DVB-T2 and the future of digital broadcasting

Recently, I participated on behalf of the Celtic Office in the final review of Celtic project Engines, which worked on “Enabling Next Generation Networks for Broadcast Services”. The project had started in 2010, and I was stunned about the progress made in the deployment of DVB, a standard for digital video broadcasting, in the last three years.

Engines project meeting

Meeting of Celtic project Engines

At the end of 2009, the award winning Celtic project B21C had just bundled the work of most of the European actors in the standardisation work for the DVB-T2 standard, which had been adopted by ETSI in September 2009. DVB-T2 extends the digital video broadcasting technology to the reception of high-definition TV. At the same time the Celtic project Engines started working on a new standard that offers the right format for mobile handheld TV reception.

Engines made some major contributions to the DVB-T2-Lite standard, the handheld extension of DVB-T2 that offers the right format for tablets and smartphones, which was published in spring 2012. The project also developed and successfully tested dimensioning tools for DVB piping that allows combining radio signals for HD-TV with the signal for mobile reception.

As I learned at the review, three years ago many countries in Asia and in Africa had not yet decided which of the four competing digital broadcasting technologies to adopt – ATSC, DTMB, DVB-T, or ISDB-T. Since then, almost all Asian and African countries, with the exception of China, Japan, Korea and the Philippines, have adopted the DVB-T2 standard.

Digital broadcast standards

Global spread of digital broadcast standards (Source: Wikipedia)

One reason for this is that the price of a set-top box has come down to around 20 euro. Another reason is that DVB-T2 offers a large technological scope. It offers for example to combine in the same broadcasting radio signal the signals for HD-TV and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. In emerging countries like India and Russia, DVB-T2 deployment is steadily progressing. Today, DVB-T is deployed in more than 17 countries, and additional 36 countries have decided to adopt the most recent DVB-T2 technologies.

Considering this trend, I am quite confident that the European-driven DVB-T2 standard and its successors will play an increasingly important role for digital video broadcasting world-wide.

Further information on the Engines project

This entry was posted in Celtic, Standardisation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *