All ORF channels in HD via satellite
In the course of UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, ORF made its channel ORF 1 available in high definition quality for the first time, and thus became the first public service broadcaster after BBC and first German language broadcaster to use HD.
ORF broadcast its whole range of programmes in HDTV simultaneously. To this end, ORS expanded its transponder capacities on the satellite ASTRA 1L and introduced the so-called ICE cards (Irdeto-Cryptoworks-Enveloped) alongside the Cryptoworks smartcards which had been in use to that time, because ICE cards are able to decode both encryption systems due to their downward compatibility.
In December, 2009, the channel ORF 2 went on air in HDTV definition. Both channels are broadcast in progressive scan 720p/50 (incl. Dolby 5.1). Before broadcasting non-original HD contents, ORS carries out upscaling at the transmitter.
HD TV utilization via Satellite is continuously rising
Since 25th October, 2014, all "Bundesland heute - federal province today"-programmes, ORF III und ORF Sport + can be received in HD-TV quality. Watching TV in HD provides optimal visual quality. Colours, sharpness and contrasts of the television picture are displayed in up to fivefold better resolution.
2.26 million television households (64 percent of all TV households in Austria) received their TV programmes in HD at the end of 2014. This means a growth rate of around 16 percent compared to the year 2013 (1.95 mln. / 54 percent of households). This development is driven mainly by high HD affinity of viewers with satellite reception. By now, 72 percent use HDTV, i.e. the number of HD households has risen to 1.48 million.
Increased use of HD has caused a marked rise in the number of HD channels.
As of April 2015: 96 German language channels in HD quality are available in Austria via Astra 19.2 – that means an increase by 15 compared to the same period the previous year. A high level of acceptance of HDTV is reflected in the area of hardware: 93 percent of all satellite receivers sold in the year 2014 were HDTV compatible.
For further information on channels in HD offered by ORF and their use via digital satellite, take a look at hd.orf.at.