What should never be broadcast live

service Questions and answers about live streaming


The live stream jerks or stops. Picture and sound are transmitted in poor quality or other quality losses occur.

From the production to the distribution of its TV content, the MDR always strives for the best possible quality. However, as soon as the programs are sent through the Internet via live TV streaming, the MDR no longer has control over the functionality of the distribution channels and cannot guarantee reception quality.

Nevertheless, a few pointers in case there are quality deficiencies when calling up a TV live stream. A common reason for poor reception of a live TV stream is the low bandwidth (the actual data throughput) of the Internet connection used. We recommend a transmission speed of approx. 6,000 Kbit / second. If you have any questions in this regard, please contact your provider (Internet provider).

Experience has shown that bandwidths are too low when using live TV streams on the move. As a rule, optimal quality cannot be achieved via a mobile connection (EDGE, UMTS, LTE, WLAN). We recommend calling up live TV streams using a LAN cable if possible. If you want to receive the TV live streams on the go, we recommend WiFi.

Other reasons for quality deficiencies when receiving TV live streams can be:

  • You share the bandwidth with several users (for example in a WLAN).
  • Outdated versions of software are installed on your device, such as the operating system or the browser.
  • You carry out several uploads or downloads parallel to the stream or use IP telephony at the same time.
  • You have opened several pages with different content in the browser at the same time.
  • Your end device has insufficient performance, i.e. the main memory is too small or the processor is too slow.

The TV live streams cannot be played.

In this case, please take the following measures:

  • First, try to solve the problem by clearing the browser's cache and restarting the browser. How you can delete the cache is explained on the respective provider pages of the browser types (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.). If offered, please select the version number of your browser and your operating system on the provider page.
  • Alternatively, try calling up the live stream with a different browser.
  • If the problem persists, you are probably using an outdated version of your browser. Please update your browser.
  • If you are using a very old operating system, the current browser versions cannot be installed. Try the retrieval with different browsers. In the medium term, we recommend getting a newer device (computer, smartphone, etc.).
  • Please note that most live streams only work in Germany. (Geo-blocking)

In what quality are the TV live streams offered and can the quality be changed?

The stream is played in different quality levels, which change automatically depending on the actual connection speed (adaptive streaming). The largest total bit rate is currently approx. 3800 Kbit / second. The lowest quality level - streaming an audio file without a picture is 64 Kbit / second.

In general, we recommend connecting via LAN cable for the best quality TV live streams. As a rule, optimal quality cannot be achieved via a mobile connection (EDGE, UMTS, LTE, WLAN). If you want to receive the TV live streams on the go, we recommend WiFi.

The quality selection must be made by the user himself / herself only under the Android operating system. Other options for setting the stream quality manually are not necessary due to the adaptive streaming and are not currently offered.


With which browsers can the TV live stream be accessed?

The version of your browser that you use to surf the Internet and watch the TV live streams should not be too old, and for security reasons it is best not to be older than a year.

The TV live streams can be called up with browsers that support HTML-5. Flash is no longer offered. This means that Internet Explorer, which Microsoft has already replaced, cannot make the live TV streams visible.

The following functions should be activated in the browser settings:

  • Cookies (These are small files that the "sending" computer (server) exchanges with the browser on your computer. Here you need at least the setting: "Only accept those that are evaluated by the originating server.")
  • JavaScript (Required for certain instructions to the browser, e.g. selection menus or windows that should open with a click.)

Important NOTE: The actuality of the browser can be limited by the used operating system. For older operating systems, updates for the browser used are sometimes no longer offered. Nevertheless, the browser information says: "Your browser is up-to-date", although it is an outdated version.


The TV live stream does not start in the right place. What can you do?

In our player in the browser you have the option of "jumping back" about 2 hours in the live TV program. This functionality roughly corresponds to the time shift function on SmartTVs. The red color bar at the bottom of the player is used for this. If you want to go back to the live TV program at the current time, all you have to do is click the "LIVE" button in the player (next to the loudspeaker symbol).

Normally, the TV live stream should always start at the current point when it starts. If not, it is advisable to clear the browser cache of your browser. Faulty cookies may have been written to the browser's memory, which could result in the live TV stream starting in the wrong place. Alternatively, you can try a different browser as a test.


Why do I sometimes get the message that a certain program cannot be seen?

TV live streams are currently only available in Germany (geo-blocking).

In addition, some programs or contributions from programs cannot be offered as a live stream on the Internet for legal reasons. The MDR endeavors to clarify the livestream and on-demand rights for as many MDR FERNSEHENS programs as possible.


Can the content of a live stream be saved?

There is no legally permissible possibility to record or save individual contributions, music tracks or entire programs when they are transmitted over the Internet. However, the MDR offers selected television and radio broadcasts as audio and video downloads. You can get an overview in the MDR media library in the Podcasts section.


Why does the live stream run with a time delay to the broadcast on TV or radio?

The live stream still has to be technically encoded in web formats and played on the Internet via a CDN (Content Network Delivery). This process takes up to 60 seconds.


Who can help me with problems?

In order to be able to help you, we need a detailed description of the error:

  • What does not work?
  • Which video is affected? Link to the video!
  • At what point did the error occur?
  • Which browser and operating system are you using? (including version number)

Further information on radio livestreams from the MDR

All MDR HĂ–RFUNKS programs are currently offered as live streams. A list of all radio livestreams can be found at MDR.DE under the heading Radio -> Livestreams and Webchannel.

You can also start the live streams on the pages of the individual radio programs.