Tag Archives: DVB

New DVB Chairman Hopeful FOBTV Will Strengthen, But Cool To Worldwide TV Standard

DVB, the standards organization that among other things developed the terrestrial TV standard which ushered in the analog-to-digital transition in Europe, has a new chairman, and he’s on a mission.

“We need to redefine ourselves. And that could be a DVB that looks like the DVB of old, but we have to reassure ourselves that the process in the DVB is apt for the market requirements,” says Peter MacAvock, who took over from Phil Laven as chairman in June.

MacAvock, head of delivery, platforms and services at the EBU Technology & Innovation, previously served 14 years as DVB’s executive director.

“It is a more complex ecosystem than it was back in the ’90s and there’s just as much at stake.”

Speaking during the standards body’s press conference Sept. 9 at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam, MacAvock underscored the need for the organization to continue grappling with some “very complex discussions” that are ongoing while at the same time becoming a bit introspective to determine if it’s headed in the right direction.

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DVB To Focus On IP At IBC 2016

It would appear that U.S. broadcasters aren’t the only traditional TV providers who want to be sure to reach viewers on their iPads, smartphones and other digital devices with an over-the-air TV signal.

At IBC 2016 in Amsterdam, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), a consortium of broadcasters, manufactures and others devoted to designing new tech standards, will be putting on a live demo of a DVB-T2 signal being converted to IP via a server built into a TV, which then will stream IP television content to other devices.

Sounds a lot like the ATSC 3.0 gateway concept, in which an over-the-air next-gen TV signal is received and distributed around a home or business via Wi-Fi. However, with ATSC 3.0, the broadcast content starts out as an IP stream — there’s no need for a built-in server to convert to Internet Protocol.

A press release from DVB on its IBC 2016 plans outlines the other goodies the standards organization will highlight, including:

  • DVB-S2X technology
  • DVB-S2X receiver chipset progress
  • IP encapsulation at the point of reception

The IBC 2016 exhibit halls at the RAI will be open Sept. 9-13. DVB will be in stand 1.D81.

If you are not planning to travel to Amsterdam for the show, stay in touch with the important tech developments at IBC 2016 by following me on Twitter (Phil Kurz @TVplayout) and checking out TVNewsCheck’s special IBC coverage page.

DVB To Demo Coding Efficiency Of HEVC At IBC

DVB will demonstrate how HEVC coding efficiency can increase the capacity of both DVB-T2 over-the-air and DVB-S2X satellite transmission at IBC 2014 in Amsterdam, Sept. 12-16.

IBC 2014 logoIn July, the consortium, which is made up of more than 200 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators and others, approved the first phase of a new spec for using HEVC, or High Efficiency Video Coding, as part of the DVB standard in support of ultra high definition television service.

When used for terrestrial TV transmission, HEVC enables multiple HD channels to be delivered via DVB-T2. Used as part of the DVB-S2X satellite standard, HEVC allows four UHDTV signals at 100Mb/s to be delivered.

Click to read the press release.

DVB Keeps ATSC Informed On New UHDTV Spec, Says Siebert

The Digital Video Broadcasting, DVB, consortium announced July 3 approval of the DVB-UHDTV Phase 1 specification.

The specification includes an HEVC Profile for DVB broadcasting that are consistent with what is necessary to deliver UHDTV, DVB says.

The move raises an important question for U.S. broadcasters as work on this side of the Atlantic proceeds on development of ATSC 3.0 as a next-generation TV broadcast standard. Specifically, since DVB submitted one of the many proposals for the physical layer of ATSC 3.0 months ago, has the consortium amended its original proposal to reflect the new specification?

Peter Siebert1 (1)

Peter Siebert, executive director of the DVB, says the ongoing work on the ATSC 3.0 physical layer has slowed progress by the Future of Broadcast Television on a worldwide digital TV standard.

I spoke with Peter Siebert, executive director of DVB, on the telephone to find out. Our conversation grew to cover several other topics, including how the physical layer expertise being devoted to ATSC 3.0 is impacting the work of Future of Broadcast Television worldwide digital TV standard, spectrum give backs around the world and a proposal for cooperation between TV broadcasters and wireless companies on the delivery of video to mobile devices.

DVB was one of several to submit proposals to ATSC for physical layer of 3.0. Has DVB amended its proposal to reflect the new DVB-UHDTV specification?

Let me first say something about the relevance of what we have just done.

