Radio Transmission Systems


Since the 1990s the IRT together with Bavarian Broadcasting Cooperation has been operating a DAB single-frequency network for test purposes in Munich. A test network for DVB-T was later added, and the switch to DVB-T2 took place in 2008. In addition to the broadcast transmission systems, the broadcast mode in mobile wireless systems such as LTE and 5G is being examined with regard to a large, economically efficient cellular programme distribution.


The IRT is supporting the broadcasters with the evaluation of new terrestrial broadcast systems. Various scenarios regarding how encoding and modulation procedures have to be adjusted and improved with regard to the number of programmes, quality and economic efficiency are being examined. In the laboratory and in field tests, the IRT tests the devices of various manufacturers and develops special measuring methods for this purpose. Mobile reception also plays an important role. The IRT also organises interoperability tests for manufacturers, works on the technical guidelines of the broadcasters and deals with issues of IP-based transmitter links.


DVB-T2 HD is the new generation of antenna-based television. The abbreviation stands for Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial, 2nd generation. The new distribution channel combines the DVB-T2 broadcasting standard with the new and improved HEVC video codex, allowing for the distribution of more programmes with improved video quality (up to full-HD) at a lower cost.

Why DVB-T2 HD?

The rapid developments in audio-visual end device technology, the reallocation of the frequency spectrum and the increasing mobility of consumers require an improved method of programme distribution. The picture quality should be higher, the data rates smaller and the transmission path more stable. As a result of the changeover to DVB-T2, it will be possible for these requirements to be met since not only are the distribution path and frequency changed when switching from DVB-T to DVB-T2 but, at the same time, the video codex is changed to HEVC as well.

The following advantages result for viewers: 

Picture quality: DVB-T2 HD enables the possibility of HD television via antenna. In most cases even in full-HD (1080/p50). 

Programme diversity: On the same basis, DVB-T2 HD offers the possibility of expanded programming: around 40 channels will be possible in metropolitan areas at the official launch in Germany.  

Mobility: The stable distribution path allows for large-scale portable use and even mobile use in cars. 

When will DVB-T2 HD be launched?

The first introduction stage began at the end of May with a test operation in Germany. On 29 March 2017 regular operations will be launched with 6 HD multiplexes in each of 18 metropolitan areas and a total of 40 TV channels. From that point forward, all channels will gradually switch over to DVB-T2 HD until the beginning of 2019.

What do viewers have to be aware of?

DVB-T2 HD devices have been available on the European market for some time now. In Germany, the HEVC video codex is new; therefore, consumers have to make sure that the devices carry the green DVB-T2 HD logo when making a purchase.  

You can find more information about DVB-T2 HD on the website of the project office 

What does the IRT do for DVB-T2 HD? 

By the time broadcasting switches over to DVB-T2 HD in 2017, the IRT will have already done a lot of work behind the scenes. The encoders and decoders from the various manufacturers have been tested with different broadcast formats, and comprehensive transmission tests, also with regard to mobile reception, were done in cooperation with BR in the test transmitter network. For mobile Android devices, a DVB-T2 HD app was developed in cooperation with WDR. And, of course, the negotiation results from the World Radio Conference WRC-15 were important for preserving the frequency spectrum for the further development of broadcasters. The IRT participated in the WRC and supports the broadcasters with frequency planning and regulation.



The IRT operates a DAB test transmitter for test purposes in cooperation with Bavarian Broadcasting Cooperation. The test programmes and extra services are prepared and multiplexed for DAB+ in the IRT’s playout centre. 

More information about DAB+

ATSC 3.0


The standardisation committee “Advanced Television Systems Committee” (ATSC) is responsible for defining the television standards in the United States. ATSC is currently developing ATSC 3.0, a third-generation terrestrial television standard, which will offer by far more comprehensive possibilities due to the changing usage habits of the viewers, who want to use any desired content on any device, anywhere. The Internet is added to the distribution platforms; hence, hybrid services need to be able to access broadband networks for stationary as well as mobile receivers. A future European third-generation broadcast standard will also require a back channel. When work begins, Europeans will be in a situation comparable to that of the Americans today, who are basing their work on existing second-generation technologies such as DVB-T2. Europe will then orient itself towards ATSC 3.0. Building a bridge between the American and European television standard would have worldwide enforcement potential, resulting in the associated economic opportunities. For the above reasons, the IRT decided to become a member of the ATSC.

Your contact

Future Networks

Markus Berg
Division Manager

+49 89 32399-279