TV Home Forum

German Television and Presentation

Discussion relating to TV in Germany (August 2020)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
BB
BBI45
Speaking of morse code, watching old Tagesschaus and I've noticed until 1993, the weather forecast ended with morse code (or something that sounded like it), anyone know why?


It’s the Morse code for QAM, an old radio Q-Code for “what is the latest weather report?” - I looked this up lately since I got into German TV design, more on which when I get a chance to do a proper post for this thread. It’s timed well for me.

During the same period, ZDF's Heute had the word 'heute' spelt out in morse code ( .... . ..- - . ) as part of the theme music.
MI
TheMike
Also for everybody looking for a blast from the past, ARD offers their Ceefax (or in this case Teletext) online: https://www.ard-text.de/

The old style blocky teletext survived digital switch over in Germany as it is still very popular and the channels decicded to use the DVB-TXT standard integrated in DVB. Mainly also because DVB-TXT is guaranteed to be compatible with pretty much any set-top-box.

While Teletext has survived, it should be noted that all main broadcasters in Germany now offer a red button service using HbbTV. The red button services typically provide news and information with a modern interface, alongside catch-up TV options.

Sadly, in the UK, only the BBC use HbbTV for a comprehensive red button service and I doubt anyone else will follow. (I know Freeview are moving to HbbTV slates rather than MHEG5, but that's not the same as a full HbbTV service).
TW
twolf
RTL have been playing their September shows trailer recently.
Interestingly, it's a little bit similar to ITV's idea of having a loading bar, but rather than a bar it has a dot dot dot appearing between frames.
New slogan being used is, "Egal was ist" suggesting whatever happens in your life, RTL is there for you.

MI
mici0123

While Teletext has survived, it should be noted that all main broadcasters in Germany now offer a red button service using HbbTV. The red button services typically provide news and information with a modern interface, alongside catch-up TV options.

Sadly, in the UK, only the BBC use HbbTV for a comprehensive red button service and I doubt anyone else will follow. (I know Freeview are moving to HbbTV slates rather than MHEG5, but that's not the same as a full HbbTV service).


True, though adoption of HbbTV by the viewers is rather slow. Mainly because the device needs an internet connection for HbbTV to work and it is considerably slower than the old style Teletext.

Most TVs and STBs can cache pretty much all of the old Teletext in their RAM, which means acces is instant on most devices. Together with the fact that most channels have roughly the same numbering system for their pages, you can press the TXT button on the remote, punch in page 303 and know what's on tonight before the HbbTV sidebar even finished loading.

For catchup most people actually prefer the apps offered by the broadcasters either directly on their SmartTV or on stuff like a Chromecast or Fire TV.
MI
TheMike

While Teletext has survived, it should be noted that all main broadcasters in Germany now offer a red button service using HbbTV. The red button services typically provide news and information with a modern interface, alongside catch-up TV options.

Sadly, in the UK, only the BBC use HbbTV for a comprehensive red button service and I doubt anyone else will follow. (I know Freeview are moving to HbbTV slates rather than MHEG5, but that's not the same as a full HbbTV service).


True, though adoption of HbbTV by the viewers is rather slow. Mainly because the device needs an internet connection for HbbTV to work and it is considerably slower than the old style Teletext.

Most TVs and STBs can cache pretty much all of the old Teletext in their RAM, which means acces is instant on most devices. Together with the fact that most channels have roughly the same numbering system for their pages, you can press the TXT button on the remote, punch in page 303 and know what's on tonight before the HbbTV sidebar even finished loading.

For catchup most people actually prefer the apps offered by the broadcasters either directly on their SmartTV or on stuff like a Chromecast or Fire TV.


Comparing BBC Red Button with ZDF's HbbTV platform, I see no signifcant lag or delay on the HbbTV and is generally in line with how webpages load on other devices. Internet speed and the device you use will be a key factor - some devices are very slow and rendering any such service, be it MHEG or HbbTV, some are really quick.

Fortunately, there are more open platforms in Germany which support HbbTV, unlike in the UK where viewers are expected to have a specific type of receiver to access Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk, with Sky not supporting HbbTV (if it did, it would allow broadcasters to offer their catch-up services directly to end users vian their broadcast signal, sidestepping Sky).

