart card) or a built-in decryption unit. but one of these two components mentioned is a prerequisite for HD reception of private channels, even during the free initial phase until the start of the second stage in the spring of next year: without decryption so no Prosieben & Co. in Full HD. For devices without a CA module and smart card, the activation takes place according to the operators via voucher or code similar to prepaid mobile phones.

As the info box explains “Be careful when buying TV” left, you have to pay close attention when buying a new TV or receiver, the device is suitable for DVB-T2 HD reception in Germany. Basic are used in DVB-T2 in other countries different compression methods: this country is absolutely H.265 (also known as “HEVC”) is required H.264 (MPEG-4) is not enough. Help when purchasing equipment intended; the official device compatibility list, but were missing at least when this issue went in still various television. If in doubt, with the dealer in writing a conversion option, agree, for online shopping, there is the possibility to return anyway.

We have pre-tested digital reception under specific test conditions, inter alia with the receiver HRT 8720 from Xoro. The device ran smoothly and provides for the price of about 70 euros a convenient set-top box, which fall, “Freenet TV compliant” Irdeto system decrypts the encrypted HD streams of private channels via the integrated. In addition, the Xoro device allows timeshifting (Time-Shift) and recording on infected USB memory (PVR). One must therefore not equal to buy a new TV, but can continue to use its existing TV set with a relatively low output.

The existing antenna can be used further in any case, that applies to room as for external antennas. If you want to turn on special antennas for DVB-T2 you somewhere, is nonsense. The frequency band for the reception remains substantially the same. Get in a condominium (perhaps unknowingly) television via DVB-T, the Community system must be retrofitted. Whether or when the upgrade is done, please check with the property management.

DVB-T2 is first of all for “Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial, 2nd Generation”, the standard is based has been set already of 2009. While other countries such as England, France, Austria and Scandinavia broadcast digital terrestrial television for several years over DVB-T2, Germany is late with the recently begun trial operation off. For the transmitter put this country on the modern HEVC compression method (High Efficiency Video Coding, H.265).

Because of this codec, but is not part of the DVB-T2 certification, DVB-T2 abroad also partly on the older standard H.264 (MPEG4) has been sent. Accordingly, TV sets and receivers with DVB-T2 there could be advertised, the H.265 streams could not play. But exactly this is a mandatory requirement for the reception in Germany – without H.265 sees nothing, or only the existing low-resolution Freeview picture.

Netflix I

Therefore, equipment manufacturers and broadcasters have the green “DVB-T2 HD logo” (with the addition of: HD) agreed as a compatibility designation: televisions, set-top boxes and other receivers with this logo have “Germany compatible”. However, it appeared commercially hitherto barely on, and even TV sets which meet all reception conditions are partly sold without labeling. Moreover, because some TVs, the built-in tuner module can not access the HEVC decoder, it is currently only at the logo on the safe side, even if the problem persists with a firmware update. The additional, also green “Freenet TV” logo indicates that the device furthermore have built or retrofitted by SMARTCART decryption to receive the private channels in Full HD.

A compatibility database on the Internet; lists DVB-T2 HD-appropriate equipment, at press time but lacked among other example nor the TVs from Panasonic.

Another advantage of digital terrestrial is the independence of the Internet. If one would like on mobile devices out of the reach of wireless television, is therefore consumes no data volume of the cell phone contract with DVB-T2. you Streams namely live TV over the Internet, so in fall; Zattoo; even at minimum resolution more than 300 MB per hour, at; Magine TV; we’re actually talking about 600 MB in 60 minutes.

Live TV

On the other hand you need for reception of DVB-T2 a new hardware tuner, also here the previous DVB-T sticks no longer work because of the changing codecs. To date, very few receivers for Android on the market, including the AVerTV Mobile 510 for Android by Avermedia for about 50 euros. The receiver is plugged via mini USB to USB OTG-enabled Android smartphone or tablet. For iOS already the ELGATE EyeTV Hybrid is now (about 100 euros) for the beginning of June, the cheaper model EyeTV T2 is also announced, which only supports DVB-T and DVB-T2. Other manufacturers are sure to follow.

Track Euro 2016 from anywhere; Live TV

are priced cheaper the DVB-T2 receiver in the form of USB sticks for Windows PCs and notebooks to watch TV regardless of the Internet in Full HD on these devices. In addition, the selection of such a drive is already greater. All such receivers for mobile devices have in common that they do not contain a decryption module and thus reflect the private channels only in SD resolution. These are so-called FTA equipment (free to air = unencrypted channels). For the upcoming European Football Championship, this is only of minor importance, because apart from six parallel play at the end of the group stage transmitted ARD and ZDF all EM-games over DVB-T2, so in 1080p resolution at 50 frames per second.

“? Why only now” So our experience with the new DVB-T2 HD from the test area Munich were summarized as follows: a sharp image with 50 frames in Full HD, rich colors and significantly less motion blur than before – no comparison so the old DVB-T. When the now begun official trial run with initially six and from the spring of next year can still clearly more transmitters maintain this standard is (almost) all the best.

For two limitations are there but then: First, you need new receiver hardware, so a receiver or TV. Secondly, there is the HD stream of private broadcasters on time only fee. Not least of the amount – in decoding DVB-S there are annually 60 euros – it depends on whether and how DVB-T2 arrives in the market. Technically any case, it represents a real alternative to cable, satellite and IP TV.

Incomprehensible, however, is that producers and distributors the new standard de facto ignoring yet. The green logo for HD-compatibility and the private channels in HD (Freenet TV) diving so well on like nowhere. And even those who feel comfortable with the different codecs, investigated in many data sheets of the receivers that have H.264, H.265 and HECV vain.

Even before the path in the entire Federal Republic in late May trial operation of DVB-T2 HD broadcast in three regions already test projects, including; in Munich. This six programs were broadcast, for direct comparison even at different resolutions (up to 1080p50).

This test operation was the foundation of our practice vouchers with three different types of devices: the; USB DVB-T2 receiver; (VG0022) of Logilink for PC and notebook, the Xoro receiver HRT 8720 for connecting an HDMI cable to virtually any TV set and the new Panasonic TV TX-58DXW784. While the USB flash drive only outputs sound due to the lack H.265 codecs, convince the two devices from Panasonic and Xoro in direct comparison to conventional DVB-T with a significantly sharper and more intensely colored image. In addition, the motion blur was significantly reduced, formation of small blocks, it no longer existed.

The handling of DVB-T2 turns out without any problems, the automatic search and the establishment of the station have been completed in two to three minutes. Therefore, the first conclusion of Vorprobephase is positive. Once again, however, demonstrates the “black image” of Logilink sticks that the designation DVB-T2 without HD for TV reception in Germany’s no.