The importance of our specification for the industry is that it defines exactly what needs to be implemented in receivers and indirectly gives broadcasters information about what they have to do in their studios.

From the many, many options the MPEG standard has, we defined a subset, and this subset needs to be supported by the broadcast industry. That is the relevance of what we are doing.

Of course, we are doing it for all of the countries and all of the areas where DVB standards are being followed, which is a good part of the world. It goes of course beyond terrestrial and applies to satellite and cable.

It is important, and since it is important we have liaison exchange between DVB and ATSC, so we have kept ATSC in the loop about what we are doing. We also at a very early point in time gave some early drafts and of course we also informed them about the latest status of the document.

So ATSC is informed and now it is up to ATSC to also follow the same proposals we have done in our specification and to also put it into the ATSC suite of theorem, but of course, they can also decide differently. That is up to them.

What has happened with the effort to advance a worldwide digital broadcast standard?

I think the progress on the worldwide broadcast standard has been a little delayed over the last year and this is because the experts who are working on physical layer technology have been involved with ATSC 3.0.

So I think when FoBTV (the Future of Broadcast Television) extends a request for proposal the technologies would not be that much different from what ATSC 3.0 has been investigating. So I think a good strategy for a worldwide standard is to wait until ATSC 3.0 is finalized and then to evaluate whether ATSC 3.0 could be the base of such a worldwide standard.

Here in the United States broadcasters are facing demands for their spectrum and a repack. Are broadcasters in DVB countries facing similar pressures from their governments?

Unfortunately, the pressure on the frequency for terrestrial television are the same everywhere. Here in Europe and other countries there is a very high demand for terrestrial spectrum, and I am afraid that a similar situation as in the U.S. will be seen all around the world.

Are broadcasters around the world in any better positioned to protect their spectrum, or will they be forced to relinquish spectrum?

I think you really have to look at this on a country-by-country basis. There are countries, like Spain, where the major distribution scheme is transmission.  In the case of Spain that means 70% of the households receive terrestrial television.

Of course, there is such a big part of the population that is relying on terrestrial television that you cannot take away too much of the spectrum because it would cause a public outcry.

So, we have some countries in Europe that have a very high terrestrial coverage, such as Spain –the highest- France, the U.K., Italy and Greece, and then you have all kinds of variance about how relevant terrestrial is.

But in general, I think in Europe we have the results of the last two radio conferences, and I don’t think it will go beyond where we are today.

We have lost the 800MHz band for terrestrial television. It looks like we will also lose 700MHz, but I hope the rest can be safe for broadcast.

In the United States, Mark Aitken of the Sinclair Broadcast Group made a proposal a couple of years ago calling for development of a broadcast overlay network, essentially a cooperation with wireless companies that would allow them to offload heavy video traffic for delivery to mobile devices via terrestrial television transmission. I believe that concept may have originated at a German university. Has it gained any traction in Europe?

Yes, the proposal originated at the University of Braunschweig, basically coming from Professor Ulrich Reimers, (former) chairman of the technical module of DVB, and this proposal basically goes to a type of cooperation between a high-tower, high-power network, which is typically a broadcast scenario, in combination with a low-tower, low-power network, which is a cellular network. The special relevance of the proposal is for mobile reception because it is relatively difficult to achieve good coverage for mobile reception with a broadcast network.

But the combination, the broadcast network along with the cellular network, could bring advantages to both sides.

So, the idea makes a lot of sense from a technical point of view, but for the time being I have not seen many concrete steps in the direction of implementing this idea in Europe.

DVB-T2 Flexes Its Muscles With 4K, Mobile Broadcast

DVB-T2 Flexes Its Muscles With 4K, Mobile Broadcast

One of the highest priorities for a next-generation television system in the U.S. is to have the ability to broadcast one signal — over-the-air — that’s robust enough to be picked up on a 60-inch television set in the living room and on a 4-inch smartphone while traveling on a bus.

And being that a majority of the proposals that came earlier this month for that standard — ATSC 3.0 —are based on DVB-T2, the latest version of the broadcast standard used across Europe, the U.S. is heading in the right direction toward achieving that goal.

At the IBC Show this week in Amsterdam, the DVB standards body is showing off a demonstration on a single terrestrial signal that’s sending a 4K broadcast and a lower resolution mobile broadcast using DVB-T2.