HbbTV 2.0, which is the standard adopted by the BBC isn't too widely available on devices in Germany, but those that do have can press blue on any ARD channel to watch a programme from the start, copying the BBC's lead in introducing such a facility on some platforms.

It is remarkable that viewers still request the listings information carried on teletext (typically magazine 300 in Germany), especially page 333 - now and next, which practically every receiver can offer viewers with fewer button presses than teletext. In fact, as a full EPG became more common on Freeview devices, text services on the platform abandoned TV listings as there wasn't any added value.
MI
TheMike
JAS84 posted:
That's odd. I would've expected ProSeiben to the channel 7 on the EPG, as it's name literally means Programme Seven.


You'll pleased to know 7 is ProSieben on my receiver.
*
Although, to accomodate ProSieben, Vox which of course launched much later, leapfrogs it at 6!

Former ProSieben boss Georg Kofler related in an interview that the channel was named as such because five was taken by (the original incarnation of) Tele5, 6 (sechs) could be erm...misinterpreted, and so seven was chosen.
OV
Orry Verducci
Fortunately, there are more open platforms in Germany which support HbbTV, unlike in the UK where viewers are expected to have a specific type of receiver to access Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk, with Sky not supporting HbbTV (if it did, it would allow broadcasters to offer their catch-up services directly to end users vian their broadcast signal, sidestepping Sky).

Actually Sky Q boxes do support HbbTV, but at the moment it's restricted to BBC iPlayer and the BBC Connected Red Button service.
MI
TheMike
Fortunately, there are more open platforms in Germany which support HbbTV, unlike in the UK where viewers are expected to have a specific type of receiver to access Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk, with Sky not supporting HbbTV (if it did, it would allow broadcasters to offer their catch-up services directly to end users vian their broadcast signal, sidestepping Sky).

Actually Sky Q boxes do support HbbTV, but at the moment it's restricted to BBC iPlayer and the BBC Connected Red Button service.



Sky Q Germany users unhappy at HbbTV (and classic teletext) omission
https://community.sky.de/t5/Receiver/Hybrid-broadcast-broadband-TV-HbbTV/td-p/281069

Sad to see the BBC/ Sky Red Button+ deal effectively confirms Sky is controlling access to what is supposed to be an open platform broadcast alongside the TV signal, like Teletext.

Over in Germany, practically every major TV channel has both teletext and HbbTV with access to catch-up, so this is a much bigger issue.

The HbbTV Association are planning something that will sidestep set-top-boxes that don't support HbbTV for technical or commercial reasons:
https://www.hbbtv.org/news-events/hbbtv-publishes-specification-for-phase-2-of-application-discovery-over-broadband/
Last edited by TheMike on 1 September 2020 12:15am - 2 times in total
TE
Technologist
Unlike Germans
In the UK there have only been two video broadcasters who provided a Teletext Service themselves.

The BBC which is still sort of provding a text service to acompany its programmes but not for long!
(It is on very obsolete kit ...... and bbc.,co.,uk is now not a suitabel source .

Sky who have given up on text years ago!

You note that no UK PSB other than the BBC has ever produced a text service on their own except Westward tv and one other ...
and as they were Anciallary services they only had one magazine and not much marketing (execept Ch4)
(And some Ch3 Broadcasters did not really do anything! )

Yet the UK had a very vibrant Teletext market - with Ceefax and Oracle
then Ceefax Teletext lTd and Sky Text - and all the way through Intelfax with Anciliary and "Stalaite Channel " Text
And VG/Sysmedia, Softel, MRG systesms providing the kit to create the service ....
and Screen Subtitling and Intelfax......
And the UK took the lead in setting International version of the the UK DTI Green Book then SPB498 (from EBU)
Viz ETS 300 -706 & 707&708 - which as a suite cover Text , the first international standardised EPG and Databroadcasting
(something which was highly profitable for both the BBC (so much so the Government wanted to take it away)
and its commercial rivals )

But with the Digital world came "interactive TV" which subsided Sky boxes .... so they were not focused on Teletext
The ITC and the BBC ( quite rightly) decided that Digital TV was diferent - it was a wider shape ...!!!
and thus Both Digital Subtitles and TExt systems should be used..

