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With Germany's RTL withdrawal from OTA digital, will others follow?

The writer of Broadcast Engineering's Beyond The Headlines-Europe newsletter, Philip Hunter, has a breaking news story from Germany. Could it portend the future of OTA digital TV for other countries?

Said Hunter's story, "...[the] warning came from Ulrich Reimers, a leading broadcasting expert and author from the Technical University in Braunschweig. Reimers appeared to endorse RTL’s view that a transition to DVB-T2, which in Germany would not take place until at least 2016, would not make sense in the country given that consumers would have to purchase new reception devices at a time when they would be obtaining HD quality programming over the Internet.

Addressing DVB World...Reimers said it was unlikely that Germany would adopt DVB-T2, the second generation of its digital terrestrial standard, in its present form.

“Commercial broadcasters have said they won’t distribute their signals in some areas, so people simply won’t watch DTT,” he said. “The consequences are clear, people will move away from terrestrial broadcasters, the numbers will move away sharply and the introduction of DVB-T2 in Germany won’t happen. Forget it. The public broadcasters will have to ask themselves if it is worth it to reach 3 percent.”

Broadcasters, did you notice the German OTA viewership rate? Three percent. What is the OTA viewship in the US? According to the June, 2012 Ownership Survey and Trend Report, 17.8% of all U.S. households with TVs use over-the-air signals to watch TV programming.

You can read Philip Hunters entire story here.