HD take up in Germany may be slow

According to Markus Schächter, head of German public broadcaster ZDF, HDTV take up in Germany is likely to be slow.
“HDTV and conventional digital television will exist side-by-side for many years”, said Schächter before ZDF’s television supervisory board in Düsseldorf. “We are positioning ourselves for a long so-called simulcast period. The experience of previous years, which brought only a very sluggish transition from analogue to digital television in Germany, indicates that we will have to draw a long breath before the introduction of high definition television penetrates the market.”
He went on to say that it would help if there were an obligatory switch date for the distribution of analogue TV services.
Most Germans receive their television signals from cable systems and Schächter said that he was concerned with the slow pace of discussions with cable operators over the introduction of HDTV. They are said to be wanting ‘large financial payments’ to distribute HDTV programmes and are not looking at the benefits that it would bring to their customers, he is reported to have said.
ZDF and fellow public broadcaster ARD will introduce regular HDTV transmissions from the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver in February 2010. According to Schächter, around a quarter of ZDF’s programmes will be available daily in high definition from this point onwards. In the meantime there will be numerous test runs, including HDTV showcases to be screened at yearly consumer electronics fair Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin, during Christmas and for the Athletics World Championships 2009 in Berlin
Source: Rapid TV News
Item added: 4th March 2008