German TV: From Its Simple Origins To German Internet Television

GermanTVAs you may expect, the actual story of German TV is a fascinating tale.  Not surprisingly, the Deutsch Republic is now one of the most culturally and technologically advanced areas in the entire world, and their television industry surely reflects this.

What you might not know is that Germany was one of the real pioneers of this new-fangled medium.

The roots of German Internet Television really began in Berlin in March of 1935 with the formation of their first over-the air network.  Their entire schedule consisted of broadcasting for ninety minutes, three times a week . Genuinely a modest beginning! As it turns out, the Germans had been nearly 10 years ahead of the rest of the world with their transmission endeavors.  Truth be told, the German TV business was really a fortuitous development that came from terribly unfortunate situations.  Specifically, it was the Nazis who recognized the communication (and propaganda) benefits of television, and as such were its very first proponents.

The next milestone happened in 1948, when the English Occupation forces (having vanquished the Nazis 3 years earlier) re-generated the German Television business.  It ought to be mentioned that it was an effort exclusively for the benefit of English troops, and also the programming was only produced in English.  Nonetheless, the Brits planted the seed for the future; seeds that would spawn the largest TV market in Europe.  About the same time, the East German government was starting its own TV service, based on the Soviet design.

Fast forward to 1963:  the very first true German television network came into being, and was (confusingly) named Second German Television.   Unlike previous efforts, which were regionalized and were based mainly on radio programming, this Second German Television station (ZDF) was a centrally organized channel devoted solely to television. The West Germans launched color programming in 1967, with their Eastern counterparts doing the same 2 years later.

It was in the late 1980s that the re-joining of East and West Germany transpired, which impacted an additional landmark in German TV history.  After reunification, the television stations from the German Democratic Republic were dissolved and the remnants were used to produce new regional networks, e.g. the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (Central German Broadcasting). In addition, more private television stations opened, making TV broadcasts obtainable via cable, satellite, and in some cases, over the airwaves. Now all the Germans needed was to add digital satellite technology and also the the technology from the web, two events that would help make German Web TV a reality.

Digital satellite technological know-how has actually been available in Germany since 1996, with exponential growth happening within the last 5 years.  And with the arrival of web technology, German speaking individuals from every corner of the globe can now gain access to their favorite programming on their computers.

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