The future looks bright. I saw the demo first hand (my photo above doesn’t do it justice), and while rigged with some prototype devices, it’s impressive to know that a signal is being sent over-the-air that’s robust and capable enough to be picked up on a smartphone and in full resolution on a 4K television.

The transmission is coming off the Rai Tower in Amsterdam, which is located just outside the convention center where the IBC Show is held. To receive the 4K signal on the 55-inch Sony TV set, DVB partnered with Broadcom on a prototype set-top box that decodes the signal. Sony built a make-shift chip set that plugged into a tablet to receive the mobile signal.

DVB is intelligent enough that it sends out an extra robust signal for the mobile reception and a high-data rate signal for the 4K signal, says Peter Siebert, executive director of the Geneva-based DVB Project.

Here are some specs on the broadcast:

It takes 25.24 Mb/s of bandwidth for the 4K broadcast; 1.02 Mb/s for the mobile broadcast.

The 4K signal used HEVC encoding; mobile used H.264

• The 4K broadcast used 256 QAM modulation; mobile use QPSK

DVB is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is currently being used in 67% of digital broadcast receivers around the world. Phil Laven, chairman of the standards body, also reported that the 1 billionth DVB receiver just lit up.

Laven was also quick to mention that DVB-T2 was quite prevalent in the submissions for ATSC 3.0.

“I’m not saying that we’re guaranteeing it’ll be adopted by ATSC,” he says. “But it’s certainly the system to beat.”

Sinclair, Several Others Submit ATSC 3.0 Proposal

Sinclair, Several Others Submit ATSC 3.0 ProposalThere’s big interest from several organizations in the next-generation television standard.

The Advanced Televisions Systems Committee received 10 proposals from 19 organizations for the physical layer of what’s being called ATSC 3.0 on Friday, Aug. 23, according to Mark Richer, president of ATSC. Detailed plans of those proposals are due at the end of September.

While there were some expected organizations — like the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard organization — that filed proposals, one of the more interesting proposals came from the nation’s biggest broadcaster.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, with nearly 40% coverage, is teaming up with Austin, Texas-based Coherent Logix, a maker of C-programmable processors for the embedded systems market, on a proposal for ATSC 3.0. Coherent Logix also specializes in video and imaging development systems (VIDS), according to its website.

ATSC 3.0 is a standard that’s expected to give broadcasters a platform to implement several technical advances, including 4K broadcasts, targeted advertising and stronger mobility. It’s currently on a four-year timetable to have a final standard completed by 2016.

Other companies interested in developing a physical layer for ATSC 3.0, several of which filed joint proposals, included:

  • Samsung and Sony
  • Canada’s Communications Research Centre and South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
  • Qualcomm and Ericsson
  • LG, Zenith and Harris Broadcast
  • China’s National Engineering Research Center of Digital Television, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Advance Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Bell Labs
  • Allen Limberg
  • Technicolor
  • Power Broadcasting

Peter Siebert, executive director of DVB, told TVNewsCheck that his standards organization planned on submitting a proposal for ATSC 3.0, and was confident that the finalized standard will be based around or derived from DVB’s technology.

Follow TVNewsCheck this week for more on these organizations and plans around ATSC 3.0.

For 20th Anniversary, DVB To Demo 4K Over-The-Air

For 20th Anniversary, DVB To Demo 4K Over-The-AirThe Digital Video Broadcast standard, better known as DVB, is celebrating its 20th anniversary at the International Broadcast Conference with some pretty exciting demos.

The demo that most broadcasters will be paying attention to is when the group does a 4K terrestrial broadcast, combined with a mobile signal, in a single 8-megahertz channel. Located near the conference hall in Amsterdam is the TV tower, says Peter Siebert, executive director of the DVB Project in Geneva, Switzerland.

“The exhibitors on the trade show will watch the broadcast from inside the show,” he says.

Broadcasters will likely be hearing more about DVB in the near future. As pointed out today on TVNewsCheck, the standard will be submitted to the ATSC as a proposal for the next-generation standard, ATSC 3.0. Siebert says he expects ATSC 3.0 to be derived from DVB-T2, the latest iteration of the standard that’s widely used across Europe.

Mark Aitken and his team at Sinclair Broadcasting is currently testing DVB-T2 at the group’s Baltimore station WNUV.

DVB will also demo CI Plus v1.4, which will enable IPTV to be delivered directly to the television, without the need of a set-top box.