News Release

Cisco Videoscape Enables German Broadcasters to Expand HDTV Services

ARD Installs Cisco State-of-the-Art HD Content Playout Systems at Two Premier Locations in Germany
Sep 06, 2012

AMSTERDAM, IBC, September 7, 2012 – The Association of Public Broadcasting Corporations of the Federal Republic of Germany (ARD), a non-profit, joint organization of Germany's regional public-service broadcasters, and one of the world's largest public broadcasters, is working with Cisco to extend its HD programming via satellite for HDTV viewers throughout Germany. Using the Cisco VideoscapeTV services delivery platform, including advanced Cisco® video encoding and content processing technology, ARD has improved the overall video picture quality of  its German HD "direct-to-home" playout systems for satellite digital video broadcasting (DVB-S/S2).


  • Cisco is providing ARD with the necessary components to uplink video programming in HD format, helping it replace and upgrade technology and streamline operations by lowering costs at the ARD-Starpoint site in Frankfurt, Germany (being the central ARD Operator), and the WDR (West German Broadcasting) site in Langenberg near Cologne, Germany.
  • Cisco hardware deployed for this project includes the D9036 multichannel/multiformat encoder, which encodes up to four HDTV programs at the same time, and the Digital Content Manager (DCM), which controls the bitrates and combines the TV services with service related auxiliary data.
  • Part of the Cisco Videoscape Origination Suite, the D9036 Modular Encoding Platform is characterized by its scalability and superior video quality. Encoded video signals can be exported in premium quality via ASI streaming data format, or IP. Its wide range of IP functionality enables a smooth migration from ASI- into IP-based platforms and networks.
  • The DCM can support full-quality delivery of multiple video signals. It is a key component of the Cisco Videoscape Acquisition Suite, due to its high video quality, flexibility, redundancy and network efficiency.
  • Full system integration services and overall project responsibility was provided by Dimetis GmbH, a Cisco Authorized SP Video Partner, as well as the BOSS Broadcast Manager®  control and monitoring system, which provides reliable and fully protected transmission of audio and video.
  • The ARD-Starpoint facility processes the ARD Service, Das Erste, distributes the ARD-Bouquets via satellite, cable and IPTV, carries out the national and international TV and radio service exchange, and manages the common ARD core network platforms.
  • The WDR is a constituent member of the ARD and the largest federal ARD broadcaster. In addition to contributing to the output of German national television channel Das Erste, WDR produces the regional television service WDR Fernsehen (formerly known as WDF and West3) and six regional radio networks. WDR also hosts the ARD-radio satellite transponder which delivers eight WDR radio services in addition to an event channel.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Stephen Wagner, head of ARD-Starpoint

 "As we strive to provide HDTV viewers in Germany with superior video picture quality and greater reliability, we trust Cisco hardware to help us meet and exceed our goals. With Cisco's expertise, we were able to re-architect our network to more efficiently encode, decode and transmit HD signals to viewers' homes. With this technology in place, we can also execute on our plans to expand HD services throughout our markets, faster."

  • Edwin Paalvast, senior vice president, Service Provider Group, Cisco EMEAR

"The Cisco Videoscape encoding and content management technology helps operators add and compact more channels of all types and formats into their network. Our work with ARD to enhance and expand their HD capabilities gives their viewers better quality HD video - with more HDTV choices soon to come."

Supporting Resources:


Cisco, ARD, ARD-Starpoints, Edwin Paalvast, DCM, Digital Content Manager, Digital Content Manager Origination Suite, HD, HDTV, Stephen Wagner, Videoscape, WRD

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