SKy did keep Teletext Subtitles which has meant that Subtitle origination still ( but not for long)_ in OC47 or "teletext in HD"

BUT the BBC had no opposition as Teletext ltd stopped broadcasting as it was not profitable .......
and even OFCOM in 2009 saw no purpose in a Public Text Provider after 2014

A mix of
1) No one seeing the pages - why should you
- as the most used pages were Programme listings which were on EPG see note 1
2) People discovering the internet
- and in the latter days you did not have to phone up to book your Holiday
3) The lack of performance of the STB coupled with lack of Bit rate on the Mux

And these issuses all impacted the BBC service as well -
and much of Ceefax and MHEG5 text was derived from the web publishing
as the Ceefax News teams etc was disbanded / merged....
as more and more viewers were using digital services after the launch of Freeview.

Also the BBC emphasis on web rather than Broadcasting caused the laguna that is You View
- and hence not much interest in helping hbbtv start
But of course the hbbtv in the D book is more complex than th Germans thought to get Iplasyer etc
(and of course itv went into a greater Laguna of Silverlight for its services)


Note 1
the UK was unique in Europe as Ceefax , Teletext And SKYtext carried everyones listings- over a dozen channels inc Saeltlites
so there were already EPG like (even Before the BBC got UK DTT to have a Cross carried SI/ EPG in 2002)
- in fact the BBC on legal advice changed Ceefax Mag6 so that they would not need ITC/ Ofcom license as an EPG providier
as you could go to the programme directly from the Ceefax Listing )
EL
elmarko
OK - I didn't get time to do a full thread, so:

- Tagesschau is boss as hell, everything from 97-onwards is great, and the current look is so incredibly bombastic as befitting for a national channel
- That heute tune from '75 onwards? The jazz? "Nice", as the man from The Fast Show's Jazz Club would say. Love that look for the time period.
- I looked a lot at the third channels (and posted about them a few months back) and I fell in love with SWR. Their looks in the 00s have been really nice, and I love the most recent one with the serif fonts and nice shots of the area.
- I have an old school friend who emigrated to Coburg, so I've seen a fair amount of BR too.

Mostly though I'm just fascinated with the things that have stuck as German "trends": like the countdown/studio shots seen around Europe a lot, but also with those headlines in the lead-up as the hour ticks down.

There's a couple of people on YouTube with great German TV content, including one guy who just seems to do breakdowns (search for "TV Panne" to get started there if you're interested).
EL
elmarko
PS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZxJP1jjO04
MI
mici0123
Also the main Tagesschau at 8pm is simulcastet through almost all ARD channels, all but one of the Thirds (MDR has it's own news programme at 7:30) and almost all of the digital and joint-venture channels.

It's very interesting to see how the different channels handle the switchover:

(sound: RBB)
Most of the channels don't show the end where the host usually gives an outlook for the Tagesthemen later in the evening, which makes sense considering those channels don't show the Tagesthemen. And only BR from Bavaria bothers with their own Weather report.


And a simulcast with more than 10 channels is bound to have some problems, especially when sport on the main channel overruns.

For example here when the broadcast of the European Handball Championships overran twice in a matter of a few days:


(Sound left: 3sat; sound right: Das erste)

Here the Sportschau finishes just before 8pm, just right to make the Tagesschau start on time, but an error at the Das Erste playout prevents them to switch to the feed from Hamburg. So they abort the intro, return to the clock and start again when averybody is ready about a minute later. This also shows that some of the regionals got a direct feed from ARD-aktuell in Hamburg while others only relay a semi-dirty feed of Das Erste.


Our second example only happened two days later:


(Sound: all channels mixed together)

Here the game is in it's last seconds when we hit 8pm. Some of the thirds immedeatly go to their breakdown slide, while RBB doesn't seem to care to show the game. A minute later the responsible people at the Tagesschau just start the show with the thirds and other channels crashing into the broadcast one after the other. Das Erste didn't show it live this time around at all, instead showing a repeat at 9:18pm.
Last edited by mici0123 on 2 September 2020 8:43pm
thegeek, UKnews and Rexogamer gave kudos

Newer posts