More than two thirds of the about 3.56 million Austrian television households receive their programmes via satellite.

25 years after the launch of satellite television, satellites reach 2.05 million TV households. 

Encoding, multiplexing and a number of services around decoding of ORF programmes or the satellite platform ORF DIGITAL constitute a central business segment for ORS.  At its Vienna headquarters, ORS has a broadcast center with modern equipment and roots dating back to the early days of satellite radiation in the year 1998:  It was at that time that the first uplink station was erected. Nowadays, ORS operates three uplinks and two standby stations.


For encoding ORF programme contents, both encryption varieties, Cryptoworks und Irdeto, were in use for smartcards until 2013.  Cryptoworks was replaced by the more advanced encryption Irdeto.

Betacrypt remained in (simultaneous) use until 2008, when the signal was finally turned off and customers' smartcards were exchanged.  In 2008, the successor system Cryptoworks, Irtedo, was put into operation for the first time and has been prevalent since.  Until 2013, both  encryption varieties were available, while since then, Irtedo has been exclusive standard of the ORF DIGITAL SAT card.

ORS assumes responsibility for all areas of television reception: smartcard management as well as examination of terminal devices.


In order to ensure flawless reception of ORF programmes, examination of terminal devices, which is carried out in cooperation with TÜV Austria, has proven particularly effective.  

In accordance with current requirements, ORS draws up guidelines and makes them available to manufacturers prior to the examination process, before a device is examined as to flawless reception and display of ORF programmes.  Any terminal device, such as digital receivers or ID-TV, without exception, which is put on offer in combination with an ORF DIGITAL SAT card by Austrian retailers, has to undergo this examination procedure successfully in order to gain the so-called TÜV certification.

This label gives manufacturers and consumers assurance that a certain receiver is actually compatible with the ORF DIGITAL platform.  Furthermore, consumers have at their disposal the information portal digital.orf.at where they can find technical guidance and experts to turn to, as well as a complete list of all receivers certified by TÜV.  According to the ORS guidelines, since 2010, only Irdeto-compatible receivers are certified (either with integrated decryption or via conditional access module).